Comment #6695

Forum: Morality and Stuff!
yeroc
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Hmm, well, my understanding of moral relativism is just that it states that morality can be different between cultures and individuals without any of them being "wrong", so yes, it's entirely possible that I'm misunderstanding relativism. However, in this thread, people have expressed a view similar to what I described in this post, so that's what I was answering. I think that an action is either right or wrong, even if we don't know which at the time.

Anyways, my philosophy is actually quite egalitarian. When I say morality helps "us" survive, I don't mean it helps me survive. I would argue that if the only way for a child to survive was for a parent to sacrifice one's self for the child, then, given that the child would have a high probability of reaching adult post-sacrifice, the parent would be morally required to make such a sacrifice. The reason for this is because I see the survival of the gene, rather than the individual, as a priority, whereas many egoist philosophers (Ayn Rand most notably) would not at all support such a course of action, as to such philosophers, the individual is more important than the gene. Now, I would argue that "my" gene is more important than "your" gene, so if I had to choose who to save, I'd choose to save myself. However, I do not think "my" gene is so much more important that letting two others die would be a moral course of action; ultimately, I'm concerned with body count.
ThatGuySteve
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Ok, not Egoist, but still relativist as the actions are situationally dependent; ie sacrificing yourself to save another would depend on if they are an offspring of yours or not, or if many people would die.

Relativism being based on society is being focused on by other peoples posts but they are forgetting (or not realising) that society is only one factor in determining the situation. Relativism simply means that every situation is considered separately for the moral course of action with no "unbreakable rules" (although that doesn't mean there will be a situation where you perform a particular action).