Jump directly to the Content
Jump directly to the Content

Sermon Illustrations

Home > Sermon Illustrations

Professor Demonstrates That Moral Relativism Is Unlivable

In his booklet Absolute Truth, Mark Ashton tells the following story about a professor who demonstrates that moral relativism is unlivable:

Roger Wengert, a philosophy professor at the University of Illinois, often begins his introductory ethics classes by asking how many of the students believe that truth is relative. A show of hands usually reveals that two-thirds to three-fourths of the class thinks in this manner. After discussing the syllabus, testing dates, papers and content of the course, Wengert informs the class that they will be graded according to height. When the smart-alecky tall kid loudly agrees with this system, the professor adds, "Short students get A's; tall students flunk."
Inevitably a student's hand is raised: "Your grading system is not fair." "I am the professor," retorts Wengert. "I can grade however I wish." The student insists, "But what you ought to do is grade us according to how well we learn the material. You should look at our papers and exams to see how well we have understood the content of the course and grade us on that." The class nods in affirmation (especially the tall students).
Professor Wengert then replies, "By using words like should and ought, you betray your alleged conviction that truth is relative. If you were a true relativist, you would realize that there is no external standard to which my grading should conform. If my truth and my ethic lead me to an alternate grading system that you deem inappropriate, c'est la vie! I will grade however I wish."

Related Sermon Illustrations

Poll Reveals Our Six-Part 'New Moral Code'

A recent (August 2015) poll from Barna highlighted what's been called our "new moral code." Here are the percentages of those who agreed "completely" or "somewhat" with the following ...

[Read More]

Skydiving Needs Absolute Rules, not Relativism

If you go skydiving at the Southwest Florida Skydiving Club in Punta Gorda, Florida, you can count on two things: (1) an exciting experience and (2) the need to follow some basic ...

[Read More]