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

What is meant by Moral Relativism?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

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 or wrong, but things such as circumstances and culture affect what is perceived to be 'good' and 'bad' or 'right' or '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. A relativist would never view two situations the same, as they know that no two situations can ever be identical. In this way moral relativists are the opposite of absolutes, such as strict upholders of the natural law approach to ethics. This is because moral relativists can never rule anything out or say that anything is defiantly wrong, that is relativist to the situation they are in, for instance, an absolute would argue that in any case of abortion it is always wrong, and should never be done. ...read more.

Middle

There are also many criticisms of situation ethics; it gives some people too much responsibility, which they cannot cope with. It also expects too much of people. It may also sometimes go against what the bible states. Other approaches of moral relativism are social contract theory which looks at how Thomas Hobbes argue that right and wrong id determined by the need for people to curb their naturally selfish desires and work in the intre3sts of the group. Also utilitarianism, a system proposed by Jeremy Benthan and John Stuart Mill looks at how there is no ultimate or absolute goodness but find a course of action that will please the majority. 'The problem with moral relativists theories is that they do not provide any definite answers.' Discuss. Some people would agree with this statemant as moral relativism theories do not provide any definite answers as it lets people use their own opinions, views and ideas of what is right and wrong. ...read more.

Conclusion

Therefore it will always be morally right for this girl to have an abortion in this case. However in the woman's case it would be seen as defiantly morally wrong to have the abortion as she has no valid reason to kill the unborn child, she is physically and mentally fit top have a baby and it would not harm her in any way. Therefore it is a definite wrong for the woman to kill a baby for the fact that she doe not want a baby yet, it is her fault for not using protection. Therefore in these case is a definite right to let the young girl have an abortion, but it is a definite wrong for the woman to have the abortion. Also systems such as the natural law leave little doubt and choice. The natural law is our inborn sense of right and wrong, discovered through the conscience. Natural law is an absolute, and our belief of what is always right and wrong. For example I believe that it is always wrong to smoke, and that it is always wrong to drink and drive. ...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. Critically examine what is meant by natural moral law.

    An apparent good can pervert reason. For instance, one may feel good taking drugs and drinking heavily but really it is self destructive and perverted from reason, which tells us that it is not good to take drugs or drink heavily.

  2. Absolutism is a more useful tool to make moral decisions than relativism. Discuss.

    The only specifically absolutist rule is "follow the good and avoid the evil"- meaning that they base their absolute decisions on what they deem to be good or evil. The use of evidence to decide whether something is right or wrong is called objectivism.

  1. Explain what is meant by Moral Relativism

    Relativists also believe that nobody has the right to impose new traditions and beliefs on an already established culture; this is why they strongly oppose missionaries. They like to argue that what is morally good depends on the culture

  2. moral relativism and situation ethics

    In conclusion, moral relativism is morals that are subjective and can be applied only to that moment in time, to that specific situation. In Situationism, it is the love, which determines what is morally right in any given time, not fixed rules.

  1. moral relativist

    Natural law enables people to establish common rules in order to structure communities. Natural law goes beyond any religion or culture and works in the same way for every nationality. Natural law lays down rules that many people need to be able to walk in the right direction throughout life.

  2. There are no moral absolutes, discuss.

    Utilitarian also reject moral absolutes and focus more on consequences. They believe that the right action is the one that brings the most pleasure and the least pain. Sometimes this may admit Killing in order to save more lives. For Jeremy Bentham, there was no rule he would not break in order to bring about greater happiness.

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

    the absolute rules in the Bible, including the Ten Commandments, in order to get in to heaven to be with God. The aim is clear: follow this clear, absolute and unchanging theory of morality and you will be rewarded. But relativism is a lot less clear.

  2. Explore the moral issues surrounding the right to a child.

    Other fertility treatments such as AID, the process where a donor sperm is injected into a woman or AIH, which is where the husband?s sperm is injected into the wife. Paul Ramsay, a protestant opposes the idea of AID, as he believes that reproduction should only be within marriage, as

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