So, Iona, I'm new to this thread, and I'm a bit lost in all the verbiage. Could you take the time to give us a simple glossary of your terms, like truth, good, evil, Christianity, moral relativism, and knowing?
Sure thing, Joe.
Truth- Truth is conformity to fact or reality. Truth is "exact accordance with that which is, or has been, or shall be......'we rely on the truth of the scriptural prophesies.'" (Webster's 1828 dictionary)
Good- Good is that which agrees and is in accordance with the person and character of God.
Evil- Evil is that which is not in accordance with the person and character of God.
Evil can also be synonymous with sin: sin is doing what God forbids.
Christianity- After Christ's death, eventually his followers took on the name of Christians. But Christianity compasses the whole history of the world, back to Adam. Adam and other people before Christ were saved by faith in a savior to come, and this faith was demonstrated by sacrificing animals.
Relativism- relativism is the idea that points of view have no absolute truth or validity, being subjective unto your opinions. Moral relativism is the idea that morality is subjective to the view of the specific individual; the evolutionist must hold to moral relativism because men are all products of random chance accidents and there can be no such thing as an absolute. Ethics are relative to the culture, Morals are relative to the individual......
Knowledge- Knowledge is justified true belief. If I go and buy a lottery ticket, and say, the number is 13569. I say to myself, "I just know that this is today's number!" And sure enough, that night I find out that I won the lottery! I say "I KNEW that 13569 was today's number! I knew it!"
Did I really know it? No. I believed it, and it did turn out to be true, but I didn't know it. I had no justification for my belief. Knowledge is justified true belief.
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction (Proverbs 1:7)
It seems to me that all of these terms should have a more-or-less absolute meaning, but your understanding of these terms appears to be quite "relativist" - depending on your far-south-of-mainstream brand of Christianity instead of on something more definitive. Certainly, if they are not "relative," then truth, good, and evil must exist of themselves. If so, they must be independent to the ability of anyone to ascertain truth and good and evil.
Could it be that you are a relativist yourself, relating all to your particular shade of Christianity?
Perhaps your definition of 'relativist' is different than mine that I just defined. I believe that there is absolute right and wrong, and I do so because I believe in a God who defines right and wrong, and instituted those 'laws' into the human being. But an atheist doesn't. He believes that we live in a random universe (after all, the universe would have to be pretty random if a single cell organism can be created out of nothing, caused by nothing, and then evolve into all of the amazing life we see today--then again, it's impossible. Anyway.....), and in a random universe, there can be no inductive inference (conclusions based on the idea that the future will be like the past), there can be no right and wrong, and there can be no reason or logic, because after all, everything is material. According to the atheist, there is no soul, no afterlife, and no God. Those things are spiritual, but if men have no souls, if everything is material, then they can't exist. Fair?
But wait. There's more.
If everything is material (as a faithful materialistic atheist would assert), then there can be no logic, there can be no numbers. If I write "2" on a blackboard--is that two? Yes or no?
Then I erase that 2.
If you answered yes, and if that was two, then we have just destroyed two. There is no more twoness in this world. Dear me!
But you say "no, you did not destroy 2. What you drew on the board is merely a representation of two, the numeral two, not actually two."
So where/what is two? Obviously it's not material--you can't cool Two in your freezer, you can't stub your toe on it, you can't serve it for lunch in the college cafeteria--it's not material. So how do you justify its existence?
Because if two is material, then laws of logic are also material. Class concepts are material. Emotion is material. Your mind is material.
Therefore, these concepts and others like them are all relegated to chemical reactions in your brain. You can't help being an atheist because you have no choice in the matter. It's just what the chemicals came up with. You have no free will, you're just doing what your brain chemicals tell you to do.
Plato proposed that all things on earth are merely representations of the actual "thing". He said that there must be a realm out somewhere that contained all of the embodiments (he called them 'forms', I think) of things like ducks, forks, two, humanity, etc. A fork is material, but the concept, the class of 'fork' isn't. So Plato believed that the actual form of 'forks' was somewhere in the realm of 'universals' as he called it.
Plato said that even though he'd never seen that realm (he said that it was outside of of human sense), he knew that it must exist because it was a logical necessity. If it were not true, he said, we could not make sense of our experiences.
If you're a materialistic atheist, then you must disagree with him, because you believe that all there is is materialism and everything reduces down to chemical processes in the brain.
Anyway, the thing that Aristotle said to debunk Plato was simply "WHO CARES!" Who cares, Plato, if there's a real of forms out there. What I want to know is how do you bring those forms in contact with the physical world. How does 'duckness' become 'duck' in the material world?
Athiests, if they don't say that all things are material, then they must answer this question as well. If there are 'realms' out there that aren't material, then perhaps Plato is right (for the atheistic worldview that is: as for me, I don't agree with him, and I have no need to). But you have to answer, how does the transfer happen? How does 'forkness' become 'fork'? How does 'humanity' become 'humans'?
I have a foundation for believing in laws of logic, 'twoness', mind and soul. The Bible gives me a foundation. But atheists don't have any--unless they borrow from my worldview. Am I a relativist? No. I believe that there are definite truths. There is only one Christianity, and that is the one taught in the Bible. Most 'Christian' churches today, and most 'Christians' aren't Christians at all. They don't understand the gospel. The 'sinner's prayer'--'asking Jesus to come into your heart' never saved anybody.
"Because straight is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it." (Matthew 7:14).
There is ONE truth, ONE way to eternal life, and that one way is Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, who came to earth to die for His chosen people.