Ethical Theories - About people.tamu.edu

Ethical Theories - About people.tamu.edu

Ethics and Objectivity Cultural Relativism: moral values are relative to ones culture; there are no universally held values Ethical Absolutism: one set of moral values applies to all people and cultures Relative vs. absolute Subjective vs. objective

Objections to ethical relativism (the belief that no set of values ought to be applied to all) We need not respect all aspects of a culture The boundaries of a culture are difficult to set The existence of moral differences does not justify them: is does not imply ought (the naturalistic fallacy) Universal moral values are simply interpreted differently in different cultures

Isnt ethics different from science because ethics lacks agreement, has no way to resolve disputes, and is not objective? No: There are wide areas of ethical agreement Ethical disputes are resolved through reason In contrast to science, ethical values are objective not because they are based on an independent reality but because they are based on reliable methods of reasoning that consider how practices benefit or harm people

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