Relativism and Morality

Relativism and Morality

Ethical relativism states that there may be no wrong or right; however, these evaluations ought to be understood relative to an individual, a society or even a culture.  In the excellent article “Some Moral Minima” written by Goodman, she bewails that certain things are just wrong, and looking at the entire Relativism Theory makes one wonder as regards to what may be considered wrong or right. When I reflect on my own morals, straight away I concur with Goodman; although some part of me has intricacy grasping that only one precise ethic subsists, in which we can reach one universal agreement, on issues.  In this essay, I will argue why Goodman may be right as regards to most of her arguments, I will also explore several challenges that she presents to the theory of relativism, and finally list some examples that I think maybe universal moral requirements.

Goodman lists a couple of challenges in her article that put-up opposition to relativism. She talks about terrorism, genocide, rape, germ warfare, and slavery. Goodman may be correct and on point with what she discusses in this article; since, in this world, some things may just be wrong no matter the society one lives in. Goodman poses the question, “Why is mass murder dissimilar to the killing of a spotted victim by a criminal? Why is genocide regarded to be uglier than murder?” Genocide comes into place when members of a grouping seek to wipe out an entire culture, race, ethnic or linguistic identity (Goodman, 2010).  Evidently, the retort lies in the objective of the action and not the magnitude of the crime. This subject matter brings me to the terrorist attacks on the United States that happened in the year 2001. This menace brought about contemplation for “mass-defense” weapons to strike large masses fast. Bearing in mind that the terrorist threats emanated from Muslims, would this be considered as a genocidal practice on this particular race?  Scores of people labeled Muslims in America as terrorists for the reason that they were similar to the enemy; nevertheless, two wrongs never make a right. This conviction was no different from that of “Al-Qaeda groups” that brought all Americans into one system of belief.  Genocide ought to be considered as “universally immoral”. According to Goodman, moral barriers may be stripped away in swelling violence; however, warfare may not always be wrong (Goodman, 2010).  This may be a valid standpoint which I agree with; however, not each and every culture would hold up this opinion.

Further, a lot of people believe that in modern times slavery no longer exists; however, it still happens in the present day, in the form of “human trafficking”.  Between seven hundred thousand to four million persons are trafficked yearly across borders internationally, which includes some fifty thousand persons into the United States (Goodman, 2010).  Goodman argues that slavery maintains its victim alive whilst stripping her or his agency and assigning it to other people who share their interests, projects, and hopes through subordinating their potentials to their desires (Goodman, 2010).  I believe that most choose to brush this present-day slavery beneath the rug until it strikes home.  Slavery in whichever form, at whichever time, maybe wrong.  This ought to be the universal relativism notwithstanding an individual, culture or even a society since it may be considered as the “inhuman” exploitation of human beings.

Place your order

Finally, I delve into the adverse topic of rape.  Goodman poses a question in his article, “Why is rape regarded to be wrong?”  It may not be just an infringement of another person’s will, but rather that other person’s “personhood”, that is deeply invested in his or her sexuality (Goodman, 2010).  Rape may be a sexual crime, as well as a power crime if one consults the motives of the rapist; often a desire to abuse and humiliate the victim usually exists.  Nevertheless, denying that rape may be a sexual crime has an additional resonance that chimes false, rumbling from the myth that there may be no “bad sex”.  Regrettably, there may be “bad sex”, and rape may be a paradigm case; that of no love and also as an act of hate.  Rape blasphemes and perverts against intimacy and the trust that grant sexuality its transcendent and natural meanings. Intimidations and threats may be of the essence, all through the act, after the act, and even precursory; in view of the fact that, rapists frequently count on social pressures and fear to preclude an accusation (Goodman, 2010).  How possibly will one ever-present a compelling reason for acts of rape?  Although the notion of rape petrifies me, my logic may not be skewed; rape is and has always been wrong and no condition can make it right.


Various cultures may view the issues argued within the article “Some Moral Minima” as merely a normal practice; however, as Goodman laments, “certain things may simply be wrong” (Goodman, 2010).  Within the multitude of diverse ethic codes, it may be safe to say that there will never be common typical universal moral requirements. It may be simply unrealistic to suppose that the entire world may agree, while virtually agreement is impossible even within an individual state.  As a rational person, one ought to appreciate who they are, their “moral ethics” and also endeavor to meet those standards every day.


Goodman L. (2010) Some Moral Minima. Good Society Journal, 19(1), pg.87-94. Retrieved on 2

April, 2013; from, http://www.scribd.com/doc/73431609/Moral-Minma

Order My Essay

Being a student of philosophy comes with its own set of unique challenges and writing a top-notch philosophy essay is the biggest of them all. If you have a philosophy essay due and a fast-approaching deadline, then Lifesaver Essays has got your back. With our custom essay writing service, you get the guarantee of a 100% original and well-researched essay delivered to you well within the time frame of your looming essay deadline. And all of these you can easily avail by placing a simple order with us. Not to mention our guarantee of quality and student-friendly prices are going to blow your mind. So what are you waiting for? Place the order and let Lifesaver Essays help you achieve your dream grade!

Write My Essay Now
$ 0 .00


Be Awesome - Share Awesome