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

Discuss the view that we cannot justify absolutist moral rules in a multi cultural society.

Extracts from this document...


Jonna Klockenhof IB Philosophy Ethics Discuss the view that ?we cannot justify absolutist moral rules in a multi cultural society.? ?Follow the good and avoid the evil? can be seen as the perspective of an absolutist: Moral absolutism is the belief that there are universal standards against which moral questions can be judged, and that certain actions are right or wrong, regardless of the context of the act. Hence, actions are inherently moral or immoral regardless of the beliefs of the individual, society or culture that engages in the action. Absolutism holds that morals are ?simply? inherent in the nature of humanity or in the will of God. Therefore morals are objective intrinsic values, which are unchangeable. However in our present world we come across many different cultural societies. Is it possible to justify universal rules in such a multi cultural world we live in? Or do our moral values differ within our multi cultural society and are therefore relative? Since we?re all human beings I do belief that there has to be some universal truth, however I do not think that it is possible to justify all absolutist moral rules in our today?s world. ...read more.


Understanding the principles of moral relativism some advantages appear quite obvious: Firstly using moral relativism, one can arrive quickly, easily and especially painless to an ethical standpoint on a moral issue. To decide what is right and what is wrong one only has to look on one?s own culture, its habits and moral principles. And one do not has to be afraid that one might be attacked because of the decision made. This comfort is given by moral relativism because it forbids to criticise ethical principles of a culture from the outside. For example within an atheistic society a woman is allowed to have an abortion. A Roman Catholic would never allow that. Nevertheless this woman does not have to care about him because he is not allowed to criticise her from the outside. Moreover this theory derived from the principle of tolerance. This point sounds reasonable. Everyone should be free to make his own decisions as long as his culture accepts them and they should not be questioned from the outside. The point perhaps most worthily is that moral relativism is very flexible. It takes into account all circumstances of a situation such as history, culture, society, motives and even relationships. This strength becomes even stronger using the example of euthanasia. ...read more.


100? 1000? Moral relativism gives us no answer. Moreover it focuses only on the society and not on the minority or individual. But are not our moral principles that everyone should be able to make ones own, free decisions? Moral relativism claims that those decisions should be based on the moral principles of your culture and not on ones own opinion, which again is in disagreement with our intuition. Although the idea of making our moral decisions dependent on circumstances may firstly appear convenient, after having explored different views and its weaknesses I think it will not work out. In my opinion, there are many crucial weaknesses which can hardly be disproved. Although it sounds reasonable following the principle of tolerance or that our decisions are more flexible using Moral Relativism I would say there are always disadvantages, which can undermine those strengths. If you should tolerate actions of which your intuition tells you they are intrinsically wrong, will you nevertheless accept them? I do not think so. Intuition is more powerful than stranger authorities such as moral theories. Therefore I do think that some absolutist moral rules can be justified to a certain extent. However, as shown, moral values can never be totally independent on circumstances. I conclude, that one could use moral relativism with restrictions (acceptance of intrinsic universal values) and more developed ideas in a multi cultural world. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate Theory of Knowledge 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 International Baccalaureate Theory of Knowledge essays

  1. Examine the ethical issues in vivisection and discuss the extent to which it should ...

    Additionally that animals have a right to freedom and, hence, harmfully confining them for use in experiments is unjustifiable. Many of them adopt the opinion that animals, like human beings, have the capacity to feel pain because they appear to react to physical hurt and have behavioral responses to emotional distress (wellcome.ac.uk).

  2. Does the End justify the Means?

    people completing the torture may be losing a part of their humanity. Then the prisoner is also being hurt and damaged emotionally. The ends produced by torture are supposed to be useful information, but many times this information is not useful and may just be a lie.

  1. In what way does the problem of evil lead to atheism?

    no guarantee that good will overcome evil and it questions whether he is being worthy of worship. However, it may be easier for believers to accept that God is not in control of the universe than accept that he may not be all-loving.

  2. Bias - Saddam Hussein

    Answers.com also links Saddam to the September 11 Terrorist attack on the United States, however indirectly. This implies Saddam's association with terrorists from the Al-Qaeda group and hence denotes him as a terrorist. The bias contained in each article is very clear.

  1. TOK essay Inductive logic is one of the ...

    are not explicit, clear and sensitive enough, it would easily cause a hasty generalization. If he says that a four-legged, furred animal is a dog, so all four-legged, furred animals are dogs, he would be mistaken. Also, if he saw a dog having three legs due to a traffic accident, he would hesitate to label it as a dog.

  2. In your opinion, should an atheist who does not believe in God or the ...

    A God that makes rules randomly is not a perfect presence, but if God uses some sort of reasoning to determine right from wrong then it is implied that a set of morals preexisted God. Therefore God himself did not create this moral rubric, and simply acknowledges it.

  1. Although complete dependence on intuition is not suggested, intuition is often surprisingly accurate. But ...

    This example suggesting that intuitively appealing explanation that has evidence which can prove it definitely wrong should be discarded. It may sound simple but we should consider other different situations before we make a conclusion. The above example shows that the intuition with facts that has been proven it to be certainly wrong with no doubt should be discarded.

  2. Debate Topic - Individuals have a moral obligation to assist people in need.

    However, assistance is extremely varied, thus fulfilling the moral obligation we have to assist people in need can always be moral, can always be feasible, and can always be compatible with our moral responsibility. People can be in need of food, water, shelter, clothing, medical treatment, love, and life saving assistance.

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