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Absolutism vs

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Absolutism vs. Relativism

Describe which type of belief most closely mimics beliefs and why.

PASSAGE:

While we cannot begin to cover all of the topics possible, you might select one or two contemporary issues around which ethics have changed because of external and social elements. As an example, you might consider how technological changes have affected the rules created in dealing with crime and punishment. If someone murdered someone, the punishment was hanging or death by firing squad, then came the gas chamber, then came the electric chair. Today, lethal injection is sometimes used. Does the punishment still fit the crime? Is lethal injection an easier punishment than hanging? Is it, therefore, less of a deterrent? For that matter, is capital punishment a deterrent? Can you think of any other examples?

We also need to discuss the ideas of contradiction and absolutism versus relativism.

Contradiction: If something is absolutely right, it cannot be wrong. If something is absolutely wrong, it cannot be right. This is why we often cannot see another person's point of view on a controversial issue. Abortion is absolutely wrong; the right to choose is absolutely right. If it is one, it cannot be the other.

Absolutism: If it is right, it is right everywhere; if it is wrong, it is wrong everywhere.

Relativism: Things change, and values differ in different places and under different circumstances.

Are morals absolute, or are they relative? Do they vary from culture to culture, or are they the same everywhere? If moral relativism is the case, there are no absolutes binding people to any particular point of view. If moral absolutism is the case, someone has to be right, and someone has to be wrong when there is a controversy. We see these points of view in the news and in our own discussions on a daily basis.

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