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What is meant by Moral Relativism?

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AO1 What is meant by Moral Relativism? Moral Relativism is an approach to ethics. It is the belief that morality does not relate to any absolute standards of right and wrong, But that things such as circumstance and culture affect was is perceived to be 'good' and 'bad' or 'right' and 'wrong'. The idea behind moral relativism is to make the right decision based on the current situation. By taking each choice at a time and weighing up the pros and cons, moral relativists should be able to make a decision that suits everybody involved best. A relativist would never view two situations the same, as they know that no two situations can ever be identical. ...read more.


What may be right for a Muslim woman of 50 may not be right for an English boy of six. There are two types of Moral Relativism; Cultural, where peoples ideas of what is 'right' will vary according to the type of culture they live in. e.g. eating dog in China is considered ok, but in England is considered sick and inhumane. Equally eating cow in England is seen to be ok, but in Hindu countries is an illegal act. Cultural Moral Relativism has no absolute rights or wrongs, but changes over time and location. The second type of Moral relativism is Ethical. This is more based on emotions, what is right for someone in one culture, may not be right for a person in a different culture or situation. ...read more.


With a Moral Relativism approach to this situation she would be allowed to have an abortion. Having an abortion is not always to the best thing to do if a baby happens to be 'inconvenient' because of work or other commitments, but in this case it is the best thing to do. Here Moral Relativism shows its superiority in dealing with individual circumstances. Moral Relativism realises that every situation is different and may require a different approach, so the best decision is made every time, not one that is universally considered 'right.' Moral Relativism is not an ethical theory to base society on as nothing is wrong, as long as it is justifiable. Communities need structure and rules, so Moral relativism is only good for individual decision making, but in this way its strengths far outweigh its weaknesses ...read more.

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