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  • Of course morals are relative.

    Do you really think stealing a grain of rice is as bad as murdering a person? Do you really think all societies have the same morals?

    Morality is the difference between right and wrong. It will always be relative, as different cultures have different basises for morality. Some are based on religion, others based on empathy.

  • Yes and no

    The problem with arguing relativity is everything is relative. In order to make something not relative we make assumptions or a base set of beliefs from which to build off of.
    So you could argue that a certain thing is not relative in relation to a given absolute or set of absolutes. You might also confer that these absolutes exist in relation to the belief you place in them. Beliefs are drawn relative to experiences we perceive.

    Are morals relative? They exist absolutely in relation to the belief that they do.

  • It's Obvious That Morals Are Relative:

    Humans live by various moral standards that depend on which nation or group you are in. Morality differs from country to country, from religious sect to religious sect. Many judge other groups by their own moral compasses, which are set by the group or world view they belong to. Christians will see the senseless murder of people for power and money by terrorist groups as barbaric and a complete lack of morality, while the terrorists justify such murders by their own rather twisted set of morals, and consider nations that eat pork and have women's ankle's exposed as immoral societies. So, yes, Morality is so Obviously Relative!

  • Morals are modular but not relative:

    Traditions, Social Behaviors, Ethics, Morals, and Language encompass a decent portion of what makes a culture. Traditions, Social Behaviors, and Morals are the most elastic however they are not relative. Moral Relativity ( in Ethics, known as Cultural Relativism ) hinges itself on the fact that a minority of our moral standards are self-discovered however Tradition and Social Behavior and Language drive most of our morals which in turn leads to the Ethos of a Culture.

    So while some morals are subjective most are not and generally speaking people err between Morals and Traditions by which Traditions encompass Beliefs which may have their own Ethos. Contrary to popular belief you can actually live by multiple ethical theories at one time presuming they don't directly contradict so you can indeed have a traditional ethos ( say a religion's Divine Command Theory ) combined with a cultural ethos ( say Consequentialism ) which can cause variance, but not relativity, in a groups outlook.

    Morals objectivity or subjectivity is a separate issue and does not directly effect moral relativity.

  • What Sagey describes are beliefs not morals; Objective Morality is what promotes reason because reason is what it means to be human

    Sagey uses the word "morality" for "beliefs about what is moral". That is NOT what morality means or at least has not been in most discourses about morality between laymen and philosophers going back throughout history. Until people proposed moral relativism or moral subjectivism people would always speak of "morality" as something that would be true regardless of any one person, any one group, or even many or most people or group's opinions. The only way to say that "morality" is relative is to change the definition of the word from the way it has been used throughout history.

    If you want to argue that morality doesn't exist that's one thing. And if there is no objective morality then there simply is no morality. People have opinions about what they themselves or what others or what groups or institutions should do in a wide variety of circumstances. That's not "morality". "Morality" IS what the above should do in a wide variety of circumstances NOT opinions about that.

    The entire "discourse" on morality has become very confused, that is to say it has become detached from the semantic history of the word "morality". In addition to people redefining "morality" to mean "opinion" some people speak of "morality" equating it with instinctual responses. But that's also against the way the word has been used historically. You don't need to have a discourse over something that is instinctual, if you do good by instinct then you just do it and don't have to discuss it or think about it.

    It's precisely because human beings can think about what they would be instinctually inclined to do and change their reaction that we find it useful to discuss when we should repress our instincts. Hence "reason" has more to do with developing beliefs about morality.

    The way to find objective morality is by considering what lead to discourse about morality in the first place. It is our existence not just as existing but as beings that reason rather than beings that just do everything impulsively. Reason is what it means to be human and hence those things that promote reason are moral and those that are against it are immoral.

  • Philosophically speaking, its rather flawed.

    If we are to say that morality is relative to individuals, then this leads to all sorts of philosophical problems. First off all if morality/ethics differs from person to person/culture to culture, then all ethical statements are of equal validity, however this is not possible, it is logically impossible for two contradictory statements to be true at the same time. I would also like to point out that, moral relativists are not moral nihilists, and so there claims are morally infallible. If the premise is that whatever one believes is moral then it follows that they can't ever be wrong, even if the change their minds. As a syllogism: 1)Many people and cultures have different moral beliefs. 2)Whatever people believe is true is true. 3) Ergo there are many different moral beliefs. It doesn't take a genius to realise that the second premise is heavily flawed. Moral relativism also does nothing to address the "Is-ought" divide articulated by David Hume, although societies throughout the world there are differing values, norms and customs, the relativist commits a huge fallacy when they equate what we do with what we ought to do. The relativist has no response to this other than "we ought to do what we do".

  • There is no reason to think they are, while there are good reason for thinking that they are not

    No good reason: all arguments (that I'm aware of, including the one by Sagey) don't actually show that morality is relative (no more than the fact that middle-age people believed, different than what we do today, in the geocentric solar system model would show that the positions of the solar system members is also relative)

    Good reasons: 1) or inner, natural belief is that is objective (we constantly affirm that when we judge people for their morally evil actions as if we were talking more then if it was 'just or opinion'); 2) moral objectivity can be easily accessed once objective moral grounds are defined (e.G.: God's commandments)


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