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The process of making moral decisions relies on diverse principles. Different societies use different moral principles including moral absolutism and moral relativism to guide decision-making. Furthermore, some societies use the integration of the two moral principles to make decisions at the community level. There are diverse moral principles that are applicable in decision making. However, this paper argues that American society should employ moral relativism in making moral decisions at the community level. The discussions are supported by experiential anthropological study findings presented by Ruth Benedict.
Moral Relativism and Its Application
The principle of moral relativism and its application in moral decision-making suggests that universally lawful moral principle is nonexistent. The moral correctness and wrongness of decisions vary from one culture to another. Arguably, no absolute universal moral principles binding on all societies. The system of thinking in any society about ethical standards is always relative (Velasquez, Andre, Shanks & Meyer, 2013). Notably, every society creates primary principles that serve as the basis for morality. The principle of moral relativism maintains that the establishment of moral standards that apply to their situation has remained the same.
According to Benedict (1934), morality is dependent on diverse histories and environments of varying cultures. The author used a large amount of data on anthropological studies in diverse cultures to conclude that moral relativism remains the right understanding of ethical principles. The experiential specifics she collected from primitive and modern cultures show great disparities in approaches and moral standards (Benedict, 1934). The high disparities indicate that American society should employ moral relativism in making ethical decisions. The application of a moral principle that has been adopted from other regions cannot function among Americans.
The experiential anthropological findings made by Benedict from her educational surveillance in diverse cultures reveal the inapplicability of outside moral principles in American communities. It is notable that, while the American society has embraced homosexuality largely, other cultures still abhor it as a social abnormality (Benedict, 1934). The findings also indicate that no society can make the most of its civilizations complete the probable differences in individual performance.
The American society should use moral relativism because different cultures appreciate their ability to make decisions according to their situations. Society also likes to take their preferences to advance levels and largely promote own moral principles (Velasquez et al., 2013). Therefore, the society can reject decisions, which are incompatible to their moral standards and preferences. The significance of moral relativism within the American society about decision-making remains crucial. The moral principle offers the American populace population to draw attention to issues of moral differences within varying cultures to establish their viewpoint (Velasquez et al., 2013).
The principle sustains debates about different state of morals in diverse cultures during varying historical periods. Americans also ought to apply moral relativism because crucial discussions on moral disagreements normally emerge during different periods. The notable discussions about abortion in America show the significance of moral relativism because people who have varied moral standards can have the opportunity to share their opinions (Gowans, 2012).
The application of moral principles in decision-making remains highly different depending on cultural settings. There are notable differences between moral absolute principle and moral relativism standard and their application in making ethical decisions. Moral relativism suggests that there are no universally correct moral standards. The principle notes that moral standards vary from one culture to another or from one person to another. The American society should apply moral relativism in decision making because of their uniqueness in cultural backgrounds and individual opinions.
Benedict, R. (1934). A Defense of Ethical Relativism. Web.
Gowans, C. (2012). Moral Relativism: The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Edward N. Zalta (ed.). Web.
Velasquez, M., Andre, C., Shanks, T., & Meyer, M. (2013). Ethical Relativism. Web.