Ethical Reasoning

Topics: Culture, Truth, Relativism Pages: 3 (729 words) Published: December 5, 2012
Rejection of Relative Claims and Acceptance of Objectivism

Curtlers reasons for rejecting ethical relativism and subjectivism are many. However, before I discuss these reasons it is important to note that there are several forms of arguments. One being cultural relativism that makes statements based on an individuals culture. Another form that is closely related to relativism is subjectivism. Subjectivists make statements based on their individual beliefs as well as accounting for context. Subjectivists ethical decisions may differ based on their personal opinions. Lastly objectivism claim that there is an absolute ethical truth that exists independent of us almost like a “one-size-fits all” ethical truth. However we are just not intelligent or rational enough to perceive it.

Most ethical disputes are between attitudes, interests, and desires. These are all relative to the individual and can therefore be only argued subjectively. For example, if I were to say that Vladimir Lenin’s theories on the “perfect government” were wrong because I think Lenin was a bad guy, That would be my opinion and thus would be a relative/ subjectivist’s claim. Curtler argues that these opinions might not be applicable to cultures outside of our own.

Herein lies the problem with the relativist’s point of view. Their position is subjective and therefore cannot hold water across cultures because every culture is different. Furthermore, who is to say that only one persons view is correct, each person grows up in a different society with different cultural norms and therefore may have conflicting views on what is right and wrong. This eliminates the possibility of determining with certainty what a “correct” view might be.

Relativists recognize that ethics is very subjective and therefore just because ones cultural values are similar to another persons doesn’t make them correct. However, relativists generally relate best to people within their own culture...
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