To many that’s the key understanding to morality, However in ethics some say it is in actuality a myth. The difference between right or wrong is strictly a matter of human opinion not culture. There are many probable reasons why most people view moral decisions objectively. For Example, When talking about cultural differences there are many fundamental ideas such as “Different cultures have different moral codes“. Many also argue that there is no objective “Truth” in morality, right and wrong are only matters of an opinion which is different from culture to culture().
Deontologists create concrete distinctions between what is moral right and wrong and use their morals as a guide when making choices. Deontologists generate restrictions against maximizing the good when it interferes with moral standards. Also, since deontologists place a high value on the individual, in some instances it is permissible not to maximize the good when it is detrimental to yourself. For example, one does not need to impoverish oneself to the point of worthlessness simply to satisfy one’s moral obligations. Deontology can be looked at as a generally flexible moral theory that allows for self-interpretation but like all others theories studied thus far, there are arguments one can make against its reasoning.
In his essay, “The Challenge of Cultural Relativism,” James Rachels argues that cultural relativism is an unsatisfactory moral theory because it is based upon an invalid argument, if cultural relativism were true, this would have some troubling and implausible consequences, and there are some moral rules common to all societies. In this short paper, I will argue that moral objectivism is a more satisfactory moral theory than ethical relativism. Vaughn first defines ethical relativism by stating that moral standards are not objective, but are relative to what individuals or cultures believe (Vaughn 13). Rachels says that cultural relativism states “that there is no such thing as universal truth in ethics; there are only various cultural codes,
Are there no universal moral truths? In response, conventional ethical relativism puts forth the notion that there are indeed no objective moral truths. In other words, “there are no absolute or objective moral standards that apply to all people everywhere”, which would make all moral beliefs justified as a result of cultural relativism (98, 100). Another response to this moral dilemma would be that moral objectivism still holds because morals
But to grant that rule-responsibility is socially essential does not grant that it is the essence of morality. QE is flawed as it reduces the topic of moral character to the topic of conscientiousness or rule-responsibility, but it gives no account of the role of the character as a whole in moral deliberation and it excludes questions of character that are not directly concerned with the resolution of problems. Taking into account the criticisms of modern ethical theory I have discussed, it is clearly evident that an ethical theory shaped in light of these criticisms would be very similar to virtue ethics, emphasizing character and centering around the question, "how should I live? ".
This same action may be morally right in one society but be completely morally wrong in another society. For the ethical relativist, there are no such things as universal moral standards, which are standards that can be universally applied to all people at any time. The only moral standards against which a society's practices can be judged are its own. A common criticism to ethical relativism is that it fails to recognize that some societies have better reasons for holding their views than others. Just because one society or culture comes to an implicit agreement about what their morals are going to be doesn’t mean that those morals are morally acceptable.
However, the formulation is quite different in that from a wide range of human habits, individual opinions drive the culture toward distinguishing normal “good” habits from abnormal “bad” habits. The takeaway is that both theories share the guiding principle that morality is bounded by culture or society. Implicit in the basic formulations for both theories, the moral code of a culture is neither superior nor inferior to any another. The codes of individual cultures are just different and there is no standard or basis upon which to perform any type of comparison. Therefore, under both theories, the lack of standards across cultures implies that attempts to judge relative correctness or incorrectness between them cannot be justified.
Any individual who attempts to formulate an objective set of values will always fail, because the prism through which they analyze the world will inevitably be marred by their own experiences and perspectives. Therefore, moral standards are actually cultural standards, and nothing more. Cultural Relativism posits that there are no universal ethical truths, only various cultural codes. Cultural relativism is a theory about the nature of morality. (489) One proposition of this theory states that, “it is mere arrogance for us to try to judge the conduct of other peoples.
The cultural differences argument goes like this; 'Different cultures have different moral codes, thus there is no one correct set of moral claims, only those that conform to the major set of beliefs within the given culture'. Firstly I am going to look at James Rachel's (in 'The Elements of Moral Philosophy', Ch.2) analysis of this argument, and secondly I would lie to give my assessment of the argument. Rachel's argues that this argument is not logical, as the conclusion does not follow from the factual premise. The premise makes an assertion about differences in moral beliefs. The conclusion makes an assertion about the nature of moral facts or truths.
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.