Absolutism and Relativism

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Definition of Moral Relativism?
There are no universally valid moral principles and so there is no one true morality.
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True/False: All principles and values are relative to a particular culture or age.
True
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What is a problem relating to truth with ethical relativism?
It leads people to think that the truth depends on who holds it.
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Does truth matter? and why?
It doesn't matter as everything depends on the culture or time.
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What is meant by Cultural Relativism?
What is right or wrong depends on the culture.
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Are there any universal truths according to Cultural relativism?
No
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An example of cultural relativism?
To us it is wrong to cut off a Man's hand as punishment for theft BUT for Muslims this is the required punishment.
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5 Reasons for relativism?
Decline of religious authority, Greater understanding of other cultures, Unacceptable effects of interfering with other cultures, Influence of meta-ethical analysis (what certain words mean), Development of competing theories.
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6 weaknesses of relativism?
No real evaluation/criticism of practices, Doesn't allow societies to progress, Little reason for behaving morally except to be socially acceptable, Not subjectivism (problematic), Some statements are true absolutely, Ethical beliefs can change
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What is meant by Normative Relativism?
Actions are assessed according to ethical theories (about what is right/good)
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What is meant by Absolutism?
An objective moral rule or value that is always true in all situations and for everyone without exception.
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What is an ethical absolute?
A command that is true for all times, in all places and in all situations.T
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True/False: Certain things are NOT right or wrong from an objective point of view and cannot change according to culture.
False - Certain things are right or wrong from an objective point of view.
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Give an example of this
Murder is always wong.
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Is this approach Deontological or Teleological?
Deontological
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Why is it Deontological?
Consequences of the action are NOT taken into consideration.
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Where do laws come from according to Theists?
God
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What might an agnostic/atheist say about where laws come from?
They just seem a prior in nature.
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What philosophical theory does this fit into? and why?
Plato's theory of the Forms because there are some things we know without being taught.
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How would religion view Moral Absolutism?
They would agree with it as many religions have moral absolutist positions as laws set by the deity or deities.
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Give an example of a set of religious absolute laws
Ten Commandments
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What is meant by 'graded absolutism'?
The view that there is a hierarchy of absolutes.
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What did Corrie ten Boom (1892-1983) do?
She lied to the Nazis about the Jews her family was hiding.
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Was this morally right? and why?
Yes because protecting lives is a higher moral value than telling the truth to murderers.
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What ethical theories follow Normative absolutism?
Natural Moral Law and Kantian Ethics
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4 strengths of Absolutism?
Fixed ethical code, One culture can judge actions of another (e.g. genocide), Support universal laws (e.g. Human rights), Seen as an impossible ideal
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3 weaknesses of Absolutism?
Doesn't consider consequences, Intolerant of cultural diversity, How do we know what absolute morals are?
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Was Socrates an absolutist or a relativist?
Absolutist
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What did he believe about morality?
All humans share a common, innate understanding of what is morally good.
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Was Plato an absolutist or a relativist?
Absolutist
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Where did Plato believe knowledge came from?
The Form of the Good (Highest of all the forms)
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Was Protagoras an absolutist or a relativist?
Relativist
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2 of Protagoras' famous quotes?
"There's no truth in anything beyond the way it seems" and "Truth is only true for me and true or you".
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How did Aristotle say you could become virtuous?
By looking at virtuous people and discovering how to develop our character.
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What is the difference between Deontological ethics and Teleological ethics?
Deontological ethics determines the morality of an action by looking at the act in itself whereas Teleological ethics determines the morality by looking at the consequences of an action.
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What are the examples of Deontological ethics?
Natural Moral Law, Kantian ethics and Divine Command Theory
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What are the examples of Teleological ethics?
Utilitarianism and Situation EthicsW
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What are the 3 categories of ethics?
Meta-ethics, Normative ethics and Applied ethics
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What is Meta-ethics?
Looking at the meaning of language used in ethics.
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What is Normative ethics?
Arriving at practical moral standards that distinguish right from wrong and tell us how to live moral lives (e.g. ethical theories).
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What is Applied ethics?
The application of theories of right and wrong to specific issues such as: Abortion, Euthanasia and Genetic Engineering.
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Card 2

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True/False: All principles and values are relative to a particular culture or age.

Back

True

Card 3

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What is a problem relating to truth with ethical relativism?

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

Does truth matter? and why?

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

What is meant by Cultural Relativism?

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