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Ethical Relativism

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So, since I don't think there is a post like this on here yet (forgive me if there is. After a while, text starts to blur together) I decided that there is something I'd really like to discuss with other DC users?

 

Do you believe in Ethical Relativism?

 

For those of you who are not familiar with this theory:

 

Ethical Relativism is the theory that there is never an objective Right or Wrong. It is the belief that no situation or moral decision is ever objectively 'right' or 'wrong' because depending on who you ask, you always gt a different answer. Likewise, beliefs differ across cultures. What is perceived as wrong for one person may be just fine to another, so there is no real moral code that all humans should follow, just what we believe personally.

 

So, do you think this is about right? Or do you think that a universal morality can be applied to all human beings?

 

 

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Are you Talking about ethics or Morales? I think Morales are absolute but they are based on the Paradigma of Religion or believe. For Moratherapie and evil are always absolute. For example catholics always opose abortion. Because based on their believe its always Bad. Religions are based on Dogmas Maybe Thats why for them Morales Need to be absolute too.

 

Ethics However are based on thinking, in that Case there are no absolutes, only Individual situations. The Same Thing, like abortion, can be Bad or Good Depending on the conclusion your Logic Leads you to.

 

The Problem is that People that use Ethics as Paradigma for what they think to be Good Discuss with People that use Morals. For the First One everything is Depends on rational Arguments for the secounds everything on the Dogmas of their believe. Thats a Bad if you are Not Award of it.

Edited by ana3

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So, since I don't think there is a post like this on here yet (forgive me if there is. After a while, text starts to blur together) I decided that there is something I'd really like to discuss with other DC users?

 

Do you believe in Ethical Relativism?

 

For those of you who are not familiar with this theory:

 

Ethical Relativism is the theory that there is never an objective Right or Wrong. It is the belief that no situation or moral decision is ever objectively 'right' or 'wrong' because depending on who you ask, you always gt a different answer. Likewise, beliefs differ across cultures. What is perceived as wrong for one person may be just fine to another, so there is no real moral code that all humans should follow, just what we believe personally.

 

So, do you think this is about right? Or do you think that a universal morality can be applied to all human beings?

I believe in it as theory, given that right and wrong are human* constructs, but I refuse to believe in it in practice, as that way lies hell. smile.gif

 

 

 

* and yes, some animals seem to have the concepts too

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I believe in it as theory, given that right and wrong are human* constructs, but I refuse to believe in it in practice, as that way lies hell. smile.gif

 

Descriptive moral relativism is self-evident. Normative moral relativism (good/bad meaningless) has implications of what we ought to do i.e. tolerate rape, murder. etc.

 

 

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So rape is right sometimes?

 

Nope, don't believe in it.

No - this is all theory stuff.

 

That kind of thing is exactly why it cannot work in practice, only as a theory.

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Everything is shades of gray. some things are very dark almost black shades and some things are almost white. I can't conceive every possible scenario, I can't rule that there isn't one single case that might make me think about things differently.

 

In practice, yeah, I can't think of any cases where rape would be right. But, I can't think of all the cases, either. Everyone is probably going to jump on me for saying this because we had to go straight to rape. I can't personally think of a case, no, but I'm limited.

 

I just don't feel inclined to say that anything is 100% right all the time and something is 100% wrong all the time. Every circumstance is different, and different by an number of variables.

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Everything is shades of gray. some things are very dark almost black shades and some things are almost white. I can't conceive every possible scenario, I can't rule that there isn't one single case that might make me think about things differently.

 

In practice, yeah, I can't think of any cases where rape would be right. But, I can't think of all the cases, either. Everyone is probably going to jump on me for saying this because we had to go straight to rape. I can't personally think of a case, no, but I'm limited.

 

I just don't feel inclined to say that anything is 100% right all the time and something is 100% wrong all the time. Every circumstance is different, and different by an number of variables.

Well, yes. You can argue (which is where ethical relativism comes in !) that there COULD in theory be a culture where rape is actually accepted and enjoyed. I cannot conceive of this myself - but in such a culture, THEY might think that - for instance - forgiveness was a mortal sin, and catching a cold would cop you a jail sentence. Because these things ARE cultural constructs, even though the total wrongness of rape is blindingly OBVIOUS to all of us. This other culture might think WE were the depraved ones.

 

May I refer readers to Samuel Butler's Erewhon, which somewhat explores this idea. In that, you do get punished for physical illness, but hospitalised for murder.

Edited by fuzzbucket

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I guess rape is ok for the One commiting it, Putting his Need or strengh over the rights of the Victim. So there Actually are persons that think that its ok to rape, Maybe because they think to be more Important than the Victim, Maybe because they think that its ok if you are Just stromg enaugh enaugh to force their will on somebody else ( i dont know what they think)

 

nazis also thought that they had a right to kill variouse other groups. The Sowjets, and others did the Same. After ww2 ist was ok to Drive Million of People from their Homeland, in Order to create pure Nations. In the balkan wars rape was Seen to be a legitimate weapon to Pull down the morals of the enemy. Make the others feel Bad so they wont Fight so Hard, and to Destroy their Nation(which Wouldnt be "pure" if The children Concieved that Way Would be Allouwed to Life. So they thought an evil Thats working for the greater Good was ok, or that they had a right to so ist because they were better.

 

Ähm and no I dont think that rape or Marder is ok, I Argue that there are and have been Points of Views from which they are.

Edited by ana3

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I guess rape is ok for the One commiting it, Putting his Need or strengh over the rights of the Victim. So there Actually are persons that think that its ok to rape, Maybe because they think to be more Important than the Victim, Maybe because they think that its ok if you are Just stromg enaugh enaugh to force their will on somebody else ( i dont know what they think)

 

nazis also thought that they had a right to kill variouse other groups. The Sowjets, and others did the Same. After ww2 ist was ok to Drive Million of People from their Homeland, in Order to create pure Nations. In the balkan wars rape was Seen to be a legitimate weapon to Pull down the morals of the enemy. Make the others feel Bad so they wont Fight so Hard, and to Destroy their Nation(which Wouldnt be "pure" if The children Concieved that Way Would be Allouwed to Life. So they thought an evil Thats working for the greater Good was ok, or that they had a right to so ist because they were better.

 

Ähm and no I dont think that rape or Marder is ok, I Argue that there are and have been Points of Views from which they are.

None of that makes those responses "the right thing to do" though. It's true they might have thought it was, but from a moralisitc and drawn back perspective the question is deeper than that. Thinking something is right doesn't make it right.

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I guess rape is ok for the One commiting it, Putting his Need or strengh over the rights of the Victim. So there Actually are persons that think that its ok to rape, Maybe because they think to be more Important than the Victim, Maybe because they think that its ok if you are Just stromg enaugh enaugh to force their will on somebody else ( i dont know what they think)

 

nazis also thought that they had a right to kill variouse other groups. The Sowjets, and others did the Same. After ww2 ist was ok to Drive Million of People from their Homeland, in Order to create pure Nations. In the balkan wars rape was Seen to be a legitimate weapon to Pull down the morals of the enemy. Make the others feel Bad so they wont Fight so Hard, and to Destroy their Nation(which Wouldnt be "pure" if The children Concieved that Way Would be Allouwed to Life. So they thought an evil Thats working for the greater Good was ok, or that they had a right to so ist because they were better.

 

Ähm and no I dont think that rape or Marder is ok, I Argue that there are and have been Points of Views from which they are.

The point is that all these views - much as I agree with them - are part of OUR culture and we hold these views because we have been conditioned to hold them BY our culture. In another world, another mindset, we might see thing very differently. That is the whole point of this.

 

Not whether we think things are right, wrong or grey, but whether they are, or can be, absolutely so. You can see it in action to a degree in the abortion debate. Those conditioned by their religion will never be able to see it as other than murder; those conditioned otherwise will never be able to see it AS murder. Whether it is "right" or "wrong" comes directly from that conditioning - as do ALL our views on these things.

 

Edited for typefails.... I'll probably be back when I see another...

Edited by fuzzbucket

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In practice, yeah, I can't think of any cases where rape would be right. But, I can't think of all the cases, either. Everyone is probably going to jump on me for saying this because we had to go straight to rape. I can't personally think of a case, no, but I'm limited.

Just to play devils advocate, consider the hypothetical situation where the population was vastly reduced, perhaps by some catastrophe, or as the result of starting a new population on a new planet etc, etc. In said situation, because of the restricted gene pool, it might be necessary to allocate people 'breeding partners' and require them to have children - some individuals would obviously object (either to their partner, or the requirement to have children) but be forced to do it to ensure the continuation of the population/species in the future.

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I can see that one.

user posted image

But even so - I don't think specific examples are even needed. Conditioning and culture are the BIG things, IMHO ! and the nature of absolutes !

 

But - if we hadn't got ourselves the idea that there WERE such things as right and wrong, this discussion could not even happen. That's what I mean about it all being about human constructs.

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So rape is right sometimes?

 

Nope, don't believe in it.

Depending who you ask. Wifely duty, anyone?

 

Even some scriptures say that it's A-OK to rape as long as she's a virgin, you pay for her in the morning, and you make her your concubine wife afterward. You break it you buy it. Lest we forget that historically, we ladyfolk have been (and in many places continue to be) treated as sexual property and infant incubators rather than as people. And that, alarmingly, there are still people who subscribe to those outdated schools of thought.

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Right. Nothing can be said about Stalin's systematic murder of tens of millions of people.

Stalin apparently didn't think it was wrong, or at least not wrong enough not to kill his own people.

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It really depends on the situation for me. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. Some circumstances/situations are easy for me to choose what's right and wrong, but it's not clear to others. It depends on how you think and what kind of decisions you make, as well as the actual situation. smile.gif

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Depending who you ask. Wifely duty, anyone?

 

Even some scriptures say that it's A-OK to rape as long as she's a virgin, you pay for her in the morning, and you make her your concubine wife afterward. You break it you buy it. Lest we forget that historically, we ladyfolk have been (and in many places continue to be) treated as sexual property and infant incubators rather than as people. And that, alarmingly, there are still people who subscribe to those outdated schools of thought.

Cultural conditioning, Lytharien - both your view and the ones you cite. And mine too - cos I agree with you !

 

ETA And all the other views of right and wrong and good and evil in this thread, including mine.

 

The point of Ethical Relativism is simply that there are no absolutes in the ultimate scheme of things. Just as the planets zip around and might one day hit earth and we would all die. They don't give a toss. But if you translated that into humanity and human behaviour - the one doing the crashing and killing SHOULD have done something to avert it because it was WRONG to kill everyone. But that is because we humans have created the idea of right and wrong, good and evil, in the first place. Sure, to make it easier and nicer to live together and all that stuff - but still; we CREATED the idea. And around that we formulate our own views.

 

Yes, for instance, Stalin probably thought killing people was right. But where did HIS idea that there was a "right" for it to be able to be "right "come from ?

 

Doesn't anyone else here see what I mean, what this is all about ? It isn't about what we think is good and bad, it is where the concepts came from and whether they exist in a vacuum.

Edited by fuzzbucket

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Depending who you ask. Wifely duty, anyone?

 

Even some scriptures say that it's A-OK to rape as long as she's a virgin, you pay for her in the morning, and you make her your concubine wife afterward. You break it you buy it. Lest we forget that historically, we ladyfolk have been (and in many places continue to be) treated as sexual property and infant incubators rather than as people. And that, alarmingly, there are still people who subscribe to those outdated schools of thought.

What if it's a baby? Are there any cultures on this planet that condone that? Are there any people beyond extraordinarily screwed up individuals that condone it? There isn't even a primal instinct for it. Animals don't even rape their newborns. There is no logic to it.

 

There's many situations where there's grey area, but I think there are some things that are unquestionably right and wrong.

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What if it's a baby? Are there any cultures on this planet that condone that? Are there any people beyond extraordinarily screwed up individuals that condone it? There isn't even a primal instinct for it. Animals don't even rape their newborns. There is no logic to it.

 

There's many situations where there's grey area, but I think there are some things that are unquestionably right and wrong.

Raping infants, who knows? While you and I would be horrified at the thought, pedophiles have been known to justify their actions by attempting to claim that it was consensual, often claiming that their victims are "mature beyond their years" or somesuch. Similar arguments have been made by people found guilty of bestiality.

 

I suppose I could cite that one tribe where they believe sperm is not produced by the body and needs to be physically passed on from elders to the next generation. While most of us are pretty sure that's not the case, the young boys who go and... harvest... the stuff from the elders certainly seem enthusiastic. And to stop them would be a great moral wrongdoing in their eyes.

Edited by Lythiaren

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*gives up* sad.gif

 

Returns to the fray in case these links may explain it better than I seem to be doing:

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moral_relativism

http://carm.org/ethical-relativism

http://www.allaboutphilosophy.org/ethical-relativism-faq.htm

http://www.acsu.buffalo.edu/~jbeebe2/relativ.htm

 

And there is a difference between absolute ethical relativism and subjective ethical relativism - and I fear this thread is starting to look like a generalised discussion of individual values, which is very interesting but missing the OP's question completely - except for Lyth's sperm post xd.png which is a great example of totally different values within the human-as-we-know-it race.

Edited by fuzzbucket

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*gives up* sad.gif

 

Returns to the fray in case these links may explain it better than I seem to be doing:

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moral_relativism

http://carm.org/ethical-relativism

http://www.allaboutphilosophy.org/ethical-relativism-faq.htm

http://www.acsu.buffalo.edu/~jbeebe2/relativ.htm

 

And there is a difference between absolute ethical relativism and subjective ethical relativism - and I fear this thread is starting to look like a generalised discussion of individual values, which is very interesting but missing the OP's question completely - except for Lyth's sperm post xd.png which is a great example of totally different values within the human-as-we-know-it race.

No, I understand what you mean. I still believe there are scenarios where there are answers that are objectively right or wrong. I don't think the existence of 'right' or 'wrong' is entirely created by humans, I think it's biological. The things that are different between cultures may be the rights and wrongs we created, but ultimately I think there are rights and wrongs that are created by nature so they would be objective rights and wrongs.

 

Disagreement among people about morality doesn't guarantee that moral truth doesn't exist.

Edited by Syaoransbear

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No, I understand what you mean. I still believe there are scenarios where there are answers that are objectively right or wrong. I don't think the existence of 'right' or 'wrong' is entirely created by humans, I think it's biological. The things that are different between cultures may be the rights and wrongs we created, but ultimately I think there are rights and wrongs that are created by nature so they would be objective rights and wrongs.

Are there ? How can we tell ? Seriously ? Is it "right" that whatever it takes to ensure survival seems to be built in maybe ? That kind of thing.

 

But I am glad you see what I'm getting at ! I thought I was the only one discussing the topic at hand - except for Lyth's sperm post ! Which I now need to read up on !

 

Thanks - have a cookie wub.gif

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There's many situations where there's grey area, but I think there are some things that are unquestionably right and wrong.

This, basically.

 

The point of Ethical Relativism is simply that there are no absolutes in the ultimate scheme of things. Just as the planets zip around and might one day hit earth and we would all die. They don't give a toss. But if you translated that into humanity and human behaviour - the one doing the crashing and killing SHOULD have done something to avert it because it was WRONG to kill everyone.

 

Yeah, except a planet is not a thing that can make a choice. Humans can make choices, and they can base those choices on their past experiences and empathic sense ("how would I feel if this were done to me?"). That makes all the difference. In the context of the universe as a whole a wrongdoing on one planet might not make a difference, but that doesn't make it not a wrongdoing.

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