He refers to this type of ethics as Quandary Ethics (QE) and raises some questions in criticisms of it. Pincoffs begins his piece by establishing a foundation and clarifying QE as opposed to classical ethics. Quandary ethics is defined as an attempt to provide rational grounds for difficult decisions to resolve perplexities that arise in problematic situations; "the ultimate relevance of ethics is to the resolution of problematic situations in which we fall," (191). QE is a newcomer because it does not deal with moral enlightenment, education, or the good for man as classic philosophies do; QE is based upon practicality and applicability and is less concerned with general rules or guidelines for moral behavior. He illustrates his point by comparing QE to Aristotle.
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.
If you reject one aspect of the law you surely reject it all. He also rejects Antinomianism on the basis of existentialist ethics which argues that reality is composed of singular events and moments in time. In advocating a situationist ethic Fletcher argued that it is not the 'primary precept' which is the bedrock for the 'secondary precept' but quite the reverse. It is in fact the individual and the situation that is the most important thing as it is the application of an ethical principle that makes an action good or evil. Within each context it is not the overriding 'primary precept' that is to be followed, but instead the law of love 'to do whatever is the most loving thing'.
yet, individual perception of the world by people prevents the possibility of an all-encompassing universal code of ethics. I believe along with Kant that we should develop a friendship and code to help our fellow man. We all have a duty to treat others the way we want to be treated. (Golden Rule) The one thing I disagree with is that we should not be punished for doing good deeds to those even though we might find ourselves backed into a corner when dealing with these individual problems. Overall dealing with Kant’s theory everyone should be truthful and abide by the universal code.
If the world did not have goodwill, then one may argue that no good can exist. Because people would not be willing to do good things unless for their own purposes. Harrison claims that,“A Kantian follower would say that the maxims are important because it gives us all a foundation for the differences between being morally good or bad”. If one can do an action in some sort that can be put into a universal maxim. Therefore, you are acting ethically.
Cultural Relativism and the Divine Command Theory both had a tough time explaining why culture and God had the rights to state what is considered moral behavior. Especially when you lay your trust on God to guide you on what is moral or not, you face dangerous risks because there is a possibility that God is just a make-believe person up in the sky. Hence, humans who follow God’s words can misinterpret his meanings and cause immoral behavior in society. On the other hand, Ethical Relativism appeals to an authority that is present on this in this world, society and cultures. Nevertheless, society and cultures should not be relied on to indicate moral and immoral behavior because it is questionable to believe that our actions become moral just for the reason that our culture or society accepts them as normal.
Kant argues that human reasoning is limited in its ability to provide an example of true morality. In his essay, he states that what humans perceive as good morals does not necessarily fit the conditions of what can be categorized as universal law of morality. Kant believes that people must hold morality not solely as an idea or set of exceptions but as an absolute idea (Kant 408). This absolute idea should be free of human rationalization in order to create a pure example. He believes this to be the case because within this form of rationalizing what is good from what is wrong there are often cases that stray away from true virtue such as human behavior.
Hume sees moral judgements as being caused by sentiments of pain or pleasure within an agent as reason alone can never motivate, whereas Kant see the only moral actions as being those caused by reason alone, or the categorical imperative. I think that both theories have a problem with coming up with absolute moral laws - Hume's theory because absolute morality would appear to be impossible if morality is based on an individual's sentiment, and Kant's theory because it cannot prove the existence of the categorical imperative.
Moral Relativism states, that the moral propositions are based on Ethical relativism is the theory that holds that morality is relative to the norms of one's culture. That is, whether an action is right or wrong depends on the moral norms of the society in which it is practiced. The same action may be morally right in one society but be morally wrong in another. For the ethical relativist, there are no universal moral standards that apply to all peoples at all times. Ethical relativism is the theory that holds that morality is relative to the norms of one's culture.
This is not an ideal situation because placing a slight neglect to a duty or obligation that you might not find appeal in defeats the purpose of completing all of the obligations set for us to go through with. Kant’s thesis has strength in the fact that the universal law seems closely related to the golden rule, which is do on to others as you would have others do on to you. With a statement as such it is awfully arduous to not perform a moral action. The weakness still lies in the fact Kant takes little to no consideration to humans’ natural emotions and feelings. Leading a moral life does not have to be a melancholy life, one in which you are bound to an endless amount of duties that you can seek no joy in.