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Are Moral Values Objective Or Subjective?

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Introduction

Are Moral Values Objective Or Subjective? To answer the question, we first have to establish the definition of morality and the difference in meaning between objective and subjective morality. Morality is the principles concerning the distinction between right and wrong. The term "objective" in philosophy refers to the idea that there are universal moral laws like good or bad, right or wrong and therefore these morals exist outside of any person, i.e. like the law of gravity, there is a moral law which exists independently of any person, that awaits to be found. Subjective morality however is where moral laws are based on personal feelings and thoughts, and therefore without any humans there would be no morality. An important question to ask is, what motives have we for living morally? And how can one rationally justify a command such as, "Do not steal"? Some people may say that their motive for living morally is God, others may say to coexist for the existence of man, and others may simply have their personal interests at heart. ...read more.

Middle

This is because by you not helping there has been a public consequence, the woman being mugged. This is known as negligence and in England you can be arrested for an action such as this. Now that I have shown the morality cannot be a completely private matter, it does not prove that subjective morality is wrong. It merely shows that the argument for subjective morality cannot be supported by the argument that morality is a private matter. A stronger argument for subjective morality however, is that if moral values differ between cultures it would seem that these values cannot be objective, because if they were, then the whole world should share the exact same values as each other and as this is not the case we are led to believe that they are subjective. However the counter argument to this is that even though moral values seem to differ on the surface, the underlying, key morals do not differ such as murder and rape being looked down upon, e.g. ...read more.

Conclusion

Therefore from this evidence one could use this as an argument for subjective morality but there would always be an element of doubt. To conclude, my personal opinion on the question "Are moral values objective or subjective?" is that morality is subjective. I have come to this conclusion because I think that moral values are too varied around the world. This is clearly evident when you look at murderous regimes such as Iraq where mass murder is not looked down upon, whereas if this activity occurred in America there would be great controversy. The war against terrorism could be seen as a war of morality where America believes that terrorist states are "wrong" and "bad". Therefore if morality was to be objective then there should not be this inconsistency in values and that is why morality must be subjective, and under current scientific evidence I can back this up further by the fact that babies are not born with a set of standard morals, as they grow up they learn their values through their emotions and experiences. ...read more.

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