Re: Re: MD Is Morality Relative?

From: Platt Holden (
Date: Fri Dec 03 2004 - 17:19:44 GMT

  • Next message: "Re: MD Is Morality Relative?"

    Hi Steve,

    > What is Moral Absolutism?
    > Are there other types of morality?

    Referring to my Philosophy 101 textbook:

    Relativism: In ethics, the belief, based on empirical observation, that
    what is considered to be right and wrong differs from one society to
    another and one person to another, implying that there are no universal
    codes of right and wrong.

    Formalism (Absolutism): In ethics, the position that there are universal
    ethical standards that apply to all men, often believed to have been
    revealed by a deity.

    Contextualism: In ethics, the school of thought which holds that relevant
    ethical decisions can be made only with the context of a particular
    ethical problem where the unique factors of the situation can be taken
    into account.
    Then add Pirsigism:--In ethics, the concept that ethical decisions should
    be based on a evolutionary hierarchy of values

    > Does absolutism suggest that an act is either right or wrong in and of
    > itself or are the results or intent important?

    In practice, universal standards of right and wrong don't work very well.
    "Thou shall not kill," for example, doesn't apply in self-defense. "Love
    the neighbor" can invite someone to rob you blind.

    > Does relativity suggest that there really is no right or wrong or merely
    > that right and wrong are context dependent?

    Relatively is the kissing cousin of contextualism, but note the difference
    described above.

    >I think we need to agree on what is meant by the terms of discussion before
    > deciding whether the MOQ supports one or the other or neither.

    I think the MOQ generally supports both contextualism and formalism, the
    evolutionary moral structure being the absolute and context determining
    its proper applications.

    But, I could be wrong.


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