Last Updated 04 Jan 2023

Code of Hammurabi, Magna Carta, US Constitution

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From the beginning of society, governments have instituted laws to cease anarchy. The Code of Hammurabi, the Magna Carta, the US Constitution, all share the significance of setting standards of law for a group of people. In most countries, the laws are significantly different from the next. Almost all countries share in the laws set in stone: laws against murder, stealing, and rape. Most people would agree that all countries should have laws against these heinous crimes, but others would argue that there is no law, or moral standard that applies to all people. The first group of people are called Moral Absolutists. This group of people believes that there are laws and moral standards that apply to all people. That no matter where a person is from, it is imbedded in his or her heart to not harm another person moral absolutists believe that most, if not all people share in the same morality, and most people should be held up to the stan- dards of the moral law.

These types of people would make moral decisions based on what the moral standards are for the people of the world, and they would make a decision based on the means to the end of the choice. The second group of people are called moral relativists. These people believe that there is no higher moral law, and that no person should be subject to the moral standards of another person. These people believe, just as their name says, that morality is relative to different people. These people would make moral decisions based on who the person is, where that person is from, and what the end goal of the decision is. There is a flaw in reasoning for the relativist because saying “there is no absolute standard for morality" is a standard for morality and the premise crumbles, Relativists and Absolutists differ in their decision-making quite heavily. As an example, a person drinking under age would be viewed very differently.

A Moral Absolutist would think that the subject is breaking the law, and is therefore violating moral standards. An absolutist would not take part in underage drinking because it violates the law, and it is also not right. A moral relativist would think that it is perfectly fine because the person is trying to have fun, fit in, or other ends that may justify it. The Relativist would take part in underage drinking because the standards for morality would differ for that person drinking than the law permits. Another ex-ample of the dispute would be cheating on a test. An absolutist would think that it is stealing and violates the standards of taking another person’s work. So therefore an absolutist would not cheat on a test. On the contrary, a Relativist would think that the person is trying to get a better grade and the person must do what he or she can to get a better grade. Therefore the relativist would cheat because that person is getting a better grade, and that end justifies that decision.

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It is another flaw in reasoning to think that the end justifies the means, one could say that to solve overpopulation there must be a mass genocide no end can justify the means, and all people should be held accountable to the moral standings of the world. As stated above, the relativists and absolutists have very different opinions, it would be impossible to be both. The Absolutist believes that the means to an end is what the moral decision should be made upon. While the Relativist believes that the end justifies the means. These are two polar opposite opinions and is impossible to be both. I believe that people desire to be both, because they want to be accepting of other peopled cultures, but also believe that all people should be held to a moral standard. I believe that more people, when the evidence and logic is presented to them, end up becoming moral absolutists than moral relativistsi. This is because of the gross inflation of acceptance and non—judgment of other people, but some become too infatuated with the idea of acceptance it clouds their judgement on what is morally acceptable.

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