WEEK 13: RELATIONALISM; SYSTEMS APPROACHES
How might we see the subtle idols of hedonism, materialism, and relativism
among well-meaning Latter-day Saints? (Slife article)
Hedonism is defined as the belief that we as people are driven by the desire to
maximize pleasure and minimize pain throughout life.
we do is driven by this pursuit for pleasure.
Families, too, 'ought' to do those
things which maximize the pleasure and minimize the pain of the members of
Seeking happiness is considered the most widespread version of
seeking pleasure, and is considered noble and expected from good families.
Equal with this idea of seeking good and avoiding bad is the religious
equivalent: seeking that which is heavenly and avoiding that which is hellish.
Good Latter-day Saints associate this heavenliness with happiness. If everyone is
happy, then everyone must be righteous and in harmony with God.
aren't happy, they assume there must have been a violation with God, and
therefore they are far from heaven.
For this reason, everyone's happiness is the
central drive for their familiar drives.
Materialism finds its way into the family also as a means of making people
Since everyone's main goal is to be happy, and materials oftentimes
bring a kind of happiness, good families associate the materialism (and
happiness it brings) with goodness.
Families 'ought' to pursue this happiness,
and therefore materialism is ok, as long as it makes the family members happy.
Relativism embodies the idea that the foundations people base their lives on are
relative to the culture and circumstances they live in.
Relativists deny that one
center is any better than other center, but that they are each different in their own
right. One's moral center guides them in what they ought to do, what is morally
acceptable, and so forth.
While their moral center works well for them, in no
way can or should it be imposed on others.
Each person must be tolerant to the
moral centers of others.
Parents with this belief teach their children to be
tolerant of all religions, not wanting to plant a bias in them one way or another.
Although many LDS families believe in God as their moral center, they teach
their children to be tolerant of all religions (moral centers) they may encounter
throughout life. According to relativism, God loves everyone regardless of their
moral system, and salvation is universal.
From Slife’s relational perspective, how do hedonistic, materialistic, and