Wednesday, April 11, 2007

The Lies We Tell Young People, Part 2

While navigating Yahoo! to check my email, I was struck by a headline on their news page. you know, the ones that they make as shocking and eye catching as possible so they can report more hits to their advertisers? Anyway, the title of the article is Can Cheaters Change: Can cheaters stop straying, or is infidelity a personality trait? What!?, I thought. Cheating is a personality trait now? Unbelievable. I read the article, which is very short and a disappointment based on the headline, but it basically says that 25% of men and 15% of women admit to sleeping with someone else while in a relationship, and that those who cheat are more likely to cheat again.

So, I'm sure you are left to conclude, as I am, that cheating is a personality trait, right? And what follows from that is that is it is a personality trait, like introversion/extroversion, it isn't wrong, per say, but part of who they are.

What a crock. Our culture is becoming so steeped in moral relativism that cheating, a practice that obviously hurts and destroys, is seen as a personality trait. This is the dominant worldview that is being handed down to the next generation: that all morality is relative, there is no absolute truth, and every belief is equally valid. Join me on my quest to find more examples of this in the media.

If you care to read more on this subject, I recommend this book on relativism by Greg Koukl and Frank Beckwith. I am about half way through it, and they have already blown relativism to shreds, both logically and practically. It employs quite a bit of deep logical terminology, but most high school grads should be able to follow it for the most part.

As a note before I close, I found it funny that this article, by David Zinczenko, is in a series called "Mysteries of the Sexes Explained." After thousands of years of trying to figure this out, thanks, Dave, for making this all so clear.


Anonymous said...

I see your point, and personally I cannot abide cheaters. I see the morality expressed in today's pop culture, particularly on television and in today's music, and it makes me want to puke. And the Yahoo article that you mention - I saw it too this morning and I laughed cynically because once again our media tries to make a story out of the blindly obvious.

But don't you think that the Christian faith has had two thousand years to influence human behavior and failed miserably? And does faith in God render anyone immune from making poor moral choices? People have been cheating, lying, committing adultery, murdering, stealing, and defrauding each other since the beginning. There has never been a period in human history where morality has trumped venality. There has never been a church, Christian or otherwise, that has been immune from scoundrels, pedophiles, and con men.

So why do you think religion or faith or a belief in God or whatever you want to call it will somehow correct the moral relativism that plagues our country today?

I think it would be interesting for you to explore this topic in more detail on your blog.

Nick said...

You comment is certainly making me think. I guess my purpose was not to offer faith as the ultimate anticdote, but to simply point out the ills of moral relativism. Once we realize that relativism is (1)logically impossible and (2) leads to a host of societal ills, maybe then we can agree that there is a wirght and a wrong, an absolute truth, an objective morality. Once we are here, we can then each make our own educated decisions on what that objective truth is. i choose to believe that it is the Bible and the God of the universe that is absolute truth, and there is pretty good evidence to back this up.

Does this help? Diagnosing relativism is just step 1 in a long process.

Chip Burkitt said...

Sin is a human personality trait. It does not follow that sin is acceptable. There are no persons who are not by nature sinful, self-centered, and God-forsaking.

Suppose I have an innate disposition to cheat. Does that mean that I can't help cheating, that my disposition is my destiny and I will be a cheater? No. It just means that resisting the temptation to cheat will be more difficult for me than for the average person. It does not absolve me of my responsibility to stay faithful to my wife.

For every human being there are some sins for which they have a greater propensity than for others. All that means is that they must take special care to avoid those sins. In some cases they may need the support of others to succeed, like a recovery group for alcoholism. I don't know if there are such groups for chronic cheaters. Cheaters Anonymous? But one of the ministries of the church is to be a kind of Sinners Anonymous for all kinds of sin. There's no point in thinking we can ever be cured of sin; we are either sinners or recovering sinners.