Moral Relativism Essay

1972 Words8 Pages
Moral relativism, as Harman describes, denies “that there are universal basic moral demands, and says different people are subject to different basic moral demands depending on the social customs, practices, conventions, and principles that they accept” (Harman, p. 85). Many suppose that moral feelings derive from sympathy and concern for others, but Harman rather believes that morality derives from agreement among people of varying powers and resources provides a more plausible explanation (Harman, p. 12).The survival of these values and morals is based on Darwin’s natural selection survival of the fittest theory. Many philosophers have argued for and against what moral relativism would do for the world. In this essay, we will discuss…show more content…
Second, there is no objective standard that can be used to judge one societal code better than another can. Third, the moral code of our own society has no special status; it is merely one among many. Forth, there is no “universal truth” in which moral truths hold for everyone, in every situation. Fifth, the moral code of a society determines what is right within that society. For example, if the moral code of a society believes that it is acceptable to murder people with blond hair, then that action is right, at least within that society. Sixth, it is arrogant for us to try to judge the conduct of other people. Instead, we should adopt an attitude of tolerance toward the practices of other cultures. Harman asserts that the underlying, motivating attitudes that produce inner judgments are reached via moral bargaining among groups. Harman thinks that we should accept this thesis because it best explains a previously mysterious aspect of our morality: the fact that we place a premium on not harming others, as opposed to helping those in need. For example, should a doctor cut up and distribute the parts of one healthy patient in order to save the lives of five others, even though we suppose that doctors have a general duty to help patients? Harman says that this desire to avoid harming others is reasonable given his
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