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Moral Relativism and Moral Objectivism

In: Philosophy and Psychology

Submitted By MuleZ
Words 1601
Pages 7
Mulemwa M. Bruce – 26113171.
UNZA – 2009.
PHILOSOPHY – ETHICS

This essay is an endeavor to clarify, outline, explain and critically discuss the strengths and weaknesses of moral relativism. Every choice we make is due to each person’s individual morality and rationality. In this view, Norman (1988: 188) contends that, “Morality is premised on the assumption of individual responsibility.” Morality is concerned with the free choice of rational human beings, and not the non-rational. Louis (2002:28) further adds that morality, “Is just the set of common rules, habbits, and customs that have won social approval over time so that they seem part of things, like facts.”

Moral relativism shows that there are no absolute moral rules and each situation needs to be examined individually. Therefore moral relativism is the belief that morality does not relate to any absolute standards of right and wrong but good and bad are dependent on culture and circumstance or judgment paradigm. Thus different moral truths hold for different people from society to society or at different periods in time. The fact that some people see moral relativism as an obvious truth which is undeniable needs no preamble. Needless to mention, others perceive moral relativism as threatening to the moral foundation on which society is founded.

According to moral relativists there is nothing that is absolutely, invariably right or wrong, and there is no universal standard by which to measure our character or our actions. According to moral relativism, it is never true to say simply that a certain kind of behaviour is right or wrong, rather, it can only ever be true that a certain kind of behaviour is right or wrong relative to a specified society and time period. Different views or interpretations can be equally valid for different people (Beauchamp, 1982).

Moral relativism comes in two forms,...

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