Critical Thinking and Ethics

This essay investigates the literature on moral relativism as the best form of moral judgment that is universally acceptable. In doing this, it castigates moral anti-realism as being unduly judgmental. In addition, the essay explains Aristotle’s ethics and how these theories have shaped up my life through sound judgments.

According to the literature available, moral relativism generally bears several descriptive positions. However, these positions are not static as they take people’s cultural differences into consideration. For instance, this meta-ethical theory only makes descriptions without any suggestions as to what ought to be done. As such, it emphasizes that moral judgment should neither be objective nor universal (Rorty, 1982).

Ideally, this theory stems from the need for universal understanding and in recognition that people hold moral values only to the extent of their cultural beliefs. Understandably, the theory eliminates any possible ethnic or racial biases that would arise in determining universal standards of morality as proposed by moral anti-realism. It basically reveals the need for mutual tolerance among people of different cultural or religious beliefs to avoid passing judgment on people’s behavior simply because they do not conform to our own. In fact, this reasoning perfectly agrees with Aristotle’s ethics which is concerned about virtues of one’s character. According to Aristotle, humans should strive to incorporate in themselves perfect traits that would enable them live a full wholesome life. However, he concedes that these traits often have a strong correlation to how and where individuals are brought up. Although Aristotle’s work had to do more with politics and legislation, there is a strong emphasis that people’s way of life should be viewed more from the perspectives of the community in which they live. In fact, it is this reasoning that has triggered my decision to join College politics. There is always the nagging feeling that minority groups are being judged unfairly and that the trend will never end if we do not step in to stop it (Broadie, 1991).

In conclusion, moral relativism is the perfect theory for a world with many religious, ethnic and racial prejudices. In light of this, people should learn to appreciate the moral perspectives of every community with a view to exemplifying the idea that our diversity is our strength (Rorty, 1982).



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