Susan, you have an excellent concept on ethical relativism in today’s world. To think all societies need that religious underpinning for their systems of law and justice because having an appealing source for morals and ethics, no matter how they differ from culture to culture it also gives the law greater validity in the eyes of today’s society. Moral relativism is the view that ethical standards, morality, and positions of right or wrong are culturally based and therefore subject to a person’s individual choice. We can all decide what is right for ourselves. Moral relativism says, ‘It’s true for me, if I believe it.’ On the other hand it is not when a good historian says that we have to judge and asses societies by the standards of their times and not by our standards today. In reality, moral relativism is not really a product of time. It is a product of your point of reference.
Morality that is based on an unchanging standard such as biblical scripture is not relative because it does not change. Morality that is based on cultural normalcy is relative because normalcy is relative. You also a comparison on the political scandal and tweaking which are both social norms during that time, but I had mentioned in my discussion forum how different cultures emphasize different values and what’s considered good or bad in their culture but is not necessarily universal. Ethical relativism has to do with upbringings and thinking that something is right or wrong due to the norms of our society. I agree with you whatever happens years ago they shouldn’t be penalized when during those times it was normal. However, you indicated the topic on prochoice or prolife, which is very difficult to talk about because as a mother I can’t wrap my mind around the fact of terminating a pregnancy.
The life of the unborn is an innocent life; it has not done anything wrong to make it worthy of being killed. The only moral standards against which a society’s practices can be judged are its own. If ethical relativism is correct, there can be no common framework for resolving moral disputes or for reaching agreement on ethical matters among members of different societies. All cultures evolve, but remember this: We are in an age of much travel and integration, this causes the traits that become more significant to be diluted. Cultures that are the most isolated geographically, and sealed off from outside influence and integration would show more obvious traits of evolution, and it would be unique to their environment. Of course this still takes dozens of thousands of years.