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This week you're going to crack the Moral Relativism Problem. Do you believe that the moral rules you live by ought to apply to all people, across all societies? Or should each society determine its own moral code?
Here's another hypothetical problem for you to parse for me - only this time its more real than hypothetical:
Is the friend correct or incorrect? Why?
Moral Relativism, roughly speaking, is the doctrine that social approval is the only measure of morality. Thus, morality is just whatever a particular society, at a particular place and time, says it is. For the moral relativist, saying that something is morally wrong is the same as saying that society doesn't approve of it. By contrast, Moral Absolutists assert that morality is universal and applies to all people in all places and times, regardless of the prevailing norms.
If you're a relativist, you're probably inclined to agree with the friend in the hypothetical scenario. If you're an absolutist, you're probably more likely to say no, the friend is wrong.
Notice that I am asking whether we should about egregious practices we see occurring in other societies - that would be a separate (though also important) question - I'm asking whether morality is relative to its society, or whether we think there are some basic moral absolutes that apply to all societies, even if the societies in question don't recognize those moral absolutes.