Test Your Knowledge on Philosophical Positions of Moral Relativism!



9 Questions

What is the focus of moral relativism?

What are the different types of moral relativism?

What does descriptive moral relativism hold?

What does meta-ethical moral relativism hold?

What does normative moral relativism hold?

What is Richard Rorty's argument about moral relativism?

What is the critique of moral relativism by its critics?

What is the distinction between moral relativism and ethical subjectivism?

What is the argument made by Bhikkhu Bodhi against moral relativism?


Philosophical Positions on Moral Relativism

  • Moral relativism is concerned with differences in moral judgments across different peoples and cultures.

  • There are different types of moral relativism, including descriptive, meta-ethical, and normative moral relativism.

  • Descriptive moral relativism holds that people do, in fact, disagree fundamentally about what is moral.

  • Meta-ethical moral relativism holds that in such disagreements, nobody is objectively right or wrong.

  • Normative moral relativism holds that because nobody is right or wrong, everyone ought to tolerate the behavior of others even when large disagreements about morality exist.

  • Richard Rorty argues that the label of being a "relativist" has become a pejorative and that philosophers have become increasingly isolated from the rest of culture.

  • The concept of moral relativism has been debated for thousands of years across a variety of contexts during the history of civilization.

  • Arguments of particular notability have been made in areas such as ancient Greece and historical India while discussions have continued to the present day.

  • Critics of moral relativism argue that it rejects basic premises of discussions on morality and cannot arbitrate disagreement.

  • Some philosophers argue that moral propositions remain subject to human logical rules, notwithstanding the absence of any factual content, including those subject to cultural or religious standards or norms.

  • Some critics suggest that meta-ethical relativists take themselves out of any discussion of normative morality, since they seem to lack an objective standard.

  • Others argue that it is reasonable (and practical) for a person or group to defend their subjective values against others, even if there is no universal prescription or morality.Critiques of Moral Relativism

  • Critics of moral relativism argue that it rejects the premise that there are right and wrong answers that can be discovered through reason, and that it may amount to moral nihilism or incoherence.

  • Moral relativists are accused of reducing the extent of their input in normative moral discussions to either rejecting the very having of the discussion or deeming both disagreeing parties to be correct.

  • Meta-ethical relativism identifies which group of people those moral truths are relative to, but it becomes difficult when people belong to more than one group, and the beliefs of the groups that a person belongs to may be fundamentally different.

  • The Catholic Church attributes the perceived post-war decadence of Europe to moral relativism, which led to a decline in the importance of families and to depopulation.

  • Bhikkhu Bodhi, an American Buddhist monk, argues that moral relativism undermines any secure objective foundation for morality, leading to widespread moral degeneration.

  • Moral relativism is distinct from ethical subjectivism, which claims that the truth of ethical claims is not mind independent.

  • Depending on how it is constructed, moral relativism may or may not be independent of moral realism, which is committed to the claims that moral facts express propositions that can be true or false, some moral propositions are true, and moral facts are ordinary.


Are you familiar with the different philosophical positions on moral relativism? Test your knowledge with this quiz! From descriptive to normative moral relativism, meta-ethical relativism to critiques of moral relativism, this quiz covers various aspects of the discussion on moral relativism. Put your understanding to the test and see how well you know this complex and debated topic.

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