Ethical Relativism

Topics: Morality, Ethics, Truth Pages: 4 (1054 words) Published: May 17, 2010
Ethical Relativism/Subjectivism

11/09/2006 08:05 AM

Ethical Relativism/Subjectivism
Subjective, inter-subjective, and objective claims: A claim or judgment is subjective if its truth depends on whether or not it conforms to the tastes, attitudes, and beliefs of the claimer (the person making the claim). o Example: “Anchovies taste yummy.” (a matter of taste) A claim or judgment is inter-subjective if its truth depends on whether or not it conforms to the beliefs, attitudes, and conventions of the group to which the claimer belongs. o Example: “It is rude to belch at the dinner table.” (a matter of custom) A claim or judgment is objective if its truth does NOT depend on whether it conforms to the beliefs or attitudes of any group or individual. o Example: “The earth is spherical.” (a matter of fact) State whether the following are subjective, inter-subjective, or objective: · “It’s not normal to feel good after murdering innocent people.” (inter-subjective) · “Sailing in the open ocean is a pleasant experience.” (subjective) · “The boiling point of water is 100°C.” (objective) · “The time it takes to travel from earth to another planet, 20 light-years away, at 50% of the speed of light is 10 years.” · “The Mona Lisa is the most beautiful painting put to canvas.” (subjective) Ethical relativism is the view that ALL moral claims are inter-subjective. Conventional ethical relativism, a more specific type of ethical relativism, holds that the moral conventions of a culture determine what it is right and wrong for the members of that culture to do. On this view, seemingly conflicting moral judgments can be equally correct when made from within different cultural contexts. o (Consider the claim “It is wrong to eat beef,” which is true from within orthodox Hinduism but false from within certain other cultures.) It claims that moral reformers are simply misguided and that moral progress is impossible. It claims that there is little, if any, point to moral argument...
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