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Is morality relative?

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?

Yes, morality is relative

Our definition of what is right and wrong has changed dramatically over time, and will likely continue to do so.

Moral norms change depending on the culture and time period

Times have changed and humanity's conception of morality has changed along with it. Morality is far from static, continuously shifting to match its social and historical context.

Morality is a survival tactic

Moral maxims like "it's wrong to kill" and "it's good to share" exist to promote survival, both for individual people and the human race as a whole. As times change, our definition of morality does the same.

Morality shifts depending on the context

It's wrong to lie-but what if you're doing so to save a life? On an individual level, what we consider "good" or "bad" changes depending on the situation we're in.

Moral norms advantage the powerful majority

Morality changes throughout time to suit the needs of those at the top of the social pyramid.

It doesn't matter

The origins of what we consider to be morality don't impact our lives significantly enough to be important.

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.

We have to follow moral norms either way

Whether morality is relative or absolute, we still have to follow our societies' moral norms to function properly within them.

No, morality is absolute

Though humanity's definitions of good and evil may change, objective morality exists outside of time, place, and culture.

Across time and culture, moral standards have remained largely absolute

Naturally, some moral norms change, but cultures across the map and throughout history all agree on many of the most important and fundamental "rules."

God's will determines morality

The divine command theory argues that an action is good or bad according to whether or not it follows God's will.

An action's morality is determined by its adherence to the categorical imperative

In this theory, known as deontology, the morality of a given action is determined by its adherence to a list of moral rules or categorical imperative. Since these rules are unchanging, morality is as well.

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This page was last edited on Thursday, 27 Aug 2020 at 07:21 UTC