I wound down my part of the exchange with this tidbit.
I was discussing the existence of free will with a protestant chap a while back; he said distinguishing between God's causative vs. permissive will was a debating trick, that there really was no free will, and that God positively causes some people to go to hell; it was pretty sad. For my part, I believe in free will -- I can't help it.
The sophistic wisdom of "everything is relative" is the klaxon sound for the descent into imbecility. The people I know who profess that line of thought don't actually live by it on a consistent basis, fortunately; they just appeal to it when they want to get away with something. The tyranny of but leads to despair and cruelty -- the recurring themes of the pagan world, both ancient and modern.