Skip Nav

Explain what is meant by Moral Relativism

Popular Topics

❶Americans should be alarmed by spread of drones.

Ethical Relativism Essay Sample

Get Full Essay
Found what you're looking for?
Learn more

Relativism seeks to use the existence of differing moral view s on a subject between cultures as evidence for its theory, when the moral views are common with differing applications of the belief. While I agree with Benedict that people are malleable, and we tend to follow the crowd in moral issues, her explanation of relativism appears biased. There is no mention of the opposing view, that cultures from different corners of the globe place similar emphasis on the same moral concepts, simply emphasized in a different order.

Benedict also fails to recognize the common human experience, namely, human nature. Relativism does not allow for counter-culture affirmative action, this moral theory promotes passive ethics. This correlates to the idea of common moral concepts among different cultures and societies. Benedict makes a valid argument that people develop moral codes as a result of their culture. There is no right or wrong way to develop a society, the only tried and true method is trial and error.

In this context, some principles of moral relativism are valid: Pojman refines these observed qualities of human cultures and connects them to a common set of human needs and interests.

Every societal and moral system can trace its original purpose to the intent to fulfill those needs and interests. Egoism ; and 3 Is morality just how society says we should act? Moral Relativism This study will state one reason why each theory is agreed with and one reason why is theory is not agreed with.

Divine Command Theory According to Hales, morality could be based on an authority who commands individuals on their moral duties and who serves as an enforcer of these principles since the individual "without a lawgiver, a rulers to lay down the moral law" is simply "adrift with no deeper…… [Read More]. Relativism Columnist illiam ineke points out that the real problem with relativism is that it gives no place to stop the slippery slide, no place to stand and say "no" ineke pp.

In other words, each step taken simply makes it easier to take the next step until, eventually, society finds no logical basis for saying "no" to anything ineke pp.

Yet, if the error of moral relativism is that it provides society with no real basis on which to say "no," then the error of objective morality is that it provides no real basis on which to say "yes" ineke pp. However, ineke says, "millions of…… [Read More]. Moral Relativism - Imposing Universal. Similarly, when a member of society becomes too feeble to contribute, leaving them in the snow is deemed the proper solution.

Both practices are deemed proper, as they increase the survival chances of the tribe as a whole. Thus, while another society may cringe at the idea of infanticide and leaving the elderly to die, Eskimo societies see the survival of the tribe as the paramount concern. There are many examples throughout history illustrating the difficulty of judging other cultures by one's own ethical yardstick. Thus, instead of being preoccupied with questions of whose society is superior, moral relativists believe that all actions should be judged within their cultural context.

An action such as infanticide, no matter how abhorrent it may seem, may then be an ethical action in a society that values collective survival over the rights of one individual.

Conventionalist Ethics Relativism and Subjectivism. Even if we are vaguely aware the clerk may be charged -- it is his or her mistake, we say to ourselves.

We think we have absolute ethical standards, but we function on a case-by-case basis when making decisions in reality. Does this mean, however, that absolute ethical standards are required to weigh against the negative consequences of relativism? Firstly, these examples highlight the difficulty of living by absolute standards, and how if standards are too inflexible, they may result in no standards at all.

Even religions with strict universal standards often must have a lay and clergy distinction because it is so impossible to live by the standards of the faith, 'perfectly' according to their anti-materialist rules.

Abstinence-only sexual education that does not acknowledge deviations from 'perfect' behavior might be the most ineffective pregnancy prevention program of all. Acknowledging the subjective and relativistic nature of ethical schemas does not…… [Read More]. Should cloning only be used for therapeutic purposes or not at all? Does every person have the right to reproduction, even lesbians or gay men through the use of cloning?

The paper will be in the first person narrative. Human Cloning The successful cloning of Dolly, an adult sheep in the recent past, can be seen as one of the biggest advancements in science today. And even more dramatic is the news of the world's first cloned baby Eve, as announced by Brigitte Boisselier of Clonaid led by a bunch of UFO worshippers who call themselves the Raelians. However, the dramatic achievement of human cloning has simultaneously raised many issues.

Is it ethical to clone a human being? Is it religiously correct? Is it morally viable? Is it legally acceptable? Somehow, human cloning has become a major public issue with…… [Read More]. Pro Con Neutral Characteristics for Ethical or. This approach can be excessively rigid and fail to take into consideration social nuances Neutral: Kant, the developer of the categorical imperative and the founding father of this ideology, saw his view as a kind of middle path -- he did not believe that all actions set moral laws for all time, but that some types of moral principles should remain inviolate.

Virtue ethics or human nature moral theory Pro: This stresses the need to be a good person, to make good moral decisions. It focuses on the good that 'doing good' can provide both for the actor and the subject of moral decision-making. Good people, even when they believe they are doing the right thing, can engage in actions that have very negative moral consequences.

Virtue ethics has come into prominence in recent decades, perhaps because of the increasing focus upon the 'self' in modern culture,…… [Read More]. Ayer on the Nature of Ethical Judgments. Ayer on the Nature of Ethical Judgments Ayer makes a truly original and remarkable statement about moral judgments and ethical judgments which some scholars have summarized as a phenomenon called emotivism. Thus, according to this construct saying something like murder, stealing, lying or cheating is "wrong" merely expresses how the speaker feels about it.

But to say that something is "wrong" because the speaker doesn't necessarily like something, doesn't mean that the action described is wrong. The only truth exhibited is in the sentiments of the speaker. As Ayer explains, "[I]f I say to someone 'You acted wrongly in stealing that money', I am not stating anything more than if I had simply said, 'You stole that money.

A group in America that is clearly being marginalized politically and socially is the community of undocumented immigrants. Senate and the executive branch have passed a bill allowing undocumented immigrants a path to citizenship, the Republicans resist supporting this legislation. Cultural relativism helps to understand why A conservative "moral argument" is that there are a limited amount of goods and jobs in the U. And immigrants take these away from citizens here legally, but cultural bias and racism also certainly play…… [Read More].

Theoretical approaches to ethics. Normative ethical theory Normative ethics is the descriptor that is applied to the entire caliber of a certain perspective of ethics that has various sub-categories to it. As general definition, normative ethics is the term given to the moral investigation that queries how one should act in an ethical manner. To this end, a quantity of ethical systems exists that seek to answer that question.

To differentiate normative ethics from other philosophical ethical theories, meta-ethics, for instance, attempts to objectively examine standards for right and wrong in a comparative, phenomenological manner, whilst descriptive ethics -- another brand of ethics is an empirical investigation of people's moral beliefs.

Normative ethics may also be called 'prescriptive' since it recommends a certain moral route of conduct for an individual. So, for instance, descriptive ethics would be concerned with investigating and describing the proportion of people that hold ethnic discrimination…… [Read More]. Dealing With Ethical Issues. Ethics of Bioethics To the prudent thinker and scholar, there is little doubt that right or wrong is certainly relative. Categorical imperatives and absolutes help people to understand theories and ideas.

However, they have little pragmatic value in life as it exists. Erudition in the areas of moral relativism, moral absolutism, and moral objectivism certainly confirm the preceding thesis. Additionally, there are numerous examples found in different areas of life that confirm the conviction propagated in this paper as well. The tenet of moral relativism certainly helps to buttress this conviction that right or wrong is simply relative.

Some of the best examples of this fact are readily supplied by nature. In fact, basic bioethical thought into the food chain supports this viewpoint as well. The reality of life on this planet and as found within nature is that most organisms need to consume other organisms to survive. This fact…… [Read More]. Ethics and Public Policy Ethical Dilemma This paper discusses the application of the major ethical theories of consequentialism utilitarianism , deontology, and virtue ethics to a specific policy question, namely how to improve the nutrition of the nation's poor and to reduce the rise in food insecurity.

It also discusses the implications of ethical theories such as determinism and moral relativism. First, the theory is discussed in the abstract, followed by an exposition of how the theory relates to real-world practice. The paper concludes with a more general reflection on the implications of ethical theories for public policy-makers. The specific merits of virtue ethics are stressed vs. The more extreme and polarizing views of deontology and consequentialism.

Food insecurity One of the dilemmas facing public policy-makers regarding food insecurity and the need to improve the diet of poor Americans is the balance between individual liberties and the need…… [Read More]. Ethics According to the Principles. We may act according to our personal principles, or we can act according to our common sense.

I tend to use my common sense rather than personal prejudice when making ethical decisions. My ethical reasoning entails that I would carefully consider any ethical issue before making a decision about it. One major limitation involved in this is the fact that others may perceive me as morally weak. A morally strong character tends to be one that is immediate in ethical decisions.

I would therefore not be able to make immediate decisions such as those required of judges or surgeons. It is therefore unlikely that I would thrive in a profession that is very clear and immediate with regard to its need for specific ethical decisions.

I would be better in a profession that is not as dependent upon immediate decisions. I do not believe that my ethical viewpoint…… [Read More]. Culture and Morality In Other. Such differences may lead us to question whether there are any universal moral principles or whether morality is merely a matter of "cultural taste" Velasquez, Andre, Shanks and Meyer: If there is no transcendent ethical or moral standard, then cultural relativists argue that culture becomes the ethical norm for determining whether an action is right or wrong.

This ethical system is known as cultural relativism. Cultural relativism is the view that all ethical truth is relative to a specific culture. Conversely, whatever a cultural group condemns is wrong Relativism: The key to the doctrine of "cultural relativism" is that right and wrong can only be judged relative to a specified society.

There is no ultimate standard of right and wrong by which to judge culture. Proponents of cultural relativism believe this cultural diversity proves that culture alone…… [Read More]. Ethics On the surface, both ethical relativism and ethical egotism are appealing theories. The ethical relativist avoids many of the problems that arise from encounters with different moral codes, and can help to eliminate some of the culture clashes and social problems inherent in the human condition.

For example, when many esterners come into contact with Middle Eastern cultures such as that of Saudi Arabia, they are tempted to pass judgment on the status of women. However, ethical relativism holds that all moral systems are valid, that ethics cannot be absolute or imposed from without. Therefore, ethical relativism is closely connected with cultural relativism.

Such a stance makes it easy for people to get along and to resist fighting. Ethics in the Context of Humanity. This concept promotes the idea that normal humans have the tendency to agree on these respective laws and that they are able to identify conditions in which someone acts in disagreement to them.

Individuals promoting this theory consider that there is a universal chain of insights making it possible for people to get actively involved in developing ethical legislations enabling everyone to acknowledge the fact that they can harm society and particular persons through performing immoral actions. When discussing with regard to common morality in the context of ethical relativism, is would be safe to say that the two are opposing.

Ethical relativism promotes the idea that morality is often the result of nurture rather than it being the result of nature. The two concepts are thus very…… [Read More].

More and more, human resources use technology to assist in the modification and development of company culture. Some of the most successful organizations are ones wherein their culture is adaptable and flexible. These same companies understand the importance and value of smooth transition and effective implementation of organizational change as well as promotion of organizational culture. Human esources is a department that is integral in the development and sustainment of the organizational culture.

Human esources is additionally a depart that can facilitate organizational change s. Human esources professionals should take the time to educate themselves and learn the ways in which technology can supplement…… [Read More].

Ethics in Technology There has been a rapidly increasing use of technology in the workplace, but while some technological advances have benefitted companies, other technologies have raised serious concerns about employee privacy.

Consequentialism and Privacy Abuses One of the issues that arises often in the workplace when it comes to employee privacy and employer technological overreach is when employers use certain electronic surveillance practices monitoring personal phone calls and voice messages to basically eavesdrop on their employees Findlaw. In fact personal privacy laws affirm that an employer may not monitor an employee's personal phone calls; albeit the company can monitor a personal call if the employee knows it is being monitored and agrees Findlaw.

One ethical theory that applies to this situation is the consequentialism, which posits that the consequence of an action determines its moral value. One complicating aspect of this is that a manager may believe that it…… [Read More]. Human esources Managing Organisational Culture The values and behaviors that contribute to the unique social and psychological environment of an organization make up the organizations culture. Organizational culture is the summation total of an organization's past and current suppositions, incidents, viewpoint, and values that hold it together, and is articulated in its self-image, inner workings, connections with the outside world, and future prospects.

In dealing with the management of organisational culture, it is firstly essential to recognize as fully as possible the characteristics of the existing or new target culture to include the myths, symbols, rituals, values and assumptions that strengthen the culture. Organisational culture is not something that can be viewed very easily it is consequently quite hard to replace it. Usually when certain leaders form a company, their values are converted into the actions of the members of that organisation.

When other leaders take over, it may not…… [Read More]. Ethics a Number of Differences Exist Between. Ethics number of differences exist between utilitarianism and relativism. The first difference has got to do with the parameters used to justify actions.

To begin with, relativism, has got to do with the notion that moral principles as well as values correlate to cultures, places, times, or specific persons.

In that regard, therefore, relativism does not consider the position that there are certain principles or moral values that are absolute as being correct. Ethical relativism, for instance, "is the view that there are no permanent, universal, objective values or standards" Mizzoni, , p.

Utilitarianism, on the other hand, regards actions as being right based on their utility or benefit to a greater number of people i. Yet another difference between the two ethical principles has got to do…… [Read More]. Kant and His Ethics Kant. In Cultural Ethical elativism, Universalism, Absolutism , it was mentioned that Kant said that people engage a particular space in creation and morality can be figured out in one supreme directive of reason or imperative that all responsibilities and duties drawn from; Kant described an imperative as any intention which asserts a particular act or inaction to be compulsory; a hypothetical imperative requires action in a particular condition: Diversity Education The American workplace has become increasingly diverse, a reflection of the American urban environment.

Diversity training serves a few different purposes in organizations. The first is that it promotes an atmosphere of tolerance in the company, but many scholars have also made a business case for diversity. As awareness of diversity grows, and the case for diversity training increases, it is evident that more companies are including a diversity component in their training programs.

Nash's opportunity to develop a passionate and well-developed argument answering yes: However, Nash does not rest on the reader's understanding or experience of faith to make his case. The author takes a different approach, using logic and reason to explain that at least to a believer in Christ, there can be no other paradigm other than Christian absolutism.

According to Nash, pluralism by its very definition violates the tenets inherent in the New Testament. It is therefore impossible for a theologian, especially a Christian one, to be a pluralist. Nash's scapegoat, for better or worse, is John Hick. Hick is a theologian who has succumbed to the temptation of thinking pluralistically and who attempts to show that Jesus is in fact not the only savior.

Nash picks apart Hick's argument by revealing the logical fallacies…… [Read More]. Ethics A few months ago a friend approached me with a moral dilemma.

She had witnessed a coworker stealing cash from her office. Although her first instinct was to rush and tell the supervisor what had occurred, she hesitated and consulted me beforehand. His wife died two years ago. He gets paid not much more than minimum wage and can barely make ends meet. I know that stealing is wrong, but at the same time I know that he is poor, and What she was suggesting was to possibly ignore the stealing because the man's moral imperative was not toward his company but toward his family.

Clearly my friend had a tendency to support what I have since learned to be called ethical relativism and like me, she might tend to believe in situational ethics. I have always…… [Read More]. Legislating Morality in America. Legislating Morality The ideas of Thomas Hobbes, the influential English philosopher who lived in the late s to middle s, are still considered important today.

Hobbes is best remembered for his ideas on political philosophy. While Hobbes throughout his life championed the idea of absolutism for the sovereign he also is responsible for many of the fundamentals of Western political thought such as equality of men, individual rights, and the idea that all justifiable political power must be representative of the people Edwards, Hobbes also believed that human nature was such that people acted out of selfish-interests and if left to their own devices would do anything to get what they wanted or to acquire more power at the expense of others.

Governments are then formed to shield people from their own selfishness; however he understood that even a King left unchecked would also act in a selfish manner…… [Read More]. Business Entities Laws and Regulations Information. Juanita's behavior is clearly in contravention of a normative code of ethics since each of the world's religions proscribe bribery. The Bible, for instance, as does the Koran goes on in depth about the severity of perverting justice and bring officials or any one involved in the jurisprudence sector.

Utilitarianism Utilitarianism is somewhat stickier in application. If Juanita's behavior provides the greatest amount of people in her environment with pleasure, she can, consequently, proceed. Utilitarianism is, however, not so clear in this situation for how do you define and set the limits to providing happiness t o the greatest amount of people. Who are the majority in this case? Are they the employees in Giantcorp and the bribed official as well as recipients who profit from the bribe?

Are they competitors to the company? Are they the specific country? Organizational Ethics Ethics In life and in business, there are situations that challenge, question, and test an individual's set of personal and professional ethics. Ethics is a crucial element to sustain a society as well as an organization.

This paper will discuss several issues regarding the practice of ethics and the practice of leadership within organizations. The kind of leadership an organization maintains and models for employees plays a significant role in the practice of ethical conduct within the organization as well as ethical conduct during business practices with parties outside of the organization, including suppliers and consumers. Ethical Relativism is very appealing at first glance.

It seems to say that all cultures are equal and that we are just being arrogant if we try and say that our way of doing things is better than that of another culture.

Is this the case though? Is our society no better than that of one that thinks it is ok to commit genocide in an attempt to build the master race? Would we not consider our society more advanced or better than it was when it was legal to own slaves? Under Ethical Relativism, we can be no better than any other society, because that would mean that we have some standard of comparison.

On the other hand, Ethical Objectivism is the idea that there is an objective code to ethics that dictates what is moral and immoral. The problem with this is that no such code is known as of yet. Any ethical code that can be created will be based on the culture that created it. This poses a problem because the culture that creates the code will naturally base it off of their own system of ethics; therefore the code will no longer be universal and will not be able to be used as an objective code upon which all societies may base their own system of ethics on.

Ethical Relativism is based on the Cultural Differences Argument. It has its premise and conclusion like all logical arguments do. Its premise says that different cultures have different moral codes.

Therefore, it concludes, that because of the varying moral codes, there can be no objective moral truth. Different cultures consider different acts to be moral and immoral and not all cultures will necessarily have the same opinions on all matters. Rachels objects to this argument by pointing out that the conclusion of the argument does not follow from the premise.

The fact that cultures disagree on an ethical matter does not therefore mean that a definite code of ethics cannot or does not exist. To make the point clearer, Rachels uses the example of the Earth being flat. Some people in less advanced cultures believe that the Earth is flat.

We believe from our observation and science that the Earth is spherical. Does it follow that just because we disagree on the matter that there can be no objective truth to it?

No, it does not follow. Simply because there is disagreement over something does not mean that there is no truth in the matter. Even though the Cultural Differences Argument contains a major logical fallacy, Cultural Relativism could still be true.

Main Topics

Privacy Policy

- Moral relativism, as Harman describes, denies “that there are universal basic moral demands, and says different people are subject to different basic moral demands .

Privacy FAQs

Moral, or ethical, relativism is made up of two types of relativism: cultural and individual relativism. Cultural relativism says that right and wrong, good and evil, are relative to a culture, to a way of life that is practiced by a whole group of people.

About Our Ads

Thus, while moral relativism may initially appear to be a simple solution to resolving moral differences, when we take a deeper look at the ideas and methods behind it, it becomes apparent that, when followed to the letter, Moral Relativism lacks the practicality necessary to be used on an everyday basis. Moral taboos, as well as accepted practices, according to moral relativism, are the products of institutionalization. Since this is a random and irrational process, no one morality is better than another. Herein lies the one absolute of moral relativism: tolerance.

Cookie Info

Moreover, moral relativism takes the position that moral truths reflect those of social, cultural, and historical circumstances. It is a show more content The deontological perspective states that reason determines that categorical imperative is the . Although ethical relativism makes valid points that there are no valid universal moral principles but rather moral principles that are relative to culture or an individual’s choice; it also has objections that in which problems arise from this theory.