Who am I to Judge?

Posted on May 31, 2007
Filed Under Evere Wonder? | Leave a Comment

gavel-4.jpg Who am I to judge?  There are so many religions that they must all be true somehow.  Whatever you believe about God is true for you.  Morality should be whatever a person decides for themselves.  No one can be really sure about what God is like. 

The question of the hour seems to be, who am I to judge?  It used to be that popular belief held that there was truth in all areas and that rational thought could help lead us to discover truth.  That kind of “enlightenment” thinking is considered old school.  Now it is widely held that we are postmodern in thought. 

Most people continue to believe that the physical world is still governed by objective truth, like the laws of physics.  Although, when it comes to matters of morality and religion popular belief has changed to hold that there is no objective truth and that rational thought is not necessary.  It is not so much that there is no truth, but that there are in fact many truths which can contradict each other.

James Sire writes that, “The social fact of pluralism [the presence of so many different religions and beliefs about morality] has lead to the theoretical principle of relativism [the belief that there is no absolute truth that applies to everyone] … Truth itself has become personal opinion.”*

Sire goes on to suggest that this shift away from using human reason has left us with no way to answer life’s most significant questions.  Why am I here?  What should I live for?  What makes me valuable?  How should I treat my fellow human beings – my neighbors, those in my community, those in other countries?  How can I get along with people whose beliefs are different from my own?  He points out that, “Without a transcendent standard of reference, all we have is our own desire, our own personal opinion or our own social custom to rely on.”  Unfortunately, most of us would prefer to have more satisfying and concrete answers to the questions and longings in our hearts.

Just because people hold different beliefs doesn’t mean that we can’t engage in fruitful discussion about what is true and apply our gift of rational thought to discover the riches of truth.  Just like searching for oil.  If we use the best technology and equipment and dig deep enough, hitting pay dirt is almost inevitable.  Maybe we have been endowed with the capacity to think rationally for a reason?

*For more on this kind of thinking see Why Believe Anything by James Sire.  Quotes taken from, Why Good Arguments Often Fail, by the same author.

Reading Ultimate Pursuits may cause drowsiness. Do not operate heavy equipment while reading Ultimate Pursuits. 


Leave a Reply