The Justificationist Roots of Relativism
Confronted with the diverse range of religious claims to truth one can affirm one of them, deny the rest, and thereby be a believer and a non-relativist; one can deny them all, and thereby be a nonbeliever and an anti-relativist; and one can affirm them all, each in its cultural place, without thereby being a believer: one is then a relativist. There are no other logical options. The two positions which interest me here are relativism and anti-relativism. At first glance they might seem symmetrical, or mirrors of one another: the relativist affirms what the anti-relativist denies. Yet beyond this simple relation of negation the two are as different as chalk and cheese. Relativism has a justificationist structure and an authoritarian epistemology to go with it. Anti-relativism, by contrast, can be formulated free from those deficiencies.
KeywordsLution Stake Univer Metaphor Chalk
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