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

Explanation of moral absolutism ethics

Extracts from this document...


A) Explain what is meant by moral absolutism. Moral absolutism is an ethical theory which believes that there are absolute standards against which moral questions can be judged, and that certain actions are either right or wrong. Moral absolutists might, for example, judge slavery, war, dictatorship, the death penalty, or child abuse to be absolutely immoral regardless of the beliefs of a culture that engages in these practices. Moral absolutism adopts the theory that certain actions are moral or immoral regardless of the circumstances in which they occur. Absolutists consider that the ten commandments, found in the book of Exodus, are rules which should never be broken no matter what. For example one of the commandments found in Exodus 20:13 is "Thou shall not kill" and absolutists believe that this rule should never be broken. They would not even agree with the murder of one person, such as a terrorist, in order to save an entire nation. ...read more.


Deontology is sometimes described as "duty" or "obligation" based ethics, because deontologists believe that ethical rules "bind you to your duty". For example a teacher is bind to their duty to each their pupils and parents are behind to their duty to look after and raise their children. Deontological ethics is often contrasted with teleological ethical theories, which believe that the correctness of an action is determined by its consequences. For instance some theologists may consider lying to be acceptable in certain circumstances. A good example is stealing, theologists may feel that it is ok for the poor and needy to steal small items from shops who are making millions of pounds profit each year, this is because the poor and needy are gaining a lot yet the shop isn't losing much. However some people also say that there is a big difference between deontological ethics and moral absolutism. Deontologists who are also moral absolutists believe that some actions are wrong no matter what consequences follow them. ...read more.


Moral objectivism is then another ethical theory which claims that certain acts are objectively right or wrong, independent of human opinion. That is, the view that the 'moral facts' are like 'physical' facts in that what the facts are does not depend on what anyone thinks they are. In general objectivist theories tend to come in two sorts the first is a duty based theory (Deontological) - these theories claim that what determines whether an act is morally right or wrong is the kind of act it is. There are then consequentialist theories (Teleological) - these claim that what determines an act is morally right or wrong are its consequences. For example people may not lie simply because of the kind of act that is - bad and it is also going against a main moral rule. However if they were to discover that the consequence would be good such as saving a life, they may look on it differently through the consequentialist theory. In conclusion; I feel that I have discovered the many different types of moral absolutism that there is and it's real meaning. Michael Magill ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our University Degree Philosophy and Theology 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 University Degree Philosophy and Theology essays

  1. "A critical discussion on the ethics of abortion?"

    However that is the individual personal decision to make. A law, which required you to stay in bed with the violinist, would be an unjust law. If the right to decide is greater then the right to life, Thomson is saying, then the anti-abortionists premise of life beginning at conception is irrelevant.

  2. Why Should I be moral?

    But in this world surely the amoralist would flourish? They are the ones with the courage, desire and strength to get what they want without any consideration of the lives around them. Also, even if some were to act immorally, this does not necessarily cause others to act the same way.

  1. Knowing what ethics is and what makes up the study of ethics centers around ...

    There are nine major theories have been created to explain ethics and to determine whether a decision is ethical or not which are situational ethics, consequential ethics, value ethics, utilitarian ethics,moralistic ethics,ethical realism, ethical hierarchies,principle and moral development. In addition, there are two different aspects of ethics which are normative and descriptive.

  2. A Critical Review and Comparison of the Decalogue and the First Two Commandments.

    Moses pleads with him, asking for directions to give the exiled Israelites in order to live the way the Lord wants them to. The Commandments were given to Moses and he returns to the Jewish people camped at the base of the mountain and tells them God has spoken to him and has given him specific instructions.

  1. The Motives of Foreign Aid: Ethical or Rewarding?

    "[U]nder the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights [...], everyone has the right to a free primary education and to earn a livelihood" (Haslem et al., 143). Some people interpret that from this standpoint, no motivations are pertinent because the benefits of foreign aid are universal.

  2. Describe the main features of moral absolutism.

    Furthermore, a relativist would firmly believe that culture, time, space and religion all contribute to the belief of moral truths. The renowned philosopher, Plato (428-347 BC), is classified as an ethical absolutist and believed that moral absolutes such as goodness and justice existed in some other way and form, which were beyond the normal perceptions of our world.

  1. Explain what is meant by a natural law approach to ethics.

    He said that 'something is good if it does whatever God wanted it to do'. Aquinas distinguished his causes as the 'efficient cause' and the 'final cause'. The efficient cause is that which gets things done and the final cause is the product or the outcome.

  2. Abortion Ethics

    Clearly, feminist ideologies of equality must acknowledge special rights. However special rights we talk about are not accruing to all, but to woman who actually need the special right of an abortion. Allowing special rights, one must take into account the women?s situation, family relations, and other social contexts.

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