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What is moral Relativism

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Martin Rothwell A) What is meant by Moral Relativism? Moral Relativism visits many of areas of ethical issues. A relativist's main aim when making an ethical decision would be to please as many people as possible. They would try to understand about a person's or people's beliefs or culture before making the decision. They would try and learn all they could about those beliefs and cultures and try to understand why these people would believe in these things. Relativism is also the belief that everyone has a right to their own opinion and this opinion is valid and should always be considered. A relativist would also believe that there is no moral objective truth or 'natural law' that humans follow. They believe even if there was then we cannot know it as what is morally true for one person may not be true for another individual. They believe that morals are subject to culture, time and place. This is also known as cultural relativism. A modern cultural relativist J L Mackie wrote 'There are no objective values.' ...read more.


The love however must be unconditional love known as agape love. The two main ethical theories were brought together for situation ethics to exist. Legalistic ethics relates strongly to natural law and are strong guidelines set down for humans to live their lives and use to base ethical decisions on. Usually Catholics and other religions have strong legalistic traditions. The opposite of this is Antinomian ethics where a person would make a decision without any principles. They would make a decision spontaneously and have the view that each decision is unique from the last one. The compromise to this is Situation ethics were a person would follow a moral law until a decision is made where agape love needs to be the outcome even if it goes against the natural law. To prevent people becoming confused on what principles needed to be used to break down the situation he divided the principles into two categories. The first principles were the four working principles. These were the principles that must be assumed are working before a decision is to take place. ...read more.


Fourth Proposition - Love wills the neighbours good whether we like him or not Agape love is the desire to do well. It is unconditional love and it goes out to everyone around us. Yet nothing is required back from it. Fifth Proposition - Only the end justifies the means; nothing else Fletcher believed the end result is far more important than the action itself. However the end result must be the most loving. However he said we must also look at the motive for acting and also the consequences. Sixth Proposition - Love's decisions are made situationally, not prescriptively. This is perhaps the most important proposition linking with situation ethics. It is saying that something an action is either right or wrong based on the situation. Fletcher believed an action that brought the most loving outcome is right. He said that Jesus himself also followed this belief as he distanced himself from Jewish groups that lived on a rule based society. B) The problem with moral relativist theories is that they do not provide any definite answers. When looking at moral relativist theories one of the key features that needs to be analysed deeply is the situation being looked at. It may be that ...read more.

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