The absolute is complete in itself. Independent, not related to anything else.

God is the Absolute. He is absolutely independent of all creation for His own existence and perfections, completely self-sufficient in himself.

A thing is absolute when conceived in itself apart from its relation to anything else.

Sin, because it is rebellion against God, is absolutely evil. We may not commit sin even when we intend that good come of it. For example, God commanded, “You shall not steal” § 2401. Therefore, stealing is an absolute evil. We may never commit evil even with the intention to do good.

However, the example made famous by Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables, that we may not steal a loaf of bread even to save the life of a starving child, is not Catholic teaching. § 2408 “There is no theft if consent can be presumed or if refusal is contrary to reason and the universal destination of goods. This is the case in obvious and urgent necessity when the only way to provide for immediate, essential needs (food, shelter, clothing …) is to put at one’s disposal and use the property of others.”

Absolutism is the perspective that absolute truth exists, and that absolute moral standards exist, independent of any observer’s point of view. God has absolute existence. His revelation through the Catholic Church to man is absolutely true. His moral teachings are absolutely good. The Blessed Virgin Mary, the angels and saints in heaven, and other defined articles of the Catholic faith also have absolute existence.

Second Exodus’ two most revered works on absolute truth are St. John Paul II’s Veritatis Splendor and Fides et Ratio.

See its opposite, Relativism.

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