Explain what is meant by Moral Relativism. Assess the strengths the weaknesses of situations ethics.
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Explain what is meant by Moral Relativism. Assess the strengths the weaknesses of situations ethics. Part one: Every choice we make is due to each person individual morality. Morality is concerned with the free choice of rational human beings. Relativism shows that there are no absolute moral rules and each situation needs to be examined individually. Therefore moral relativism is the belief that morality does not relate to any absolute standards of right and wrong but good and bad are dependant on culture and circumstance. According to moral relativists there is nothing that is absolutely, invariably right or wrong, and there is no universal standard by which to measure our character or our actions. A course of action can therefore be right for a person but wrong for another or the some based on culture and society. Different views or interpretations can be equally valid for different people. They believe that everyone one should be tolerant of other people's beliefs and behaviour.
For example the government says that murder is wrong so people don't murder. He also claims that if we believe morality has some kind of objective then it is difficult to know what form this absolute form must take. Relativists believe that you cannot say that one system is right or is better than the other. However sometimes society has to make rules that go one way or the other. Breaking these rules constitutes breaking a social contract. However there are many criticisms of moral relativism. One is that however extreme a action is there will always be some way to justify that it is right. This type of thinking would lead to mayhem. It also never actually condemns anything no matter how evil the situation may be. Also as they are accepting of all cultures whatever there views are they would not be able to condemn the people responsible for 9/11. Another criticism is that it is constantly contradicting itself.
Also it is based on love that, rationally as well as emotionally is a key feature of all moral situations. For Christians it provides a way to make Christian decisions not mentioned in the bible e.g. fox hunting. But on the other hand there are also some significant disadvantages to situation ethics. The simple rule of what would be the most loving thing to do can be broken easily with a lack of will power. Not everyone may have the strength in character or may just not be bothered to start asking, "where is the love " for every situation they may face. Also you can't trust all human beings with that amount of power for example people would be able to justify killing someone because they were born with a slight learning disability. Two people using situation ethics both claim to be acting out of love and come to different conclusions. It would be impossible to judge which one was right Roman Catholics would feel it is wrong to appeal to individual circumstances to justify decisions which go against the decisions of the church.
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