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Ethical Relativism: Social Context versus Object Truth

People of different cultures engage in different practices and espouse divergent notions about what is right and wrong. What does this tell us about our own ethical commitments? Do all values depend solely upon the social context from which they emerge, or are there objective truths upon which we might all agree? Use specific examples to illustrate the position you choose to defend on this topic.

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I submit that humans are created with a moral component to them. While the specifics of a moral code may vary from culture to culture the fact remains that people within every culture are born with the capacity and desire to make moral judgments. I believe that this points to a Creator God who is moral in nature and that we, created in His image, reflect that nature though in an imperfect way.

If humanity were simply a result of naturalistic evolution then we should reflect as many differences within our "kind" as say the dog kind does. This would, in theory, reflect significant moral differences as well as physical traits. As we look at the various cultural groups in the world the truth is that the divergences in moral codes are not as different as they might at first seem.

The general areas about which humans make moral choices are similar regardless of the specific culture. We all make moral judgments about the value of human life, physical possessions and their ownership, family or clan obligations, offenses against other people and how they should be punished, modesty or the lack thereof, honesty or the value of one's word, and interactions with the supernatural world. Though the specifics of how morality is mirrored in this areas differs, the fact ...

Solution Summary

Is truth and morality absolute or relative? This solution examines this question in light of the vast cultural differences on earth. This solution is written from the author's perspective as a result of living in three different continents and their cultures as well as over 15 years of teaching experience the humanities and ethics. Over 850 words of original text.