Moral Relativism vs Moral Objectivism

Moral Relativism vs Moral Objectivism - Consider the debate...

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Consider the debate between moral relativist and moral objectivist in the Benedict and Rachels articles. Which view of morality do you find to be more plausible? In today’s world, morality has become a very important issue. Despite the advancement in technology and many other aspects of human life, modern society is still fraught with wrongdoings, unethical decisions, crimes, and even inhumanity. Everyday humans take actions that have effects and they then try to define those actions as morally right or wrong. But what is right and what is wrong? This fact has leveraged the importance of realizing what is right and what is wrong, which brings morality to the forefront of this search. The problem is that morality is not something definite. Some people think that morality is objective, and some people believe that it is relative. The former therefore think that morality and the concepts of right and wrong are universal and the latter believe that morality is different from case to case and it is relative to social, cultural or even personal criteria. Many philosophers have argued for and against both arguments and therefore the question of which view of morality seems more plausible arises. In my opinion there is no clear answer for this question. I have come to believe that while moral standards may differ from person to person or culture to culture, there also seem to be some universal standards for what is right and what is wrong. Therefore, I believe that morality is neither objective, nor relative, but it is more of a combination of the two. As I mentioned above, moral objectivism refers to the notion that morality and beliefs about what is right and what is wrong are universal. This means that every culture, every country, every race would be subject to the same rules of morality and to the same
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criteria for what is right and what is wrong. Given the vastness of Earth, it is impossible for such rules and beliefs to have been communicated from one culture to another, so this means that they would have to come from human nature itself, or from some aspect of human life that is identical across the globe. Beliefs that can be derived from human nature include beliefs about how a man should live, how he should behave in reaction to his environment and how he should interact with other people. He would therefore know that killing another man is wrong, because as a species we pursue our survival and killing each other will prevent this. He would also know that he must take care of his offspring to ensure that his heritage will continue. Such beliefs come from the fact that we are human and we are hardwired to behave in ways that ensure the survival of the species and the promotion of our genetic information. Apart from these general rules though, today there are many more beliefs that are similar across cultures. For example in the United States people believe that it is wrong for a married man to have an affair, and this belief can also be found in many more cultures across the world. This may not directly affect
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This essay was uploaded on 04/07/2008 for the course PHIL 001 taught by Professor Susanschneider during the Fall '06 term at UPenn.

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Moral Relativism vs Moral Objectivism - Consider the debate...

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