Ethics Defined: Moral Relativism

Ethics Defined: Moral Relativism


Moral Relativism Moral relativism is the idea that there is
no universal or absolute set of moral principles. It’s a version of morality that advocates
“to each her own,” and those who follow it often say, “Who am I to judge?” Moral relativism can be understood in several
ways. Descriptive moral relativism, also known as
cultural relativism, says that moral standards are culturally defined,
which is generally true. Indeed, there may be a few values that seem
nearly universal, such as honesty and respect, but many differences appear across cultures when people evaluate moral standards around the world. Meta-ethical moral relativism states that
there are no objective grounds for preferring the moral values of one culture
over another. Societies make their moral choices based on
their unique beliefs, customs, and practices. And, in fact, people tend to believe that
the “right” moral values are the values that exist in their own culture. Normative moral relativism is the idea that all societies should accept each other’s differing moral values, given that there are no universal moral principles. Most philosophers disagree however. For example, just because bribery is okay
in some cultures doesn’t mean that other cultures cannot
rightfully condemn it. Moral relativism is on the opposite end of
the continuum from moral absolutism, which says that there is always one right
answer to any ethical question. Indeed, those who adhere to moral relativism
would say, “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.”

5 thoughts on “Ethics Defined: Moral Relativism

  1. Dump universal because we're on planet Earth and we need to move out of this fucked up place for Mars and Alpha Centauri!

  2. "Do not enrich yourself upon the misery of another."
    One billion humans suffer starvation, only because seven billion refuse to feed them.
    More intelligent upper-half always hoards all the land, wealth and political power.
    Virtually everyone enriches themselves upon the misery of those with less education, less wealth or less whiteness of skin.

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