Moral Relativism and Problems Associated With this Philosophy

Good Essays
Moral relativists believe that no one has the right to judge another individuals choice, decisions, or lifestyle because however they choose to live is right for them. In addition everyone has the right to their own moral beliefs and to impose those beliefs on another individual is wrong. At first glance moral relativism may appear ideal in allowing for individual freedom. After all why shouldn’t each individual be entitled to their own idea of moral values and why should others force their beliefs on anyone else. “American philosopher and essayist, Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), tells us, what is right is only what the individual thinks is right. There is no higher court of appeals, no higher, universal, or absolute moral standard.” (pg 121) Moral relativism means if does not feel wrong than it must be right.

While moral relativism may seem appealing due to the fact that if and individuals behavior feels right to them than it is right for them. When applying this position of morals to everyday situations it revealed to be a fairy tale in search of individualism. Unless everyone lives in a bubble where they have no interaction with anyone else moral relativism is just not pragmatic. Consider if you were mugged, during the altercation, you were beaten, injured and your personal belongings were stolen. After applying moral relativism to this situation, the conclusion is that the person who mugged you did absolutely nothing wrong. The person you feel may have violated you as an individual felt that their actions were right. Why would this person submit you to this behavior? This not a question that a moral relativist would ask because they have no right to influence or question another’s moral values. In addition t...

... middle of paper ...

...ativist cannot say that it is wrong. This particular scenario insinuates that a parent who is a moral relativist would not want to force her personal beliefs on her child and would respect whatever the child feel is right.

As stated above a world where everyone is right, is but a fairytale of inevitable chaos. The appealing yet misleading idea that we can live peacefully in a world full of moral relativist is undoubtedly nothing more than an illusion. When everyone is right in their actions no one will be held accountable for their behavior or anything that is a direct cause of their conduct. A community without wrong can never be right. Therefore moral relativity will never be a realistic moral position that can be applied to communities, nations or worldwide. If this position ever became a moral norm life as we know it would soon be filled with anarchy.
Get Access