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Ethical Relativism: Why Are Moral Truths?

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We might say that killing another person for absolutely no reason is wrong. But why is it seen that way? Is it because we as individuals or as a society believe it to be wrong? Or is it because there are objective rules of the universe that would be true whether or not we thought it was wrong? Some people believe that morals are not universal and rather that the moral action depends on societal or individual opinions. It is obvious that people and societies have different beliefs on what is right and what is wrong, but does that change what is moral? Therefore, the question is: Are there any moral truths that remain constant regardless of opinions? Ethical Objectivism is based on the belief that there are moral truths of the universe that…show more content…
This is simply morality strictly based on opinion. There are two types of ethical relativism: conventionalism and subjectivism. Conventionalism is morality relative to social opinions, while subjectivism is morality relative to an individual’s opinion. These two forms of ethical relativism essentially are the same. We base the majority of our opinions around what the rest of our society believes. And we base our societal opinions on what most individuals believe. In this way, they are intertwined and influence each other. We can see in some cultures, like in China, that people take care of their elderly family members and live with them up until their death. And to deny your elders from living with you would be completely disrespectful and for our purposes, could be considered the wrong or immoral. But in other cultures like the United States, we do not do this. Typically we only live with our spouse and children. Very few people in the United States would say it was immoral to live without their elders, but instead put them in a retirement home. This is just one example of how morals are different in different cultures. Relativists would say that every culture has its own morals of which, many…show more content…
Not anyone can just decide that they are doing the moral thing. The moral thing is what is good. This means that not everyone will agree on what is moral or good. This calls for a set of rules that we do not influence. Moral truths are necessary to establish a sense of what is good. In my opinion, there are numerous flaws that come about when ethical relativism is practiced. For example, as discussed before, killing for no apparent reason would be considered wrong by almost any person. However, using ethical relativism, we could conclude that killing an innocent person for no reason is actually moral. Subjectivism states that individuals determine for themselves what is right. And therefore, if in a person’s mind, they think it is moral to kill someone, subjectivism says that in this case, it is completely admissible. But, for another person in the exact same situation except if they thought killing was wrong, then killing this person is not moral. This is completely counterintuitive. The same exact situation is presented except how each person views killing, and we come to two opposite conclusions that are both moral. Another example is regarding slavery. The concept of slavery, to most people, is atrocious. However, 200 years ago, many people thought slavery was completely acceptable. In the eyes of relativist, it was completely moral in 1820 to enslave someone in Alabama but immoral in 2016 to do so. Again, the same