Moral relativism  

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"Beyond good and evil there is a field where we can all meet"--Rumi

"Leo Strauss once suggested that if all laws are relative, then "cannibalism is a matter of taste." The whim of the individual, however passionately he himself feels about that whim, ..." --A Responsum on Questions of Conscience - Pagina 21, Samuel I. Korff, 1970, see cultural relativism

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Moral relativism is used to describe several philosophical positions concerned with the differences in moral or ethical judgments across different peoples and cultures. An advocate of such ideas is often referred to as a relativist for short.

Descriptive moral relativism holds only that people do, in fact, disagree fundamentally about what is moral, with no judgment being expressed on the desirability of this. Meta-ethical moral relativism holds that in such disagreements, nobody is objectively right or wrong.

Normative moral relativism holds that because nobody is right or wrong, everyone ought to tolerate the behavior of others even when large disagreements about morality exist.

Said concepts of the different intellectual movements involve considerable nuance and aren't absolute descriptions. Descriptive relativists do not necessarily adopt meta-ethical relativism. Moreover, not all meta-ethical relativists adopt normative relativism.

American philosopher Richard Rorty in particular has argued that the label of being a "relativist" has become warped and turned into a sort of pejorative. He has written specifically that thinkers labeled as such usually simply believe "that the grounds for choosing between such [philosophical] opinions is less algorithmic than had been thought", not that every single conceptual idea is as valid as any other. In this spirit, Rorty has lamented that "philosophers have... become increasingly isolated from the rest of culture."

Moral relativism has been debated for thousands of years across a variety of contexts during the history of civilization. Arguments of particular notability have been made in areas such as ancient Greece and historical India while discussions have continued to the present day. Besides the material created by philosophers, the concept has additionally attracted attention in diverse fields including art, religion, and science.

See also

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Moral relativism" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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