Moral Relativism Is a Point-Of-View  Term Paper

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  • Subject: Business - Ethics
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Excerpt from Term Paper :

Then morality is relative, not absolute (Kreeft)

Weaknesses

One weakness of moral relativism consists of the consequences of not having moral constraints (Kreeft 2003). Correct or good morality, if valid, should always have good consequences. Incorrect or bad morality should always have bad consequences. The fact is that all wrong or immoral acts and attitudes bring on "good" or pleasant feelings. Moral relativism has never produced people worthy of praise. It has never produced good societies. History proves that the societies founded by Moses and Confucius lasted longer than those by Mussolino and Mao Tse Tung and that moral societies endure (Kreeft).

Tradition is not on the side of moral relativism. Moral absolutism is, in fact, the traditional morality (Kreeft 2003). It may be commonly thought that tradition is for snobs, but these snobs are really few and a minority. The truth of the matter is that absolutism has remained the norm in history. For ages, these snobs have remained in the minority and have only managed to impose their elitist "relativist" attitude on popular opinion (Kreeft).

Moral experience is the simplest argument against the weakness of moral relativism (Kreeft 2003). From birth, a person goes through moral experience, which is always and plainly absolutistic. It is only later in his life that this is altered by sophistication. Right at the start, he knows what should or ought to be done and what is right or wrong. Everyone experiences moral obligation without being taught beforehand. Moral absolutism, therefore, is a basic human experience. An innate sense of moral obligation moves a person towards an end from above or within. It is clearly inherent but empirical at the same time (Kreeft).

Moral protest also provides strong evidence of the correctness of moral absolutism and a fundamental weakness of moral relativism (Kreeft 2003). Every person by nature feels moral protest when treated wrongly or unfairly. Spousal infidelity clearly illustrates that an offended spouse feels wrong treated. Relativism appears to be personal rather than philosophical and has more hypocrisy in it than hypothesis. There is contradiction between its theory and its practice (Kreeft).

The language people use actually underlies moral absolutism and not moral relativism (Kreeft 2003). People really argue and fight over what they inherently feel to be right or wrong. They praise, blame or command according to that inherent sense of right and wrong. This built-in sense is what renders their language meaningful and puts strength into them to fight for what is right and fight against what they inherently know to be wrong (Kreeft).

The greatest weakness of moral relativism is that it does not really refute any argument (Kreeft 2003). It is not rational. Rather, it is only the rationalization of a prior action, which it must justify. It veers away from the principle that passion must be evaluated by reason and controlled by the will. Moral relativism contradicts the virtue of self-control, on which lasting civilizations are founded. But romanticists, existentialists, Freudians and other thinkers who reject self-control have managed to convince a minority that moral absolutism limits happiness (Kreeft).

Opinion

Pojman and Thomson's position that moral relativism is incorrect is true and valid. Ancient beliefs were derived from what the people then knew and honestly believed as true. But when science and other sources of verified knowledge developed, people changed those views in order to live better. Harman and Thomson cannot appeal to cultural diversity, subjectivism and conventionalism as evidence to favor moral relativism. Cultures inherently seek the greatest amount of human happiness in this world and it is moral absolutism, not moral relativism, which genuinely teaches and safeguards happiness. A subjective view does not make right look wrong or wrong look right. A correct regard of the self puts a person in line with moral absolutism, not with moral relativism. And conventions strive for the highest good for the highest number of people. It is the very same object of moral absolutism from which moral relativism deviates.

Bibliography

Gowan, Chris. Edward N. Zalta, ed. Moral Relativism. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, February 19, 2004. Retrieved on September 28, 2007 at http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/moral_relativism

Harman, Gilbert and Judith Jarvis Thomson, eds. "Moral Relativism" and Moral Objectivity. Blackwell, 1996

Kreeft, Peter. A Refutation of Moral Relativism. Transcription. Integritas Institute, 2003. Retrieved on September 28, 2007 at http://www.peterkreeft.com/audio/05_relativism_transcription.htm#11

Pojman, Louis P. And Lewis Vaugn, eds. The Moral Life: an Introductory…

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