Ethical (Moral) Relativism
In America, many are comfortable describing ethics as follows: “Well, what’s right for me is right for me and what’s right for you is right for you. Let’s just agree to disagree.” This is an affirmation of what philosophers call individual or subjective moral relativism. In this understanding of relativism, morality is a matter of individual feelings and personal preference. In individual moral relativism, the determination of what is right and wrong in a situation varies according to the individual. Moral relativists do not believe in natural law or universal truths.
Cultural moral relativism puts culture at the forefront of relative ethical decision-making. It says the individual must include the precepts of his or her culture as a prominent part of the relativistic moral action.
Lawrence Kohlberg, a prominent psychologist known for recognizing moral stages of development, takes it a step farther saying cultural relativists are persons stuck in the “Conventional Stage” of ethical development.
In your paper, please define individual moral relativism and cultural moral relativism in detail, noting how they differ from each other, their strengths and weaknesses, and give your position on Kohlberg’s stance on ethical relativism.
What aspects of ethical relativism do you identify and agree with? What aspects do you disagree with? Give a personal example that illustrates your stance on ethical relativism, describing how you made a moral decision in an ethical dilemma. Include at least two references to support your thoughts.
Post a 500-word paper to the M4: Assignment 2 Dropbox by due Wednesday, April 9, 2014. All written assignments and responses should follow proper citation rules for attributing sources. Please use Microsoft Word spelling/grammar checker. Be mindful of plagiarism policies.
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