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.
Contrastingly to both, meta-ethics is the study of the meaning of ethics itself, gauging the meaning of ethical language, and taking into consideration the authority of moral claims and the effects of personal preference. Bearing this in mind, it is possible to note that meta-ethical theory poses questions such as 'Can we define which action is 'good', 'bad', 'right', or 'wrong'?' and again, 'Is it possible to give a definition to 'good', 'bad', 'right', or 'wrong' in themselves?' Admittedly, all four of these words are related from a moral point of view. But, if we could measure 'good' completely and accurately, then we would be able to mea... ... middle of paper ... ...tion.
These moral rules and principles are otherwise known as "rules of conduct.” A theory is a structured set of statements used to explain (or predict) a set of facts or concepts. A moral theory, then, explains why a certain action is wrong -- or why we ought to act in certain ways. In short, it is a theory of how we determine right and wrong conduct. Also, moral theories provide the framework upon which we think and discuss in a reasoned way, and so evaluate, specific moral issues. In presenting a moral theory, are we merely describing how people, in their everyday 'doings' and 'thinkings,' form a judgement about what is right and wrong.
Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall. Sinnott-Armstrong, W. (2003, 5 20). Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Retrieved 3 15, 2011, from Consequentialism : http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/consequentialism/ Taliaferro, C. (2010, 4 27). stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.