Free Essay: Relativism and Religiously Based Ethical Theories

Published: 2022-03-15
Free Essay: Relativism and Religiously Based Ethical Theories
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Religion Ethics
Pages: 7
Wordcount: 1681 words
15 min read

Singleton (2004) puts it clear that relativism-based ethical theory is a theory that defines that the morality is more or less a measure of an individual's culture. Such that depending on the moral measure of a society in which it is practiced it can be either a right or wrong action. I.e. the same action may be morally correct in a given society and be totally wrong in another society while the religiously based ethical theory is a philosophy of religion that addresses Christian ethics and arguments about the existence of God.

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According to Changchit (2009), relativism based ethical theory are in different forms such as complete relativism, cultural relativism and bounded cultural relativism. Complete relativism is an ethical theory under which the ethical facts differ from on given individual to another based on some facts held by the individual. For instance, this theory suggests that a person's action is judged based on what they feel and believe is right or wrong. Changchit (2009) continues to explain that an example of complete relativism is when during an exam situation one may decide to assist a friend who had not prepared efficiently for the e-paper with the sole aim of helping him but according to the set rules of the institution this is considered as a form of cheating and its punishable. To some extent, complete relativism is not much of ethical (Jeffrey Blevins 2017).

In cultural relativism, the rights and wrong are defined on the terms which are based on the culture-general approvals and disapprovals. The behavior or actions of an individual is expected to have a significant influence on the general societal expectation and recommendations. Relatively an individual's character cannot be judged based on our culture but based o the individual's culture. Though it still has some challenges in that, some societies are not much ethical and some unacceptable recommendations may still occur. An example of cultural relativism is that some culture differs from one place to another as an example in some communities taking alcohol is illegal until a certain age, sex before marriage is prohibited but in some society, children take wines with their parents as a form of celebration and during meals but this is normal for them. Basically, this shows that one should not judge other societies culture if they are not the same with his or hers. However, some cultures may be an ethical and some ethical.

Finally in bounded cultural relativism is somehow related to cultural relativism except that, bounded cultural relativism tends to come to an agreement that some existing factual objectives ethics about individuals must consider when making recommendations on how the individual should behave or act. For cultural relativism to be bounded cultural relativism the fact being considered are what the society accepts. For example, those children who come from a society that takes wine during meal time and celebrations they should take into account on what they believe is ethical as compared to the general society general recommendation (Singleton, 2004).

Changchit (2009) also puts it that the basic argument for relativism is that, morality being a social product can develop in varied ways within the different cultures. Each and every society have got their set standard that is used by its people to distinguish between the behaviors or action which are right or wrong. For example, marrying at tender age within a given community may be correct within that community then it is right that given community and the same practice is viewed differently by another different society as wrong then it is wrong for that society. Therefore the society argument is based on what they believe without other considering other reasons.

The second argument of relativism is based on ethical theory argues that the moral belief is based on the emotions and not necessarily on a reason. According to some philosophers, they argued that the right and wrong are relative to person's preference and not necessarily on the social standards (Singleton, 2004).

The religiously based ethical theory has got several arguments such as the argument for the existence of God in which the philosophers have made several a number of attempt to prove and try to explain the existence of God and explore it. Another argument is that of agnosticism, which is the general view of knowledge of existence or nonexistence of God, cannot be approved in any way. For example, one can argue that cognition that god exists cannot be approved in that there is no evidence that could prove and confirm this religious belief. Also one can argue that the cognition of God's existence is not provable because the evidence cannot be proved. The other argument is that of uncertainty in that its knowledge is impossible in religious matters. At any given time when God existence is to be proven, there might be for or against the existence of both the existence and nonexistence remaining unknown.finally, another argument is based on atheism.

Singleton (2004) continues to argue that religious theory focuses majorly on Christian ethics, which contains several section material such as natural law theory, divine command theory, and moral relativism. First, divine command theory is basically the view that morality is dependent on God with sole aim being obedience to God's command. The right behaviors are the commands that God's needs with the content varying from one religion to another. For example, in one religion God recommends love among each other patience and humility and discourages act such as killing, stealing, and abortions.

The ethical impacts of Plato's argument are that the relationship between the religion and morality is not definitely clear as been earlier that, if one accepts either part of it, he has to be forced to logically accepts the conclusions and this may result in conflict with his or her belief resulting in a dilemma being Plato's dilemma which is stated in the Euthyphro , the Socrates clarifies that he favors the first of this options i.e. "is the holy loved by the gods because its holy, or is it holy because is loved by the gods? "Plato's also creates a logical dilemma by considering the following cases; if something is right because God commands it, this shows that the same thing would be just right as commanded. For example when God says that we should worship no other god but Him, that what we should follow because it's morally right and commands that we do so.

Shchipunov (2015) argues that a dilemma arises in that all the commands of God are subject to the individual discretion and generally eliminate the quality of God is good. This is because one thing is good because it's commanded by God and then God is good because He has commanded it so. The major challenge with divine command theory is that some several people may come up that God has ''said'' so between God and those people whom can be believed is the person that is right. Hence this may result in confusion or mislead.

Finally, the natural law is a theory that illustrates how law and morality are strongly connected, to a point where one can say they are similar. Morality defines whether something is good or right or something is good or bad. In Christianity, the natural law exists in the different forms such as classical form and Thomist form, in Thomist form, it is characterized as the function of the human nature branded to them by God while stressing the purpose of God in the creation and how we should lead our lives (Jeffrey Blevins 2017).

According to Shchipunov (2015), classical natural law theory suggests that the moral laws vary from one nation to another and define by the local authorities and it argues that one must obey natural laws when it is written or not. In Thomist natural law theory further characterizes it in small terms. It argues in the sense that an individual has an ability to reason and decides on best choices as God requires them to do. This theory states that human laws can be are defined by a morality of the given society. In ethics what defines what is right or wrong is similar to everyone across the different societies. For example, you are a doctor and you have a patient who has pregnancy complication who can only survive only if the child is aborted, but abortions are against the morality. You may be in an ethical dilemma because abortions work against humanity and are forbidden. Therefore aborting the child is totally contrary to the natural law even if in dangers the life of the mother. The challenge with natural law theory is that they are not clear with their applications, one is not able to differentiate what the moral laws require of him or her since people may tend to have different interpretation about nature and also the moral law of the human is known by natural human reason.


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