What moral relativism says is that ethical judgments are relative to a particular viewpoint and that no standpoint is privileged over all others. I began to believe that after examining contrasting points of view on several issues, abortion for example. Anti-abortion people who protest outside abortion clinics and kill abortion doctors (in extreme cases) believe their actions are justified, particularly in the latter's case. To them, if you stop the doctor, you stop the abortion.
Let's face it, we are all moral relativists, none of us think that we should apply the same standards to everyone. Soldiers and police officers have to follow a different ethic than civilians, to start with, they are authorized to kill, in fact, that is the job of a soldier. No one else is allowed to do that. Different standards, different ethical principles, are applied in this case. Similarly when we study history we have to be moral relativists if we are going to make moral assessments of certain figures and societies, we can't judge everything by our modern standards.
Moreover, there is no reason to think that deontology is better than utilitarianism, or that either of these is a superior ethical philosophy when compared to virtue ethics. They are all just as valid and just as philosophically justified.
However, I don't believe that all view points should be placed in the same footing, or that there is no such thing as a "right action" or a "wrong action"--that would be moral nihilism.
In a world where anyone can be killed and brought back to life, death would have a much smaller effect. Therefore, relatively speaking, killing someone wouldn't be as morally wrong as, say, taking away their freedom or using them. My point being, because in different situations different things have different values, moral-ism is relative.
Morality is an active process. It requires constant thinking and rewiring of one's thoughts. Thinking that there is one solid objective morality can be dangerous, because it can switch morality from an active process to a passive process. Objective morality can become connected to one's ego. The closer one becomes to the supposed objective reality, the more morally superior one views one's self. Self-doubt is not a bad thing. It is a sign that you are observing the world around you through your own mind and intuition. Conforming to external morality without the presence of self-doubt means not being truly present to observe the reality of the world.
There is no intrinsic value or purpose of life or being, therefore it's not even clear whether death is bad or good. There's no indication of what is good and bad, other than depending on what the result one wishes to get out of it is. Most of us instinctually value our own life, therefore we value the life of others like us more than we value lifeless things.
Even if morality isn't subjective, we still have no idea what the objective values are. Plenty of religions out there praise gods whose actions I'd consider immoral. If one of them existed, that would mean there's an objective morality I and many others may not even agree with. Taking this further, who is to say the gods morality is better than our own? Again, it's relative to us.
It's all relative to us as we're the ones with the burden of decision. The only objectively immoral thing is to do something that you yourself subjectively find immoral. If you find it immoral, it really is an immoral thing to do, if not, then there's no unbiased source of information that can really assert that it's wrong to do.
Morality in our society is decided by consensus of subjective opinion. That's just how society works, though. One could still feel the desire to live outside of society - and we should not be authoritative over those who choose to live that way. Unfortunately, we often are. However, if someone does something that affects our society badly, it's natural to feel the need to take care of the problem. If a plant is producing poisonous gasses that would kill us all, we would try to eradicate it. If a person is doing things that have a decidedly negative affect on us, we should take the measures we find morally acceptable under general consensus to ensure it stops.
Most morals that exist do so to protect ourselves as a society and attempt to keep the world peaceful to ensure our survival as a species. But that doesn't mean they're intrinsically "correct", just that they work well for us. In a way, you could say that it's the entire point of morality, but it's not true that it's not subjective, and there are certain things where people will disagree what benefits society best or whether in those cases it should matter. There's no objective answer, but general consensus helps up to come up with a subjective one that we think will benefit the majority of us.
To just put it bluntly straight up, I do not believe that all ethical viewpoints should be considered to be on equal footing with all other viewpoints. Believing that something that harms nobody is 'wrong' purely *because* a book you read says so, with no actual rational reason for thinking that, is incredibly stupid irregardless of what the people who believe that may think. If you do not have, and can state, a rational, in-context reason for *why* something is wrong, you do not have an argument for it actually being wrong, merely a statement that you do not personally like it, which is morally meaningless. Ethical viewpoints based on reason and which have actual, logically meaningful and legitimate reasons for *why* certain things are wrong are objectively 'better' ethical system than ones which are not. As an example, there is straight up no logical reason to believe that abortion before 26 weeks (which is the point at which higher brain functions start, and the universal medical and legal point at which you are actually a 'person') is 'wrong'; the only reason some people do is because their biased, unjustifiable religious beliefs, which have no basis in reality, contradict the actual reality of the situation and they would rather impose their personal beliefs on everybody else than accept that.
Moral relativism is the view that moral truths are defined by groups of people, such as a society or a Church.
Put into another format, this is equivalent to asserting:
X is good = X is acceptable to Y group of people
However, if this was to be correct, then the statement 'everything that group of people Y find acceptable is NECESSARILY good'. However, this is false so the above equation is false, so moral relativism is false.
The Nazis were a group of people that found racism to be acceptable, but this did not racism good. If moral relativism is correct, then racism would be good in a Nazi society just because it is considered good. This seems absurd.
Why moral relativists can’t/shouldn’t waste time arguing:
Ex: I walk up to a moral relativist and tell them that I full heartedly believe that their view on murder is wrong and that it should be allowed for all. The relativist should in fact respect my beliefs and say something along the lines of “you do you”, but in reality, the relativist will change their argument on grave matters or even simple opposing matters, contradicting their supposed belief in relativism and proving they believe in moral absolutes.
Was the holocaust wrong? (If you believe it did not happen then would it have been wrong) What if that happened to your people? Do you think their should be laws? Moral relativism answers no to all of these. I am glad that it is not applied to our laws.
The definition of evil is that which is not good. Therefore, Evil is the opposite of Good. If I believe that giving money to the homeless is evil, and my culture believes that it is good, one of us must be wrong. We cannot both be correct. Just as there cannot be a square circle, there cannot be something that is both evil and good.
If you believe in moral relativism, then you believe that no view of morality is superior to another view. In essence, there is no absolute standard of morals to follow. That means that you cannot say that your view is superior to anyone else's view; it is merely your preference. In that case, it is not valid to claim that Hitler was "evil", because he acted accordingly to his own belief system and values. If you call something "good", such as giving money to the poor, you cannot claim it is good in any objective sense. It's just good to you. You don't have any reason to try to convince others what is good, any more than you would have a reason to convince someone that purple is the best color.
Most people agree that there are some things that are more morally right than others, and that it is a good thing to try to change others' opinion of what is good. If you have this view, you cannot believe in moral relativism.
While I don't really have the option whether to "believe" in moral relativism, which is just a theory that exists whether I like it or not, I'll take the question to be asking whether I "agree" that moral relativism is correct. I don't. I believe that there may be a great number of morally equivalent moral systems, but that there are also a number of possible or actual moral systems that are inferior. I understand that a terrorist may experience ecstasy before blowing himself up with innocent civilians, or a fundamentalist may experience a sense of justice when he locks girls inside a burning building so that no-one will see their unveiled faces, but his moral system that allowed that act is not equivalent to mine, which forbids such actions, and his is, furthermore, inferior. Moral relativism is, fundamentally, the assertion that there is no objective standard and that the morality of the outrageous is still moral. While that may be true with respect to the neurology involved (the same areas of the brain are active when people with radically different moral paradigms make moral decisions), it is also true that we can, at least, gauge morality by what has survival value, and I believe a humane morality that recognizes individual freedoms has better survivability.
I do agree that there are many moral values that are deemed subjective and controversial, but I also believe that there are moral values that hold true independent of what one or others believe or disbelieve in.
These moral truths are something to be discovered, interpreted, perceived, empathized, see in logically and emotionally, and comprehended. In simpler words, to understand the nature of that true morality.