Who decides what is ethical and what is moral? There are no standards of conduct that everyone in the world agrees upon. There are different religions, cultures and ethnicities in this world and because of that; there will most likely never be a day where everyone finds everything that someone else does to be ethical or moral. Since there can never be a universal standard for morality and ethical behavior for people everywhere, we must stop judging people by looking through the lenses of our culture or society . We must judge a person and his actions by the standards of his culture or society. An action one person considers being justifiable behavior may not be the same case for another person. When cultures and religions cross paths that do not approve of each other actions, our job is to attempt to understand the actions, the reason behind the actions, and the consequences that occur because of that action.
A person may ask himself, “How do I decide what is right and what is wrong?” There are three theories that assist in trying to answer that question. The three theories are ethical relativism, cultural relativism, and ethical absolutism. According to the New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, ethical relativism is “the belief that nothing is objectively right or wrong and that the definition of right or wrong depends on the prevailing view of a particular individual, culture, or historical period.” (Dictionary.com) In understandable terms, ethical relativism tells someone that standards of conduct and ways of doing things differ from society to society. As stated by the previously used dictionary, cultural relativism is “a concept that cultural norms and values derive their meaning within a specific soc...
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...can act of tipping as disrespectful if that is what he believes it to be according to his universal moral code.
In conclusion, there will never be a universal standard for morality and ethical behavior for people everywhere. We must stop judging people by looking through the lenses of our culture or society in order to understand their culture or society. “Ethical relativists argue that what is morally right or wrong may vary in a fundamental way from person to person or from culture to culture.” (Banks, 2013, p. 5) On the contrary, “ethical absolutists argue that there exists an eternal and unchanging moral law, the same for all people, at all times and places.” (Banks, 2013, p.7) Ethical relativism and ethical absolutism are two contradictory views that attempt to answer the question of what is ethical. The question of what is truly ethical has yet to be answered.
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