Philosophy Essay: Does it make sense to say individuals can create their own moral rules?

Essay by sameerchoudhariUniversity, Bachelor'sA-, September 2009

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Encompassing a famous history, morality seems to serve a purpose in our world. So how did it begin? Initially, it was set up in society because our personal moral opinions began to clash with one another, and we needed to understand what is actually meant by something being "right" or "wrong." On this account, it seems that morality by birth, is something beyond individualistic judgements and perhaps universal and objective in nature. On the other hand, Ursula Le Guin's parable "The One's Who Walk Away From Omelas" delineates the conflict that exists between consequentialist and deontological moral considerations, which prima facie tempts us to believe that morality is ultimately subject to one's personal attitudes and values. However, if we delve deeper into ethics, it becomes clear that with any sort of objective grounding for morality, it makes absolutely no sense that individuals can create their own moral rules. Furthermore, any attempts made by various moral subjectivist theories to dispute this claim are flawed on both normative and meta-ethical levels.

As we can now see, the answer to this question falls down to the clash between the subjectivity and objectivity of morality. Moral objectivism can be described as "There is a fact of the matter as to whether any given action is morally permissible or impermissible" and this does not solely rely on our individual attitudes. Contrastingly, moral subjectivism generally holds the view that morality is subject to our personal attitudes and there is no moral reality. On this view it may seem, that it makes sense to say that individuals can create their own moral rules, but I will now expose the problems associated with both normative and meta-ethical branches of moral subjectivism.

So let us then uphold the view, that it there is sense in saying individuals can create...