Relativism and ethical pluralism essay sample

Ethical absolutism, relativism, and pluralism are different approaches towards ethical dilemmas. In certain situations, we need to distinguish behaviors which are right and doings which are totally wrong, and it does not seem a difficult task. But as we continue thinking on problematic issues, we may find them controversial. Finally, we may come to the conclusion that the truth is either multiple or it does not exist at all. It means that we use either relativism or pluralism to solve dilemmas.

In ethics, there is no clear division between what is right and wrong. Consequently, the issue of truth is very subjective. That is why followers of relativism suppose that each person decides what is right, and it is nothing but a personal preference. Ethical relativism underlines that there is nothing objectively true or right, as the correct choice depends on the situation, feelings, cultural background, religious beliefs of individuals. Relativists are totally opposed to absolutists – people who believe that there exist certain things which are right and any deviation from “rights” is wrong.

Nevertheless, yet another approach to treating dilemmas is pluralism. While absolutism states that there is a single truth, and relativism rejects the existence of any truth at all, pluralism argues that truths are numerous. Acceptance of more than one moral framework is common to pluralists, however, they do not suppose that truth comes down merely to the personal point of view. They believe that it is possible to judge the frameworks so that some of them could be better than another. But in general, pluralism states that all solutions to the controversial problems are more or less correct.

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