How to Deal with Moral Differences
The first way is to believe there are no morally right or wrong viewpoints. The
moral issue is just a cultural game and neither your opinions or mine matters.
Therefore there is no right or wrong. This view is called moral nihilism.
Related to this idea is moral skepticism, which holds that we can’t know any
moral truths, and moral subjectivism, which holds that moral views are
merely inner states in a person and that they can’t be compared to the inner
states of another person. However believing in the above solves no problems,
if nobody is right and nobody is wrong.
The second way is to believe that there is no universal truth, that each culture
has its own set of rules that are valid and apply to that culture, they don’t
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Universalism because it perceives that there
are some universal moral rules; soft because it is not as radical as hard
universalism. This belief can solve problems because its main goal is to seek
common ground beneath the variety of opinions and mores.
The fourth belief is called hard universalism, this is the absolute opposite of
moral nihilism stating that there is only one universal moral code. This belief
solves problems with hard evidence and reason.
Problems with Ethical Relativism:
(1) No Criticism or Praise of Other Cultures, we need to criticize or praise other
cultures morals to maintain our own moral integrity.
(2) Majority Rule, the idea of the majority always being right is just not rational.
(3) Professed or Actual Morality? this is the idea that a certain kind of behavior is
normal, but what is “normal”? for example when a group was asked about
infidelity the majority was against it but when the same group was asked if they
had committed it, the majority had.
(4) What is a Majority? In the instance of euthanasia if a law is passed tomorrow
the majority would think it was morally right, however just a week ago it was
morally wrong, and maybe in a year it will be considered wrong again by the
majority. Therefore the majority is in a way inconsistent.
(5) What is a Culture? there is nothing that determines what a culture is if we
don’t know what the norm is within a culture if we don’t even know what the
(6) Can Tolerance Be a Universal Value? If all values are culture- relative then
tolerance is also culture- relative, therefore just because tolerance is good for us
what makes it good for other cultures.
Three Universal Values
1) A policy of caring for enough infants to ensure the continuation of the group.
2) A rule against lying.
3) A rule against murder.