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Explain how relative ethical theories work to solve issues

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Transfer-Encoding: chunked ´╗┐Explain how relative ethical theories work to solve issues (25 marks) Relative ethics is a more flexible approach to solving modern issues. It usually involves looking at the individual situation and weighing up the consequences of each action. Nothing is objectively right or wrong in any circumstances and morality depends on the time, culture and particular individual. Examples of relativist ethical theories are utilitarianism and situation ethics. Moral relativism is the opposite belief to moral absolutism. Absolutists believe that certain actions are intrinsically wrong and cannot be questioned. Whereas relativists believe that the right or wrong thing to do depends on the situation Joseph fletcher said that the right action is the one that produces the most beneficial consequences. ...read more.


However for a moral relativist is may be the most loving thing to do and will create the most beneficial results. This does not mean abortion is always right, but the morality changes with each individual situation. Utilitarianism is another form of relative ethics. It is teleological and looks to find the maximum pleasure for the most people involved. Therefore morality changes in each circumstance. Bentham was an Act utilitarian and he used his hedonic calculus in order to calculate how much pleasure would come from an action. Mill was a weak Rule utilitarian. This means there are some laws that should be made but they can be broken if it would provide a better outcome. ...read more.


For example, if it is tradition in one area to have slaves then it is respectful of the people?s beliefs. It also recognises that morality changes over time, so laws should change with society. However someone could argue that it does not protect human rights. For example, torturing children is always wrong no matter the culture and it should not be tolerated. In conclusion, moral relativism is a flexible ethical theory. It is the opposite of absolutism. Absolutism says that things are either objectively right or wrong intrinsically. Whereas relativism says that there are no objective right or wrong actions and the right thing to do is dependent on the circumstances. Most relativism is teleological and consequential which means they look for the action that will create the best outcome for everyone involved. ...read more.

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