Essay On Ethics


Ethics is also known as moral philosophy and is the structure of moral values. In other words, ethics is the order of dealing with the good and bad values depending on moral obligation and ethical duties. Many philosophers defined ethics differently. James Cornman, one of the philosophers defined it in different concepts. He divided ethics into three dimensions, ethical skepticism, ethical relativism, and ethical nihilism. This paper focuses on ethical relativism, defending the arguments. It will also state Cornman’s objection concerning his argument, and give reasons to disagree with Cornman.

Defending Ethical relativism

Ethical relativism applies to ethical standards. However, the case of ethical relativism is rather strong and convincing. Firstly, the ethical standards, which different people may feel correct, may differ to others. In addition, as Cornman said, what one thinks is correct, may not be correct to the other was correct in that, there are different reasons that make different people differ from one another. In addition, there are also reasons for people accepting or agreeing on certain common issues.

However, the fact that different people have reasons for tolerating different moral values is no doubt that, ethical relativism can be accepted in the society and can also work efficiently among people. In addition, there should be favor for ethical relativism because; the reasons for different people to have certain feelings about different standards are the actions that allow these people to feel that, the certain standards are correct. However, ethical relativism is established in the society and in order to ensure it works efficiently, careful attention should be paid to the arguments it provides.

Cornman’s objections to the argument

According to Cornman, ethical relativism refers to the different ethical standards observed in different people. Ethical relativism is acceptable in the society because it allows for different kinds of relativisms, which are evident in real life situations. The major evidence of the ethical relativism is the cultural relativism. It states that, the culture or the society of an individual determines whether a certain moral standard is correct. In addition, ethical relativism consists of historical relativism, which is highly concerned with the time of existence of the person concerned. In addition, Cornman stated of historical relativism, which implies that, relative standards are determined by the specific time, which the concerned person lived. Moreover, another aspect that makes ethical relativism be accepted in the society is the class relativism, which is one the branches of ethical relativism. Class relativism is based on Marxism, which makes the best standards concerning the division of a person economically.

Reasons for disagreeing with Cornman

There are several facts in ethics that can lead one to disagree with Cornman. First, according to Cornman, ethical relativism is how people from one culture differ with people from other cultures. This is not the case because; numerous ethical differences can be identified in people from the same culture and at the same time. In addition, people in the world have shown differences and have been able to contradict in different moral principles. It can be said that, the differences in ethical standards do not differ from one culture to another or from time to time. These differences are brought about by the situations faced by the community or individuals applying the standards.

Ethical relativism is accepted in the society and has been evidenced in many fields in the society. For example, class relativism, which is a branch of ethical relativism, is working quite perfectly in the economical field. Although Cornman believes that, what is right for an individual is not right for another, and that, ethical standards differ depending on the time a certain activity takes place, and from culture to culture but, that is not the case. Ethical standards are determined by the situation at hand of the person concerned.

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