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Critical Analysis of Ethical Relativism

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When it comes to moral dilemmas between cultures, there is a grey area that can sometimes make it difficult to resolve issues surrounding the dilemma. What is morality? How is it possible to know what is morally correct when cultures differ so vastly? To answer these questions, and many more regarding the moral dilemmas in the world, there are theories that have been developed to resolve them. One example is known as Ethical Relativism. Ethical Relativism has been developed on the basis that there is no common set of values that can apply to everyone, as there are an infinite number of cultures that exist and clash with each other. Morality is extremely relative, so the best way to solve a moral dilemma is by analysing the conditions of the specific culture to which it applies. In this paper, I will be discussing and analysing Ethical Relativism and the ways it can be applied to moral issues.
To truly understand the meaning of the the term Ethical Relativism, one must first break down the word itself. The first thing I asked myself was, “what is considered ethical?” Everyone has a set of morals or values that they have shaped for themselves, and it is these principles that guide our perception of how we view something as right or wrong. It is important to remember that what we personally perceive as ‘ethical’ can differ entirely from how another person views it. This is a factor when applying Ethical Relativism. The word ‘relative’ is an adjective used to describe something that is not absolute or independent. It is said that “pure relativism claims that there are no universal moral standards. One can distinguish this extreme position from a principle of moral ‘relativity’ that refers to the way some conditional features of a mo...

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...elativism provides is the best way to resolve the moral dilemmas caused by culture clash.

Works Cited
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Reno, R. R. "The Public Square." First Things: A Monthly Journal Of Religion & Public Life 227 (2012): 3-7. Religion and Philosophy Collection. Web. 24 Oct. 2013.
Vacek, Edward. "Conditions May Apply." Commonweal 138.5 (2011): 14-17. Religion and Philosophy Collection. Web. 25 Oct. 2013.
Welch, Patrick. "Moral Psychology And The Problem Of Moral Criteria." Journal Of Moral Education 40.4 (2011): 513-526. Religion and Philosophy Collection. Web. 2 Nov. 2013.
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