Relativism vs. Objectivism in Ethics | Raised Right
Pluralism, tolerance and subjectivity
A standard relativist response is to say that moral truth is relativein some sense. On this view, S is not true or falseabsolutely speaking, but it may be true-relative-to-X andfalse-relative-to-Y (where X and Y refer tothe moral codes of different societies). This means that suicide isright for persons in a society governed by X, but it is notright for persons in a society governed by Y; and, therelativist may contend, there is no inconsistency in this conjunctionproperly understood.
Moral Relativism | Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy
Even if it were established that there are deep and widespread moraldisagreements that cannot be rationally resolved, and that thesedisagreements are more significant than whatever agreements there maybe, it would not immediately follow that MMR is correct. Othernonobjectivist conclusions might be drawn. In particular, opponents ofobjectivism might argue for moral skepticism, that we cannot know moraltruths, or for a view that moral judgments lack truth-value (understoodto imply a rejection of relative truth-value). Hence, proponents ofMMR face two very different groups of critics: assorted kindsof moral objectivists and various sorts of moral nonobjectivists. Thedefender of MMR needs to establish that MMR issuperior to all these positions, and this would require a comparativeassessment of their respective advantages and disadvantages. It isbeyond the scope of this article to consider the alternative positions(see the entries on , , , , and ). What can beconsidered are the challenges the proponent of MMR faces andwhat may be said in response to them.