What is ethical relativism?
What is ethical relativism? The term "ethical relativism" encompasses a number of different beliefs, but they all agree that there are no universal, permanent criteria to determine what may or may not be an ethical act. God granted no divine command, and human nature displays no common law.
Ethics refers to a corporate determination of what is right or appropriate versus what is wrong or inappropriate.
This is as opposed to morals, which refers to an individual's determination of right and wrong. Morality and ethics do not always align; someone may consider it morally wrong to eat meat but also believe it is unethical for a government to force others to be vegetarian.
Ethical relativism a parent may agree with the state's law that prohibits underage drinking but may allow his own child to take a sip of champagne at a family function.
There are several facets of ethical relativism, which states Ethical relativism universal truth is either a myth or impossible to determine, but at the same time admits that ethical behavior does exist.
The various views within ethical relativism stem from different opinions on whether ethics are based on culture, careful analysis of the world, or personal opinion. Cultural relativism says that "right" and "wrong" should only be considered within the context of the culture and environmental influences of a society.
If a society says something is good, then it is good for them. Cultural relativism does not judge any given system of ethics. Cultural relativism leads some anthropologists to decry missionary activity among indigenous peoples.
The thinking is that a culture should be left undisturbed and that evangelizing a lost tribe is tantamount to destroying the culture. Some will even defend practices such as cannibalism and headhunting in the name of cultural relativism—who are we to say that another culture is wrong?
The Bible allows for differences in culture.
At the same time, the Bible presents a standard of righteousness that extends to all cultures, everywhere. So, there may be aspects of a culture which can be embraced and even celebrated by a believer in Christ, and there are other aspects which need to be abandoned if the Bible calls them sinful.
Culture does not dictate truth; God does.
And ethics need to change as new discoveries are made and logical theories are put into practice. Prohibition is a classic example. American society went from accepting alcohol to making it illegal to accepting it again. Banning alcohol was found to be impractical, so the ethics of the nation changed.
Currently, laws such as legalizing marijuana and gay marriage are passing in states which not so long ago would never have considered such things. At the same time, medical discoveries have put more and more pressure on the tobacco industry. Changes in law reflect changes in perception of what will be best for the society at large as well as what is practical.
Self-adjustment of a society's ethics is normal—clothing styles, which reflect ethics, have changed many, many times in the last hundred years. And it's good for a culture to correct its ethics, as the West has done with slavery.
The Bible records how the ethics of Jewish Christians changed when Peter discovered that the church is free from Jewish kosher laws Acts But ethics without a firm foundation are useless for anything other than reflecting the beliefs of a particular people group at a certain time.
God calls us to know the truth John 8: It is foolish to base choices of right and wrong only on pragmatism. The easiest way to do something may be efficient and therefore pragmatic, but the easiest way may not be the best way.
Also, trying to determine morality based on consequences is unwise. For one thing, we cannot foresee all the results of an action; we can only guess.
Only God knows the end from the beginning Isaiah For another thing, some good actions may have a bad result, and vice versa. What of the bank robber who is never caught?
Or what of the fireman who dies rescuing a child? Consequences do not define truth; Scripture does. So, each individual has the right to determine morality for himself.The objections to ethical relativism are explained. Ethical absolutism, ethical nihilism, and ethical skepticism are defined.
Conventional ethical relativism supports the view that the truth of moral principles is relative to cultures. Unlike the subjective view, what is right for you as an individual is dependant upon what your particular culture believes is right for you.
Apr 27, · Relativism is the idea that a given things definition is based on the perspective from which it is viewed. The best example I can give is one of those holographic pictures that change depending on your position in relation to the picture itself, ie where you are standing when looking at it.
Question: "What is ethical relativism?" Answer: The term "ethical relativism" encompasses a number of different beliefs, but they all agree that there are no universal, permanent criteria to determine what may or may not be an ethical act.
God granted no divine command, and human nature displays no. What is Ethical Relativism? Ethical Relativism is the view that moral (or normative) statements are not objectively true, but “true” relative to a particular individual or society that.
Ethical relativism, the doctrine that there are no absolute truths in ethics and that what is morally right or wrong varies from person to person or from society to society.