• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

"All ethical statements are relative." By examining the justifications for-and implications of- making this claim, decide whether or not you agree with it.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

"All ethical statements are relative." By examining the justifications for-and implications of- making this claim, decide whether or not you agree with it. The past one hundred years bombarded society with quite a few ethical dilemmas. A widely accepted view about an ethical statement is to be defined as a statement that concerns "[the] rules or standards governing the conduct of a person or the members of a profession" (American Heritage). While our society progressed and aimed for new and greater things so did our curiosity about nature and in that time many leaders experimented for the benefit of science and progress, regardless of ethics. The end of the twentieth century brought about a different perspective on life; one in which society began questioning ethics and the correctness of every action taken. Although this new trend of ethics has been creating guidelines and moral grounds, many argue that "all ethical statements are relative". Sociologically it is common to say that people see the world differently depending on the language they speak, the country they live in, their family and their friends, and of course their personal experiences. This provides evidence for the claim that culture has an impact on how all human beings view the world and therefore the laws they abide by. ...read more.

Middle

in ethics. Does this make ethical statements relative? In certain situations are they to be upheld, while in others downplayed? That argument can be used in different contexts. The logic behind ethics is completely different from that of the sciences or the mathematics. Science is based on a set of axioms that are really blind facts. The axioms are considered true, and are universal; whereas, ethics there are no universal sets to base decisions on. While directly looking at the statement, "all ethical statements are relative," one can analyze the relativity. Wittgenstein, a Cambridge philosopher from the mid-1900's, tells us to look at the actual language of a statement in order to perceive its message. Statements are a lot like word games to him. The phrase states that all ethical statements are relative. In this case, saying "My cow has no value" is relative. This may be so because followers of Hindu in India believe that the cow is sacred. So it seems that all ethical statements may be relative. It is essential to analyze just the statement and then the justifications for it. Take another statement now, "All human beings have value." This statement may seem logical to us at the moment, but would it seem equally logical if we were to say this to our foes. ...read more.

Conclusion

Yes. The relativity of the statement depends on the set time in which it is made. Although our society has set up controls to base citizens' ethical guidelines, as mentioned previously, aren't all ethics personal? Aren't ethics what guide our personal decisions? Yes. Personal ethics are what guide us, and the similarity between the ethics of each person in society is what allows for a uniform set. By looking at the differing justifications for ethical relativity I would have to side with the statement that "all ethical statements are relative". By evaluating that ethics change over time, and that our perceptions of them change frequently it seems that claiming them to be concrete is incorrect. To me, it is difficult to differentiate between ethics and laws. Although I experienced this difficulty, that laws tell us what is to be done and enforce it while ethics are our guidelines, different cultures have different frames of mind, and show different ethics. In summation, the statement, "all ethical statements are relative," has many justifications and implications on society as a whole. This statement has effects on our globe for future generations, just as it did for past generations. By looking at the justifications for it, and its counter argument, I have come to the conclusion that "all ethical statements are relative". Our ever-changing global scenario gives statements as these extreme importances. ?? ?? ?? ?? 4 Gonzalez 1 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Practical Questions section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Practical Questions essays

  1. Evaluate the claim that conscience is a reliable guide to ethical decision making.

    He believed that we cannot understand knowledge unless we also understand how knowledge is acquired. He also pioneered the idea that 'children are young scientists', their ideas and theories - though wrong in our understanding of what is correct and otherwise - have an intrinsic value acquired through the methods children use to arrive at them.

  2. 'Euthanasia should be legalised. Agree or Disagree?'

    The principle of this is uncontroversial. However, the question of taking away food and water is. Tony Bland (1989) was in a coma from which doctors believed he would never recover. He was classed as in a vegetative state and could open his eyes but he did not respond to anything around him.

  1. Explain what scholars mean when they say that ethical statements are no more than ...

    This began a debate on whether religious and moral language really was meaningful or not. If we take the example of proving the existence of God, logical positivists would say that because we cannot prove His existence using the senses, any discussion relating to religion, or belief is meaningless.

  2. The Ethical Debate Concerning Cloning.

    As laid out in Christian teachings, God is the originator of all life as we know it. Man is merely His steward and carries out His will. There is a certain "sanctity and inviolability under God of every human life which He has created."

  1. Contraception. In this essay I will be analysing and examining whether the use of ...

    Bentham maintained that human beings were motivated by pleasure and pain, and so he can be called a hedonist (hedone is Greek for 'pleasure')2. He said 'Nature has placed mankind under the governance of two sovereign masters, pain and pleasure.

  2. The 21st century has raised more problems for equality than it has solved. Examine ...

    Civil partnerships have become legal in England and Wales since 2005, showing that as time has passed, more people are beginning to accept homosexuality into society and equal rights are seen to have be acknowledged. However, despite these laws, some people still go against homosexuality and in some respects these

  1. Moral absolutism. Moralism seems to be an essential component of American conservatism, whose adherents ...

    Moral absolutism, weather in Catholicism or Orthodox Jews has been used to target Minority's since religion had founded, never changing their bigoted views due to their unwavering morals. Some may see this as a testament to a person's faith, more would see it as a stubborn view of the world,

  2. Assess whether an unequal distribution of property between individuals could be a feature of ...

    seem ?just? ? especially if one is a pauper and kept at the mercy of the bourgeoisie. In this sense a worker may accept a wage cut, but how much true liberty do they have in making this decision? It could be argued in a society which has no ?safety net? welfare system, very little.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work