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on 28 February 1999
I enjoyed and understood this book. I am enrolled in a Theory of Knowledge, a philosophy class, and I am constantly defending the claim that absolute truth exists. I have also argued for the existence of moral absolutes. Without this book, my argument would have not been nearly as good. The book presents its material in a way that is understandable for everyone. The part of the book that was the biggest help to me was Greg Koukl's seven fatal flaws of relativism. This allowed me to understand how it is impossible for relativists to complain about the problem of evil and talk about tolerance.
Any person that is trying to defend the notion that moral absolutes exist should definitely buy this book!
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on 13 February 1999
Relativism: Feet Firmly Planted in Mid-Air is a well written book that explains and critiques the philosophy of relativism. Because of the popular level at which it is written, it is very feasible for the average reader to feel properly equipped to begin dealing with this pervasive ideology. Another primary strength is how it builds logically upon itself throughout the chapters.
In the beginning, Koukl clearly presents the need for facing the issue of relativism. The examples reveal a frightening snapshot of our morally bankrupt society. As a result, the need for change is evident. He follows this introduction with defining key terms in the second chapter. Furthermore, Koukl strategically hamstrings one of relativism's foundational tenets, the position of moral neutrality. He also makes a case for the self-refuting nature of relativism. By the end of part one, the reader is left with a firm grasp of the various forms of relativism that are encountered in the public square.
The following three chapters provide a systematic refutation of the three types of relativism, culminating part two with a final chapter on the seven flaws of relativism. Again, the authors do a great service by defining key terms before dealing with the relevant issues.
Part three explains how relativism has affected education. The authors show how this philosophy is meeting our children in the classroom with exercises like values clarification. Furthermore, relativistic ideas form the backbone to key, public ideas like political correctness and multiculturalism. Beckwith explains how relativistic ideas in education, that are intended to promote tolerance and inclusivisim, are actually exclusivistic. For example, college speech codes allow the free speech and thought of only those students whose ideas are politically correct. If the speech does not square with those in power, then it is silenced. That is not tolerance, but exclusivism. In addition, the author demonstrates that any moral theory that can't account for the Jewish holocaust is truly a bankrupt moral system not worth considering. Relativism, he argues, must therefore be discarded.
In part four, Beckwith discusses how relativism has infected law, marriage, and the meaning of life. Again, the author demonstrates the self-contradictory nature of relativism as it pertains to issues of abortion, euthanasia, homosexuality, etc. He shows how the courts' efforts to ensure personal autonomy and to remain "neutral" on end-of-life issues has actually imposed naturalism's worldviews and presuppositions on public life. This demonstrates how the myth of moral neutrality is present.
In the final part, Koukl address some very practical issues. He devotes an entire chapter to tactics on refuting relativism. Being one of the strengths of this book, this chapter helps put into practice the wealth of knowledge gained in the previous chapters. It would behoove those interested in debating relevant moral issues in our culture to master the techniques taught in this section. After these tactics is one of the most provocative chapters in the book. It argues against the possibility of morals developing as a product of naturalistic evolution. The book culminates in an analysis of the origin of these morals. It points to a personal intelligence for the source of all morality.
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on 27 December 1998
When I first picked up this book, I thought it might be preachy and vitriolic. To my delight I was completely mistaken. It is very rational and precise; a logician's dream come true! It articulates simply and clearly several points that were on the periphery of my intuition. Now I have them before me in focused and concrete form. It helps clarify the difference between the positive and negative aspects of multiculturalism, demonstrates how true tolerance can only be rooted in an absolute, and finally explains why naturalism can not support morality--something I have been wondering about for a long time. I wish it came in audio as I would like to stamp its arguments permanently on my cerebral cortex as I continue in my philosophy major. I will return to this book again and again.
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on 4 August 1999
beckwith, a professor of law and ethics at trinity law school, and gregory koukl, an adjunct professor at biola grad school (and director of the organization, stand to reason), have written a well thought out examination of relativism as a philosophy/worldview. they address the major forms that relativsim takes, and demonstrate how each is an inadequate, and even self-refuting philosophy/worldview. the authors show that the logical conclusion of relativism's presuppositions is a is a society filled chaos, a reality that few would want to live in, but the world that relativism nonetheless ultimately leads to. as the authors point out, the fastest way to show the true colors of a relativist is to steal their car; suddenly they become a moral absolutist. those interested in building a more consistent worldview into their own lives, or desiring to be able to communicate with those caught in the maze of relativism should read this book!
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on 2 August 2015
This is an amazing overview of the main issues around relativism in modern society and their problems.

The only downside to us non-Americans is that the majority (if not all) of its examples are based on US culture, and so when he discusses laws, while they may have some bearing on us folks over on this side of the pond, they may not always apply.

When looking at the issue of relativistic morality in society today, this is your best starting point.
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on 6 December 1998
This is an amazing book. It's concise, clear, and should rattle the cages of those who promote the mindless relativism that pervades our culture. It is an ideal text for an introductory ethics or philosophy class, for it is fun to read but really does a nice job of teaching people how to think morally and logically. I can see church and library small groups using this book.
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on 23 July 1999
This book is a terrific rebuttal to relativism for popular audiences. It's funny how people who claim that texts have no true meaning can then write a text against a text they think is textually flawed. It's a wonder such a person's head does not explode from maintaining such intellectual disparate and incoherent ideas. Of course, if everything is power, who cares? Really? I think he got faked out of his Jacques.
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on 26 June 1999
Beckwith and Koukl firmly refute relativism and many self-defeating positions liberals take on current cultural issues. In fact, if you think these authors are absolutely wrong, you prove their point . . . you're really saying they're absolutely right! Not just for Christians, this is for every American concerned about our crumbling culture.
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on 26 October 1998
This book is an intelligent, clearly written critique of moral relativism. It is authored by a professional philosopher (Dr. Francis Beckwith) and a professional communicator (Gregory Koukl). Anyone who has ever encountered moral relativism and wants to know how to respond intelligently, YOU MUST BUY THIS BOOK. It deals with numerous topics including values clarification, multiculturalism, abortion, same-sex marriage, and moral rules and the existence of God. If you master the contents and logic of this book, it will help you immensely in dealing with confused friends, writing letters to the editor, and if you are in college, arguing with your relativistic professors and fellow students. This is a very, very good book!!!
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on 6 February 1999
The many argument strategies given by Frank and Greg are not just successfull in conversations, but conversation stoppers! Great witnessing techniques. Appreciated the emphasis on traditional rhetoric, Socratic method, and question-asking skills. They teach one to control the conversation by prying open the mind of the relativist with clear logic. I would recommend this book for all pastors and christian educators. Further, this book ought to be considered by college/seminary professors as a classroom text. Fantastic work, easy to read and has impacted my life personally.
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