relativismStae a moral issue and provide an explaination as to why you think a relativist might have a problem giving a justfied rsponse to it, Why?

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e-martin's profile pic

e-martin | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

The issue of personal choice, oddly enough, might be a point where relativists are hard-pressed. If a moral issue is characterized as being a personal choice issue first and foremost, like gay marriage or abortion, one cannot argue that the right or wrong of the situation comes down to relative moral values.

This is true because the moral conundrum is not in regards to the individual involved in the controversial decision (deciding to get married or not, to get an abortion or not), but rather the issue rests in determining whether or not a person has the right to decide, e.g., the right to personal choice. 

This is a rather absolute issue, it seems to me. Either someone has the right to choose or a person doesn't have the right to choose.

litteacher8's profile pic

litteacher8 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

Relativists essentially believe that there is not arbitrary right and wrong. Morality is socially constructed, according to their beliefs. For example, a relativist might argue that stealing is not wrong. You might need to steal drugs from a wealth corporation in order to save a dying mother's life, for example.
pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

How about the issue of whether parents have the right to deny medical care to their children because of the parents' religious beliefs?

I would argue that a relativist would have a hard time justifying this because of the fact that the parents are denying their children (potentially) the right to life.  The children have no real say in this matter and are captive to the whims of their parents.

In order to say that this is acceptable, you have to argue that children have no rights and that parents are free to essentially use their children as human sacrifices.  A relativist could make this argument, but it would have to be based on the premise that a child has no fundamental right to live.

tammyfaith's profile pic

tammyfaith | Student, College Freshman | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

How about the issue of whether parents have the right to deny medical care to their children because of the parents' religious beliefs?

I would argue that a relativist would have a hard time justifying this because of the fact that the parents are denying their children (potentially) the right to life.  The children have no real say in this matter and are captive to the whims of their parents.

In order to say that this is acceptable, you have to argue that children have no rights and that parents are free to essentially use their children as human sacrifices.  A relativist could make this argument, but it would have to be based on the premise that a child has no fundamental right to live.

Thank you, Relativists can always explain away most topics as you know as relative to culture, religion, etc.  I thought of female genitial mulation, the Nazi's, etc.  But I believe I'll try your suggestion, youre help is greatly appreciated,

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