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Moral & Cultural Relativism - Essay Example

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Name: Course: Tutor: Date: Moral and Cultural Relativism Relativism Relativism refers to the view that there are no standard guidelines of defining a concept. To develop a clear understanding on the concept of relativism, we may apply a simple illustration on the context of a science like mathematics and food taste…
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Moral & Cultural Relativism
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Moral & Cultural Relativism

Download file to see previous pages... One person may hold the opinion that strawberry flavor is sweeter than a Vanilla flavor. According to that person, no reasoning can be applied to decide whether his opinion concerning the taste is right or wrong. In this case, the opinions concerning ice cream tastes are relative. In the context of mathematics, when one presents a calculation like 3+3=5, we term the situation as wrong. We do not say that the calculations depend on the taste and perception of the person doing it but we say that the person is wrong. In this case, there are clearly defined standards that differentiate right from wrong. This mathematical example amounts to a context of absolutism. When extended to the contexts of morality, these contexts lead to the aspects of moral relativism and moral absolutism (Rauchut 349). Moral Relativism vs. Moral Absolutism Moral relativism advocates that there are no universal or defined moral standards governing social situations within any given social setting. Moral relativists advocate that there are no moral codes of conducts which apply universally at all times. With respect to this assertion, no one can say that someone is wrong or right because such a claim would amount to judging people based on some standards, which is contrary to the ideas of moral relativism. ...
In the context of morality, absolutism asserts that moral codes of conduct are relevant at all times, regardless of the situation surrounding the same moral codes. However, moral absolutism allows for flexibility when evaluating morally violated contexts. Absolutists usually allow for the reasoning on the code of conduct with respect to the situation under consideration. For example, according to moral absolutism, the act of killing is wrong. However, the situation surrounding the action might justify the action as appropriate, but not as right. Therefore, moral absolutism acknowledges the existence of universal moral principles everywhere in the world (Rauchut 361). Arguments for Moral Absolutism In the context of morality, I will stand for the aspect of moral absolutism, and stand against moral relativism. In moral absolutism, one can judge a situation as right or wrong, irrespective of the situation under consideration. In the context of social interactions within any given human population, there are situations which are guided by some set of moral principles. For example, stealing is wrong. It is natural to see a parent disciplining a child because the child has stolen from a neighbor. According to absolutism, the act of stealing is based on the unnecessary economic predicament caused by that action to the victim. Therefore, moral principles advocate that it is absolutely wrong to steal, irrespective of the situation. If moral relativism were applied in such a situation, it would argue that the parent should not judge the child as right or wrong by the act of stealing; hence the child would not have been punished. Therefore, moral absolutism helps in developing ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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