Relativism is the idea that a person’s judgments about ethics
are dependent upon something else and ethical relativism can be defined as the
skepticism that there are right and wrong answers to posed ethical questions (Mackinnon & Fiala, 2018). In other words, morality can said to be relative to the
norms of an individual’s culture. Therefore since it is known that different
cultures have different moral values, whether an action is considered right or
wrong on an individual level depends largely on the moral norms of the society
in which a person was raised. Three main reasons exist for believing that ethical
relativism is true. These include the diversity of moral views, moral
uncertainty, and situational differences.

The first reason that will be discussed and explored that
gives support to the existence of ethical relativism is the concept of
diversity that surrounds moral views, which encompasses tolerance and
open-mindness. Philosophers have been investigating the basics of morality for
decades and they are still unable to come to a collective agreement on ethical
topics. This heightens the importance of tolerance and open-mindness towards
different views and ideas. According to the textbook, arguments over moral
matters often the result of factual disagreements and that is where ethical
diversity arises (Mackinnon
& Fiala, 2018).

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The second reason that promotes the belief in ethical
relativism is moral uncertainty. Morality is a highly subjective topic of
discussion and so, whether an action is right or wrong is dependent on the
moral values of the society in which it is practiced. That is why it
is hard decipher the bounds of morality and come to a conclusion of what
is morally the right thing the believe or do in a certain situation. The uncertainty
of morality makes people unsure of what the best course of action is when
dealing with a moral concept since it is hard to predict the future.

The third reason that lends support to ethical relativism is
situational difference. The situational variance that exists amongst people
makes it dificult to draw conclusions from and make comparisons between people
of different cultures. Not everyone has the same worldview, experiences, and
innate moral compass which ultimately makes it hard to explicitly say that one
culture is right or wrong in comparison to another and believe that the same
things that are right in one person’s mind would be considered right in

Even though all three of these reasons give support to
ethical relativism, differences exist between them. Each reason emphasizes a
different point. The first reason, diversity of moral views, argues that point
that people disagree about what constitutes what is right or true because
people have different cultural values and principles that influence their
judgement of morality. The second reason, moral uncertainity, asserts that
people are unable to know for sure whether an act is right or wrong. This is
how the first and second reasons differ. Moreover, the third reason, situational
differences, highlights that because of cultural and time differences, all
people do not share the same moral principles. The difference between the first
and third reason is that the fact of diversity in the first implies that there
is no objective good, while diversity in the third is because people’s
circumstances differ.