Relativism on a Personal Level3 min read

The idea that relativism can exist on a personal level is absurd. No one will eat a dog turd because “food is relative.”

As an individual, you get to choose what is best for you. Society should allow you to make that decision within the realms of what works for everyone as a whole. If you want to dress as a cowboy and paint your car to look like a horse, you should be able to do that. Obviously, others should be able to make fun of you, but you should be able to do that.

Relativism doesn’t work when it comes to your own preferences. You know what your own preferences are. The only limit should be society accepting you and government preventing you from harming others (and possibly society.) Personal preference is relative, but there are still wrong choices in many areas. Unless you subsist on eating sand and drinking bleach, we have to admit personal preference only goes so far.

Relativism as a Mode of Living

Outside of aesthetic selections, there are ways of living that can make your life better. Cashing every paycheck you get and then burning the money is a bad idea. If relativism were true, this would be a valid way of living. Since it is a useless way of living, Relativism makes no sense. The same is true about relativism on a societal level, but that is not what I am discussing here.

It is your duty to yourself to select a mode of living that will make you as happy as possible. You need to find your meaning and know why you are alive. If you are lost in the idea that it is all relative and nothing matters for you, that is the most useless place to be.

Something that was insightful that Jordan Peterson said (I do not know where he got it) was that any idiot can choose a time frame where nothing we do matters. In a few billion years, we are either a galactic civilization or humans no longer exist. In a few trillion, there is almost no scenario where people can be alive in the universe. That doesn’t mean you should skip your shower and just masturbate all day. The time frame you should be concerned with is the one of your life.

Relativism taken too far

Relativism is not Helpful

Relativism helps with tolerance. Is that the only way to be more tolerant of people that are different than you? Understanding someone else’s culture but preferring your life and your society’s way of life doesn’t prevent you from being tolerant.

You need to understand yourself as an individual. You can understand how you fit into your own society or all the societies in the world. Your choices are relative to others, but they have meaning. They are not relative to yourself. You know what you prefer. Be the person you want to be.

Relativism is a tool to understand things. It is a shortcut. It is not useful.

If you find yourself stuck someplace that is no useful for you, you must move. If relativism were true, it would make just as much sense to stay in that bad place.

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