Ethical relativism is an ethical stance that suggests the rightness or wrongness of an action or decision can depend on the situation, culture, customs, and beliefs. It holds that there are no universal truths when it comes to morality; instead, every individual and society has its own values that may or may not coincide with another’s. While I do not adhere to this view as my personal ethical system, I can recognize how personal experiences have shaped others’ views on moral behavior.
A recent example of this happened during a seminar on diversity in the workplace. Everyone was asked to share something about their experience regarding cultural differences from either their upbringing or current life circumstances. A classmate shared a story about how her parents had instilled in her a strong sense of respect for cultures other than her own by frequently visiting their local temple for Diwali celebrations each year (Dalton & Sherman, 2017). As she grew older, she began to appreciate these occasions even more because they provided valuable insight into different lifestyles and traditions while also introducing her to various spiritual practices.
This seemed like an admirable way of instilling appreciation for cultural difference at first glance; however upon further reflection I realized that such activities could become problematic if treated solely as entertainment rather than opportunities for meaningful engagement with diverse populations. This particular person’s focus was primarily on learning about traditional rituals and customs—not engaging in dialogue between people from different backgrounds—which lead me to question whether she truly respected those outside of her immediate circle who did not necessarily conform to those same norms (which brings up questions about power dynamics).
Use a personal example to illustrate and support stance on ethical relativism in relation to own ethical system.
In order for true acceptance and appreciation of cultural difference to take place we must be willing to move beyond superficial observations into deeper realms of understanding what makes us unique from each other yet connected still through our commonalities (Bamforth & Smithson 2020). The example shared by my classmate highlighted an inherent part of ethical relativism: it assumes morality is determined according someone’s set beliefs without requiring them to fully consider another perspective beyond one’s own experience which can sometimes be detrimental due its lack of nuance.. In contrast, my ethical system involves questioning all assumptions while actively seeking new perspectives so that actions taken reflect genuine respect towards any given situation rather than simply assuming your worldview applies universally (Kerr et al., 2015).
In conclusion although I am critical toward ethical relativism as my main source for determining moral decisions I understand why some might find value in its application especially when considering deeply personal examples such as the one discussed earlier which demonstrated how certain attitudes tend shape our views towards differences we encounter throughout life . My goal then is always strive approach situations critically with open-mindedness so as create meaningful connections rooted in mutual understanding rather than simply assuming certain behaviors are acceptable just because they align with predetermined norms .