Moral Absolutism Vs Relativism Analysis

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Abstract: (1) This essay tries to describe moral absolutism versus relativism, (2) to ultimately defend moral relativism, arguing (3) that circumstance (whether social, historical, of human ingenuity, material) influences morality. (4) It raises potential critiques of the weakness of the relativist in making any firm, moral committments. (5) Misunderstandings of the relativist in this popular critique, and clarifications of the relativist position are addressed. (6) Followed by more consideration of the potentially self-contradictory nature of relativism, (7) which is again resolved. (8)In the end, moral relativism seems easier to defend as a more comprehensive perspective of morals becuase it considers, not just morals, but the people…show more content…
For example, killing is bad, love is good, worship is honorable, etc. Moral relativism, on the other hand, takes into consideration the person(s) who define those standards; and their relative position in time. Moral relativism asserts that what we define to be “good” or “bad” is not absolute but rather (one might say) subjective. ================================================== Is one of these moral perspectives more correct than another? World history shows endless room for debate. If I have to provide an answer in, perhaps, an absolutist fashion, I would say that moral relativism is more correct in its views of morality: for it doesn’t treat morals as absolute, given, ‘natural’ principles of right and wrong, beyond subject to change. Instead, it considers morals as human inventions, themselves (so to speak): made in a paricular time, in a particular place, in a particular mentality about the world. Morals are relative contrivances of what we would like to have happen, to some…show more content…
Of course this is not true relativism. It is absolutism, parading around under the banner of relativism. To seek that superiority is antithetical to the relativistic approach which forces one to question the point of view they assume when establishing a moral perspective. The pseudo-relativist who suddenly thinks their moral perspective is somehow ‘more-inclusive’ as well as ‘superior’ to others—needing no confrontation—is an absolutist to the core; convinced their own, ready-made understandings of right and wrong being beyond question, or contest. They no longer question their own position/point of view, or how this influences what they see as morally right or wrong; but assume their pseudo-relativism to somehow give them superior insight into all morals. Thus the absolutist critique of the relativist as self-contradictory is not a valid critique, unless one is merely talking about an absolutist who pretends to be a relativist, in name alone. ================================================== So it seems relativism is easier to defend, not if we treat it as prosribing values for us, in absolutist fashion, but as calling our values into question. Our morals are not beyond question, are not absolute, are subject to change with position.

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