Students gathered on Tuesday, to listen and debate moral relativism, a philosophy that denies the existence of absolute truth. The lecture invited students to redefine tolerance, to seek absolute truth with compassion, and to find purpose outside of themselves and their desires. The question and answer session afterwards briefly touched on a diverse range of subjects including homosexual marriage, abortion, and religious acceptance.
Chris Stefanick, a popular catholic blogger and author from the Denver-based Augustine Institute, came to mines on Tuesday, April 23 to enlighten students and help them find purpose. The Fellowship of Catholic University Students (FOCUS) invited Stefanick. Craig Soto, the president of FOCUS at Colorado School of Mines, said, “it was a great talk, and we were excited to see such an incredible turnout.”
Stefanick argued that people cannot create their own objective truths. He said, “the argument goes, only scientifically verifiable facts can be proven. Now think about that again. That statement itself can not be scientifically proven. Relativism is self-contradicting.”
Stefanick also discussed the impacts of relativism. For example, he argued that relativism takes away the meaning in life. He said, “When you don’t have anything else to believe in, you end up with bumper stickers that say, volleyball is life. No, it is not.”
Finally, Stefanick challenged students to rethink what it meant to be tolerant. He said, “relativists can’t tolerate, because to tolerate you first have to disagree. I don’t tolerate a sunny, beautiful day, I tolerate snow in April.” He stated that acceptance does not mean agreeing that everyone is entitled to their own belief, and disagreeing with them, but instead it is about tolerating and loving them anyway. He argued that believing in truth does not make a person a bigot or a “hater.” He also encouraged students when he said, “don’t judge people, but we must judge peoples’ actions so that we know how to act.”
Students reacted in a variety of ways to Stefanick’s message, and many remained in Metals Hall afterwards to debate issues amongst themselves.