Moral relativism

Reply Mon 27 Feb, 2006 11:08 am

Your argument makes perfect sense to me even if as Joe says you fail to establish the origin of "Moral Absolutism". In arguing with absolutists it is a fair bet that most of them believe morals to be of divine origin. Polkinghorne (Mathematical Physicist turned Anglican priest) argued as much on a BBC programme last year. He effectively said that we no longer need to account for causality, but we still need a deity to account for morals. This argument was countered by evolutionists who argued that moral values could be explained by an "altruism gene" which gave advantages for humans with long childhood dependency periods.

Irrespective of attempting to differentiate between esthetic and moral judgements relativism is clearly demonstrated in cases of "survival cannibalism" and similar extreme situations. In less extreme situations like the growing of opium or deforestation for profit we have relative scale of "moral domain" involved. Since microcutures or microsituations are the essence of cultural diversity, the case that "morality" is inherently relative seems sound.
0 Replies
Reply Mon 27 Feb, 2006 10:57 pm
Okay, so now I'm the head figure of the close-minded absolutist?
Hey if that's what you want to call me, then go ahead.

All moral relativism is doing, is stating how people can disagree on things and then claim that because there is a disagreement, there can be no valid point on a moral issue that is true. Moral relativism does not consider the objective requirement of a valid moral system, yet it is implying within its statement, that we ought to believe that we should not judge the morals of others, and thus posing its own objective moral criterion.
0 Replies
Reply Tue 28 Feb, 2006 10:19 am
Thing is, we cannot say one way or the other whether morality is relative or absolute, especially considering that distinctions between relative and absolute cannot be established or fixed.

Morality is relative to individuals in that morality originates from (supposed) individuals, but the source of morality symbolized in thought and feelings etc. is an unknown. I.e. what is it that gives meaning to thought, feelings or anything?

There may in fact only be ONE source of morality and it would not be an individual if the distinction between the individual and the whole breaks down upon inquiry.
0 Replies
Reply Sat 21 Feb, 2015 08:30 pm
I wonder if at times has anyone taken their perspective on the morality issue from a victim's point of view? Has anyone ever pondered what a victim may say about morality? "

I don't want to be killed, maimed, have my property taken from me or my possessions stolen."

I see that in many court cases a defense tactic to help mitigate the offense is to blame the victim.

I noticed that many of the example that are given concerning moral judgement or to test just how moral one is are about circumstance that rarely happen or applicable.


Your standing at street corner where a runaway Trolley car is speeding towards five unaware people. You have a chance to throw a switch that would lead the trolley car down another path but directly toward another person. What do you do...save the lives of five while sacrificing one?
How often does that scenario pop up?

I would guess that a person who worked for his bread would feel that he was wronged if he got robbed, even if the person who robbed him was in dire straits. I would bet that a person who was raped and murdered would have felt that they had been wronged.

I would ask a slave if he thought slavery was neither good or bad or right or wrong or fair and unjust in his culture while others prospered off his sweat and blood.

I would ask a culture that has a caste system or any system that oppressed it's masses, cutting off its nose to spite it's face, by denying education to its poor and those who might have the potential to improve and enrich that culture due to their actions or lack of action, was this not only a question of right and wrong but also if it was a question of wisdom?

In my opinion I think moral relativism can only serve to undermine any healthy effort to establish a set of codes that may best suit the majority of peoples well being...something we all have a valid and vested interest in.

0 Replies

Related Topics

How can we be sure? - Discussion by Raishu-tensho
Proof of nonexistence of free will - Discussion by litewave
morals and ethics, how are they different? - Question by existential potential
Destroy My Belief System, Please! - Discussion by Thomas
Star Wars in Philosophy. - Discussion by Logicus
Existence of Everything. - Discussion by Logicus
Is it better to be feared or loved? - Discussion by Black King
  1. Forums
  2. » Moral relativism
  3. » Page 5
Copyright © 2023 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.05 seconds on 03/26/2023 at 07:03:59