Ethical Relativism In Schindler's List

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Ethical relativism is the belief that actions are right or wrong depending on the norms of a society. Ethical relativists decide on a moral issue by taking into account societal norms and mob mentality, not deciding what is absolutely right or wrong. The Nazis in Schindler’s List are ethical relativists because they judge what is right or wrong according to their society and the Nazi Party. Since they were young, the Nazi’s were taught to believe that the Jews were animals, not human beings. If the young Nazi’s in training questioned this or did not agree, they were punished and seen as a traitor to Germany. In Schindler’s List, it can easily be seen that the Nazi’s are ethical relativists. The Nazi soldiers only believe what they are told by their superiors and what is said in the community. In the movie, the Nazis believe they are just, because their country and society says what they are doing is right. An example of absolute relativism in Schindler’s List is when Goeth tells his soldiers to kill the Jewish foreman on a construction project. At first, the soldier hesitates and suggests she is valuable because she is the foreman. Goeth argues and overrides the soldier, commanding him to “shoot her.” Although the soldier who kills the young foreman seems to hesitate, he ends up shooting the woman because in his mind, he believes it is morally right.…show more content…
The Nazi’s did not leave a single person alive and showed no mercy. The Nazi’s killed the innocent Jews, because they believed they were right and did not feel guilty. Even though they did not like killing at times; on that night Goethe says how he “wishes this night would be over,” they still killed because it was right in the eyes of their society. This killing of innocent people, due to the fact that society believes they are evil, shows that the Nazi’s in the movie are ethical
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