Moral Guide For American Society – Argumentative Essay


What moral guide should American society use for making moral decisions, moral absolutism, moral relativism, or something in between?

Sample Essay

Individuals’ behaviors can be considered as right or wrong differently based on the cultural norms or believes of the observer. This means that an act that may be seen as immoral by one person may be considered right by another person based on individual perspectives. It is therefore hard to create a uniform moral rules for a diverse society with individuals with different cultural, religious, historical, social and personal views. According to Velasquez et al. (1992), different people have different culture and cultural practices that may seem wrong and immoral to others. An act that is considered to be right in one culture is regarded as wrong in another culture. This makes it hard to judge another person in our cultural context. Normally, individual are taught good morals based on their cultural background. Thus, their cultural practice is part of their life and despite how bad it is to others, it is of create value to them. However, despite the differences Velasquez et al acknowledges that the actual motive of different culture is the same. However, the techniques differ and this what create a conflict. In this regard, the American society should make moral decisions based on the motive of the act and not the act itself. In this regard, moral realism would be more rational to be employed in the American community as compared to moral absolutism since the American society is diverse in terms of culture.

My argument highly support metaethical moral relativism as defined by Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. According to Encyclopedia of Philosophy (2004), the moral judgment falsity or truth, or their justification is not universal or absolute, but it is relative to convictions, traditions, or practices of a group of people. What is allowed by one society is considered wrong by another. In this regard, it would be hard to judge a person harshly for a practice she or he was taught to be right since childhood just because it goes against our norms. However, culture is dynamic and always formed by people. This situation is clearly illustrated by Benedict (1934), who affirms that different individuals have different cultural norms and the main reasons for adopting into these norms. Thus, according to Benedict, there is no need of judging other harshly when they act against our cultural norms since even what we do appears abnormal or even immoral to them.

However, with this form of perspective, it would be hard for people of different cultures to co-exist. To ensure a high level of coexisting between individuals of different culture, individuals from different societies should come together and define their new culture. This is what brings about civilization, and elimination of various cultural practices that are oppressive to the people, or that always result to negative consequences, despite having the right intention. To create a healthy society, the American people should come together and try to understand the culture others and the reason for some of their practices that seems abnormal to them. This will enable them to create a neutral ground to discuss what should be eliminated or taken in to enhance the coexistence by defining a new culture. This will provide better chances to solve circumstances that invoke misjudgment from all sides. The new culture will be like an integration of cultures from the communities living in a certain region, based on their agreement.

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