Moral Relativism & Abortion

Moral relativism is the belief that there are no absolute moral truths. It teaches that what is true for you is not necessarily true for anyone else, anything goes because life is without meaning.
  • Words like 'ought' and 'should' are rendered meaningless in the aim to be morally neutral.
  • 78% of college professors teach that there is no such thing as right or wrong.
  • If there is no morality there can be no ethics - except for 'the ends justifying the means.'
  • If there is no God, and if humans have no true value, then suicide, abortion, infanticide and euthanasia are logically permissable.
  • If each side have a right to believe what they want to believe, then appealing to moral relativism to solve the abortion conflict is an intellectual impossibility.
All ancient civilisations have acknowledged that mankind needs rules to be able to function properly. Laws are one of the cornerstones of a civilised society. If there were no laws, society would be uncivilized and in a chaotic state of anarchy. These laws are decided and administered usually by leaders in the society.

A good society is said to be one that makes it easy for its citizens to be good. Western civilisation has, until now, based its laws on the principles of Judeo-Christianity. Principles mean moral absolutes. During the 20th century things began to change. There has been a shift in education, the media and politics towards moral relativism.

Moral relativism teaches that there are no absolute moral truths...what is true for you may not necessarily be true for me. It believes and teaches there is no right or wrong, good or bad. Essentially, moral relativism says that anything goes, because life is ultimately without meaning. Words like "ought" and "should" are rendered meaningless. In this way, moral relativism claims to be morally neutral.
"...teaching morality doesn't mean imposing my moral values on others. It means sharing wisdom, giving reasons for believing as I do - and then trusting others to think and judge for themselves."


In describing her view on morality, the President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America once stated, "...teaching morality doesn't mean imposing my moral values on others. It means sharing wisdom, giving reasons for believing as I do - and then trusting others to think and judge for themselves." She claims to be morally neutral, yet her message is clearly intended to influence the thinking of others... an intention that is not, in fact, neutral.

Evidence that moral relativism is seen as more "fair" or "neutral" than a "hardline" stance on morality is seen in a 2002 column from Fox News analyst Bill O'Reilly, who asked "Why is it wrong to be right?" In his article, O'Reilly cites recent Zogby poll findings regarding what is being taught in American universities.

Studies indicate 75% of American college professors currently teach that there is no such thing as right and wrong. Rather, they treat the questions of good and evil as relative to "individual values and cultural diversity."

The problem with this, according to O'Reilly, is that "they see the world not as it is, but as they want it to be. And annoying questions about moral absolutes and unacceptable behavior are usually left unanswered."

By accepting the doctrine of moral relativism, those who could obtain power could justify state-sponsored murder and plunder by pointing out that since morals don't really exist and are merely a product of one's class or upbringing, there is no moral argument against the state version of murder and plunder.

This is what happened in Nazi Germany, where the extermination of millions of people was perfectly legal under German law at that time.
By accepting the doctrine of moral relativism, those who could obtain power could justify state-sponsored murder and plunder.


With no moral argument, it could be argued that natural rights don't really exist, since to defend natural rights one would have to say that it's unethical to violate natural rights, but since there is no morality there can be no ethics - except when it's modeled under the pretense of "the ends justify the means."

Relativism and abortion
If there is no Creator - no God - we have no intrinsic value for simply 'being.' If as humans we have no true value, then suicide, abortion, infanticide and euthanasia are logically permissable.

A good example of moral relativism was in the 2004 US presidential elections. The democratic candidate, Senator John Kerry, made a remark early in his campaign that although he was personally opposed to abortion, he would uphold it as a woman's right to choose and promised to overturn any restrictions existing in law that limited access in any way as his first official act.

Abortion advocates sometimes use the argument that "If you don't like abortion then don't have one." It is a contradiction to request opponents to abortion to stop trying to force their beliefs on others while at the same time claiming that "they have a right to believe what they want to believe."
"If you believed that a class of persons were being murdered by [painful] methods wouldn't you be perplexed if someone told you that you didn't have to participate in the murders if you didn't want to?"


As one abortion opponent put it: "If you believed that a class of persons were being murdered by methods that include dismemberment, suffocation, and burning - resulting in excruciating pain in many cases - wouldn't you be perplexed if someone tried to ease your outrage by telling you that you didn't have to participate in the murders if you didn't want to?"

The abortion-rights activist's claim that women should have the "right to choose" to kill their unborn fetuses amounts to denying their opponents' position that the unborn are worthy of protection.

And the opponent's affirmation that the unborn are fully human with a "right to life" amounts to denying the abortion-rights position that women have a fundamental right to terminate their pregnancies, since such a termination would result in a homicide.

Relativism and God
The opposite to moral relativism is objective morality. Objective morality, which is a fundamental principle of Christianity and many other religions, holds that right and wrong are concrete truths that begin and end with God. 

Christians and many others not only believe there is a God, a Creator, but also that truth and morality are absolute (i.e., complete and unconditional). They believe that every human is created by God and will one day have to give an account to God for the way they have lived their lives.

This not only means being judged for what they themselves have done that might have violated 'God's Law,' but also for what they failed to do to prevent others violating those Laws. Those who have religious reasons for opposing abortion believe that they are obliged to speak up on behalf of the 'unborn.'

It seems, then, that appealing to moral relativism to "solve" the abortion debate is an intellectual impossibility and solves nothing.