(Answered) ETHC445N Week 1 Discussion: Is it Right to be a Relativist?

Required Resources
Read/review the following resources for this activity:

  • Textbook: Chapter 1, 2
  • Lesson
  • Minimum of 1 scholarly source (in addition to the textbook)

Initial Post Instructions
The study of ethics and philosophy is one that brings many different kinds of “thinkers” together. One person’s philosophy on ethics is another person’s philosophy on evil. We will be working this term on constructing personal ethical bases and understanding how ethical codes (both personal and professional) are created and followed.

To start us thinking about the different areas of philosophy and ethics, and how we fit into the different molds or world views, let’s imagine the following scenario:

It is 2019. The federal law banning female circumcision is still under appeal in the courts. You are a nurse assisting a plastic surgeon at a local hospital. The plastic surgeon comes from a country where they practice “female circumcision”. This practice is also sometimes called “female genital mutilation”.

Initial Post Instructions
For the initial post, address the following questions:

  • What would a subjective moral relativist say about what this doctor is doing? Do you agree with the subjective moral relativist? Why or why not?
  • Examine what a cultural moral relativist would say here. Do you agree with the cultural relativist? Why or why not?
  • Name and evaluate general criticisms of cultural relativism as being the wrong moral approach.
  • Is there an objective moral truth about any of the possible actions by the nurse and/or doctor in this case? Why or why not?


Subjective relativism holds that “our moral opinions are based on our feelings and nothing more”(Rachels, 2018). As such, a person who subscribes to this philosophy would make a judgment based on their personal feelings. As such, if they harbored no negative feelings about the practice, they would not object to the doctor’s decision to do the procedure. However, if they felt negative about female circumcision, they would be opposed to it. I would not be opposed to the subjective moral relativist view. When it comes to such sensitive subjects, I believe that everyone should be allowed to exercise their subjective moral view…Click link below to purchase full tutorial at $5