Moral Relativism cannot and does not accept the idea that an objective moral system exists. If it did, you could evaluate other ethical systems meaningfully. A moral relativist would ask such questions as ‘what do we mean by wrong?’ when making a decision on something deemed wrong. Relativism is in direct contrast with absolute morality that is deontological, referring to looking at the action in itself. A moral relativist would believe that there is no definite set of rules that apply universally.
From this Moore claimed that it is impossible to derive an ‘is from an ought’. This criticism became known as the naturalistic fallacy. In addition to this G.E Moore claimed that naturalism was not able to stand up to the open question argument. ethical naturalism claims to be based on moral facts, it would therefore seem logical that these facts should stand up to scrutiny. Yet, if we observe that pleasure is good, we should be able to ask is good pleasure.
Second, he argues that it is only by virtue of something being sentient that it can be said to have interests at all, so this places sentience in a different category than the other criteria: "The capacity for suffering and enjoying things is a prerequisite for having interests at all, a condition that must be satisfied before we can speak of interests in any meaningful way" (175). That is, Singer is trying to establish that if a being is not sentient, the idea of extending moral consideration to it makes no sense. This negative argument is important, because one common criticism of Singer is that his criterion ends up excluding humans who are no longer sentient (like those in an irreversible coma); Singer is content to accept that consequence, but it is important that he show why the exclusion of some humans by his criterion is not problematic, given that he has criticized other criteria
G.E Moore argued against Ethical Naturalism as he believed that defining concepts such as ‘good’ are impossible and any attempt to define ‘good’ is to commit The Naturalistic Fallacy. The Naturalistic Fallacy is one of the main criticisms of Ethical Naturalism and would therefore suggest that ethical language is not very meaningful as it cannot be correctly defined. Moore believed there are moral properties, so ethical language is not completely devoid of meaning but it is limited as ‘good’ is a non-natural property which cannot be defined. Moore disagreed that ethical language could prove whether something is moral or
People also have the ability to think morally for themselves so morality is relative to someone’s point of view. The main point favoring the cultural relativism argument is that if there are no moral principles, then the principles can only be relative to culture. If someone were to express their opinion about the morals of a culture that they didn’t agree with, including what the culture already believed to be right, then that person would lose the argument without any question. This can be easily disproved because in one culture, not every person is going to have the same moral judgments about what is right or wrong and people can establish objective moral principles. A culture also can’t think of them as having the power to decide which is right and
Moral virtue has to do with feelings, choices, and acting morally right. Moral virtues are classified as states of character. Virtues cannot be passions because, we are not praised or blamed for the way we feel, but we are praised or blamed for our virtues. Virtues must be states of character. Not all states of character are virtuous.
According to hard determinism we are not free in the sense required for moral responsibility, and therefore, what happens cannot be affected by choices that are free in the sense. But what happens may nevertheless be caused by the decisions we chose and the choices we make. A reaction to hard determinism is that if it were true, we would have no reason to attempt to accomplish anything, to try and improve our lives because our decisions and choices would make no difference. If everything we do is pre determined then why try hard to achieve anything, if you are meant to do a certain something, it will happen, it is already determined for you, so the hard determinist would say. In the hard determinist’s judgement, this feeling of freedom is an illusion.
The answer to this question will vary. Some people are moral realists and hold that moral facts are objective facts that are out there in the world, these people believe that things are good or bad independently of us. Moral values such as goodness and badness are real properties of people in the same way that rough and smooth are properties of physical objects. This view is often referred to as cognitive language. Those who oppose cognitivists are called non cognitivists and they believe that when someone makes a moral statement they are not describing the world, but they are merely expressing their feelings and opinions, they believe that moral statements are not objective therefore they cannot be verified as true or false.
But a drawback would be that you wouldn't be living for goodness or for a deity, you would be living for yourself and this could seem selfish to some. But if you are really doing things that you feel are truly right, then it shouldn't seem selfish. I know that people don't always choose the right decision in life though. That would be
However, other people may disagree with this and believe that a deontological ethical system is not defensible because it cannot encourage human beings to act morally, as they will not gain enough satisfaction out of doing so, as they would in a teleological ethical system where the ultimate end or goal is human happiness. People may say that it can be hard to keep to deontological ethics when we cannot see how they will immediately benefit us, making teleology much more appealing. In my opinion deontology can be defended because deontologists do not judge actions by their consequences, this is a positive aspect of deontology because it does not allow people to do bad things to secure good consequences, if we really consider human happiness, at first it sounds appealing and simple. However, if all actions were done to secure human happiness then many evil deeds would be permitted, for example it may secure a psychopath with maximum happiness if he can rape and murder women and children. Therefore teleology would permit this as it would maximise the psychopaths happiness.