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 Questions for the 2nd Writing Assignment

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PostSubject: Questions for the 2nd Writing Assignment   Wed Dec 03, 2008 8:37 am

(Choose one.)
1. Identify the logical difficulties that go along with moral relativism.
2. Do you think moral relativism is true? problematic? Support your answer.
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De Ramos



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PostSubject: on Ethical Relativism   Thu Dec 04, 2008 7:25 am

Ethical Relativism argues that moral judgments are simply another label for cultural norms. Despite the fact that knowledge and truth concerning morality is possible; all such concepts is “relative” to a specific culture, period of time, or even individual. Consequently, it is wholly potential for a moral judgment to be true for one person or culture and false for another person or culture. The theory of Ethical Relativism holds that moral judgments are subjective and/or the contextual matters but not objective ground.I

f Ethical Relativism is true, then Ethics is in reality a form of anthropology or sociology. We can study the various ethical systems different cultures have, but we can’t legitimately argue that any one set is better or worse than any other. If everything is relative or contextual, then there is extremely no foundation for pinpointing these varieties of peculiarities. Conversely, if relativism is false, then it is possible, at least in theory, to make ethical judgments that apply to all people, all the time or at least to make distinctions between ethical judgments, marking some as better or more appropriate than others. If Ethical Relativism is true then we can never have the capacity and right to justifiably denigrate or commend other cultures for their ethical beliefs by making comparison with ours. For us to declare that the other culture's way of life and values are worse than or better than our own, I think it is necessary to draw on an “outside standard” to judge them. Given that Ethical Relativism presumes that there is no such outside standard, sad to say: we can't do it.If Ethical Relativism is true, moral progress or moral decline will never exist, which means that even within our own culture these conceptions make no substance. Progress and decline assume some outside standard. Something must progress from one state to another where the second is better than the first. Saying something has declined means that the current state is worse than an earlier one. Consider a UP student who got a 2.75 on the first departmental exam, a 3 on the second, and an amazing 5 on the third exam. From here we can say that the second exam was better than the first and that the final exam was worse than either of the first two. These concepts of progress and decline make sense only because there is a standard, objective grading scale to measure by. The Relativist claims that in ethics there is no such standard. Instead of talking about moral progress or moral decline, a relativist could say only that there has been moral change.

If Ethical Relativism is true, then morality can be established by gauging what is normal. Whatever the greater part of people in a culture believe is morally true, is morally true. Accordingly, when the majority belief changes, so does the moral truth. Something could be morally wrong one month and morally right the next. Morality shifts with the whims of the people in the culture. Does it make sense that morality changes along with public opinion?
Ethical Relativism contends that any person who strives for a change in moral attitude from the normal to something else is an immoral person. So, by that, we can conclude that Martin Luther King Jr. who argued that attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors related to race should be changed was an immoral person.There is the reality that there do seem to be some moral values that all cultures hold. Valuing children, for example, appears to be a concept or norm that all societies believe in. Are there any mores, society or civilizations that don’t suppose the groundless murder of a guiltless individual is decently wrong? Can someone give me any culture that believes lying is honorably good? Conceivably these universal ethical rules are based in biology. Possibly they are based on fundamental rules of reason or logic. Or, maybe there is some other explanation and so on and so forth.

Relativists argue that there are no universal truths in ethics. So, they believe that the statement "everything is relative" is always true. But, in making this claim, the relativist is contradicting herself since she is arguing for a universal truth about ethics.

But we have to note that even if the theory of ethical relativism is discarded, it must be accredited that the concept raises significant issues. Ethical relativism prompts us that various societies have different moral beliefs and that our beliefs are deeply predisposed by culture. It also persuades us to delve into the reasons fundamental beliefs that differ from our own, while stimulating us to scrutinize our reasons for the beliefs and values we embrace.
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Ferrer JC



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PostSubject: Answer to #2   Thu Dec 04, 2008 7:37 am

Moral Relativism is the doctrine that there are no moral absolutes or no moral right or wrong. It is rooted on two basic ideas: (1) the moral code of a society is what determines what is right and what is wrong in that society, and (2) different cultures/societies have different moral codes. Then, what is morally right or wrong varies from one culture or society to another—there can be no “universal truth” in ethics.

The claims of moral relativism are found to be appealing to most individuals because it allows us to acknowledge that different people have different moral beliefs. It also accounts for instances where what is normally considered immoral acts—such as lying, stealing and such— are justified or are given leeway to be accepted as moral (in other words, instances where there are exceptions to the rule). However agreeable, its claims entail several problems.

Moral relativism adheres to the principle of tolerance. It tolerates all views on morality (since it is believed to be relative), to say that someone’s morality is wrong is to be intolerant. However, the idea of “tolerance” itself poses a problem. What if there are some cultures or societies that allow intolerance? Furthermore, although tolerance is a good thing, we shouldn’t be tolerant of everything.

Going back to a general argument of moral relativism itself, we can identify a problem. It is said that different cultures have different moral codes (and disagree); therefore, there is no objective truth, right and wrong vary from society to society. The conclusion does not necessarily follow from the premise. The premise relates to the belief of these cultures, the conclusion refers to what really is the case. Just because two cultures disagree on something does not mean that there is no objective truth.

Another problem we encounter is that if the claim that there is no objective truth in morality was true, we would not be able to find a way to justify any moral principle as valid for all people and all societies. If we were to accept moral relativism, we would not be able to raise objections against several social customs such as slavery because of the notion that morality is relative and thus one practice may be acceptable to some and not acceptable to others—we cannot label their customs as correct or incorrect. Also, because morality is relative, we would not be able to criticize other cultures’ moral principles and compare them to ours since there would be no yardstick or standard for us to use. We cannot condemn or say that a practice of one culture is morally wrong because it would defeat the premise that morality is relative. In a way, we (and other societies for that matter) won’t be able to reach a higher level of morality. Take slavery as an example. Before, slavery was accepted, but today, it is considered morally wrong. If we were to accept the notions of moral relativism, we would not be able to see whether we have improved morally or not nor would we even have a way of reforming our moral principles in order for us to improve.

The last point I’d like to make concerns the notion that there can be no “universal truth” or any moral principle that would apply to all. I think that there ought to be at least some basic principles that apply to all, because these basic principles or values can be considered prerequisites for societies to exist. There are contending, different and “unique” practices and beliefs that are considered moral by various societies. And although these practices and beliefs differ, a fundamental and common principle or value might be similar and applicable to these societies. Take for example, anti-abortionists and abortionists. The former would say abortion is wrong because it is wrong to murder a fetus. The latter would say that it is acceptable to commit abortion since it isn’t really murder (a fetus isn’t a human being yet). They disagree on whether abortion is murder, but they agree that murder is wrong. They differ on belief (abortion is murder) but not on value (murder is wrong). This value may be the fundamental or common principle behind their claims. It is true that there are different moral codes set by the differences among societies and cultures, but it is also true that there are similarities among societies and cultures. Therefore, moral codes of varying societies must at least have some similarity based on the fundamental values or common principles underlying their beliefs.
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Abala



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PostSubject: Answer to 1   Thu Dec 04, 2008 9:37 am

Relativism argues that there aren’t any moral truths that are binding to everyone. Relativists believe that the universal moral truths, those that are true for everyone regardless of culture or time, are just illusions. They believe that truths are relative to someone or something. Relativism is divided into subjectivism and cultural relativism. Subjectivism is further divided into simple subjectivism and sophisticated subjectivism.
Simple subjectivism tells us that there is nothing to ethics but what people think or what people’s opinions are. Sophisticated subjectivism, on the other hand, explains that people don’t give statements. Ethical statements are not statements of opinion. Rather, these utterances are expressions of attitude – positive or negative stances, approval or disapproval. Finally, cultural relativism states that morality depends on culture – there are no universal moral truths.

In simple subjectivism, if people were to discuss only their opinions, then we will not be able to explain when two people disagree over an issue. Since these two people would share their opinions, there is no debate on which is which and no need to change either opinion. If ethics is only a matter of opinion, then anyone can do anything. He or she would act as how he or she would see fit.

Sophisticated subjectivism asserts attitudes instead of opinions. So, there is a possibility of a change in attitude on issues, but not opinions. The goal of changing another person’s attitude can be set. However, sophisticated subjectivism doesn’t take into account how the change took place. For example, in order to change one’s opinion about a group of people into something negative, one would resort to using specific defamatory terms in order to say something bad about these people. Also, there is no way to have moral convictions or to hold ethical positions on anything if we follow the sophisticated subjectivist view. If moral beliefs are nothing but attitudes, then there is no reason to say that this attitude is better than the other. Consequently, there is no reason to have this attitude than the other.

Finally, cultural relativism appears to be quite problematic. Essentially, a cultural relativist would have difficulties in defining what culture is and what it means for cultures to have rules of their own. A cultural relativist is in no position to make judgment on cultures other than his or her own. A cultural relativist cannot give coherent moral advice to people
of a different culture for he or she cannot go against his or her culture but would justify that it only applies to him or her and not to other cultures. Also, cultural relativism does not examine the idea of moral progress for there are no standards to do so.
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arroyo.queenie



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PostSubject: Question #1   Thu Dec 04, 2008 11:46 am

The problem with ethical relativism is that it excludes absolute relativism and consequently resulting to larger inconsistencies among issues instead of resolving them. It is almost fair to think that relativists provide the society an equal perspective and reasonable arguments varying within their sphere of knowledge. But as I have already mentioned, the main setback settles on its diverse reasoning. I agree to the fact that every opinion and single stance should be respected and be taken into consideration, but so long as we are not settling for an agreement, harmony can never exist. As being mentioned in an article in CARM.org, relativism somewhat embodies situational ethics, which by the word itself pertains to different situations a person may possibly face, enabling him to jump into different conclusions and rationalize things depending on his beliefs and culture. I am not saying that ethical relativism is negligible and that absolutism alone can suffice to solve all disputes, rather I am putting emphasis on the limitations that relativist view can possibly incur. If by meaning of taking things with basis on relative beliefs of people is deference of their opinions , then it also imply that whenever he wants, one can decide to put an end in an argument by simply depending himself of neutrality and idleness, hence I think we are allowing them to settle for less. The mainstream view of relativism may be that it provides more choices, opens more doors for knowledge, but I think instead of doing so; it narrows the possibility for more critical and productive resolutions on things that are still unknown. The thing is, with relativism – it increases the possibility for people not to take action on sides which they believe are right or wrong. For example, in context of political activism, some might say that they are against the current administration and yet they do nothing to show it, to fight against it. Behind the “yes” or “no” to join a rally lies absolute reasoning. But if one remains to balance himself between the efficacy and cynicism on politics depending on its varying performance, never looking at its main course agenda, then one can never really decide, thus settling for mediocracy and neutrality, in avoidance of becoming an extremist. Or in abortion, my major dilemma exists within the categories of pro life, pro choice and pro abortion. My initial belief is that there exist only two categories – that of pro life and abortion. I believe that once a woman decide to have or not have abortion leads her only to the two choices, leaving no room for pro choice, which only serves as a channel for decision-making. In comparison to ethical relativism, the state of weighing things depending on the situation and consequences is the relativistic view, just a mere passage or midway. Whereas having resolution which is; without a doubt what we aim for – is the absolutism. Therefore in conclusion, relativism has greater possibility of putting things astray rather than obtaining their truthfulness.
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rivera



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PostSubject: Re: Questions for the 2nd Writing Assignment   Thu Dec 04, 2008 5:13 pm

"It's true for me, if I believe it."

Moral relativism has long been an issue in realm of Philosophy. It is the position which believes that moral or ethical perceptions do not mirror objective and/ or universal moral truths, but instead make claims relative to social, cultural, historical or personal circumstances. Supporters of moral relativism (moral relativists) believe that no universal standard exists by which to assess an ethical proposition’s truth. Moreover, moral relativists most of the time see moral values as applicable only within certain cultural boundaries (cultural relativism) or in the context of individual preferences (individualist ethical subjectivism). Taking it into the extremes, relativists suggest that judging the moral or ethical judgments or acts of another person or group has no meaning. Moral relativism leaves no space for absolute rights and wrongs.

By looking at the onset, moral relativism is acceptable since it provides people with the right to see and perceive things the way they want to. However, several difficulties were raised due to the same nature of this position.

One criticism raised by non-relativists is the fact that the said view (moral relativism) forces an individual to make uncomfortable and difficult choices. Just like the story in the provided article, Falcone murdered his 11 year old son for doing an activity which is against the norms of their family and of the society they were in. Considering moral relativism, one may find Falcone’s act acceptable for the reason that he just obeyed his culture’s values. However, on the other hand, if you believe in the universal moral truth, you will find his very act of killing as unacceptable. Giving that situation, one can see that in order for you to adopt a new theory, relativism at that, you must abandon certain things you previously believed (unless you choose to be illogical, but in that case you are denying logic). The previous statements only goes to show that philosophical theories are cost-free, in order to gain something, one must be willing to give up something in return. In addition, moral relativism makes it hard for a person to give a coherent moral advice to another person from a different culture. For example, A and B (a culture relativist) belongs to a community with different culture and beliefs. In A’s community, it is just to commit murder even for the littlest wrong doing. On the other hand, in B’s community it is otherwise. Given the situation, how would B advise A on whether or not he is to kill his neighbor for cheating on their ‘piko’ game? If B tells A to kill his neighbor, he contradicts his morality; if he tells him not to kill his neighbor, he contradicts cultural relativism which clearly states that whatever B’s culture says only applies to him, not to A.

Another criticism that is noteworthy is the problem of majority rule. In this specific theory, its proponents fail to explain what is to account as a “culture” and what it means for a culture to adopt a set of “rules” or “determine” that the rules apply. Considering the United States as an example, it is not apparent what should be considered as a single culture, or which culture is supposed to set the rules for anybody. Assuming that someone grows up in a certain culture, but comes to reject it values (a Catholic who supports the right to gay marriage, for example). Does she have no right to choose to deny some of his culture’s values? Are we to say that this person is no longer a member of his original culture? Here relativism expresses that morality is decided by majority rule, and the minority is expected to conform.

Also, anti-relativism claims that with moral relativism, we cannot make legitimate moral comparisons of different cultures for no cross-cultural standard is available in this specific view. Moreover, it entails that we cannot make legitimate moral comparisons of a single culture across time for the reason that moral relativism cannot make sense of judging whether a changing society is improving or not.

Further, relativism (cultural) took for granted the fact that great reformers contributed largely in paving the way for moral progress such as of slavery, or granting the working classes and women the right to vote. This is for the reason that they are believed to be bad people for they acted in opposition to the values of their particular cultural contexts.

Although many claims were raised against moral relativism, I don’t think it is necessary to abandon this view. In fact, if it is possible, I’d go for a mixed position --a society wherein both relativism and objectivism will be accepted. That is for the reason that, in my opinion, both positions cannot be wholly correct and may work well if utilized together.
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Penetrante



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PostSubject: On question 1   Thu Dec 04, 2008 6:12 pm

Some philosophers claim that morality should be reduced from the high status it is given at present. They present assumptions from which, according to them, morality must be freed. These are the assumptions of (1) the idea of altruism as morality’s most basic and fundamental principle-that it is one’s duty to help fellow humans, and (2) the universality of morality-“that there exist certain principles, call them universal moral truths (UMTs), which are valid for everybody, regardless of culture, historical epoch, and so on.”

Opponents of the first assumption are in the position called egoism, that a person ought to place his own interests before actually caring about other people. For the second, on the other hand, there is relativism, or “the view that there are no UMTs, that all morality is relative to something.” There are three relativistic views, namely simple subjectivism (SimpS), sophisticated subjectivism (SophS), and cultural relativism (CR).

However, different logical difficulties are met when studying moral relativism. In SimpS,-the view that there is nothing to ethics but what people think-it fails to see that ethics is not merely about opinions given by individuals. Ethics involve reasons why we regard certain actions to be right and other actions wrong. Also, it cannot explain what is happening when two people disagree in their ethical opinions and why people are interested in discussing morality. In SophS,-when people assert ethical opinions, they are actually asserting their attitude about something-it falls short in making the important distinction between appropriate ad inappropriate ways of changing attitudes. Furthermore, this view tells us that there is no way to hold ethical positions since no attitude can be any better than any other and so there is no reason to have one attitude rather than another. In CR,-that morality depends on culture-we are confused by the adage “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.” The reason is that, because morality is dependent on a person’s culture, this person is forced to make difficult choices as to how he should act when encountered by a moral dilemma within the bounds of another culture apart from his own.
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Alegre,CB



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PostSubject: Re: Questions for the 2nd Writing Assignment   Thu Dec 04, 2008 6:33 pm

Ethical relativism is the theory that holds that morality is relative to the norms of one's culture (scu.edu). It means that the rightness or wrongness of an action 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 like in the examples given in the articles. For the ethical relativist, there are no universal moral standards -- standards that can be universally applied to all peoples at all times. The only moral standards against which a society's practices can be judged are its own. The view of the ethical relativists are the following: first, different groups of individuals ought to have various ethical standards for judging or evaluating acts as either right or wrong. Second, these different beliefs are true in their respective societies or can only be determined only in relation to the culture or moral tradition of the individuals and third, these different beliefs are not instances of a basic moral principle.

Some of the logical difficulties that go along with moral relativism are the following: first, although the moral practices in different societies may differ, the fundamental moral principles underlying it do not. Second, some practices may be relative but it doesn't mean that all practices are relative. Also, some ethicists assert that if the rightness or wrongness of an action depends on a society's norms, then it follows that one must obey the norms of one's society and to diverge from those norms is to act immorally. Another argument against relativism is that universal moral standards can exist even if some moral practices and beliefs vary among cultures or simply we can acknowledge cultural differences in moral practices and beliefs and still hold that some of these practices and beliefs are morally wrong.

For some philosophers, if ethical relativism is correct, there can be no common framework for resolving moral disputes or for reaching agreement on ethical matters among members of different societies. Although moral relativism seems to be problematic, it also raises important issues. It reminds us that various societies have different moral beliefs and that our beliefs are deeply influenced by culture. It also encourages individuals to search for the reasons underlying every belief that differ from our own, while challenging us to examine our reasons for the beliefs and values we hold
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LOPEGA



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PostSubject: QUESTION 2   Thu Dec 04, 2008 6:35 pm

Ethical relativism represents the position that there are no moral absolutes, no moral right or wrong. It asserts that our morals evolve and change with social norms over a period of time. Thus, right and wrong are based on social norms and that all morals are relative to the social group within which they are constructed. Ethical relativism has the prescriptive (what ought to)view that (1) different groups of people ought to have different ethical standards for evaluating acts as right or wrong, and (2) these different beliefs are true in their respective societies.
Ethical relativism is the view that ethical principles or judgments are relative to the individual or culture. This view allows for a wide variety of cultures and practices. It also allows people to become accustomed ethically as the culture, knowledge, and technology change in society.
The ethical relativist often argues that an ‘absolute ethical standard has never been proved beyond doubt in the history of thought’. Thus, an absolute ethical standard does not exist. Just the fact that the statement has not been proven, we can not logically draw conclusion.
Based on the position of the ethical relativist that there is no absolute standard then it follows that they do not have a concept of “compare and contrast” because an ethical relativist who makes the judgment that one society is better than another contradicts himself. Consider a statement that the Philippine society today is better than the Philippine society during the Japanese occupation. In order to draw such a conclusion, the relativist would need a standard as the basis of his judgment that one society is better-but this "standard" is exactly what the ethical relativist disagree with. In addition, there could be no such thing as improvement. To determine if there is an improvement or not, we must have a standard by which to judge the difference.
The ethical relativist states that "right" and "wrong" have no consistent meaning. If this is so then “right” and “wrong” may be ascribed to anything, anywhere. What if, for instance, we use the word “box” to ascribe to anything? It is not logical and acceptable. One must ascribe meaning to what a “box” is so one will know what is not a “box”. Another problem in the belief that "right" and "wrong" have no consistent meaning is that it results in meaninglessness of the use of the word. What would happen, for example, when people used the same word in different situations to refer to different things? Communication would not occur. Lastly, because "right" and "wrong" have no consistent meaning then it will follow that these words can be used contradictory and still be considered acceptable. It would be tantamount to saying that something exists and do not exist at the same time, which is illogical.
In an international-intercultural gathering for example, a person’s actions, manner etc. may become different things to different people which may lead to psychological difficulty. Since persons in the said gathering belong to different groups of society and that following the ethical relativists position that "what is right in one group is wrong in another" is acceptable, then where exactly does one group end and another begin. What will happen to international relations? We can expect that the said gathering will lead to chaos and misunderstanding if all the people in there are all ethical relativists.
An ethical relativist would reason out that right and wrong are to be determined in the situation and right and wrong are to be establish by what the majority believed at the time and place. This view is unsound. Simply because the majority think something is right does not thereby make it right. Just because most people think a statement is true does not make that statement true. Before, majority of the civilizations thought that the sun revolves around the earth, but this belief did not make the sun revolve around the earth at that time. It’s the other way around, instead.
Furthermore, if the ethical relativists do not believe in an absolute set of ethics then it follows that society itself would not exist. A society is formed when individuals living in such society are bind with same set of beliefs, values, etc. A society wherein everybody is ethical relativists will not survive because every individual will have a different concept of what is right and wrong. What will happen is that others may kill, steal and lie and other may not. All actions are acceptable, there are no right or wrong actions, decisions, belief, values, etc. But in order for a society to exist and to function well and harmoniously there should be a consensus of what is right and wrong.
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SAGNIP



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PostSubject: 1   Thu Dec 04, 2008 7:11 pm

Marahil hindi ako sumasangayon sa “Ethical Relativism” (ET) ngunit hindi rin lubos ang aking pag-sangayon sa “Universal Moral Truth” (UMT).

Sa ET, sa isang Marxistang pananaw, “Ang tao ang gumagawa ng sariling kasaysayan pero ginagawa niya iyon sa kalagayang itinakda ng obhektibong mga batas na labas sa subhektibong kagustuhan niya.” Kaiba ito sa paniniwala ng ideyalistang pananaw na subhektibo ang tingin sa mga kalagayan. Ibigsabihin, ang mga obhektibong batas ay siyentipiko (empirical) dahil nagmumula ito sa praktikang panlipunan. Sa ganitong paraan, makikita na galing ito sa realidad o katotohanan. Gayundin, sinusuri ang mga bagay sa paraan ng “descriptive” – pagsusuri sa mga bagay batay sa konkretong kalagayan. Halimbawa, hindi isyu ang kasamaan o kabutihan ng “abortion” bagkus dapat ito ay “pro-choice” na nakabatay sa konkretong kalagayan ng nanay, sanggol, kung mabibigyan ba ng magandang kinabukasan ang anak, at iba pa.

Habang sa UMT, sa ngayon, mayroong mga unibersal na moralidad na nangingibabaw ngunit hindi pa lubos ang kabuuan nito. Sapagkat ayon sa Materyalismong Diyalektiko, “Ang daigdig ay kalipunan ng mga bagay na hindi pa lubos na nabubuo, ang mga bagay ay walang tigil na nagbabago at umuunlad.” Kung kaya’t masasabing hindi pa ganap (maaaring mawala, madagdagan o mabago) ang batayan ng moralidad ngayon.
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Avancena



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PostSubject: Re: Questions for the 2nd Writing Assignment   Thu Dec 04, 2008 7:37 pm

Ethical relativism is a theory which tells that morality is relative on the norms of one society. An action may be morally right to one society but can be morally wrong to another society. This theory tells that an action may be right or wrong depending on the norms followed by a certain society. This can be advantageous that it allows a variety of cultures and practices, wherein a certain immoral act can by accepted and justified in a certain society. Also, people can easily adapt to the culture, knowledge, and the society as changes occur over a period of time.

For this theory believes that there is no universal moral standard, it brought about many disadvantages based on its concept. One of these, primarily, is disagreements between people’s beliefs and ideas. Of course, when one truly believes on what he knows is right, he continues to push through on what he believes in. It would really be hard not to stand up or defend one’s own practices and beliefs. This is where ethnocentrism would enter – an anthropological term pertaining to the belief that a person’s behaviors and attitudes are correct while those who do not share those behaviors and attitudes are considered immoral. Thus, misunderstandings of different cultures arise.

Another point would include the idea that though there may be variations on the beliefs of people on different places and culture, there would always be a universal rule that will exist. In any culture, it is a universal rule that murder, lying and stealing are immoral. We would apparently see that sanctions are made when these acts are done, and immediately understand that these acts are immoral.

Although there are logical difficulties that can be seen with the concept of ethical relativism, it somehow taught us that society’s differences in beliefs is greatly influenced by one’s culture. It also allows us to question, find reasons and analyze why there are differences between societies by understanding each one’s beliefs.
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barron



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PostSubject: Re: Questions for the 2nd Writing Assignment   Fri Dec 05, 2008 2:48 am

It is true that in our world, there exist different cultures that exhibit different modes of learning, education and thinking. With this concept in mind, truth has become relative to every culture. I am not saying that this is correct and that the preferences and traditions of different cultures are acceptable. Thus in the concept of relativism, there can be no universal truth and that morality is relative. Universal moral truths are those that are accepted by all and in which there exist no exceptions even in difficult cases.
I think the problem with the concept of relativism is the number of diversity. With the presence of diversity, there is no established basis that we can adhere to. I can believe in my culture’s norms as the truth and another person may believe his culture’s traditions as the truth or basis of morality. With this in mind, I cannot say that the culture of that person is wrong. And he cannot say that my culture is wrong by having his culture as a basis as his culture is not a universal one. If morality is relative then there are many truths that can be acceptable. With this there are many codes of conduct that morality can be based upon. Many can be confused because one may use a different framework that is unfamiliar to us. It seems then that morality is based on the perception of a culture or a person. Thus introducing the concept of subjectivism. In this concept it says that morality is relative to individuals.
Taking into consideration the diversity that the cultures present it seems as if there is no universal truth that we can comply with. If we do not have any absolute morals then we can not rely on a concrete code to justify our thoughts about other’s way of thinking. In addition there is another problem with this concept of relativism is the concept of double think. George Orwell introduced the concept double think in his novel 1984, it means that we hold contradictory beliefs as both true and both false. For example, we believe that killing is wrong but then we also tend to think that death penalty is acceptable. In this it seems as if we can accept two different beliefs even if they are conflicting. The same goes for opinions. For example, person A thinks that gossiping is okay whereas person B thinks that gossiping is bad and then person C accepts the opinions of both person A and B.
To conclude, there is a huge difference in the way of thinking of different cultures. To acquire a universal moral code, an amalgamation of different cultures must take place wherein all people can accept it. But this may impose abandonment or revision of a number of cultures. I think that there may be a universal moral truth that can be accepted by all, but this requires an agreement on the language and perceptions of people of varying mindsets.
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roan isturis



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PostSubject: Re: Questions for the 2nd Writing Assignment   Fri Dec 05, 2008 7:48 am

Isturis, R.D. S. 2005-53691 Philo 171 Prof. Jimenez

2nd Written Assignment: Ethical relativism

No position is taken in this paper regarding ethical relativism.

The thing about ethical relativism is that it actually negates itself when you look at it broadly. In the sense that if everything is relative then it is universal, since it is applicable to everything. It also seems to point that morality is synonymous to culture, or at least those parts of culture that are habitually practiced. These parts may be implicitly or explicitly known. For example, in the Philippine culture, it is expected that males give their seats to women and elderly when no other seats are available. Although no explicit rule commands males to give their seats, not doing so would seem immoral. Another example is monogamy in the Philippines. Someone who practices polygamy in the Philippines will be looked upon as immoral unless he/she is a member of a faction which explicitly allows polygamy. Which leads us to another argument, relativism also seem to mean that one thing can be right and wrong at the same time in different places/ situations. Just like the example of polygamy/monogamy.

Now, an assumption stemming from this is that morality is flexible, changing and situational. What is “wrong” today may be “right” after a decade. For example, pre-marital sex, 50 yrs ago it is categorically immoral in the Philippine society, but now, it can be safely said that it is moderately acceptable.

Resulting from this will be the apparent lack of a common standard which can be used as a verbatim for all situations since morality is flexible and changing, but more importantly, the lack of standard which can be used to compare morality of societies. In a sense, morality is a standard upon which you judge a society’s beliefs, practices, etc. these beliefs and practices which are commonly look upon as morality of the society itself. So if morality is relative, nobody can judge anyone else’s morality, using his/her own morality as standard at least.

It is like saying that anything goes as long as your society’s morality permits it. Not actually, let’s take a look at what happens during elections. Voters may have different opinions but after the election it will turn out that the voters have come to a decision, wherein the majority’s vote wins. This shows that, relativity may be present but a common decision may be arrived at. This means that being relative does not necessarily mean the absence of universality or generality.

Now let’s look at the practically of ethical relativism. It’s rather very convenient if you think about it on the individual level. No one can tell you that what you’re doing is wrong. On the other hand, this poses a problem of the lack of resolution to moral issues. In the sense that, no moral issue appears since each has his/her society’s own morality. Ethical relativism in this view is like freedom, using the emic perspective. This gives us a problem regarding universal human rights.

The question of ethical relativism’s reasonableness or philosophical soundness, for me, ceases to be of central importance. Since in practice, morality and decisions regarding moral issues always rests on the information possessed by the entities concerned or involved in a moral issue, be it in the form of beliefs and practices or others.
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santiago



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PostSubject: Question #2   Fri Dec 05, 2008 8:26 am

L.N. Santiago


What is moral relativism? Moral relativism generally purports that morality is relative to one’s culture. What is right for one culture may be horrendous to another. It does not believe in universal truth or universal moral standards and embraces the diversity of norms and practices of a culture; therefore, judges a person’s actions based on the morals that govern him/her.

The problem with this assumption is that it sees morality as culture-based alone. It does not consider aspects such as individualism and the presence of a global community. What about individual preferences and feelings that might dispute the standards or traditions accepted by the rest of the group, such as homosexuality and women entering the “field” of men? Or cultural practices that affect the well-being of other groups, such as terrorism. These questions lead a person to ask the essence of morality. Is it just a standard of rightness or wrongness that may be defined by anyone, that after generations of acceptance may be considered as the only acceptable truth? Yes, morality is a concept created by humans, but where was it derived?--Perhaps for the purposes of social control, for regulating inferior-superior relations, or because of environmental demands. If this be the case, then, if we talk of situations, contexts and practices, morality can be relative. But if the principles of morality be considered, then it can be universal.

As seen in the example cited by Harris, Eskimo tribes leave their elderly in the snow to die since they are too weak to contribute to their nomadic lifestyle. To Filipinos, this practice is without a doubt: inhumane, since Filipinos treat the elderly with respect and dignity. But if the context is considered, i.e. the survival of the group or band by lessening the burden when moving from one place to another, then, it would seem that morality could be relative. However, if the underlying principle or motive in that fact is reflected upon, it could be seen that their culture and ours have no difference at all. If there are no alternatives, as with the Eskimos, Filipinos might contemplate on taking care of the elderly until they die (considering their culture)—but only letting them die in pain—with little food, medicine, and proper care. We may not have let them die in the coldness of the snow, but we similarly let them die in pain—given that there is no other alternative left. The underlying principle here would be the preservation of life. Since Eskimos and Filipinos live in different environmental contexts and follow different values, then they would have different practices. Eskimos are nomadic and cannot afford to have their elderly be carried as they moved around. By leaving them to die, they preserve the life of the group and agree with the values of their culture. Since Filipinos are sedentary, they can consider taking care of the elderly for a period of time, complementing the values on the duties to parents, but considering the absence of alternatives (proper care), we keep them but not provide enough for them; thus, we preserve their life but give them a hard time to die, and give the rest of the family a hard time to live.

Societies having different cultures do not exist in a vacuum, especially in this century where globalization and international relations are inevitable, be it economic, political, or social. People from different places, with different cultures interact with each other. Some groups allow killing of the innocent, while others totally abhor the fact. So there are the terrorists who kill the innocent, and people who kill the terrorists because of their practice. What differences and similarities do the terrorists have with those who do not believe in the same ideals they possess? Both groups definitely have contrasting practices, killing of the innocent and protecting the innocent. However, the principle underneath the practices is similar—the conviction that when they die for their god or country, they would go to heaven or be honored by their countrymen. These examples only show that different situations may call for different procedures, but the principle still remains the same.

Given these examples, moral relativism is problematic since its definition of morality is limited and superficial.
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mjgdeguzman



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PostSubject: Re: Questions for the 2nd Writing Assignment   Fri Dec 05, 2008 9:17 pm

question # 1

Ethical Relativism is simply a theory suggesting that the concepts of Ethics and Morality are determined or are based on a the varying practices, folkways, mores, cultures, norms, or the concept of a varying standard inhibiting people and society at varying or changing time periods. Debates are being heard whether the concept of Relativism is true or not, that some would even compare morality with the folkways, mores, and norms practiced by people with their unchanging/changing culture. Ethical Relativism is indeed hard to determined, we have to be bombarded with a lot of factual information regarding the common practices of people in a society and their notion of morality to be able to determine whether morals are really relative. However, we are bombarded by such debates concerning the concepts of moral relativism. Moreover, we still cannot come up with a definite answer. To do that, most likely is that you compare common practices and norms followed by a society and to a greater extent comparing to the varying practices at different time periods.

Taking into account the concept that the norms commonly practiced by so many people in a given society, then justifying whether these practices are acceptable or not is such a difficult thing to do. Moreover, Ethical relativism involves a lot of pitfalls, but surely we have to take a deeper look into the problems concerning ethical relativism by examining the claims concerning the concept of Moral Relativism- Diversity Thesis, Relativity Thesis, and Toleration Thesis.

The Diversity Thesis claims that are varying moral beliefs with regards to the culture of a certain group living in a society. For instance, here in the Philippines, making use of cows by the farmers for pasturing is practiced and is morally acceptable; some of us would even kill the cows and sell them to the markets as beefs. But in India, during the ancient times (I'm not sure it is still practiced until now), cows are like gods and are worshipped by their people; it is morally unacceptable to kill the cows. Another example, also from India is the burning of the bodies of widowed women. These practices are morally acceptable by the societies in India. But of course, this practice is also morally shunned by other societies as well.

The problem however with the diversity thesis is that it is hard to determining the determining differences in comparing the practices of different cultures and societies. Their moral beliefs are sometimes based on such situations and circumstances, even alternatives in doing such practices. Hence, diversity thesis presents the difficulty that morality is not only based on the cultural and moral beliefs but situations, circumstances and practical and/or rational alternatives as well.

The second claim is the Relativity Thesis which suggests the truth ness and validity of certain moral beliefs based on a commonly held values and principles in a society as claimed by relativists. The problem however, is how you will, for example determine the validity and truth ness of such moral beliefs supposing that you are taking into account the basic principles believed by a certain group. Can it be said that these principles provide such factual analysis in determining the validity and truth ness of relativism? Moreover, one major difficulty with the relativity thesis that since morality is relative, we cannot compare varying circumstances and situations. Now here comes the difficulty of stipulating that morality is not absolute, that morality cannot be universalized nor is that morality being universally applicable to all societies.

Third claim is the Toleration Thesis which suggests that other people with varying cultures shall not forced to adopt on a commonly accepted belief or practice by another culture.

The other logical difficulties relating to moral relativism is the problem of defining the "society" or "culture" to which morality is relative. Moreover, there is a difficulty in understanding and defining the kind of society and culture existing in all human beings. Another difficulty is whether there is really such thing as moral progress. The third difficulty is acceptance or the understanding that if can something can be both right and wrong at the same time or at varying times? This is hard to do since it is not that easy to compare cultures, and in order to do this, we need a common standard.
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rodriguez



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PostSubject: Moral Relativism is Problematic   Sat Dec 06, 2008 11:34 am

The belief that everything is relative depending on whose seeing it is dangerous and chaotic.

We need standards to live peacefully.

We follow certain laws to live peacefully.

Without a universal truth chaos will reign.

First problem that the relativism theory needs to answer is how does it define a society? We should all remember that each person is unique in terms of behavior and sets of values and thus making everyone relatively different from one another. So how could one form a society if everyone is different?

Of course, relativist would argue that societies define themselves, but without a criteria for membership this answer would remain vague and empty.

Second, how would relativist explain the phenomenon that despite thousands of years ago, people and tribes and civilizations all across the world value life, family and property so much that they are willing to wage wars once one of these are threatened?

This phenomenon clearly shows that there is an instinct inside every person in this planet and that these instincts are common thus creating a universal truth possible. We value the same things long time ago and until now and irrespective of what culture you came from, you will value life, family, and property somehow.

Third, relativism undermines to justify ones existence. Since morality is subjective, it is then alright to kill anyone as long as it is right in the perception of the perpetuator.

It won't take a philosopher to tell that this is such a crazy subjectivity.

If relativism is true, then courts and laws are non-sense. Police and military is just a waste of money for everyone is right as long as they think they are.

Everyone is right, everyone can do whatever he/she wants.


It must be such a crazy world to live in, so chaotic.
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Raval



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PostSubject: Re: Questions for the 2nd Writing Assignment   Sat Dec 06, 2008 7:47 pm

Ethical Relativism is the view that morality is relative to anyone. It can be an individualistic ethical relativism where in what is right or wrong for me may be entirely different from what is right or wrong for you. Cultural ethical relativism on the other hand, asserts that morality is based on the diverse cultural norms of each society.

To be honest I’m not really a big fan of ethical relativism, I think that if we are not going to judge as to what constitutes rightness or wrongness then the whole morality will be in a blur. We are not allowed to be make verdict because simply, morality is relative. What Stalin did was right, or even what Hitler did was also acceptable (or we may believe of course that what these people did is down-right unethical but It does not matter because there can be no argument about what is right and wrong, no matter how sure we are that they have actually done something wrong), ethical relativism is the pathway toward deviancy. Anyone could easily justify any wrong deed by saying that “well, this is how we do things” or “in our own culture, this is what we do.” I’m not sure if this is true, but in case it is.. then its just sad… the World will be in a distress.

Second note, the relative nature of morality would also make it difficult for us to compare morality, or to make a long story short, we are not even allowed to compare morality, period. Since, there will be no standards for conduct then comparing each diverse form of morality will be impossible.

Final point, what’s problematic about not accepting that morality is relative though, is the quest for the universal morality. If we say that it is not relative then what is absolute morality in the first place??? (Please, not this question, it is just too hard) With all honesty, I don’t know how to answer this question. But just because we don’t have an absolute standard right now, means that we should stop finding one. I still won’t accept ethical relative on the basis of denying an absolute one, that reason won’t suffice.

*I am sorry for posting this reply late, my wireless smartbro connection became smartbroken this past few days. But its ok now, it got fixed this morning.
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shandi



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PostSubject: answers to assign number 2   Sun Dec 07, 2008 2:26 am

1. Relativism is one of the major challenges to ethics. It is the view that there are no universal moral truths and that morality is relative. It is based on the assumption that morality is universal and that there exist a universal moral truth that is valid for everyone regardless of culture and time. The belief that there are no universal moral truths is problematic. For one, relativist fail to distinguish between a principle applying to everyone and a principle being accepted by everyone. Universal moral truths are applies to everyone. For example, the rule of law. If for instance you violated a law without knowing that there exists a certain law you are still going to be sanctioned/punished. If a person fail to make a distinction between morality being applied and morality being accepted then morality would be pointless. There would be no space to improve because it allows individuals to pre-select the things that are acceptable and applicable to him/her. Therefore, the individual is always morally good and correct based from his/her own standard. Second, if there are no universal moral truths, there could be also be no moral principles. For a moral principle to be true and to exist it should be shared by other individuals. "Principles that are not universal are not moral." Third, relativism would argue that morality is relative to the individual or to the culture. Subjectivism is the view that "ethics is only a matter of opinion of what people think. The problem with this view is that people have different reasons for holding holding such opinions. When people make opinion about something, it is not an opinion per se but it also involves some reasons. Also, subjectivism can't explain when two people disagree since everything is all but an opinion and there are no right and wrong opinion.Technically, you can't say that two people disagree about something even if they have differing opinions. Also, if opinion is all there is in ethics then why do we have to bother exchanging opinions or discuss subject afterall? That would be impractical since a person's opinion is alwayscorrect and enough for him/her. Another variable of subjectivism is called sophisticated subjectivism.Subjectivism holds the view that "an ethical utterance is not a statement of an opinion,but an expression of attitude of the speaker. Unlike simple subjectivism, sophisticated subjectivism believes that two people disagree not by stating their personal statements but by their attitudes towards something. By doing this, they show what they feel without actually saying what it is. Moreover, by expressing your attitude (disagree/agree) you could actually change the other person's attitude. The use of strong emotive connotations could initiate change in an individual since nobody wants to be labelled negatively. Stevenson coined the term persuasive definition to describe attitude shifters. However, the problem with sophisticated subjectivism is it does not take into consideration that there are appropriate and inappropriate way of changing attitudes, then no person would be in the position that his or her attitude is morally better and valid than others. For this reason, no attitude can be any better than any other, thus it is pointless to have an ethical stand about anything. On the otherhand, cultural relativism sees morality are dependent to culture. Culture adopt the moral rules they think suits them best. The problem with cultural relativism is it seems to take into account the rule of the majority ad force the minorityto conform. In complex societies it is hard to determine which set of the rules should be applied in the society as a whole.
2. I don't subscribe to the idea of relativism. I believe that there are universal moral truths and that every person since birth has a concept of what is good/bad, right/wrong. To believe that there are no universal moral truths is to live in a world of arbitrariness, with no two people agreeing or disagreeing with each other. You do not have to justify anything since what you do is always right for you.

[justify]
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gonzales.shiela



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PostSubject: Logical difficulties of Ethical Relativism   Sun Dec 07, 2008 4:44 am

2. Ethical Relativism is the prescriptive view that different groups of people ought to have different ethical standards for evaluating acts as right or wrong. These various beliefs are true in their own or particular societies. But these various beliefs are not instances of a basic moral principle.
A confusion lies between Cultural and Ethical Relativism. One must keep in mind that cultural relativism is a descriptive view of morality while ethical relativism is a prescriptive view.
An ethical relativist would argue that an absolute ethical standard does not exist. But he contradicts himself when he compares or judges a society as better than other societies. To say that one is better than the other, a relativist must appeal or base his conclusion to a certain ethical standard that he denies under the concept of Ethical Relativism.
In an ethical relativist perspective, a particular action or practice might be considered right in one society and wrong in another place. Thus, there is an inconsistency on the meaning of the words and terms being used. The ordinary use of words in this view results in meaninglessness. It can also be said that effective communication does not take place. A word must follow a certain minimum standard on its application for it to have meaning.
According to ethical relativists, right and wrong are to be determined in the situation. In addition, right and wrong are to be determined by what the majority determine at the time and place. Also right and wrong are ultimately established by power or authority. There are objections to the relativist’s belief that ethics is ascertained by what most people believe. Something does not become automatically true if the majority thinks it is true.
Another objection to Ethical Relativism is the occurrence of moral progress or improvement. This is not possible if ethical relativism is right because to have improvement, there should be a standard as the basis of the difference in moral values. But ethical relativists argue that [/justify]one can only judge according to his own values.
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PostSubject: Ethical Relativism   Sun Dec 07, 2008 7:45 am

Bersamina, Joshua S
2006 – 15803
Philosophy 171

Questions:

1. Identify the logical difficulties that go along with moral relativism.
2. Do you think moral relativism is true? problematic? Support your answer.

Answer:

1. Moral relativism, or more specifically ethical relativism, crudely argues that ethics and morality cannot have any universal criterion/criteria which can be used to evaluate individuals’ various actions. This is so because every culture, every social group possesses an individual and different set of values and mores, therefore making any attempt to judge or classify them as if they are alike absurd and illogical. This poses a problem of vagueness and ambiguity---as in the case of different language games. Take for example the concept of what is “good”. In a particular language game, good is synonymous to being virtuous and refraining from worldly pleasures. In others, it may mean the equal of pleasure or the things that will benefit the most number of individuals. This phenomenon is somewhat similar to the problems posed by the existence of different cultures producing different sets of social mores and norms. The sheer variety and diversity of different cultures and set of norms makes the establishment of a universal language, and in our case a universal criteria of what is right and wrong, nearly impossible.

2. I personally believe that moral relativism is a valid perspective in studying ethics, even though I would like to assert that there is nothing more effective in evaluating actions than studying them in a case-to-case, individual basis. Contexts and paradigms vary as situations vary, thus making seemingly wrong acts pardonable and sometimes even justifiable. However, one must not assume that this phenomenon validates the absence of a universal yardstick for ethics and morality; there ought to be at least a universal basis for what is good and what is not good. Intuitionism is an excellent perspective---man’s inherent goodness and “badness” would be the universal measure of the correctness of deeds. Ethics and the study of morality would be reduced to a mere sociological or anthropological branch if ethical relativism would be used as the sole approach in studying ethics. In conclusion, I therefore posit that ethical relativism ought not to be used as a single standard in studying ethical constructs.
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cañamo_ijikhanran



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PostSubject: Reply for the 2nd Writing Assignment   Sun Dec 07, 2008 7:52 am

2. There is a law in science which explains something like “a change in one thing affects everything else.” Everything is interconnected. Everything is relative to each other. This is what science proves. In some point, this is true. The statement “the abuse of human beings to nature will surely kill them in the future,” supports the relativity that science points out. Science has created a lot of mediums for human development, and even for the worsening of the world. There are ideas that are only acceptable for scientists and for science enthusiasts. There may be inventions that are considered helpful to many, but is a great offense to the other sects of society. In every world, in every dimension, there are rules to follow. These rules provide restrictions.
An alien, like a person visiting a foreign land, has the obligation to respect the culture, the traditions, or simply, the way of life of the people there. But an alien landing on a different planet will do things that may be offensive to human being because that alien may not know anything about right and wrong and it may think that what she/he does is the right thing knowing that it has done something destructive. In the alien’s point of view, it thinks that she/he is doing right, but on the other hand, in the perspective of the humans, the alien is considered a threat to them. In morality, the rightness or wrongness of things are given much attention. A question like, “Is abortion bad or good?” is common. Moral relativity deals with the fact that the rightness or wrongness of something varies as the environment changes. The people living in a society, who have created norms, who have built traditions and folkways, have a great influence in the acceptance of new values and new thoughts in a particular society. In the country there are tribes that have rituals that involve acts of killing. These practices are considered sacred to those tribes. When religion interferes, there will be a clash of positions. If the Church starts to speculate the acts of those tribes, conflicts are expected to rise. Cleavages among groups are bound to happen, for there will be no standard right, or standard wrong, to serve as a guide. What is good today may not be good tomorrow. Or what is good to us is bad to others.
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Cruz James Leonard



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PostSubject: answer to question # 2   Mon Dec 08, 2008 6:04 am

I believe that moral relativism is both true and acceptable. The existence of differences in faith, governance, and other elements in the society is one thing that shows that it is indeed present. By saying this, a basic question that might pop-up is ‘Why do these differences exist?’. This is where one’s system of values comes into play. However, discussing values would only lead us to a common conclusion that these are things that are either ‘intrinsic’ or ‘extrinsic’ and thus end that way. I am not however discarding the concept of ‘value’ to be irrelevant in this debate, but rather thinking of it as something that has already been established.
I have mentioned faith and governance so I would give a few simple examples on these particular categories. On one hand we have faith or religion. Here I would focus on comparing the Christians and the Muslims. A common difference that could be seen is the laws regarding marriage. Christians are monogamous, while the Muslims are polygamous. Then on eating habits, Christians are not prohibited to eat pork while Muslims are. And also in terms of their worship, Christians worship Jesus Christ while the Muslims worship Allah.
On the other hand, for the issue of governance the existence of different types of political systems, political ideologies, political beliefs and the likes also support the existence of moral relativism. Even the existence of territorial borders is something that shows it. If there exists no difference in the way of thinking of all the people in the world then why do wars exist? Or even why are there borders – both territorial and ideological – that divide the world?
These simple and shallow examples show that these mere differences already make it clear that moral relativism exists. Is it acceptable? I believe so too. One might argue that because of this constant wars occur, but looking deeper into the history of wars – especially the Christian-Muslim war – one could see that it is also a result of one trying to impose their will over the other, trying to get them to accept something which they believe to be universal.
However, for those who view the world in an ‘ideal’ perspective, the existence of something like moral relativism is very problematic. Problematic in the sense that there would be nothing to determine which action is right or wrong. Or more specifically which is moral or immoral. This is because moral relativism promotes that there is no universal or absolute morality. So chaos might even occur to some. However, in reality, there are but a few universal truths and most of these are empirical knowledge and not moral.
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Larosa



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PostSubject: Assignment #2. First question (Ethical Relativism and its difficulties)   Tue Dec 09, 2008 8:53 am

Ethical relativism purports the idea that there is no universal truth (since no one has proven through time that there is one) hence there are no airtight standard moral right and wrongs that can be implemented in all societies because there is no absolute truth because everything is relative. This idea tells us that it would depend on the cultural and societal norms of a given society.
The first difficulty I want to point out in this idea is that just because no individual/entity has successfully proven fully the existence of a universal truth does not justify the conclusion that there is no universal truth.
Second, it doe not follow that if a given society practices a belief that is different from others’ perspective does not make it right completely because it is there belief. If a society permits killing does it follow that it is always permissible to follow that certainty? And if s/he migrates to another society wherein killing is immoral, can individuals label her as an immoral person?
Lastly, if this idea tells us that there is no universal code of ethics, then the idea of ethical relativism will contradict the existence of a Supreme Being, since it does not permit universal truth and morals. This is a personal argument I would like to point out. If relativists purport the idea that no absolute thing exists, can they say a Supreme Being exists? This notion will raise numerous criticisms from religious institutions and the like.
I believe that individuals’ outlook in what is good and not only differs due to the context that is being acculturated to them. Although they are diverse, it does not entail different moral principles. The mere fact that people still have the capacity to choose what they think is right and wrong tells us that not all of us easily obey blindly to societal norms etc. There will always be an absolute underlying moral standard.
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