Moral Relativism and Moral Universalism: Moral Principle that I Agree with

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Moral universalism is the concept that I agree with the most among the nine moral principles that we have explored so far. The principle holds that moral standards, guidelines and practices apply to all societies and cultures across the globe. This basic concept is accurate and realistic since human societies share many things in common irrespective of the geographical or racial differences of the societies. As such, what is wrong for me or for one society will also be wrong for individuals in a different society that I have never interacted with. Examples of common moral practices include: respect for elders, honesty, and kindness. Morality is universal in that ethical practices apply to all human beings since in order for a peaceful, harmonious, and supportive coexistence, people must be guided by a set of practices that encourage cooperation, coordination, and unity. This leads to an improvement in the quality of life that people live. Therefore, I believe that morality consists of guiding actions and practices that are not to describe the way the world is, but provide suitable guidance on how the world should be in order for humans to live in harmony with each other and to get the best out of the environment.

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My moral ideology is significantly influenced by my cultural and Buddhist religious background. Although Buddhism has many variations, it is universalistic with regards to its spiritual and cultural principles. The universal nature of Buddhist religion is known as Dharma when certain conditions have been met. The doctrines of Truths of the Noble Ones highlight what suffering is about, its causes, how suffering ends, and the pathway through which suffering ends. It is correct that suffering exists in the human society throughout the lifespan, and is depicted by elements such as hunger, disease, and calamities such as earthquakes. The doctrines thus provide moral principles through which humans can lead happy lives in spite of the eminent problems in the human society. The religious doctrines take the spiritual approach to reducing suffering and improving the quality of life that people live, and constitute spiritual development by reducing craving and non-virtuous acts. The doctrines also serve to discourage behaviors and practices that reduce the quality of human life. Monastics are thus meant to guide rather than interfere with secular life.

Strongest Position Against My Own

Moral relativism is the principle that I consider having the strongest viewpoints that go against the concepts of moral universalism. Moral relativism holds that moral behaviors and practices cannot be derived from or reduced to universal or generally applicable behavior and practices. This implies that moral principles and ideologies are relative and subjective in that they greatly vary across cultures and geographical locations, and that morality is contextual. This means that the application of moral provisions depend on situations so that some cases may require the application of moral ideas while other situation may not. For instance, on the issue of abortion, the ideas of moral universalism call for respect for human life so that abortion is considered an unethical practice. Conversely, according to the subjective ideas of moral relativism, abortion can either be good or bad depending on the situation or wishes of the pregnant woman. This implies that abortion in itself is not considered as an immoral or unethical practice. Therefore, moral relativism provides room for variations of ethical ideologies, which can significantly contribute to low moral standards in the human society. This is because unethical conduct such as meanness and dishonesty can be regarded as good depending on a person’s situation, which can significantly create room for moral decadence since people will try to justify wrongdoings in as much as they know that the actions are wrong.

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