Good Essays
Topics: Morality
“All ethical statements are relative.”
(By examining the justification for and implication of making this claim, decide whether or not you agree with it).
The term ‘ethical’ can be defined as ‘morally correct’, however this leads to the question of what do we define as ‘morals’? A ‘moral’ can be simply defined as ‘concerned with the principles of right and wrong behaviour and the goodness or badness of human character’. The word ‘relative’ refers to something, which is ‘considered in relation or in proportion to something else’. There is no doubt that different people have different reasons for their actions in life, (which are usually based on their personal principles and beliefs). However, the question is whether we as fellow humans share commonly accepted ethical judgements?
The statement ‘All ethical statements are relative’ brings us to the term ‘moral relativism’. A concise description of this theory is that our values are determined by the society we grow up in, and there are no universal values. In other words moral values are subject to a specific culture they are merely customs and conventions that vary from culture to culture. One argument, which proves this theory, is the fact of diversity of moral values. This refers to the wide array of cultural practices (many of them according to the majority would appear unsettling and barbaric) for example cultures where slavery is legal, killing adulterers and some as extreme as cannibalism. Therefore in support of the idea that all ethical statements are relative we can conclude that because the societies, in which such ‘barbaric’ customs take place, see nothing wrong with their practices, then like beauty, morality, is subject to the independent individual. The second argument for moral relativism implies that moral values have a lack of foundation because there is no independent ‘moral reality’ with which we can verify or falsify our

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