This paper will debate advantages and disadvantages of both moral relativism and deontology. I will argue against moral relativism by showing that deontology gives a better account of our moral intuitions than moral relativism. I will use examples from the film The Ballad of Narayam, and James Rachels The Challenge of Cultural Relativism to illustrate why moral relativism should be rejected, and deontology should be accepted.
Moral relativism takes the position that moral and/or ethical propositions do not reflect universal moral standards. Moreover, moral relativism takes the position that moral truths reflect those of social, cultural, and historical circumstances. It is a sociological fact that different societies have different sets of moral rules. Moral relativism is a theoretical view of morality, which states that right and wrong are always relative to a particular culture. For example, moral rules of a specific culture determines that there is no meaning to the words right or wrong other than what the culture dictates as right or wrong. Moral relativism is unique, such that peoples beliefs about right and wrong are relative to their social conditioning, that is, what people determine as truly or morally right depends on what the individual, or society believes to be right. Moral relativism is not absolute, meaning ethical truths depend on variables such as culture, social, or historical circumstances. Thus, a moral realist must even admit truth in the sociological fact that different societies have different sets of moral rules, however, a moral realist must deny that right and wrong are always determined by what the culture dictates as right or wr...
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...ause of old age. For that matter, one could argue that children are a burden on their parents, or even take it to a larger level and say that mentally ill, handicapped, or temporarily ill individuals are a burden and should be discarded. Cultures, societies, and beliefs are constantly changing, and thus, there needs to be a universal law that determines codes of ethics and morals.
Deontology provides such an answer. Deontology uses reason, logic, and the categorical imperative to determine what is ethically and morally right. It allows for a universal code to be established, so that changes among cultures, societies, and countries do not impede laws of ethics and morals. Ethics of morals are universal truths. They should not be dependent o the current societal whim. Deontology, unlike moral relativism, focuses on reason and logic, and recognizes universal truths.
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