Ethical relativism - Research Paper Example

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In the paper “Ethical relativism” the author analyzes ethical relativism as a situation where morals are not absolute, that right and wrong vary from one society to another. It is a situation where ethics are judged, not by the universal norms, but by a circumstance calls for ethical clarification…
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Ethical relativism
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Download file to see previous pages There are often chances where what s considered morally right in one culture might be considered wrong in another, an example being the situation of homosexuality. While in the western world, homosexuality is an accepted norm in society, in other parts of the world, especially in Africa and Middle East, one would find that this practice is frowned upon, and those found in the act tend to be severely punished. Therefore, when it comes to the concept of ethical relativism, the opinion of what is acceptable or wrong is not by what the world thinks, but by the society within which the situation develops.
One of the advantages of ethical relativism is the fact that a broad range of views concerning morals is taken into consideration. Since there is a wide variety of cultures and practices, it is easier for one to adapt to any situation that one may encounter (Moore). Moreover, ethical relativism promotes cultural understanding, which ensures that people are judged, not according to the opinions of other people, but according to that of their own cultures and societies. Since it is the society, which judges what is good or bad, the people within it have a clear understanding of what is required of them and, therefore, easily adhere to its norms. Ethical relativism allows people to adapt ethically as the norms of their societies change over time, and this ensures a smooth transition. Therefore, ethical relativism can be said to be considerate of the varying cultural norms of different societies....
Moreover, ethical relativism promotes cultural understanding, which ensures that people are judged, not according to the opinions of other people, but according to that of their own cultures and societies. Since it is the society, which judges what is good or bad, the people within it have a clear understanding of what is required of them and, therefore, easily adhere to its norms. Ethical relativism allows people to adapt ethically as the norms of their societies change over time, and this ensures a smooth transition. Therefore, ethical relativism can be said to be considerate of the varying cultural norms of different societies. The main disadvantage of ethical relativism is that good and bad is relative and since these can only be applied to societies, it is difficult to apply it on a universal basis. According to this concept, the truth varies from one situation to another, and this may create a dilemma because this truth can be twisted to serve the purposes of the few who would benefit from it. It can be said that just because some people or society think that something is right does not make it right. For example, the institution of slavery is wrong; however, just because a few people believed that it was right, it was maintained in the United States long after its declaration of independence from Britain. It can further be said that while slavery may have been right two centuries ago in America, it is currently not acceptable. Ethical relativism does not consider the fact that certain values are universal and cannot be put aside just because some people believe that they are doing the right thing (Cimagala 1). In conclusion, one would state that ethical relativism, despite having ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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