Relativism and Morality

Morality can be described as a sense of behavioral conduct that gives a difference to the intentions, decisions, and actions as to whether they are right or wrong the other hand is the active opposition to morality. Morality can be viewed from two main sides. It refers to ones personal and cultural values that distinguish between rights or wrongs .And in a normative sense morality would point in a direct manner to what is right or wrong, no matter what some individual may think. This view is usually not supported   by moral nihilism, where the existence of moral truths is rejected and accepted by moral realism, where existence of moral truths is supported.  On the other hand relativism is a concept of points of view having no absolute truth or validity, but having only relative, subjective values according to differences in perception and consideration of an individual. Morality at times can be said to be relative implying that different moral truths hold for different individuals, but there are some cases where such may not be the case. Lenn Goodman in “some moral minima” argues that there are four groups of actions in life that are just so wrong no matter under what perspective they are viewed.

Then first kind of such actions are genocide, famine caused by politics and germ warfare. Genocide refers to the mass murder of individuals sharing a common characteristic and trait a good example being the one that occurred in a country in Africa named Rwanda where a group of individuals attacked and murdered others based on their tribe. Politically induced Famine on the other hand is the causing of acute shortage of food and water by political means, while germ ware fare is the use of biological weapons in war to suppress the enemies. Though these three actions may be said to be morally right in the sense that they may be used in wars as weapons to finish of   the enemies who are a threat to other human’s existence, they are truly wrong and an abuse to the human life. These actions usually lead to loss of human life, livelihood, dreams and many aspirations. Such actions should be banished from taking place any where in the world because no matter how rightfully defended they may be they are still seriously morally wrong. (Goodman, 2010)

The second kinds of actions are terrorism, the taking of hostages and use of child soldiers in war fare. Terrorism is the act of causing terror, injury or even mass death to mostly groups of unsuspecting innocent individuals. In normal life or in times of wars there are some situations where an individual or individual may be captured and held as a hostage so as to act as a wager or bargaining chip later. Finally there are some individuals who use children below the age of fourteen as soldiers in war. These actions can be viewed as   proper tools for intimidation in that they help in ensuring the demands of individuals like terrorists and guerilla fighters are met thereby preventing further bloodshed. But on the moral sense this actions have no justification. Terrorism may lead to situations of panic or death among innocents. While a hostage suffers psychological and sometimes physical torture, children used in wars grow up emotionally scared and disturbed. Such actions also need to be stopped.   (Goodman, 2010)

The third group of actions is slavery polygamy and incest. Slavery is the use of another human being to perform ones duties either by use of force or manipulating the individual. Polygamy also can be said to be the act of marrying more than one wife, incestuous relationships on the other hand is are the sexual relations between people related either by blood or any other means. These actions may be viewed as means of controlling irresponsibility among individuals. They are very wrong in the sense that slavery strips of an individual’s right and urgency, handing them to people who don’t share in their interests to perform their duties. Polygamy also exploits both the rights of women and disturbs emotional growth in children on the other hand incest lowers ones self opinion and esteem. As such these actions should always be considered morally wrong. (Goodman, 2010)

The final group of actions include; rape and clitoridectomy. Rape is the use of force to have sexual intercourse with an unwilling partner. It may also be wit a willing partner but one not able to make wise judgments as in the case of statutory rape. Clitoridectomy on the other hand is the removal of a part of the female sexual organ known as the clitoris. These two actions may have their own justifications in that rape may be used as a tool of war to cause intimidation, while clitoridectomy prevents women from having sexual urges hence preventing unfaithfulness. But in the moral sense they are actions that violate the basic sexual rights of other individuals especially women. Such actions should be discouraged for a much better society. (Goodman, 2010)

Lenn Goodman enables us to see that actions like Genocide, politically induced famine and germ warfare are dangerous and may cause loss of human life. On the other hand terrorism, rape, human trafficking and slavery bring   about demoralization and disrespect to other people

 And finally Polygamy, clitoridectomy, and incest prevent the fulfillment of human sexual and marital relations. And as such these actions should be discouraged in order to ensure a better society.