Moral Absolutism and Moral Relativism

NOTES FOR OCR AS ETHICS

HideShow resource information
  • Created by: Angharad
  • Created on: 31-03-12 15:51
Preview of Moral Absolutism and Moral Relativism

First 131 words of the document:

ETHICAL THEORIES IN A NUTSHELL
UTILITARIANISM: An action is right if it maximises the
overall happiness of all people.
KANTIAN ETHICS: Treat other people the way you'd wish
to be treated and never treat people
as if they were objects or means to an
end.
CULTURAL RELATIVISM: What is right or wrong varies
according to the beliefs of each
culture.
DIVINE COMMAND: Do as the creator tells you.
NATURAL LAW: Everything is created for a purpose,
and when this is examined by human
reason a person should be able to
judge how to act in order to find
ultimate happiness.
SITUATION ETHICS: Based on agape which wills the good
of others.

Other pages in this set

Page 2

Preview of page 2

Here's a taster:

MORAL
ABSOLUTISM AND
MORAL
RELATIVISM…read more

Page 3

Preview of page 3

Here's a taster:

WHAT IS ETHICAL RELATIVISM?
The theory of ethical relativism holds the principle that there are no universally valid moral
principles ­ all principles and values are relative to a particular culture or era. Ethical relativism
means that there is no such thing as good `in itself', but if an action seems good to you and bad
to me, there is no objective basis for discovering the truth.
Moral Relativism: There are no universally valid moral principles and so there is no one
true morality.…read more

Page 4

Preview of page 4

Here's a taster:

This
is what is known as the diversity thesis ­ because of the diversity across and within cultures
there can be no one true morality. By implication, there is nothing right or wrong universally,
which is known as the dependency thesis ­ what is right or wrong depends on the nature of
society.
EXAMPLES OF CLASHES OF CULTURES:
Polygamy and Monogamy.
Arranged Marriages and `Free' Marriages.…read more

Page 5

Preview of page 5

Here's a taster:

Ethical beliefs can change when challenged ­ primitive practices do stop.
ABSOLUTE: A principle that is universally binding.
MORAL OBJECTIVISM: Truth is objectively real, regardless of culture.
NORMATIVE ETHICS
CONSEQUENTIALISM: The rightness or wrongness of an act is determined by its
consequences.
This form of ethics is where actions are assessed according to ethical theories. It is about what is
actually right or good and not simply about cultural diversity or cultural dependency.…read more

Page 6

Preview of page 6

Here's a taster:

Pragmatism: A more practical approach to things.
Relativism: Comparative, or in relation.
Positivism: A positive way of thinking.
Personalism: Own point of view (subjective).
Fletcher came up with six fundamental propositions:
`Only one thing is intrinsically good namely love: nothing else at all.'
`The ruling norm of Christian decision making is love, nothing else.'
o Love the Lord, your God with all your heart, soul, strength and mind.
o Love one another as I have loved you.…read more

Page 7

Preview of page 7

Here's a taster:

­ a crime is a crime, regardless of the circumstances. Absolute ethics
allows judgements to be made about the actions of others. Absolute ethics allows courts of law to
exist and order to be maintained.
WHERE DO THESE ABSOLUTE LAWS COME FROM?
A theist would say God, whereas an agnostic or atheist would say that they seem a priori in
nature. They fit into Plato's theory of the Forms, as there are some things we just seem to know
are wrong without being taught.…read more

Page 8

Preview of page 8

Comments

No comments have yet been made

Similar Ethics resources:

See all Ethics resources »See all resources »