PHIL-240 --Mid-Term[1]

PHIL-240 --Mid-Term[1] - Mid-Term PHIL-240 Mid-Term A...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–4. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Mid-Term PHIL-240 December 17, 2007 Mid-Term A+
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Mid-Term PHIL-240 1. Describe and explain (both in technical terms and your own language) the meaning and significance of ethical relativism, ethical pluralism, and ethical absolutism. Ethical Relativism is described as a theory that states, “What is right” is defined as what the overall culture or society in a given area decides is right. This is the only criteria used to determine right and wrong under this theory. There are many different cultures, religions and diverse groups in the United States and the world for that matter. Because of this, what might be right in one area might be perceived as wrong in another and vice-versa. Ethical relativism stipulates the way people ought to behave, whereas another term, “cultural relativism” describes the way people actually behave. A person that subscribes to the theory of Ethical Relativism will state that "right" and "wrong" have no consistent meaning. Ethical Relativism maintains validity in the sense that the theory is clearly utilized. However, it is contradictory to say that the same practice is considered right in one society and considered wrong in another. If "right" and "wrong" have a consistent meaning, then the terms must be used in the same manner, thus creating a contradiction of terminology. Also, a person who follows the ideology behind ethical relativism   often seems to feel that "right" and "wrong" have no consistent meaning and that words reflect only emotion or perhaps the traditional use of language. This brings into play another term, ethical subjectivism. This is an idea wherein a person decides what is good or bad based on their own personal beliefs of good or bad. I feel this clearly outlines the main purpose of ethical relativism, “You are right, because I say (feel) you are right!” 2
Background image of page 2
Mid-Term PHIL-240 Ethical absolutism comes in many versions--including the divine right of kings. Ethical absolutism is less about what we believe and more about how we believe it. Some common elements are, there is a single truth and their position embodies that truth. Under the theory of ethical absolutism it is understood that we need to make judgments and certain things are intolerable. This theory also includes the ideas that “our truth is the truth” and that “we can’t learn from others.” These are considered the major “wrongs” in this theory. An ethical absolutist would believe what's good for the goose is good for the gander. They believe that “right is right” and “wrong is wrong” regardless of the situation. For example, they would believe that the death penalty and torture are wrong, and that's that. National security, prevention of future crimes and the actual original crimes committed by a person are of little concern to someone under this theory, since a preconceived notion of right and wrong has already been outlined. Those with ethical relativists (above) theory abide by a different standard for every situation. Ethical pluralism
Background image of page 3

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Image of page 4
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

This note was uploaded on 06/25/2008 for the course PHILOS 240 taught by Professor Johnson during the Spring '08 term at Ohio State.

Page1 / 8

PHIL-240 --Mid-Term[1] - Mid-Term PHIL-240 Mid-Term A...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 4. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online