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What is moral relativism ?

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1 What is moral relativism ? on Sat Dec 07, 2013 5:08 pm


What Is Moral Relativism?

First, morality has been viewed as a supremely authoritative guide to action, trumping considerations of preference, taste, custom, self-interest, or individual fancy. Moral questions are among the most important we can ask, holding the highest priority in life.

Second, morality includes a prescriptive code of conduct. It doesn't merely describe a state of affairs; it directs how things should be. Moral rules are action guides that carry with them a sense of obligation, defining how people ought to conduct themselves. These injunctions apply not just to actions but to attitudes and motives as well.

Third, morality is universal. Moral rules are not arbitrary and personal but are public, applying equally to all people in relevantly similar situations. If a specific act is wrong for one person, then it is equally wrong for another.

Eighteenth-century Scottish philosopher David Hume describes the universal nature of morality this way:

'The notion of morals implies some sentiment common to all mankind which recommends the same object to general approbation and makes every man or most men agree in the same opinion or same discussion concerning it. It also implies some sentiments so universal and comprehensive as to extend to all mankind.

No Real Difference

What's the difference between a relativist and a person who admits she has no morality at all? There seems to be none.
How does a relativist make a moral decision? He decides for himself whatever he thinks is best. How does someone with no morality know how to act? She decides for herself whatever she thinks is best.

What kind of moral champion does relativism produce? What is the best that relativism has to offer? What do we call those who most thoroughly apply the principles of relativism, caring nothing for others' ideas of right or wrong, those who are unmoved by others' notions of ethical standards and instead consistently follow the beat of their own moral drum?

Relativism simply is not a moral point of view. Its 'morality' is no different than having no morality at all,

Those who are relativists do whatever they want, and doing whatever one wants is not morality. Morality is doing what's right, not necessarily what's pleasant.

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