The Problem of Morality & Relativism
Word Count – 1,840
For a philosopher the problem of Morality and Relativism can be one that is quite difficult to grasp and completely understand. Trying to place morality on an individual can be a daunting task considering many do not follow explicit standards or if they do, these standards may vary drastically such as ideology of what is proper in daily consumption. Some of this difficulty arises from the fact that there are various theories on morality including: Subjective Absolutism, Subjective Relativism, and Cultural Relativism. The basic question being addressed within this problem is “what makes an action right or wrong?” Each theory trying to resolve this problem has reasons to accept and reject the positions they support.
Often moral issues have very different views or opinions which gives reason for many to embrace Subjective Absolutism. This doctrine states that an action is right just in case one approves of it. Meaning that if any person believes an action to be right than it is then a permissible and right act to commit. Thus morality from this view is completely subject to comprehension and beliefs. It wouldn’t be far off to say that an act someone previously viewed as permissible another person may feel more inclined to act upon, such as students seeing fellow classmates take food from dining halls. This can help to address the widespread views that are common today, but it also allows an action to become both right and wrong. Such as the topic of gay marriage where one party may see it as permissible while another party doesn’t, subjective absolutism says both would be right, therefore entailing a contradiction. A statement said to be true doesn’t make it true, just like an action said to be right doesn’t make it so.
In order to overcome this contradiction, subjectivists may adopt another view that makes moral terms more individual and applicable only on a person to person basis. This...