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Archbishop on moral relativism - BBC Radio 4's Analysis programme

Monday 28th June 2010

Edward Stourton examines claims that the tolerance which moral relativism is supposed to foster has in fact morphed into a new form of extremism.

The idea that no one has a monopoly on the truth seems to be fixed in the modern Western psyche. But it's an idea that is under attack.

Pope Benedict claims that we are now living in "a dictatorship of relativism" - a place where nothing is certain and we are all slaves to our own desires. Meanwhile, fundamentalist Islam is on the rise and the philosophy of objectivism has become something of a cult among City traders.

Have we replaced one set of moral absolutes with another which are threatening religious freedom? Could moral relativism go out of style in secular Western societies? Or does the mere fact that its opponents have such different versions of the truth mean its long-term acceptance is guaranteed?

Click here to listen to the programme and view further information at the BBC Radio 4 website.

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