Prof. Paul Eidelberg
President, Israel-American Renaissance Institute,
American-Israeli political scientist, author and lecturer,
the founder and president of The Foundation for Constitutional
In my semi-autobiographical book, An American Political Scientist in
Israel (Lexington Books, 2010), I examine the writings of various
clinical psychologists and psychiatrists and demonstrate that moral
relativism, which flourishes in democracies, leads to a mental disorder
I call "Demophrenia." Demophrenia exhibits certain symptoms of
schizophrenia, which I will not discuss here. Instead, I will consider
only the common sense consequences of moral relativism, a doctrine that
denies objective norms of human behavior and which therefore leads to
the bizarre behavior we now see in Israel and throughout the democratic
Relativism is a university-bred doctrine. It infects the minds of
countless students, some of whom become politicians and judges.
Thus, while Jews were being reduced to body parts by Arabs suicide
bombers, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said in an April 2001 interview
with Ha’aretz that his son Omri taught him “not to think in terms of
black and white.” Omri and his father were tainted by relativism. This
doctrine, I contend, deterred Sharon from publicly denouncing the
PLO-Palestinian Authority publicly as “evil.” Contrast Ronald Reagan who
referred to the Soviet Union as the "evil empire" and was
psychologically as well as morally committed to bringing down that
tyranny. This cannot be said of Sharon's attitude toward the PLO.
Had Sharon and his predecessors called the PLO "evil," they could hardly
have pursued the fatal Oslo peace process in which Benjamin Netanyahu is
still entrapped. They could hardly have pursued a policy of
self-restraint against Arab Jew-killers. They could hardly have released
hundreds of these Jew-killers as "confidence-building" gestures¬.
Relativism stultifies the mind and shrinks the chest. It inhibits moral
outrage; it emasculates.
Relativism has infected Israel's Supreme Court, especially its former
president Judge Aharon Barak. His mind-numbing relativism induced him to
quash indictments against Arab MKs who incited Arabs to kill Jews. The
same emasculation underlies his legitimizing homosexuality and gay
marriages. Another sign of this mental disorder occurred when he
nullified a law permitting the Film Censorship Board to ban pornographic
movies by ruling that nothing can actually be declared pornography, as
“one man’s pornography is another man’s art.” Imagine how many art
museums would thrive if the likes of Judge Barak were their proprietors?
Hardly ever noticed is that relativism is a denial of ethical monotheism
and must thus be deemed a tacit form of Jew-hatred! This is why
Israel-bashing is rampant in the academic world where relativism reigns.
This is why Leftists in the democratic world have formed an unholy
alliance with Islam where Jew-hatred is endemic. Whereas the God of the
Jews represents freedom and reason, the Islamic deity represents
absolute will and power, hence absolute determinism. Note well that
Islam regards the concept of man's creation in the image of God as
Here we behold two contradictory doctrines - relativism and absolutism,
both at war with Judaism. Just as Muslim absolutists shamelessly cheer
suicide bombers, so relativists foster shamelessness by rejecting
objective standards of decency.
Evident among both is Jew-hatred because Judaism rejects relativism as
well as absolutism. Both are man-made doctrines or forms of idolatry.
Islam is simply a political doctrine parading in a false theology.
Democracies steeped in moral relativism lack the concepts and stamina to
overcome Islam. With precepts such as "resist not evil," "turn the other
cheek," and "love thine enemy," Christianity appears an apolitical creed
unable to cope with Islam.
Judaism, however, can transcend Islam and democratic relativism. This is
one of the conclusions of my latest book which bears the title America's
Unknown Hebraic Republic: A Goal for the Almost-Chosen People
Now I want to offer a preliminary approach to combating moral
relativism. There are two ways of seeing, one with the eyes, the other
with the mind. Take a doctor and a layman, looking at the face of the
same person. Whereas the layman sees nothing wrong with that person, the
doctor sees the onset of a serious illness. Unlike the layman, the
doctor sees with his mind as well as with his eyes. Similarly, when a
scientist and a layman look through a microscope or a telescope.
Now, just as the mind must be trained to recognize the early symptoms of
a disease, the structure of a cell, the order of a galaxy, so the mind
must be habituated early in life to seeing goodness and badness, the
beautiful and the ugly.
An individual raised in a brothel is not likely to praise chastity or
modesty. Don't expect youth who watch pornographic movies to be refined
in speech or in conduct. Studies show they become more prone to using
obscene language. They have been exposed to the reduction of what is
distinctively human to the animal level, where love is reduced to sex.
People so educated are not likely to appreciate what is refined or
noble. Their respect for the sanctity of human life will gradually
evaporate. Paganism follows.
The Jewish people are known for being kind, modest, and merciful. Notice
how the rules of engagement of the Israel Defense Forces are designed to
minimize Arab casualties, even at the risk of endangering Jewish
soldiers. Although I deem this policy immoral as well as foolish,
contrast the behavior of the people of the Koran. Notice their cruelty,
not only to Jews, but even to their own children. Some 10,000 Iranian
children were used to walk over and explode mine fields in Iran's war
with Iraq in the 1980s.
I said relativism thrives in democracies. There the principle of
equality extends even to the mind, such that all opinions regarding how
man should live are deemed equal. If so, why should American youth risk
their lives to spread democracy in the Arab Middle East? Would it not be
more sensible to pursue "peace"? Of course it would if Arab-Islamic
culture renounced the ethos of Jihad, which has a 1,400-year history.
Muslim children are weaned on this murderous ethos.
Seeing the world in this light, a student tainted by relativism may
begin to suspect that his relativism is not a doctrine he adopted as a
result of his own independent, philosophical inquiry. He may see that
relativism infected him by a process of osmosis perhaps beginning in the
classroom. The truth is that people have been brainwashed by the media
of education, especially by the social sciences and the humanities where
relativism rules. Imagine parents raising Omris under this insane
To call evil good and good evil - the consequence of relativism - is a
mental disorder. It is not only a democratic disorder, since this
disorder can also be found in Islam. By excluding freedom and reason
from the godhead, Islam's deity is beyond good and evil.
To cure the student of relativism, he should be informed about Abraham,
the first Jew. Abraham rejected polytheism, which is theological
relativism: all gods are equal. The Midrashic story of Abraham smashing
the idols of his city represents his smashing the false gods of his
time. He discovered the one and only God, the God of Israel and what we
now call ethical monotheism.
Abraham was indeed the first Jew. The Jew is that world-historical
personality who stands apart, who preserves his intellectual and moral
integrity, who is not corrupted by the power-lust of human beings that
produces false gods, even if some are outwardly beneficent. This is what
nettles tyrants and Jew-haters. The Jew can stand apart because he has
the Book of Truth, the standard by which to judge the ideas and actions
My book Jerusalem versus Athens (1983) rejects the leveling or
democratic doctrine of subjective relativism, which renders all
life-styles equal, and offers what I call objective or hierarchical
relativism, which evaluates the diverse ideas and values of men and
nations from the absolute and uniform perspective of the Eternal as
crystallized in the Torah. We can then ascertain the relative validity
of a doctrine or way of life by determining the extent to which it is
consistent with the Torah. Accordingly, it is obvious to the present
writer that America's foundational documents, the Declaration of
Independence and the American Constitution, on which I have written four
books, are very much based on Hebraic ideas. I regret to add, however,
that America's foundational documents are far more consistent with the
Torah than Israel's Declaration of Independence as well as with Israel's
system of government!
Therefore, although moral relativism permeates the universities of both
countries, it poses a greater threat to Israel, since a small country
like Israel is more endangered than America. Israel's survival depends
not only on military weapons but also on her people's confidence in the
justice of their cause - and this confidence is undermined by moral
relativism. I'll have more to say about this subject in future reports.
* This is the author's transcript edition
of the Report on
Israel National Radio, January 3, 2011