Relativism

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Moral relativism is the belief that morality does not relate to any absolute standards of morality to which everyone should comply with. It believes there are circumstances and situations in which actions or behaviour, that is usually considered to be 'wrong', can be considered 'right'. Many of these circumstances are to do with religion and cultures, traditions are frowned upon by outsiders but are acceptable to those within the culture, moral relativism respects their views and beliefs.

Moral relativism is the opposite of absolutism. Absolutism believes that there are right and wrong rules which apply to all people all the time. It also believes that an immoral act is intrinsically wrong; it is not made wrong because of its situation or results. An absolutist would not look at a situation from ones perspective; they would look at it objectively and not take into account the consequences. It is deontological as they believe it is ones duty to act in that specific way. Directly opposing absolutism, Fletcher says that no actions in themselves are wrong it is their results that make them wrong and it is love that decides the good from the bad. This love is known as 'Agape' and is a self giving love for all. A clear example of the difference is abortion. A young girl has been raped and is now pregnant with a child; however this child has multiple learning difficulties and is severely deformed. An absolutist would claim that killing is always wrong so therefore an abortion is the 'wrong' action to take. Whereas a relativist would want the outcome to be the most loving, in this case taking into account both sides of the argument (such as quality of life) it can be obviously seen that an abortion is the advisable route to take.

Part of Moral Relativism is cultural relativism; this encompasses morality and other areas like religious beliefs and socially acceptable behaviour. For example when a non Christian man enters a church he would be required to take off...
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