21 abr. 2005

I've always wondered why Catholics (or any other religious group) can speak of their advocacy for OBJECTIVITY and be against RELATIVISM. The immaculate conception, or any other religious doctrine, is not established by objective means. If you ask believers for an explanation of this belief, they will not appeal to objective reality, but to tradition handed down from the past. Ultimately, the belief, however absurd, is attached to a person, and thus cannot be dismissed, out of respect for that person, but has no OBJECTIVE validity in the world at large.

The reason that it is uncool to mock people for their religious beliefs is that these beliefs provide a shared framework of support based on a hoary tradition. Such traditions seem less mockable in proportion to their relative antiquity and stability. But there is nothing objective about any of this. If I mocked someone's belief, any effort to stop me would appeal to purely relativistic criteria: the same reason that one would not mock any other religious tradition.

Now the foetry segment is coming on the radio.