Notes for my writing

This blog is made up of notes on the gospel as found in the only true and living church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This includes notes that are either excerpts from or ideas for books I either have in draft or may yet write.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Relativism and truth

We have been raised to be relativists. We will staunchly defend the need to consider our opponents point of view. Our children are taught in school to argue for both sides of a matter. Not uncommonly this takes the form of asking students to argue for something of in one assignment, and asking then argue against the very same thing in a later assignment. What one argues for is supposed to be disconnected from the truth one believes in. In effect, they learn that honesty is dispensable. Possibly more destructively, they learn that they should never assert something is really true without first hearing what arguments the other side has to make.

But I think such teachings are mostly garbage. Consider this example in the scriptures:

Alma 46:4 And Amalickiah was desirous to be a king; and those people who were wroth were also desirous that he should be their king; and they were the greater part of them the lower judges of the land, and they were seeking for power.
5 And they had been led by the flatteries of Amalickiah, that if they would support him and establish him to be their king that he would make them rulers over the people.
...
10 Yea, we see that Amalickiah, because he was a man of cunning device and a man of many flattering words, that he led away the hearts of many people to do wickedly; yea, and to seek to destroy the church of God, and to destroy the foundation of liberty which God had granted unto them, or which blessing God had sent upon the face of the land for the righteous’ sake.

Have no doubt Amalikiah and his followers weren't hanging banners that said "destroy the foundation of liberty!" on them. Yes, they really were trying to to destroy the foundations of liberty. But it was through the light of Christ that people could discern what was really going on. That wasn't what Amalikiah and his followers SAID they were up to.

If we had Amalakiah's propoganda laid out as "another point of view", we would not get a truer picture of this story than we get without it.

If it was laid out as an example of deception and flattery, that might be useful. But that is quite a different thing than presenting Amalikiah's "point of view" so we know "where he is coming from".

We never get a greater view of the truth by asking the devil what he thinks about the situation

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