Reflection of The Importance of Professional Ethics
In modern society, old-fashioned ethics and morals are still considered by the mainstream of people. Ethics can be defined as moral standards which govern decent behavior. In other words, ethical behavior is doing what is morally right. There are quite a lot of core ethical theories I have learnt from the lessons. In this assignment, I would like to focus on Absolutism vs Relativism.
Absolutism indicates that there is only one set of moral rules which is unlikely to change over time. Absolutist ethical stance believes that the monotonous set of ethical principals should always be followed no matter what the situation is. Absolutism has a dogmatic assertion, which is absolute truths exist. There are some benefits of absolutism like it evaluates moral rules critically. Also, as the rules are the same for everyone, people are treated the same. It is fair. Because of the commonness of the absolute rules, there would be unnecessary to have different rules, as long as the moral rule is right. Despite the advantages of absolutism, there are some disadvantages of absolutism. Occasionally, it is not apt to treat people the same. Because of circumstances that occurs due to situations, it is appropriate to treat people differently. Simply, making everyone live by the same rules is not right.
However, relativism holds a thoroughly different point of view. Relativism means there are many tolerable sets of rules within society. Also, these rules are allowed to change over time. Relativist ethical assumes that ethical situations in reality are much more intricated than absolutists allow for. It is believed that there are more acceptable ethical beliefs and practices. The most appropriate and the right belief occurs based on the situation. After examining the situation, people can get the best outcome and make ethical assessments depends on the best outcomes. Relativism is pragmatic, which asserts that there are no absolute truths. Advantages of relativism is diversity that is existing in reality is allowed. It realizes that life is more than black and white. By using relativist approach, instead of considering their own practices are more admissible than others, cultures would consent for acceptance between different people. One coin has two sides. There are also some disadvantages of relativism. Different moral views are not all of equal value. Take Nazis as an example, they believed that it was right for them to murder numbers of Jews, disabled people, as well as homosexuals. Obviously, it is not right to say this held the same value as other moral views, but cultural relativists are not able to blame the Nazis due to their beliefs. It seems like it is hard to decide when the rules require changing in different situations.
In my point of view, relativism is more practical in our daily lives nowadays in general after reviewing the pros and cons of the two approach. As time goes by, the level of tolerance towards others’ views and beliefs is getting higher. The idea of freedom of speech starts gaining concerns, which suggests that there are no absolute truths. Moreover, all human circumstances are special in their own ways, therefore, it is necessary to have different moral rules for people. Cultural relativism states that different countries or different areas in a country have different values. Take Muslims as an example, they suppose women to cover up parts of their bodies. It allows there to be difference in various cultures. As moral truths are the outcome of ways of life and ideas which different from person to person or culture to culture based on circumstances, they are no more than individual feelings about behavior which can never reach the status of fact. Meanwhile, historical relativism says what was correct long time ago may not be right nowadays as times and society have changed. For example, women did not enjoy the right to vote hundreds of years ago, but in today’s society, women can vote and hold important positions in government. In historical relativism, it also states that society accepts the essentiality to make changes on sets of rules which used to be enough in the past. Relativism can allow for the causes why something ensues. Just imagine a mother steals food for her starving kids, what are the attitudes that absolutists and relativists hold towards the same case? Absolutists must condemn the mother for stealing as in their point of view the action of stealing is wrong. On the other hand, relativists would usually say stealing is not right but not in this case. They would see this case as an exceptional case as the mother desired to feed her children, what she did was correct, and thus, should not be judged. To sum up, absolutists views provide clear guidelines for what is right or wrong so absolutists can blame wrong practices; relativists say that nothing is intrinsically right or wrong, which allows them tolerate others ‘views. Both of them got pros and cons, however, I think that relativism is more practical in today’s society as we should accept others instead of thinking own self as supreme.
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