Moral relativism is the view that moral judgments are true or false only in relation to some particular culture or historical period.
But there are some problems with that view:
- It is self-defeating: it is a moral judgment itself, yet it makes an absolute claim that moral judgments are always relative to culture or history.
- There are variations in some areas, but all cultures throughout history have some form of the statement "treat others the way you want to be treated." (Source: the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy).
- The denial of moral truth can lead to an abandonment of scientific truth. This is an increasingly common phenomenon in the 21st century.
- It destroys the concept of basic rights. Slavery, killing your newborn, human sacrifice, all could be considered "true for the people in that culture / historical period."
- It can lead to what C.S. Lewis termed "chronological snobbery": the assumption that what we believe is automatically superior to what people used to believe.
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