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< Back to question Is morality relative? Show more Show less

Morality informs countless aspects of our lives, from the way we interact with others to the way we think about ourselves. But does our concept of morality objectively reflect absolute ideals of good and evil, or is it a shifting, arbitrary rulebook that varies from culture to culture?

It doesn't matter Show more Show less

The origins of what we consider to be morality don't impact our lives significantly enough to be important.
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Moral nihilism: there is no such thing as Morality

Morality isn't absolute or relative. "Right and wrong" don't exist at all and continuing to pretend that they do is both pointless and harmful.
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The Argument

Throughout history, billions of people have grappled with the same question: what is the right thing to do? Even after millions of years and countless philosophical theories struggling to explain morality, we have no definitive answer to this fundamental question. Maybe, then, we’re missing something. After all, our struggle with morality makes a huge assumption, erroneously claiming that morality exists to begin with. According to moral nihilism, there is no such thing as right or wrong. () Rather, these categories are arbitrary constructs, created by humans, that reflect no objective value in the outside world. While all moral nihilists agree that claims like “it is wrong to steal” are untrue, there are two main viewpoints that attempt to clarify this point in slightly different ways. One says that all moral claims are false, while the other states they are neither true nor false. () Both agree that to blindly abide by meaningless moral rules is to accept a fictional view of the world and worse, a view that will only serve to needlessly control your every thought, word, and action.

Counter arguments

Firstly, proponents of this argument have historically done little to prove that morality is nonexistent, merely using it as an easy way to disparage other philosophers’ moral theories. Secondly, this argument offers no “way forward,” and no solution for the issue it points out. It claims that there is no such thing as morality, but it fails to address what we should do with this information, or how our society should change to adapt to it. Perhaps this is because moral nihilists want to avoid an obvious truth: even if morality truly doesn’t exist, we still have to follow the norms we have created in order to maintain a functional society.


Rejecting the premises


    This page was last edited on Tuesday, 18 Aug 2020 at 16:20 UTC

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