Moral Relativism and Plato's Euthyphro

Topics: Religion, Morality, God Pages: 3 (1218 words) Published: February 2, 2011
People have different beliefs on what is considered “right” and “wrong.” The idea that the truth is relative simply means that “what is true for me is true for me, and what is true for you is true for you.” There have been problems with this view however, because there is not a definitive meaning to the idea that the truth is relative; it is only a matter of opinion because the truth is the truth whether you believe it or not. For example, if a person is a vegetarian, then to that person, eating meat is bad because it is against their beliefs, but for another person, someone who is not a vegetarian, eating meat is good because it is healthy and a good source of protein. In this case, the two beliefs disagree with each other, but each person’s belief is true for that person because we all have our own personal truth. A problem with this view is that you can mistakenly think something is true when it is really not true. We cannot learn anything with this view because there is no absolute truth, which leads to a new problem of perspective. I see a wooden desk in front of me; it looks and feels like a wood desk, but is my perception of this desk the same as someone else’s perception of the desk? The idea that the truth is relative is self-refuting.

The idea of moral relativism is that different civilizations have different moral beliefs, and that there is no absolute moral truth. “There is no actual standard that makes one societal code better than any other.” Each society lives by its cultural norms, and if someone from another culture came and did something different from the norm, then that person would be judged. One of the problems with moral relativism is that we cannot criticize someone for bad behavior because within that person’s society, what they are doing might be moral. An example of moral relativism is in Australia where it’s etiquette is for people to wear black clothes to a funeral, but in Japan it is their etiquette for people to wear white...
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