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Morality Another example is lying, certain absolutists feel that they should never lie no matter what the consequences are, even if it was in order to save an innocent persons life or to promote some sort of good. Plato was the first philosopher to raise an example of moral absolutism in western society; the Theory of the Forms.
Plato stated that the forms are concepts that are eternally constant, and provide meaning and structure to the universe.
Contrary to the natural state of change that the world is in, the forms are unchangeable. Moral absolutism may be clearer to explain in terms of moral relativism. Moral relativism is the complete opposite of moral absolutism and originated with the Sophists from Ancient Greece. The Sophists believed that morals differed in different societies because people and thoughts are different.
The Ancient Greek philosopher, Protagoras, wrote that: When faced with a moral dilemma, Utilitarianism argues that we should choose to act in such a way that brings about the maximum possible happiness for the most people.
Looking at an example of a moral absolutist who believes it is always wrong to kill, we are able to understand this concept more clearly.
Immanuel Kant, a deontologist, said that we should act according to maxims — laws that should be seen as universal and therefore are not verified through experience, but through ideas beforehand.
However, the consequences of our actions could be said to be irrelevant to whether they are right or wrong — evil actions may have unintended good consequences, and someone might act heroically without any guarantee that the consequences will be good.
No human quality can be absolutely good — for example, it is possible to act kindly but do the wrong thing. The only good thing is a good will that does what is logically the right thing to do.
Therefore, moral absolutism cannot really exist as the ideology could be broken throughout every circumstance. Going back to the example mentioned before, the decision about whether to kill a nuclear bomber or leave them to kill millions of people you could say that the absolutist inadvertently killed those 7 million people by not stopping the bomber.
Instead, they could believe that one particular moral principle is non-negotiable; therefore making an ethical theory absolute. If we coincide with this, we could be absolute about one thing, like committing adultery, and relative about something else, like lying.
The ethical theory of moral absolutism has raised many arguments since Plato produced the Theory of the Forms. Philosophers have argued over it for centuries; whether it is correct, whether we should be absolutists or relativists or whether we bypass both of these theories and decide our actions based on virtuous people.
The one thing we should be able to agree on, is that, as human beings, we should be making decisions for ourselves on how to live our own lives, not how other people should live their lives.
Their neighbours are on holiday, they have no mobile phone signal and their landline is broken. Without going to the hospital, both his wife and child will die, so it is paramount that he gets them to medical assistance. Another weakness in the appliance of moral absolutism is the disagreement it could cause amongst different cultures.
What is seen as morally acceptable in one culture may be frowned upon in another, for example it is the norm to have human sacrifice in a tribal community but in our society, a human sacrifice would be seen as very, very wrong.
Reason itself is another reason on how moral absolutism cannot be justified. It may even provide principles we need to live by. However, reason on its own does not enable us to do the right thing.
Knowing what is right and actually doing what is right, are two completely different things; therefore, reason needs will.
However, reason is more likely to be led astray by emotions, as to control them. We plan what to do or say, or review what should have been done or said in the past, in order to avoid supposed future dangers. Yet with reason, we could be too controlled by our emotions and past experiences to properly judge the situation.
So reason itself, could be the cause behind whether we are morally absolute or not. Like Plato suggested, there is a need, however, to have a universal truth because there is a lot of evil in the world.
In an ideal world, everyone would follow the same principles and there would be no murdering, no adultery, no stealing, no abusing… Everyone would be a moral absolutist.
We all come from different cultures, different societies and different ideas. What we are brought up with, determines a part of whom we are when we age.Essay on The Evolution of Absolutism - The Evolution of Absolutism Since the beginning of the sixteenth century, Western Europe experienced multiple types of rulers which then led to the belief that rulers should be a combination of leadership types.
Moral Absolutism is the ethical theory which considers that there are always absolute rules that determines if an action is intrinsically wrong or right, there is a universal truth.
Moral absolutists will judge the actions of those who steal, cheat and murder ect, as being absolutely morally wrong regardless of the persons own beliefs or. Moral Absolutism a) Explain what is meant by Moral Absolutism.
(25) Moral absolutism is an ethical theory which believes that there are absolute standards against which moral questions can be judged, and that certain actions are either right or wrong. Ethics a) Explain what is meant by Moral Absolutism Moral Absolutism is the ethical theory which considers that there are always absolute rules that determines if an action is intrinsically wrong or right, there is a universal truth.
Moral absolutism is defined as "the belief that some moral rules are binding on everyone, regardless of cultural differences."1 Many people support this belief based on the ideals and values of their culture.
They think that there should be a specific set of principles protecting and governing all. Moral absolutism may be clearer to explain in terms of moral relativism. Moral relativism is the complete opposite of moral absolutism and originated with the Sophists from Ancient Greece.
The Sophists believed that morals differed in different societies because people and thoughts are different.