We are taught that tolerance is a virtue, yet as our reading shows, there are considerable problems for moral relativism. Can we resolve this apparent conflict between being tolerant and having objective (the idea that some things are just right and others are just wrong) moral views, or do we have to sacrifice one for the other?
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SHAFER LANDAU Shafer-Landau tries to seek the status of
ethical claims. He is examining the moral
principles to discover if they are true, if
they are capable of being true. Is there
one truth regardless of the opinion of
others? Three basic kinds of moral skepticism: Moral Nihilism denies that there are any
moral truths. Nothing is ever good or
evil, moral or immoral. Two types of moral nihilism:
Error theory- our moral commitments are
always wrong. When making moral
pronouncements, we are almost always trying
to speak truth, but since there is no truth in
ethics, we are always mistaken. In this vein,
morality becomes simply another opiate for the
masses., a set of superstitions and illusions
meant to keep others in line. For error theorists,
talk of God or an action’s virtues is all fiction
since it presupposes something that does not
exist, i.e ; good or evil. Non-cognitivists believe that moral
judgments can’t be true or false because
they aren’t trying to describe moral facts.
Rather they are meant to vent our
emotions, to persuade others to share
their feelings, to coordinate our
responses with another, or express our
commitments. Non –cognitivists believe
that moral judgments are meant to
prescribe, not to describe. Ethical Subjectivism claims that there are
moral truths, but that each person
ultimately decides what those truths are.
We all create our own moral reality which
is equally valid for all. Ethical Relativism allows for moral truths,
but believes that those truths are
“relative” to each culture. Morality is
social rather than personal. It is possible
for people to make mistakes, but only
because they have failed to understand
what society endorses. Social agreement
is the ultimate measure of right and
wrong. On the other side are the Ethical Objectivists. Ethical
Objectivists believe that there are correct standards
for defining good and evil. In this view, we don’t
have the final say about what makes something good
or bad, even the moral commitments of individuals
and society can be mistaken. For something to be
objectively true, it must be true regardless of what
anyone thinks about it. This holds true for
mathematical equations and scientific facts. ShaferLandau believes this holds true for morality as well.
He admits the question, how can moral truths be as
objective as that of science or math, but believes the
strengths of his position are sound. “It is never morally right to destroy a
“It is morally wrong to torture a human
Can these claims both be true? The
meaning of true is objective (the way
things are independent of what people
It is inconsistent to hold both of these
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