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Absolutism And Relativism.

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  • Essay length: 1960 words
  • Submitted: 19/06/2006
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University Degree Religion in Society

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Absolutism And Relativism

Absolutism is to maintain that some things are right and other things are wrong, and that these things are fixed for all time, in all situations and for all people. This is also known as hard universalism - it denies plural morality and insists there is only one universal moral code. Moral rules are a priori, meaning that moral laws can be found without experience because they are inherently right, without taking account of the outcome, circumstance, culture or opinion.

For example, in Christianity the Ten Commandments guide the way to knowing what one should not do: "Do not murder", "Do not steal", "Do not bear false witness" etc. An example of an ethical absolutist is St Thomas Aquinas, who believed in a fixed divine law (Natural Moral Law). Aquinas' basic law of natural moral law: "...that good is to be done and pursued, and evil is to be avoided..." which expresses an absolutist perspective.

Another absolutist, Plato, argued that goodness, the highest form of reality, was an absolute thing that existed eternally and beyond this world, occupied by forms or ideas, which are the true reality. For example, a beautiful

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