What Are The Main Moral Quandaries In Relation To Moral Relativism? Especially Given Increasing Globalisation, Is Moral Relativism A Suitable Solution To Moral Conflicts Between Cultures?

2101 words - 9 pages

Let me begin with a definition of 'moral relativism'. It is the acceptance that there are no standards of what is right or wrong that apply to all people at all times in history. For example, the ability for one group to pass judgment on any situation, when the same situation would be treated differently by another group. Thus showing that different persons have different perspectives on what is morally right or wrong. Moral relativists hold that no universal standard exists by which to assess an ethical proposition's truth, moral subjectivism is therefore the opposite of moral absolutism. Moral absolutism is the position that there are absolute standards against which moral questions can ...view middle of the document...

However, there is already a flaw in moral relativism, it seems to be inconsistent when it states that there are no universal truth, stating the judgment as if it were a universal truth. Thus, a statement 'that there are no universal truths' is actually self refuting by implying that the same statement can both be true or false or both. Philip Hugly and Charles Sayward use an example of 'native of India and a native of Lincoln, Nebraska. The former says, "Killing this cow for human consumption is wrong". The latter replies, "I disagree, it is not wrong". These statements cannot be both true and false. Hugly and Sayward use the 'truth value relativism' and 'content relativism' to ease this quandary and go on to say that 'truth value relativism is the best version of relativism.'We can get no truth value from the content of an assertion until we fix the judge relative to whom it is true.Subjectivism is the extreme end of relativism. This view holds that morality is determined at the individual level, not a social or universal level. Therefore, the only moral principles that are valid are the ones you believe in, and basically all principles are equally valid. The quandary with this view is how can a society or individual judge the behaviour of another if all socially accepted behaviours or personal moral principles are valid? The answer is that it can't. A relativist uses the notion of tolerance. The problem with tolerance argument is that we all have to be tolerance of people's opinions if they truly believe in them, making their opinion morally right. If a person truly believes in intolerance and that intolerant behaviour is acceptable then according to moral relativism it is morally right. According to the tolerance argument if a racist feels that be does not what to be tolerant of other races and goes around killing them off but truly feels that that he is doing is right then to a moral relativist we must be tolerant of opinion. The tolerance argument does not seem to be helping persuade a person towards moral relativism. However, Hugh LaFollette has the view that 'We should not merely tolerate diversity, we should embrace it; we should seek exposure to views different from our own; we should encourage variety of thought and action. Otherwise we will stagnate; we will fail to achieve our human potential.' He derives this thought following his reading of Mills 'On Liberty'.Moralities differ in each society, serving a functional purpose that is unique to the factors that comprise the area. The differences of all aspects of life are considered when morals are being produced. Society values are developed in order to ensure prosperity, stability and harmony; when the values are threatened, so is the good of the society. In order to maintain social balance, all members are forced to conform to these values. Those who choose to disobey societal maxims are banished or ostracized from the community. Social codes benefit the individual, too, they are ...


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