Ethical Situationalism Vs. Ethical Relativism

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5 March 2012 Word Count = 1,147 Ethical Situationalism Versus Ethical Relativism Ethical situationalism is preferable to ethical relativism. I argue this theory as one that should be more apt for collective endorsement over ethical relativism. First it is necessary to identify each theory carefully and compare them, targeting their specific strengths in relation to my position. Then I will divide these theories by illustrating some of the faults of both and will establish support for each premise. Finally I will briefly reiterate my argument for ethical situationalism as it is a part of moderate objectivism as suggested by Louis Pojman. First, let me state my argument. Ethical situationalism is more favorable to ethical…show more content…
As such, ethical situationalism denies absolute universal moral principles (Fieser and Pojman 43). Here, it is more about adapting and adhering to whatever is demanded by the situation. In other words, ethical situationalism asserts that changing situations may require changing ethical principles. From this we can gather that in different situations, it is possible for moral principles to “outweigh” other moral principles (i.e. one principle has the potential for being more “right” or “better than”, or even “worse than” another principle in any given…show more content…
For instance, while relativism does not assert that there are universal ethical principles, we can reason that each individual culture has its own norms or fixed standards that the group ought to adhere to. This has problems in and of itself. For one thing, how do we define culture? Should we concern ourselves with our nation-state, our race, or perhaps our religion in identifying our culture? What if we consider ourselves to belong to more than one culture? If our identifying cultures practice different ethical principles, which ones should we aspire to adhere to? In this way, relativism might be supported more by some guideline to help us know which cultures we belong to and what culture we should adhere to. It is not clear how this theory could definitively support its own claims of either following the principles of the culture or being inherently right without first establishing answers or guidelines to these basic
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