Ethical Relativism Definition

Good Essays
Ethical Relativism and Moral Disagreement
Moral disagreement does not gives us reason to believe that ethical relativism is the correct metaethical theory. I defend this position by arguing that ethical relativism has several discrepancies and contradictions that undermined the idea that individuals, or societies define what morality is, based solely upon preference. The main downfalls of ethical relativism are that it makes moral mistakes “incapable” of happening, all morals are equal, you can never be unsure of yourself or your society, there can never be positive moral change, and there is an inability to allow true moral disagreement to exist.
Ethical revivalism can be broken down into two parts, there is cultural relativism and ethical
…show more content…
If all moral beliefs are correct, and none rank above the other, wouldn’t that mean that moral beliefs, that would normally oppose each other, fall on the same level of morality? Effectively it is saying that the moral beliefs of the Hitler regime were just as “good” as Gandhi leading the Indian independence movement. This moral equality would eventually breed intolerance of moral beliefs amongst individuals and cultures. If ethical relativism is the correct metaethical theory, them theoretically you are saying that it is morally permissible to enslave human beings and immoral to enslave people. However both of the moral truth are not acceptable, and they will fight for …show more content…
Because ethical relativism is completely based on personal feelings it does not really make moral claims, instead it tells people their preference for something. An example of this is the statement: “child abuse is wrong”, but ethical relativism says this means “I disapprove of child abuse”. Instead of making a clear statement on what is immoral, it just states opinions. Ethical relativism boils moral claims down to statements that sound like “I prefer crunchy peanut butter over creamy peanut butter”. With moral claims based in ethical relativism you get moral truths that are both right and wrong and contradict each other. You can end up with one of two results, either you have no moral claims, or no moral disagreement. Relativist dismiss the idea of moral disagreements, even though it is the main selling point of ethical relativism. I believe that moral disagreements exist and in order to have a moral debate one must be able to make a moral claim based upon more than an opinion, however I do recognize that moral disagreements are not as wide spread as we think. I believe that many of our moral debates can be rooted in similar values, we simply have different ways of expressing

Related Documents

  • Decent Essays

    Objectivism is a strong proponent of saying that some moral claims can be true, but it is never specific in its claims of what these “some” cases really are. Moral relativism is somewhat in between the ideals of objectivism and nihilism. Relativism states that the value of moral claims is relative to the culture or people around them. Perhaps the biggest argument against relativism is the argument from disagreement. This states that if relativism is true, then there can be no genuine disagreement between cultures about morality.…

    • 1071 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    An argument for moral relativism would be that most objective truths can be presented based on reliable decision procedures. However, there is no decision procedure that is able to show the objective truths or falsities of moral beliefs and judgements. I do believe that this is a fair argument because it is considerably harder to prove and explain a truth about a moral belief than it is to prove say a mathematic objective truth. Since there are persistent disagreements regarding values and norms, it implies that moral beliefs are strictly opinions or attitudes created by an individual or a society and therefore cannot be considered objectively true or false. If you were to believe in moral objectivism it would suggest that you are incompatible with tolerance and open mindedness.…

    • 1153 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    He contests relativism by stating that such a view is ridiculous primarily because of the wide range of immoral acts “X” could possibly be. He gives the practice of human sacrifice as an example and calls into question the dubiousness of moral relativity in such a situation. According to moral relativity even if “we” were to disagree on such a practice, if that society practices the act (Bernard citing the Ashanti tribe) approves of it, then we have no place in interfering with the tribe. Williams also points out that any society must have a sort of universal moral standard for it to even exist. He notes how any society will have certain standards ingrained within its members and that these ingrained morals cannot simply just be forced aside when confronted with a separate society with differing morals.…

    • 1298 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    As much as debunkers claim that evolution is not a Good Reason to believe in moral positions, it is also not a Good Reason to disbelieve them either. Who is to say that true moral beliefs are not what is most fit? Would it not make sense for objective morality to have characteristics that would aid in the survival of a community? Sure, evolution is bound to get off track a little bit, but here we must focus on degrees of reason. We must assume our beliefs are innocent until proven guilty by Good Reason, and that most of our beliefs are probably close enough to the truth, otherwise they would not have aided in the survival and been selected for by evolution.…

    • 766 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Debunking Ethical Realism

    • 712 Words
    • 3 Pages

    He grapples with two general forms of debunking arguments, both of which state that the source of moral beliefs is separate from moral facts. One form yields skeptical outcomes for realism because our moral beliefs would be extremely unlikely to track facts that are not their source,…

    • 712 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Moral relativism is a commonly held position among many. This could be due to the regard for the value of tolerance or the truth in descriptive moral relativism. But my argument will be against meta-ethical moral relativism: there exists moral truths but these truths are not absolutes but relative. If morality is relative, there is no ultimate right or wrong. Because, there isn’t an objective point of reference to differentiate between right and wrong.…

    • 856 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Mackie vs. Ethical Objectivism Ethical Objectivism claims that some moral standards are true and some are false and that does not depend in anyway on what people want or believe. This claim is argued by J.L. Mackie, his thesis is that there are no objective values or moral fact. He argues ethical objectivism with two arguments which are the argument of relativity and the argument of queerness.…

    • 413 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Kant's Moral Judgement

    • 1472 Words
    • 6 Pages

    I do not personally agree with Kant’s philosophy for this reason. I do not agree with Kant that just because one thinks they are morally correct they do not have to face moral consequences because they can explain their reasoning and their ethical background behind it. I believe that if one makes a poor choice or decision than one should face the consequences they deserve. O.J Simpson made very poor choices and for that he should have consequence regarding his…

    • 1472 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    A person could be the most religious, but still lack moral values. As for non religious people, they could have no belief in God whatsoever, but have the most respected moral values. Because of this, religion should not be intertwined with morals. All in all, morality and religion should be looked at as two different ideas, and should not be related in any way. The most basic views of the differences between morality and religion is natural law and divine law.…

    • 832 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    While normally we would look at lying to a friend as morally wrong, if we are lying to protect their feelings and the overall net result is positive, then Act Utilitarianism supports lying. Lastly, Act Utilitarianism support moral flexibility. While many ethical theories have hard rules about never acting in certain ways, Act Utilitarian find that it is immoral to be bound by a rule if the net result of breaking that rule is for the positive benefit. The example Shafer-Landau gives is the Donner Party, where cannibalism enabled the survival of people who would have…

    • 825 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays

Related Topics