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Louis Pojman argues for objectivism rather of relativism in morality although we are drawn in to the idea of relativism. Ethical relativism is comprised of a variety thesis and a dependence thesis. The diversity thesis is also understood as cultural relativism and essentially states that morality is various between different societies. The reliance thesis is similar to the diversity thesis, but mentions that morality depends on the context of the society. There are 2 views on the dependency thesis.

In one view it is the application of the moral principles that depends on the circumstance, however in the other the principles (not how they are used) really depend on the circumstance.

And even with the application of ethical principles it is essential to keep in mind that they can change. Ethical relativism has 2 categories: subjectivism and conventionalism. Subjectivism is everything about the person, like it is everyone for themselves. This idea makes people like Hitler, Bundy, and members of the KKK (just to name a few) justified in their actions.

With conventionalism it is everything about the society or culture, however then it ends up being a question of the number of individuals it requires to make a society.

If there are enough Hitler-like individuals then they can form their own culture with its own morals and anything goes once again. Both of these views of ethical relativism appear to be going in circles enabling all habits as acceptable. Another concern with ethical relativism– whether it is subjective or standard– is that an individual needs to determine what is their primary culture.

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Culture is comprised of so numerous aspects like area, race, gender, faith, sexual status, etc. that an individual might be making an ethical decision that breaks one part of their culture but is acceptable with another part. Pojman describes ethical relativism and then talks about ethical objectivism as the right idea. He argues that it just takes one moral principle for all individuals to reveal that relativism is false and objectivism holds true.

He states a variety of general ethical principles (ten, specifically, which may have a connection to the Ten Commandments or may just be a coincidence) that seem to be necessary to rid suffering, resolve conflict, and promote human flourishing. While reading Pojman’s statements on ethical relativism I asked myself where do we draw the line on deciding what is right and wrong. As a Christian it was difficult to read that some people believe in relativism and think that whatever they personally decide to be acceptable IS acceptable – or even that entire societies can do something that goes against human nature. It was a relief to get to the end of the article where Pojman argues against relativism and makes a case for objectivism based on the fact that we do have a core morality.

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Louis Pojman. (2016, Jun 05). Retrieved from

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