"All ethical statements are relative." By examining the justifications for-and implications of- making this claim, decide whether or not you agree with it.

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“All ethical statements are relative.” By examining the justifications for-and implications of- making this claim, decide whether or not you agree with it.

The past one hundred years bombarded society with quite a few ethical dilemmas. A widely accepted view about an ethical statement is to be defined as a statement that concerns “[the] rules or standards governing the conduct of a person or the members of a profession” (American Heritage). While our society progressed and aimed for new and greater things so did our curiosity about nature and in that time many leaders experimented for the benefit of science and progress, regardless of ethics. The end of the twentieth century brought about a different perspective on life; one in which society began questioning ethics and the correctness of every action taken. Although this new trend of ethics has been creating guidelines and moral grounds, many argue that “all ethical statements are relative”.

Sociologically it is common to say that people see the world differently depending on the language they speak, the country they live in, their family and their friends, and of course their personal experiences. This provides evidence for the claim that culture has an impact on how all human beings view the world and therefore the laws they abide by. For example, North Korean culture puts emphasis on conformity. Although, because of the globalization in that country, people’s perspectives are changing, the majority of citizens devote themselves to their country and their work. This brings a paralleled sense of ethics. The leaders of that government put an emphasis on the whole country rather than on the individuals and may therefore have a different perspective of ethics. In the United States people are individualistic. In a Sociological aspect this can be traced to our family and our work ethics. At 18 years old, many children leave their homes. The goal of many American parents is to prepare their kids to leave the house at 18 years of age. This detachment continues in their adult lives, as every move they make is seen as a personal advancement towards materialistic goals. Although this comparison doesn’t involve moral and ethical problems, it illustrates the differences in two cultures and how they can vary. Depending on the background of the person and the person’s family they may have a different opinion of the ethicality of an issue. Although an American hostage of the terrorist organization during the past few years may have viewed the actions taken against them as unethical, the terrorists would have differed. Because they considered themselves superior, the terrorist saw the situation differently. This highlights how ethical statements are relative. People’s opinions are relative; therefore no one way of thinking is seen as supreme.

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        Cultural differences continue to exert an enormous amount of influence on how people view ethics. Ethical statements have continued to vary as time goes by. This trend is opposite to those of other fields in science. Most sciences have had a general trend of agreement, “[whereas] the spirit of controversy has been much more conspicuous than the endeavor to add new truths to results already reached” (Westermarck 10) in ethics. Does this make ethical statements relative? In certain situations are they to be upheld, while in others downplayed? That argument can be used in different contexts. The logic behind ethics ...

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