Relativism is the idealistic situation that all positions of analysis are equally legitimate and that all truth is relative to an entity. Moral relativism sums to stating that all moralities are similarly good and right. In our civilization today, relativism is increasingly becoming more appreciated. With the surmounting denunciation of God especially through rejection of Christianity, the once known absolute truth is being deserted. Today, the social order is trying to shun the thought that there is actually a right and wrong deed. As bad it may look, from a normal perspective of generation to generation, there is soundness to some features of relativism. For instance, what one culture believes right, another may deem it wrong. Child upbringing could be an illustration; another could be driving a car on the right side of the road while others preferring driving on the left side. In short relativism states that these right and wrong approaches are not inscribed in stone, nor are they modified from some total rule of behavior. But their relativism is appropriately emphasized as such. It doesn’t mind what part of the road you drive on so long as every one does it the same manner.
In his article “some moral minima” Goodman acknowledges to four sections of Relativism and Morality. They include: Genocide and Politically stimulated Famine as one; Terrorism, Taking of Hostages, and Child combatants as the second; with Slavery, Polygamy, and Incest as the third; and finally Rape, and Female Genital mutilation as the fourth.
Goodman states that genocide is worse than a single murder for it targets individuals as members of a certain group thus prompting to destruction of a certain race, cultural, ethnic or linguistic identity and or even a societal class, usually the target being a way of life (Goodman, 2010). Since the commencement of time, through various forms, genocide has been performed together with the introduction of politically stimulated food deprivation. Even Moses, through following God’s messages, applied a form of genocide. God too, induced famine upon the land to punish people thus using politically induced famine. I believe there is some truth in this. The use of sanctions to punish countries is evident in the world today.
Goodman also claims that terrorists blow up the significances they assert to struggle for. Their fatalities’ blood hazes and blemishes whatever conclusions were destined to rationalize the bloodshed (Goodman, 2010).This is definitely accurate if what happened on 9/11 in the United States is to go by. Terrorists aimed at non-combatants to terrorize and draw attention on themselves killing many to prove a point. Goodman also affirms that taking of hostages and the kidnapping, teaching and use of child soldiers are equivalent contraventions of human self-respect.
To rephrase Goodman, slavery is the most extreme exploitation of a human being in that one makes an individual an instrument for utility. We are still being told that slavery was eliminated by President Abraham Lincoln, yet nothing is being said of slavery of nowadays, neo-slavery. For examples, the unlawful immigrants who are being extorted for money everyday, and brought to countries looking for better lives only to be enslaved. It is either people disregard that this is happening, or twirl their heads and busy themselves with their own lives and realize that the government will deal with the problem; unfortunately, it just doesn’t work that way, so, the degradation of our own continues. In addition, Polygamy is justly a section of slavery, whether the persons in a polygamous cultural zone distinguish it or not. But, when there is a man with more than a single wife, those wives are in their senses to assist with childcare, reproduce more, and deal with the household dealings of the family.
Goodman continues to state that Incest also violates privacy. Its key casualties are the daughters. Although most cultures describe it more roughly, the moral question is the requirement to defend developing selfhood in the atmosphere of the family. A youngster’s logic of subject hood is intensely devoted in a budding sexual distinctiveness, and is fundamentally destructive, (Goodman, 2010). Incest is widespread all over the world and not only in the developing countries. When addressing the issues of rape and female genital mutilation, Goodman tips that rape is not just an infringement of another’s right, but also it is abusive, objectifying and violent. According to Goodman rape is employed to disgrace and dishearten. My opinion is that rape is forever wrong.
The thought behind relativism is that the suppositions about what is right and wrong have no worldwide certainty or purpose legitimacy. I also believe right and wrong is relative to every culture’s insight or to every individual’s view. This is so because right and wrong have no general truth and one cannot finish up saying one is wrong or right conclusively. For example that one could assume that in a culture where a military draft has been normal, the bulk of the inhabitants could consider that a draft would be right in relation to cultural relativism, but each individual’s insight of the draft is relative depending on many diverse aspects. In a communist nation, the convictions of the people could be completely dissimilar on the topic of a military draft than those convictions of a self-governing society. Because of this there is no critical validation for intercultural evaluation. Simply meaning that one can’t rationalize whether the draft would be right or wrong for the reason that each culture, or individual, could have dissimilar principles about a military draft; consequently, the act of presentation of a draft is dependent relative on the culture that it is declared towards.
Another argument is that if the person acts from some concealed intention, for instance for private gain, out of humiliation, or under compulsion, that person is not worth moral honor, even for a deed that looks ethically decent. When the individual acts for personal gain, he does not merit moral commend because the deed is a self-centered action and not a moral one. This is so for the deed was not made to do the ethically correct thing; it was made for some gain. So, only deeds done from an ethically correct motive warrant moral congratulate. On the contrary is that what if a deed is carried out of care for a family member? Is it morally proper to do some thing morally incorrect to care for a loved one? As much as it may be wrong to steal, will it be okay to steal to prevent your child from dying out of hunger?
This is why the issue of right or wrong is relative. Some people consider that caring as the reason for deeds is not a moral motivation. In this case deeds founded on care do not draw from from moral inspiration that is, based on sagacity that it is the right thing to do but are done because we care. This poses a serious challenge to the notion of relativism and morality.
Picture a college student turning in a meager logic test. Underneath the test he or she inscribes: “A. At least I did not cheat this paper.” What could be the purpose behind the statement? Possibly it could be an endeavor to astound the teacher with the student’s sincerity. Or maybe it is an effort to make himself or herself feel good after getting a bad grade. Probably it could be a crack at absurdity in an agonizing scenario. Or simply due to the fact he or she could not cheat due to some unavoidable circumstances. None of these inspirations would fill us with moral respect for the student. But presume the student considered he or she could have succeeded by dishonesty and required the pass mark grade greatly. Presume the student did not cheat because he or she deemed it ethically incorrect to cheat. One still speculates why he or she troubled himself to tell the instructor.
So maybe some other unannounced classmate did feebly but did not cheat out of logic of moral responsibility. Now we begin to feel that this individual warrants moral admiration, more than the individual who announced the deed. We could find out into this person’s inspiration. He or she may have shunned cheating for useful reasons: like cheating pilots to a sagacity of remorse and generates bad tendencies.
It may be simple and just to follow the norm and a universal truth, but the fact remains there is nothing like this. The issue of right and wrong is a complex issue and I believe is relative. There is no standard way of claiming one thing is wrong or right. The truth is relative including morality. For example, In the case of a death penalty, is it right or wrong to kill the accused and yet killing an individual is wrong? Answer this using the universal truth of thou shall not kill.
Goodman, L. E. (2010). ”Some moral minima”. The Good Society, 19(1), 87-94. doi: 10.1353/gso.0.0097