Explanation of moral absolutism ethics
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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.
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.
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
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