Presently, Americans are comfortable relating ethics to individuality. Often times, American citizens expresses their right of freedoms to enhance their own sense of ethics or relativity. In defining relativism, moral principles are a matter of personal feelings and individual preference. As for individual moral relativism, figuring out what is moral and immoral in specific circumstances differs according to the person. On another note, moral relativists have a disbelief in universal truths or common law. This essay will examine and highlight major details about problems surrounding individual moral relativism and cultural moral relativism.
It will reflect post-modern and modern methods of belief in order to exhibit its valuableness in ethical decision-making in overcoming problems (Owen, 2011). In particular, it argues that abstract theories of either individual or subjective moral relativism are fruitless for understanding humans. What’s more, it tends to limit humans to egocentric people or hamper the development of distinctiveness through division and relativism. It is disputed that innovativeness excludes other styles of understanding. It utters reverence and celebrates the variance; it has rendered the pursuit for any kind of meaning inaudible (Reno, 2012).
To bypass these restrictions and to extend the resistance of ethical relativism this article draws substantially from the research of Lawrence Kohlberg. He is a well-known psychologist that is recognized for the moral stages of development. Moreover, his research theory moves closer by claiming cultural relativists are individuals trapped in the conventional stage of ethical development (Garz, 2010).
This ethical development model greets and enriches narrative understanding. As this essay continues to explore the world of ethical/moral relativism, it will summarize topics like cultural moral relativism, individual and subjective relativism. In addition, it will review Kohlberg’s moral stages of development and why he believes that many cultural relativists are trapped in a particular stage. As a final touch, this essay will discuss personal beliefs and experiences in relation to each topic, and why I agree or disagree with these reasoning. What is more moral relativism? Previously moral relativism was defined as being right or wrong, and the second deals with the difference between an objective and a subjective truth.
Thinking that ethical truth is biased, moral relativists often react to moral conclusions about homosexual behavior (Klikauer, 2011). To these individuals, the term homosexual is rubbish because everyone’s morality is equivalent. In short, nobody has a right to a morality that is incumbent on others. Being objective (individual) honest is recognized as the best choice; however, it is not the easiest decision (Owen, 2011). For example, parents or educators do not chastise students merely for getting their answer wrong in Math problems. For many students, their mistakes would be coherent, not moral.
Another example would be a husband beats his wife is simply indecent; therefore, he’ is considered as being immoral. Based on Quintelier & Fessler (2012) findings, cultural relativism is considered as an interpretation that all views, customs, and ethics are comparative to the individual within his or her own societal environment. Therefore, individuals put their cultural beliefs at the front of comparative ethical decision-making. Basically, right and wrong are culture-specific; however, what is right in one culture may be considered as corrupt in another culture (Owen, 2011).
Being there is no universal code of morality, individuals does not have the right to judge another societal traditions. At the conventional stage of ethical development, each person respects the beliefs of his or her group, family, or nation, as important, despite of the abrupt and apparent concerns (Klikauer, 2011). This stance is not just conformity to subjective expectations and social order, but also one of loyalty. According to Kohlberg, cultural relativist is often stuck in this stage due to their beliefs and cultural upbringing. Furthermore, I support this stance for different reasons.
For example, I was raised to believe in Christianity is the right path to follow because my parents instill that religion into me as a child. In conclusion, many philosophers have both defended and opposed moral relativism. Recent research argues that normative moral theories should be controlled and explore by psychologists to grasp a more in-depth understanding (Quintelier & Fessler, 2012). Researchers questioned the thought that individuals are or can be moral relativists. If so, can being a moral relativist affect can an individual’s moral functioning.
This research is underutilized in theorists’ normative philosophies of relativism; all together, the pragmatic work is abstractly incoherent (Quintelier & Fessler, 2012). The main objective of this assignment is to assimilate ethical and practical work on limitations about normative relativism. From my perspective, I support the individual and cultural relativity. As an African female, customs, traditions and religions played an essential role in my childhood as well as my growth. Biblical teachings were molded into my mind, heart, body and soul. My grandparents are the root to my development and ethical beliefs.
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