Presented by: Nathan Bennett Terri Small PJ White No single moral standard applies equally to all people There are many codes and standards Morality is relative to the norms of one’s culture There is a single moral standard that does not change; it is absolute Basic and fundamental ethical principles are true regardless of time, condition, or circumstances “What is absolutely true is always correct, everywhere, all the time, under any condition. An entity’s ability to discern these things is irrelevant to that state of truth.” –Steven Robiner The first clear statement of relativism comes with the Sophist Protagoras, as quoted by Plato: "The way things appear to me, in that way they exist for me; and the way things appears to you, in that way they exist for you" …moral values are relative to cultures and there is no way of showing that the values of one culture are better than those of another. American Anthropological Association – 1947 Social scientists who devoted considerable attention to the moralities of different cultures Edward Westermarck (1906-8 and 1932) Richard B. Brandt (1954) John Ladd (1957) Many religions have morally absolutist positions their system of morality is derived from the commands of a god. It would mean that even the most outrageous practices, are “right” if they are countenanced by the standards of the relevant society. Deprives us of any means of raising moral objections against social customs, provided that those customs are approved by the codes of the societies in which they exist. To claim that there is no legitimate way to judge a society’s practices “from the outside,” critics reply that we can always ask whether a particular cultural practice works to the advantage or disadvantage of the people within the culture. If every cultural system is valid, then none is better or worse compared to another cultural system. A belief in absolute "right and wrong" can potentially be used to justify any number of acts that might generally be considered to be "atrocities". Is it ethical or moral to kill someone or assist the suicide of someone who is old or ill? The relativistic approach killing someone who was ill or old could be a morally sound practice The absolutist approach Violation of: fundamental human right to life Law of one’s god In some societies, killing one's parents after they reached a certain age is common practice the belief that people were better off in the afterlife if they entered it while still physically active and vigorous. Some Hindus say that by helping to end a painful life a person is performing a good deed and so fulfilling their moral obligations.“ "The equality-of-human-life ethic requires that each of us be considered of equal inherent moral worth, and it makes the preservation and protection of human life society's first priority.Wesley Smith, JD Questions to ponder How “right” do you think it is to have one moral standard applicable to all people? Is it acceptable for a person to perform an action deemed acceptable within their culture, while residing in a culture with different moral belief (i.e. female genital mutilation, wife beating, segregation of females)? If you were forced to move to a different country would you follow their cultural practices even if they were against your personal ethical and moral beliefs, or would you rather die standing up for what you believe in?