Arenas, Hazel Joy B.MAS70 – A1Prof. Chavez23 January 2018
Moral relativism is the idea that standards an individual or a group has about what is right and wrong or good and evil is based on their culture and therefore one has the right to determine his position of it for himself. It the opposite of moral absolutism which supports universal or absolute set of moral standards that states that particular actions are intrinsically right or wrong while relativism believes that actions are relative to social, cultural, historical or personal circumstances. This theory says that, “You decide what’s right for you, and I’ll decide what’s right for me.”, “It’s true for me, if I believe it.”, and “Who am I to judge?”.
It all started from 5th century Greece until one of the first to come up with a detailed theory of Moral Relativism was the Finnish philosopher and anthropologist Edward Westermarck (1862 – 1939) presenting that all moral ideas are subjective judgements that reflect one’s upbringing. The differences in beliefs among societies provides the evidence of the lack of any innate, intuitive power and of any universal or absolute beliefs.
Moral relativism has its characteristics, a descriptive moral relativism says moral standards are based on an individual’s own culture and environmental influences of his society while meta-ethical moral relativism states that there are no objective bases for a culture’s moral values to be privileged over another, whereas adheres that all societies should accept each other’s views about morality.
Relative morality is now being embraced by the 21st century or the modern world as there has been appreciation for culture diversity, declining importance of religion in modernized societies, critical attitudes for colonialism and simply because of the difficulty of proving value judgments the way one proves factual claims. It might sound good at first but it can be logically contradicting because relativism states that “all things are relative” and if all things are relative then it would be absolutely true. If it is absolutely true, then not all things are relative; and the statement that “All truth is relative” is false.