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Explain Moral Relativism

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A) Explain moral relativism Relativism is the belief that there are no objective truths. Societies and individuals hold their own understanding what is right and what is wrong. There are two forms of relativism, subjective relativism and cultural relativism. Subjective relativism is the idea that each individual has the ability to develop their own moral choices and then relate their version of morality to a group who share their ideals. Cultural relativism is the belief that morality is developed within social groups, Roman Catholics for example are members of a social group that have moral relative opinions that they share. There are four different types of Cultural relativism. The diversity thesis, dependency thesis, conventionalism and pyramid relativism. A society cut off from other human existence would over time produce their own moral laws, these laws would apply to their society only, other societies would have developed their own personal moral laws that are relevant to themselves.. This is the diversity thesis. An example of this is the Yanomami tribe who survive the Amazon rainforest, they have developed their own relativist laws, for example as a result of having very little human contact up until very recently there is no recognized leader, there is equality amongst the population. ...read more.


ideology we cannot judge the morality of Iranian culture, as different cultures create differing moral laws, and we cannot be objective about another culture as we ourselves are products of our own culture. In Galeano?s ?Open Veins of Latin America? he speaks how Spanish explorers in the medieval centuries violated traditional Latin American customs, therefore believing that their moral laws are what are correct only. This is going against the dependency thesis. Conventionalism is the belief that moral rules come around when needed, not on a set of pre written values, but on reactions to particular and often immediate circumstances. Conventionalism recognizes the importance of the social environment in generating moral customs and beliefs. For example different societies will have differing moral codes on technology, it is against the law to hack into certain websites and databases, because it was not existent and therefore not a problem in the past. As time goes on and problems have been recognized, then moral codes can be written. Pyramid relativism is catalyst to the principle that in all societies and cultures , the individuals grow fundamental principles that instruct their moral laws. ...read more.


Subjective relativism relies on the individual obeying there own personal moral codes that they have set forth for themselves, hypocrisy is a way of judging an individuals subjective relativist beliefs. The philosopher Richard Rorty said that it is possible for individuals to live in societies within societies, for example when you go to work you will have a close knit group of friends who you act differently with than you other colleagues. People have the ability to vary their moral norms depending on their ?micro-society?. No set of moral values is necessarily better than the other, they are just different. As long as the individual is realizing that they are changing their morality as they go from micro-society to micro-society then they are not being hypocritical. To conclude, moral relativism is a broad term used to describe a multitude of differing reasonings of morality. From cultural to subjective, relativism is the general belief that there is no fixed universal moral codes, unlike absolutism. Opinion, society and the individual cause an individual to have their own personal set of moral values, to which they make important decisions. ...read more.

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