meaning of moral absolutism

Essay by jjjj22High School, 12th gradeB, October 2014

download word file, 5 pages 0.0


Everyone has different views on a situation; someone either has a relativist or absolute point view. In order to distinguish the difference between the two, it is important to define the two. Moral absolutism is when there is only one correct answer to every moral problem and situation. In an absolutists opinion something is always right or wrong regardless of the situation. In contrast, Moral relativism is when there are no universally valid moral principles so a moral problem can be either right or wrong. In moral relativism there are no objective ethical truths

There are strength and weaknesses to both moral theories. Beginning with the weaknesses to moral relativism, that relativism can cause a wrong action to be justified in someone's opinion. This leads to our society remaining stationary and not progressing. It also implies that there can be no real evaluation or criticism of practices and it fails to realise that specific moral values are present globally.

There is an obvious problem when relativism is applied to certain issues that some people consider to be immoral, but other societies believe to be moral and good. However, there are strengths to the theory as it causes relativists to have respect and tolerance for other societies and cultures beliefs in a certain scenario. Also an action is evaluated upon situation and doesn't rely on God.

Similarly, there are strengths and weaknesses to absolutism. Clearly a weakness is that absolutism does not take into account the circumstance of each situation and therefore an action that is illegal is automatically frowned upon disregarding the fact that it may have taken place for a good reason. For example, a mother may steal food in order to feed her starving children. In today's culture everything is very diverse...