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Explanation of moral absolutism ethics

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  • Essay length: 891 words
  • Submitted: 13/10/2008
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University Degree Philosophy and Theology

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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. Another example is lying, absolutists feel that one should never lie no matter what the consequences are, even if it was in order to save an innocent persons life or to promote some sort of good.

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