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Moral Absolutism can Never be Justified. Discuss

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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.

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