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If there are deep differences in the moral standards of different cultures, what implications would this have for the nature of morality - Essay Example

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Moral relativism, according to an online article entitled Moral Relativism, is the view that ethical standards of right or wrong are culturally-based and are therefore subject to one’s individual choice. This means that moral statements vary from one person to another, and all…
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If there are deep differences in the moral standards of different cultures, what implications would this have for the nature of morality
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The Consequences of Moral Relativism Year Level, Section Academic – Moral Relativism: Definition Moral relativism, according to an online article entitled Moral Relativism, is the view that ethical standards of right or wrong are culturally-based and are therefore subject to one’s individual choice. This means that moral statements vary from one person to another, and all these statements are equally valid, as highlighted in another online article entitled Moral Relativism – Neutral Thinking? This, according to The Definition of Moral Relativism, is based on the idea that there is no objective standard of good or evil. Therefore, moral subjectivism and not moral absolutism becomes the central tenet of this philosophical belief. In this light, all persons are entitled to decide what is right for them. Thus, an act becomes true for one person if he or she believes it to be so.
Moral relativism is a widely held position in a post-modern world, especially in places where people use it to excuse or allow certain actions. Furthermore, moral relativism comes in several forms: utilitarianism, evolutionism, existentialism, ‘emotivism’, and ‘situationism’. All of these variations of moral relativism share a single unifying theme, as highlighted in Moral Relativism – Neutral Thinking?, that rightness or wrongness is a product of human preference, which highly depends on cultural and historical circumstances.
Consequences of Moral Relativism
According to another online article entitled Book Review: Morality Matters, there are four essential consequences of moral relativism to human societies: cross-cultural criticism, intra-cultural criticism, intra-cultural conflict, and moral degradation.
Firstly, cross-cultural conflict points at the difficulty of judging morally objectionable acts of one culture, such as murder and terrorism. Although such acts are inherently and naturally abhorred by human nature, these acts are deemed to be beyond the evaluation of another culture. Secondly, intra-cultural criticism underscores the problem in consulting one’s ethical standards to the moral codes of society since, more often than not, these codes are subject to the ruler’s subjective viewpoints which may be logically and morally erroneous. Thirdly, intra-cultural conflict states the impossibility of solving disagreements within a culture since all beliefs are morally equal. Thus, choosing one belief over another is difficult for there is no moral standard. Lastly, moral degradation claims that the perfection of moral standards is hardly attainable since it is the cultural circumstance and not the conceptual quality of the moral code that defines the fate of morality.
These examples point at the fact that moral relativism can wreak havoc on societies. Thus, as posited in Moral Relativism – Neutral Thinking?, if every person acts as though right and wrong were purely matters of opinion, society will then implode into a battle of ‘might makes right’. Therefore, in a relativistic culture, it is enough to ensure that one’s actions do not go against another person’s, however ethically unsound those actions objectively are. Thus, it is the circumstance of an act, and not its objective quality, that becomes the ‘standard’ of human action, as stated in an online article entitled The Philosophical Issue Moral Relativism.
Conclusion
In conclusion, it can be said that moral relativism ultimately affects how the person views human nature. Indeed, with the absence of an absolute and infinite standard, finding one’s purpose in life is nearly impossible. It is definitely difficult to find true and lasting meaning in a culture where all meanings constantly change.
Works Cited:
“Moral Relativism”. Moral-Relativism.com. Moral-Relativism, 2005. Web. 27 Mar 2012.
“Moral Relativism – Neutral Thinking?” AllAboutPhilosophy.org. All About Philosophy, 2012. Web. 27 Mar 2012.
“The Definition of Moral Relativism”. Importanceofphilosophy.com. Jeff Landauer and Joseph Rowlands, 2001. Web. 27 Mar 2012.
“Book Review: Morality Matters”. Atheismabout.com. Austin Cline, 2012. Web. 27 Mar 2012.
“The Philosophical Issue Moral Relativism”. Essortment.com. Demand Media, 2011. Web. 27 Mar 2012. Read More
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