The Ethical Dilemma of Defining Moral Absolutes Essay

The Ethical Dilemma of Defining Moral Absolutes Essay

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When our ancestors began to develop cognitive thought, they began to compare themselves to one another in an attempt to decide what is morally permissible behavior, and what is not. Although, our global community has grown to be very large, and culturally diverse these same moral debates still linger in today’s society. Fundamentalist believe that there are absolute moral codes that apply to all societies. Inherently the fundamentalist view sounds like an ideal view that all cultures should respect. However, there are flaws in the fundamentalist views, who decides what is morally permissible and what is not. This is where the moral relativist view comes into play in an attempt to further define moral guidelines that are relative to the perspective of a society’s cultural norms and beliefs. Robert Fuller and Peter Berger both highlight the positive and negative merits of each ethical point of view and ultimately come to loosely the same conclusion, that neither view is an absolute answer to the question of cultural values and moral beliefs. While both theories do have their positive merits, they also have some flaws that can only be resolved through the implementation of a new perspective on universal moral principles. The definition of these moral absolutes needs to be refined to a basic moral principle that transcends all cultural beliefs.
Robert Fuller, came to the conclusion that neither fundamentalism nor relativism is a practical application of morality. He claims that both theories inherently have flaws. First, fundamentalist tend to have a close-minded attitude towards change, and he eludes to the point that without some change society would not have grown into the multicultural global community that we are today...


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...olutes then obviously the moral absolutes would be defined by whichever god you believe in. The definition of moral absolutes needs to be more refined to basic moral principles that apply to everyone. In which case, it would simply be a common belief shared by many cultures, to do no harm unless in an act of self-defense. This definition of moral absolutes gives basic moral guidelines that do not permit people to cause any kind of harm towards other people, and still allows cultures to define moral principles that are relative to the best interest of the individual culture.



Works Cited

Berger, P. L. (Ed.). (2010). Between relativism and fundamentalism: religious resources for a middle
position. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing.
Fuller, R. W. (2012). Religion and Science: A Beautiful Friendship?. Beyond Fundamentalism and
Relativism. Robert Fuller.

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