Of course religious belief is relativistic. Religious people say it is! Suppose I line up a Christian, a Moslem, and a Hindu, and ask: "You guys all promote a different set of 'fundamental truths.' How can I figure out who's right and who's wrong? What external test can I apply? What can any of you point to in the beliefs of the others that doesn't square with observable facts about the world, or about human life?" What will they say? After a lot of babbling and pointing, it will boil down to: "You gotta have faith. You have to feel the truth within yourself." In other words, it's an interior, subjective experience. What's more relative than that?There's much more, but you get the idea. Derb goes on to assert that this is what differentiates science from religion -- that in science there's always a way to prove out a question.
Well, as it happens, Derb's imagination is failing him. There's a very clear way to prove whether the Christian, Moslem or Hindu is right, and all of them would agree that the test would work.
The one difficulty is that it's rather difficult to publish a peer reviewed article about the experience afterwards. But it is definitely the way to get to the truth of the matter. And what's better yet, death is one of the most universal human experiences. So although Derb rants that he doesn't have the time or interest to read any books on what the pope has been up to lately, he will eventually get the chance to perform the experiment, just like all the rest of us, and will know the truth of the matter for himself.