Three Variations in Moral Philosophy – Essay Example

The paper "Three Variations in Moral Philosophy" is a perfect example of a philosophy essay. In moral philosophy, there are three general variations in considering moral and cultural relativism. First, there is the strategy to deny that any sort of moral or cultural relativism exists, but the only way to make this claim is to appeal to some sort of knowledge beyond human existence, such as God. This method claims that there is one single way to determine what is right and wrong in every single situation, and this makes for a very strict and structured world for humans to exist within. This claim is basically beyond the scope of knowledge because there is no way to rationally argue with religious claims, so this method does not allow us to make any progress in terms of a philosophical viewpoint. The other two methods are more closely related. One of the ways is to claim that there are variations in terms of moral and cultural relativism and there are no absolutes in ethics and morality, and the other way is to claim that there is variation, but there are still some absolutes. The more easily defensible position is to state that there are no absolute principles that one can follow, though there might be a strong desire to be able to defend a few absolute principles. The main reason that one would wish to claim that there are no absolute principles is that this would basically justify events such as genocide because the particular culture that it took place in was stating that this was acceptable, and no one wants to admit that an event like the Holocaust was justifiable in the Nazi culture. In claiming that there are no absolutes, the argument does not need to be followed up or overly defended considering the evidence. However, considering that more recent globalization and creation of institutions such as the UN, the argument that there aren’t absolutes but ethics and cultures have become more homogenized and therefore subject to the scrutiny of other viewpoints might be a way to work around the problems of both of the latter arguments.