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    Absolutism vs. Relativism

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    Describe which type of belief most closely mimics beliefs and why.


    While we cannot begin to cover all of the topics possible, you might select one or two contemporary issues around which ethics have changed because of external and social elements. As an example, you might consider how technological changes have affected the rules created in dealing with crime and punishment. If someone murdered someone, the punishment was hanging or death by firing squad, then came the gas chamber, then came the electric chair. Today, lethal injection is sometimes used. Does the punishment still fit the crime? Is lethal injection an easier punishment than hanging? Is it, therefore, less of a deterrent? For that matter, is capital punishment a deterrent? Can you think of any other examples?

    We also need to discuss the ideas of contradiction and absolutism versus relativism.

    Contradiction: If something is absolutely right, it cannot be wrong. If something is absolutely wrong, it cannot be right. This is why we often cannot see another person's point of view on a controversial issue. Abortion is absolutely wrong; the right to choose is absolutely right. If it is one, it cannot be the other.

    Absolutism: If it is right, it is right everywhere; if it is wrong, it is wrong everywhere.

    Relativism: Things change, and values differ in different places and under different circumstances.

    Are morals absolute, or are they relative? Do they vary from culture to culture, or are they the same everywhere? If moral relativism is the case, there are no absolutes binding people to any particular point of view. If moral absolutism is the case, someone has to be right, and someone has to be wrong when there is a controversy. We see these points of view in the news and in our own discussions on a daily basis.

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    Contemporary Ethics Changes
    Subjects such as euthanasia, infanticide, slavery, abortion, pre-marital sex and/or promiscuity, smoking, drinking, gender roles and homosexuality are all subject to changing ethics - but (see below), that doesn't mean modern attitudes are more right than old-fashioned ones.

    Absolutism vs. Relativism

    Morals & Ethics
    My writings on morals and ethics:
    From: Jim Achuff
    Date: March 6, 2006
    For: University of Phoenix MBA-FIN554
    Subject: Re: Lack of Morals and Legislation

    I believe that the decline in morals in US society is directly related to the removal of God from everyday conversation. So much of society is so concerned with being offended and not being told what to do. If you acknowledge a higher moral authority, then you must answer to that authority.

    Hollywood and those outlets that grab our attention continually show the benefits of shady behavior without emphasizing the consequences.

    It is not the government's job to impose morals on society, but when society won't do it to itself, what is the alternative?

    Recommended reading: Muzzled by Michael Smerconish
    From: Jim Achuff
    Date: June 5, 2005
    For: University of Phoenix MBA-COM525
    Subject: Re: THREAD: WK2 - DQ2

    DQ #2: When you hear the word "ethics," what comes to mind?

    My first thoughts when I think of "ethics" center on a code of conduct or acting "ethically." As I think more about the subject, the words morals and scruples come to mind - doing the right thing and doing things right.

    I think ethics are most often discussed within a professional context and morals are considered more personal. For example, the medical and legal professions have oaths or codes that define ethical standards for each. Typically morals and ethics will be aligned with one another, but not always. A practice may be permissible by professional ethics, but one may find it morally reprehensible - animal euthanasia is one such practice.

    I also think of "work ethic" - the way in which one conducts himself or herself in regards to their job. A strong work ethic is considered good by most.

    Finally, I think most of us would consider ourselves ethical people - adhering to particular tenets in our lives that the majority of society deems acceptable.
    From: Jim Achuff
    Date: June 2, 2005
    For: University of Phoenix MBA-COM525
    Subject: Re: THREAD: WK2 - DQ2

    As I was reading ...

    Solution Summary

    Discussion of absolutism, relativism and how they relate to personal ethics. Over 1300 words total.