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

Moral Absolutism can Never be Justified. Discuss

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Moral Absolutism can never be justified The black and white, deontological dualism of moral absolutism has laid the foundations of our ethics, and has orientated the needle of the human moral compass. As with any durable structure, the base must be solid, thus justifying the use of moral absolutism in order to build a community. Deontological ethics is the basis for Teleological ethics, and without absolutism, relativism cannot exist. For example, without the principle that murder is wrong, it would be impossible to argue that there are mitigating circumstances in which it is right. However, now that societal laws have been built, can moral absolutism still be justified? Moral Absolutism is frequently associated with Christianity, since it reflects the immutability and perfect judgement of God. Like Christianity, moral absolutism offers answers which nothing else can explain, thus it is more applicable to everyday situations. For example, in the case of a snap decision, it makes sense to utilise the deontological ethics instilled in us from childhood, and perhaps even before then. ...read more.

Middle

Sceptics of Moral Absolutism might argue that it is too rigid a belief system, and cannot foresee a circumstance in which murder really would be acceptable. However, an absolutist can be absolute about anything, as described by Julian Baggini, "the moral rules can be as nuanced and finely distinguished as you like." This means that an absolutist could believe that murder is always wrong, except in self defence, or to protect a greater amount of people. Therefore, deontological ethics can evolve with modern day society, whilst also preventing cultural injustices. Surely then, moral absolutism is the way forward? Sadly, moral absolutism is a trap. It narrows our minds and halts ethical progression. If we take the example of fundamentalist religion, it is clear that absolutism leads to valuing one's own ideas above all others. The concrete conviction in certain moral beliefs prevents any form of moral honesty, or as James Elliot puts it, "I respect your right to have your opinion, but I'll spend the rest of my life disagreeing with it." ...read more.

Conclusion

Should slavery have continued, and an individual realises it to be wrong, this would be their ethic, and nobody else's. It is not their place to campaign for the abolition of slavery, since it is the right of proponents of slavery to continue on moral grounds. In other words, moral absolutism results in to absolutes being absolutely equal, and no campaigning or persuasion is even conceivable. Therefore, moral absolutism chokes the progression of society and allows the continued existence of injustice. In conclusion, moral absolutism in its most concrete form can never be justified, as it serves to empower racists, disable progressive thought and generate conflict between cultures. However, relativism as we know it cannot be justified either, since it is mere mutable absolutism. Relativism allows for the justification for any agenda, and when done so, is imposed absolutely. What those who are serious about their morality should search for is an absolutist ethic, so delicately nuanced that it permits persuasion, and keeps intact the integrity of cultures and separate belief systems. ?? ?? ?? ?? Jonathan Inglis Moral Absolutism can Never be Justified ...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. Utilitarianism VS Kantian Deontological Ethics

    Another dilemma would be a situation in which a philosophy essay is due in for the next day, but it is 11:30PM, so trying to finish it would cause mild suffering on your behalf because you would have to stay up for a large portion of the night.

  2. Considering the claims of both absolutism and relativism, discuss the importance of situation ethics ...

    is more popular today than it was when it was founded in the 1966. Fletcher believed that there were times when "a man has to push his principles aside and do the right thing."

  1. is abortion justified to save the mother's life

    when it is that an embryo becomes accountable as part of the human race. Some would argue that it is at the point of conception. This perspective is from the vitalist point of view and it claims that when conception occurs, what is created is genetically a homo sapien and therefore a person.

  2. "Humanitarian intervention, which is ruled out by realism and the morality of states, can ...

    When it involves others, the individual is subject to regulation in the interest of preventing harm to others. Mill also constructed a liberal defence of intervention in cases where the destruction of the target population could be shown to the responsibility of the intervening power.

  1. Modern life-prolonging technologies have sharpened some ancient dilemmas on the value of life.

    reason could not pass through the birth canal, physicians and families had a simple, painful choice. They could perform a Caesarean section to save the child, entailing the almost certain death of the mother. Or they could save the mother by avoiding any surgical incision, kill the fully developed fetus in utero, and remove it in pieces.

  2. The Dreamings as being fundamental to Aboriginal cultures & societies

    belief that only furture for Abor. was for them to b/cm westernised: Assimilation & eventual disappearance of Abor. tradn ( 1970s ( 'Homeland Movement', working towards strengthening of tradn ( Future ( cultural revival The effect of missn & missionary activity on Abor.

  1. Duties and Deontological Ethics

    Second, Pufendorf distinguished between perfect and imperfect duties. Perfect duties are obligations that are precisely defined, and dictate our proper conduct everywhere at all times, such as the duty not to steal. Imperfect duties, by contrast, such as the duty to be charitable, are not fixed, but open as to when and how we perform this duty.

  2. There are no moral absolutes, discuss.

    Another argument for Relativism is that absolutist moral standards, in some circumstances can lead onto extreme evils. The famous example that illustrates this is that of a crazed axe-murderer coming to your front door and asking you where your children are.

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