SOC 120 Week 2 Discussion 1: Theory or Opinion

Theory or Opinion Challenge

Relativism- is the view that moral claims are relative to and individual or a community, and do not have objective value or truth. For example, Society 1 practices shamanism, while Society 2 regards shamanism as a hoax. “Given many cultures and societies around the world, the ethical relativist then concludes that all moral claims must be relativized in this way” (Mosser, 2013, Ch. 1.7).

Emotivism is the ethical practice in which emotions rule the reactions to perceived moral infractions. For instance, someone looks at an abhorrent, to them, practice or action, and expresses personal disgust or disapproval of the action. “I simply have the response I have, and my emotional response expresses whether I think it is a good or bad thing or am I indifferent” (Mosser, 2013, Ch. 1.7).

Ethical Egoism- this, as the name implies, is a self centered moral system, where the person doing the deed judges whether it is right or wrong, regardless of how society at large feels about the action. For example, a person runs a red light while driving, but regards it as a good thing as it gets them to where they are going faster. “Selfishness, for the egotist, is simply used to recognize that people act, or should act, in their own self- interest”. (Mosser, 2013, Ch. 1.7).

In my opinion perspectives differ greatly from the ethical theories. I feel this way because ethical theories focus greatly on morals and virtues. With ethical theories there is a clear right and wrong. Ethical perspectives, however, do not necessarily focus on the morally right or the morally wrong, instead it focuses on the view point of the individual person or community. I think that the one theory that might come somewhat close to relativism is deontology. Deontology focuses on an actions morality that have been set forth by rules and duties. Both of these depend on the culture and/or community that the individual partakes in.

When it comes to perspectives, morality and virtues are all based on the perception of the individual. What might be wrong for one person might be seen as normal or right by another person. Each ethical perspective reminds us that morality and virtues are different amongst each culture group and there really is no right answer.

One issue that is occurring in the community is gay marriage. There are a lot of feelings that arise to this topic. If you look at this situation from a relativism perspective than many factors could become the outcome. Everyone has his or her own beliefs and opinions about marriage. If you were raised, in a culture or society where marriage was between a man and a woman, you would probably say that gay marriage is wrong and be against the decision. You would not want them to be allowed to marry. Now let’s say you were raised in an open minded society and culture your opinion would be different. You would feel that as long as they are happy being who they are then you would not have a problem with it.

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