(as Benedict XVI well knows):
“We are moving toward a dictatorship of relativism which does not recognize anything as for certain and which has as its highest goals one’s own ego and one’s own desires.” ... Pope Benedict XVI
It is precisely because we live in a relativistic universe that politics* rules. In effect, might is right. One hopes it is the might of kindness over cruelty, care over indifference, nurture over brutality and courage in all of the former over courage in all of the latter - because the callous and the cruel, also, can be courageous.
The relativistic universe is not an abyss to be feared. It is a responsibility to wear or to run away from. In the lethal cold of an indifferent universe, I prefer to be clothed.
Pope Benedict’s disingenuous and misleading definition of relativism continues his refusal to take responsibility for his behaviour in matters ethical and “moral”. Ethics and morality are not carved in stone by a supernatural being. It is our responsibility (the responsibility of human beings) to ensure that kindness conquers cruelty and that all are equal before the laws of humanity.
The difference between a relativistic universe and a theistic universe is a matter of personal responsibility. In a theistic** universe, no chief rabbi, ayatollah, pope, priest or imam is responsible for their assessment as to what is good and what is bad, what is good and what is evil. They hive that responsibility off onto a supernatural being whose existence is unprovable.
In a universe of relativism, a relativistic universe, that responsibility is the responsibility of each and all of us. It is a pity that our religious leaders continue to avoid that personal responsibility of deciding what is good and what is bad, what is good and what is evil and, in addition, lack the courage to justify their selections - in their own names.
*politics: the wielding of power, authority, control, persuasion, influence.
**theism: belief in the existence of a god or gods, esp. belief in one god as creator of the universe, intervening in it and sustaining a personal relation to his creatures.