Compare Contrast Ethical Relativism
Timeless questions asked in different ways. What are morals? And if any who decides what is right or wrong? The answers we get vary depending on who is asked or which theory we believe to be true. Whether the universal theory or the ethical relativism; The fundamental difference in these theories is defined in their names universal theory believe that morals are universal and ethical relativism reason that ethics is relative depending on the views of the people during that time period and the who you ask.
We will be exploring what it means to be an ethical relativist, its principles, strengths and weakness, and if this theory is valid.
Ethical Relativism is defined by Judith A. Boss in ´´ Analyzing Moral Issues´´ as, ´The theory that morality is created by people and that moral systems can be different for different people´´ (g2). So unlike the universal theory, ethical relativists believe that morals evolve as people progress. Moral or ethics change depending on what part of the globe someone is in.
Many say that ethical relativism promotes distrust among cultures and people, since morals are not viewed as universal. People in general distrust those who have different ideologies. Relativist use one of these three main principles ethical subjectivism, cultural relativism, and divine command theory to support their arguments.
Ethical subjectivist is the principle easiest explained as Jean-Jacques Rousseau states, ´´What I feel is right is right. What I feel wrong is wrong.´´ basically anything you think is right is right. No morals truths, ethics is subjective to the individuals’ feelings. Sounds liberating, free from society norms and laws, doing what one feels but the truth is if everyone felt that way we would live in chaos. A famous serial killer Craig Price once said, ´´Morality is a private choice.´´ so imagine people like him who feel that it is right to oppress, hurt, torture, or even kill would run free and unchecked. Ethical subjectivist would not be very convenient for society.
Next, is Cultural relativism too many it boils down to sheep following sheep or as Ruth Benedict says, ´´ we recognize that morality differs in every society, and is a convenient term for society approved habits´´. With cultural relativism people allow the majority decided what is right or wrong. Which makes sense that would exclude people like Craig Price, though beneficial in helping us coincide together sometimes going against the norms or laws is necessary. Such as the civil rights movement, or women rights are often used as examples on how the majority might not always be right. This where being a Cultural relativist may lead to distrust of other culture. Cultural relativism also leads to as John Stuart Mills says, ´´[the]tyranny of the majority´´. For example slavery or Holocaust, happen because people followed blindly. One cannot be either an ethical subjectivist or a cultural relativist that is what is called doublethink Divine Command Theory ultimately means god said it so it is right. Granted religion is beneficial for society but the divine theory
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