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What is meant by Moral Relativism?

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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.


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.


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.

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