“To each his own.”

It’s the only absolute truth for most Australians.

Here’s a rebuttal in four characters:


It’s not rocket science after all. If you leave the terrorist to “his own,” the people in the plane die. And the building. That’s 2,973 of them in all.

We know intuitively that “to each his own” is a stupid philosophy. So why do we cling to it? What’s so attractive about it?

It matters what you believe

At it’s core, “to each his own” rests on the idea that it doesn’t matter what you believe.

If this is true, then why make a lot of fuss over nothing? After all, it doesn’t really matter. You have your beliefs. I have mine. It’s much easier to shrug and say “Well, you know. To each his own.”

We cling to such silliness because if we admit that what we believe matters, then we are responsible to find out if what we believe is true. And that’s a lot of work.

But that’s not the worst part. The worst part is that if we find the truth, then we’re just like those arrogant jerks who think they have “biblical Christianity.” Who are they to judge anyway?

“To each his own” is our only escape from absolute truth and absolute morals. If we admit that some people—like, maybe terrorists—are absolutely wrong, then we betray a basic premise of postmodernism: pluralism.

The compassion of rebellion

That’s why a true pluralist can’t just come out and say the terrorists are absolutely morally wrong. They have to try to present it in social terms. “It’s wrong because it hurt other people and that’s not nice.” In other words, “it’s wrong, but not because God said it’s wrong (after all, who is he to judge?!). It’s wrong because I decided it’s wrong.”

Meanwhile, the average Aussie bloke will tell you what’s blindingly obvious—it’s wrong. Plain, old, simple, absolute wrong. Then, as you question his authority for such a judgement, he’ll shrug and say “well, you know. To each his own.”

Grace to you.

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About Jason Harris

Dr Jason Harris is a writer, pastor, and academic. He has authored multiple books, articles, and papers including his book Theological Meditations on the Gospel. Jason has a PhD from James Cook University as well as degrees in theology, music, accounting, and research. Jason has lived in Cairns, Australia since 2007 and serves as pastor at CrossPoint Church. You can contact Jason at jason@jasonharris.com.au.

One Comment

  1. RoSeZ 16 February, 2010 at 9:10 am - Reply

    Aw, I like Simon!! =P

    Interesting post with some good thoughts – doesn’t sound deteriated at all! =)

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