What is the definition of the terms objective, subjective, relative, morality, and ethics, and what is an example of each?

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lsumner eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The term objective means not influenced by personal feelings, interpretations or prejudice. An example would be objective writing that is based totally on facts. Subjective writing would be based on one's personal feelings, interpretations. The narratives of the early colonists would give good example of subjective writing. One reason the early colonists' narratives are subjective is that the writings are written from a personal viewpoint. Mary Rowlandson writes her narrative of being kidnapped by the Indians from a subjective point of view. In the beginning, she describes the Indians as savages. The fact that the Indians had captured her in hopes of trading her for food, because the early colonists had reduced them to starvation, is to be taken into account when describing the Indians' behavior as "savage." These same Indians are less than "savage" by the end of Rowlandson's narrative.

Relative is having relation or connection. It is also used in terms of existing or having its specific nature "only" by relation to something else, not absolute or independent. Happiness is relative because it exists or has its specific nature only by relation to something else. You make me happy is a good example of relativity.

Morality is conformity to rules of right or good conduct. Ethics refers to rules of conduct with respect to the rightness and wrongness of certain actions. Integrity can be defined as doing the right thing, even when no one is watching. Some people are moral because they don't want to get caught doing the wrong thing. Others are moral because it is the right conduct to have, even when no one is watching.