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Moral Relativism

Key Words:

Subjective ­ a particular point of view, dependent on the subject: personal POV
Emotivism ­ idea that moral judgements and just expressions of moral agents feelings and
not factual statements.

Historical Context:

Early differences in approaches to morality have led to divisions in ethics, main ones…

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Pragmatic:
Moral Relativism is more practical/pragmatic than absolutism. Governments work from this
principle. Consider the NHS who have limited resources/facilites, would it not be more
practical to use those limited resources/facilities on younger patients who have a longer life
ahead of them rather spending millions on keeping old patients alive…

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principles. Basic principles can be universal e.g. idea of charity/love or they can be specific to
that society. Hence, a society creates its own moral pyramids by logical deductions from first
principles. As different societies have different basic principles, each society will have a
different moral pyramid.

Subjective Relativism:

In…

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Moral Absolutism

Main Features of Moral Absolutism:

Universal Truth:

Moral absolutism holds that some things are intrinsically wrong. This means they are right and
wrong in all cultures, at all times in all situations.




Objective:

Certain things are wrong from an objective point of view and cannot change according to…

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Allows different societies to share Takes no account of cultural differences
values where moral laws can differ
Allows societies to evaluate morals of a Not flexible/pragmatic
different society ­ Before it was Takes no account of individual lifestyles
possible for Genocide to take place Takes no account of the situation…

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