Sayings of a Gadfly
by Max Maxwell

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A man said, “Belief in universal truths is naive.  The more sophisticated philosophy is cultural relativism, which states that there is no such thing as universal truth.  All truth is relative to the culture or person who embraces it.” 

The Gadfly said, “I propose a thought experiment in cross-cultural anthropology.  Visit every culture in the world and make a careful set of observations.  Notice that all people come into this world through birth, and that all shall depart in death.  Notice that in every culture, people encounter joy and sadness, loneliness and the fullness of friendship, abundance and loss.  Take note that all cultures place value upon their children.  And observe that all people need food and water in order to sustain their lives.  There are important universal truths that permeate all human life.  Cultural relativism, when applied to all things, is not a sophisticated philosophy.  It is just a lack of common sense.” 

The man said, “But what about religious fundamentalists who think that every minute detail of what they believe is absolutely true for all people in all times and places?” 

The Gadfly said, “That is also a lack of sense.”

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© Copyright 2014 Kenneth J Maxwell Jr.