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

moral relativist

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

(2) a) Explain Moral Relativism. (33) Moral relativism is the belief that morality does not relate to any absolute standards of right or wrong, but that right and wrong depend on things such as circumstances, religion and culture. In this way moral relativists are the opposite of absolutes, which is the belief that there are standards of right and wrong that are right regardless of circumstances, religion and culture. Absolutists, such as Plato argue that moral rules should be the same for everyone, with no exceptions; they believe that what is right for one person is right for another. This is known as universalisability. Moral relativists do not believe in universalisability, they believe that no-one can judge someone else because of their actions, because nothing is always wrong, and nothing is always right, because different things are right or wrong for different people based on circumstances, religion and culture. J.L.Mackie argues in his book 'Ethics': Inventing Right and Wrong' that our morality is shaped by our society, and claims that if morality has an absolute value then it is difficult to know what form this standard will take. ...read more.

Middle

It also expects too much of people. It may also sometimes go against what the bible states. Social contract theory which looks at how morality is based on the needs of society and that there is no absolute right or wrong, or an outside law giver. Thomas Hobbes who believed in this theory, argue that right and wrong are determined by the need for people to ignore their naturally selfish desires and work in the interests of the group. They determine right and wrong by looking at what is necessary to reduce conflict. Utilitarianism is another moral system proposed by Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill it looks at how there is no ultimate or absolute goodness but find a course of action that will please the majority. They believe that good is 'the greatest amount of happiness, for the greatest number'. b) 'Moral Relativism is an unacceptable ethical theory'. Discuss. (17) There are many problems with Moral Relativism, in which many would say that it is an unacceptable ethical theory. ...read more.

Conclusion

Therefore we are made into a better person. Also moral relativism promises that once we are successful in creating the sort of person we want to be, then arriving at and making decisions will come to us naturally for the rest of our lives as we have achieved the good person we want to be. Therefore many people would argue that natural law and absolute theories are in fact the unacceptable ethical theories as they do not give people the opportunity to be independent and make moral decisions using their own common sense in the same way as moral relativist theories do. Instead it just lays down rules that we should all follow without giving any independency or choice of what we believe is right and wrong. However many argue Moral relativism is in fact an acceptable ethical theory as it gives people the opportunity to be independent and make moral decisions using their own common sense, and gives us the choice of what we believe is right and wrong. ...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. Outline the general ethical responsibilities on helping relationships and discuss them with examples from ...

    Part 2 Using one of the examples provided, write about your understanding of the ethical issues involved and indicate how you would seek to resolve them, drawing on appropriate theoretical material According to the case study, the patient Mark, confides in the nurse by indicating that he is HIV positive.

  2. Natural Moral Law

    relationship with God and the natural order that was instituted at creation" (Genesis 2 and 3). Aquinas argued that because God creates humans, they basically want 'good' things. It can be argues that humans can consciously wish to reject the ways in which God wishes them to live.

  1. Assess Critically the Claim that Situation Ethics Provides a Better Method of Solving Moral ...

    that you should always treat people as ends and never as a means. Its legalistic manner excludes any allowance for the individualist, illustrating probably its main disadvantage compared to the more considerate and liberal approach of a situationist. In the way that Kant's Categorical Imperative states that issues surrounding a

  2. The Ethical Debate Concerning Cloning.

    As mentioned earlier, GIFT is one example of a compromise that has been made between Catholicism and technology. However, in examining an issue such as cloning, there are two traditional issues of importance. First, the Church tends to begin any argument by looking at God's role, if any, in the process and how science changes His role.

  1. There are no moral absolutes, discuss.

    Joseph Fletcher, founder of situation ethics argued that in certain situations, absolutist principle have to be put to one side in order to do the right thing. He believed that absolutism didn?t lead to the best of most loving outcome, and the best thing to do may be to break a rule.

  2. Natural Moral Law - in theory and in practice.

    against the thinking in the 21st century that we recognise the variety of functions that people can fulfil. His understanding on human purposes is also limited as he claims there are only 5 primary precepts which we should live by, but there are many individuals who do not these precepts but still live a moral and fulfilling life.

  1. Explain the differences between absolute and relative morality. 'Relativist theories give no convincing reason ...

    This is a straightforward description of what the world really is like - in England, now, in 2012, it is illegal to commit active euthanasia as it is seen as morally wrong. In Switzerland it is legal as it is seen as morally acceptable.

  2. When dealing with zombies, one can find a lot of examples that relate with ...

    His wife was a zombie and while pointing at her with a rifle he was facing the moral dilemma of what was the best thing to do. Morgan recognizes that his wife would never come back to normal and that it could be dangerous for him and his son to

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