Value Pluralism and Absolute Moral Judgments Essay

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Widespread and deep moral disagreements are persistently resistant to rational solutions and thus allow for continuing debate over the validity of moral judgments. This paper will discuss prominent positions regarding whether moral judgments may be true and false in an absolute sense or a relative sense, in light of the diverse and intense disagreement in moral judgment. This paper will defend the pluralistic conclusion that if there are not specific universal values, there is at least a minimum value of humanity without which a society could not survive. Moral judgments may be true and false in the absolute sense of this minimum.
There are two main categories to classify different positions regarding moral judgments. Normative Moral
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In her “Non-Relative Virtues: an Aristotelian Approach”, Martha Nussbaum examines different daily and universal human experiences in which most people must participate. Through this examination Nussbaum defends a version of Moral Objectivism, this one heavily supported by Aristotle, that there is indeed a single objective account of the human good based on our common humanity. However, it is Isaiah Berlin’s version of pluralism in his “Pursuit of the Ideal” that fully encompasses the nature of moral judgments, calling for a base level of absolute moral judgment and then allowing for relativism in other areas of moral judgment.
Throughout this essay, we will assume that there is a world of objective values, that is to say, there is a world of those ends to which individuals strive simply for the sake of those ends, to which all other things are merely means. We also assume that some problems may be solved, but that every solution generates a new situation with new needs, problems, and complications. Cultural or moral relativism is the view that members of one culture can imagine and understand the values of other cultures and societies, regardless of time and space.

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