Absolute or Relative Truth

The question of right and wrong has been battled over for centuries. Many conservatives still believe that truth is absolute, while others disagree, saying that truth is relative. I believe that truth is absolute, and therefore, it is never right to do wrong.

Socrates is questionably the greatest philosopher of all time. He preached out against immorality and many other evils. He spent his whole life teaching other people how to be good and moral. In the “Crito” he is imprisoned and awaiting his death sentence for misleading the youth, of which he has been wrongly accused. Crito, his friend, comes to visit him in jail and they have a long conversation, which is the “Crito.” Socrates and his friend could have fairly easily broken out of the prison, because many of the guards looked up to Socrates and didn’t wish to see him killed. Socrates made the point that if he were to leave jail, he would be breaking the law. Even though he had been wrongly accused and sentenced to death for no reason, he couldn’t go against his own teachings, or else his whole life would have been in vain. He knew that if he didn’t escape, he would die and would orphan his two children, however no matter how much he loved them, he wouldn’t contradict his teaching by doing wrong. Even though Socrates wasn’t perfect, he would always make a conscious effort to do right. Breaking out of jail would be blatantly wrong, and he couldn’t bring himself to do it.

Adolf Hitler is directly and indirectly responsible for more deaths than almost anyone in history. Over six million Jews alone were killed because of his death camps. In The Plot to Kill Hitler, a group of German officers and many others formed an underground society to try and kill Hitler. Most people would agree that what they were doing was okay because Hitler was such a bad man. Unfortunately, they were wrong. Murder is always wrong, no matter who is being killed. Right and wrong can not be distinguished through society’s perspective. Society tends to look at everything relative to it’s situation. When determining right and wrong we have to look to the absolute truth, not our personal feelings. Committing certain “wrong’s” may be accepted by society more than other wrong’s. If someone were to kill the President, people would be outraged and demand justice, but if someone were to kill a homeless person, many people could shrug it off with out so much as batting an eye. To me
that is appalling, because both crimes are equally as wrong, but society thinks that some people have more of a right to live than others. To sum up all of the previous; many things that are wrong may not seem wrong, because society accepts them due to their relative view point.
Murder is defined as the unlawful killing of a human being by another, especially with premeditated malice. If you look in any law book, it will tell you that murder is wrong. A quick peek at the Ten Commandments, found in Exodus, will tell that the absolute authority says that murder is wrong. If murder is breaking the law, and it is a sin, then how could it ever be right. Raskolnikov tried to justify it in his mind by saying that the old pawnbroker was nothing more than a noxious insect, but despite her vileness, she had just as much of a right to live as Raskolnikov did. If it wasn’t wrong for him to kill the old pawnbroker, than why would the police try to find the murderer. If it was okay for him to kill the pawnbroker, then obviously the police wouldn’t be trying to find him. Raskolnikov had no right to kill the old pawnbroker, much less her sister had done nothing wrong, and was nothing more than an innocent bystander who happen to come in
at the wrong time. No matter how unrighteous a person seems to be, their death can never truly be justifiable.
Murder is not the only action that is absolutely wrong. Spousal unfaithfulness is also definitely wrong. In Anna Karenina, Anna was married to Karin, but was swept off her feet by Count Vronsky. She obviously did not remember her vow of, “‘till death do us part.” Anna became so obsessed with Vronsky that she completely forget about her husband. Some people may say that she had a right to leave Karin because she was not receiving enough love from him, but they are looking at it from their relative position. To see the truth in this matter, we must go to the absolute. The Bible specifically addresses adultery as being wrong, and in many countries, is still punishable by death. No matter how much she loved Vronsky, or how much she hated Karin, that still can not justify an affair.
“Right” is absolute, it does not falter from time to time, and it isn’t relative to anything. It is our true guideline for life. We just need to know where to find it. Socrates said it best when he said, “It is never right to do wrong.”