Explain Moral Relativism

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Explain Moral Relativism Moral relativism basically states that morals and rules are relative to a particular society or set of people. Relativism originated in ancient Greece, when the Greeks began to travel and made the discovery that other society’s practiced and admired different patterns of behaviour, different from the common Greeks point of view. There was a debate as to what was considered ‘good’, eventually a group of people called the Sophists appeared and suggested that there was no such thing as good, but the ‘good’ varied from culture to culture and different society’s had different opinions on what was good. People began to argue that truth and morality were relative, there was no truth or morality that was common to all human beings, absolute truth and morality did not exist e.g. killing a baby is considered morally wrong but Eskimos kill their new born babies in order for the rest of their group to survive, this is an example of Moral relativism. Morality arises within groups of people living in society and morality is a groups agreed norms for behaviour. Different societies have different norms of morality, no ones group is better than others because different norms of morality work for different groups of people, thus being relative. There are many different types of Relativism; 1. The diversity thesis 2. The dependency thesis 3. Conventionalism 4. Pyramid relativism There are many reasons for creating the theory of relativism. One reason is that most people believed in a God who was responsible for one moral code, but recently there has been a decline in the belief of God and therefore without a universal law maker, there is a decline in the belief that there is a universal moral code e.g. the recent theory of agnosticism and atheism. Also we as human beings are more conscious of and have more respect for other
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