Moral Relativism And The Ethical Dilemma

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Introduction When I first looked at the instructions for this assignment the ethical dilemma I wanted to talk about came immediately to mind. It was a decision I made more than fifteen years ago but I still remember it and had never thought of it in terms of ethics before. When I started this unit and began looking at situations from that perspective I became more intrigued and wondered if any of the readings could help me understand why I came to the decision I did . I once made the decision to engage in a behaviour deviant to the norm of my society, deciding that the “correct” action to take was to steal from one of my teachers. When I started reading about moral relativism and realised that this might be a way to explain how a “wrong” choice can sometimes be a “right” one, or at least to the person acting on it. Moral Relativism “The view that moral judgements are true or false only relative to some particular standpoint…and that no standpoint is uniquely privileged over all others…” (Westacott, date unknown) The foundations of the concept of moral relativism were first expressed in 5th Century Greece; prior to this the idea of morals could be easily summed up as the following by Westacott: “In the view of most people throughout history, moral questions have objectively correct answers…cowardice is a bad quality…heroes deserve respect…” However, a few intellectuals of the era began to contemplate the idea that this might not be as straightforward as previously
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