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Theories On The Imposition Of Rules In Society

758 words - 4 pages

In society is it generally been accepted that rules are needed to be able to function properly in our everyday lives. Laws are created to create civilized societies, without which society would begin to crumble. There are many views on how a good society should be and many theories put in place. Rachels’ provides us two separate theories that demonstrate two different ways we place rules on the society.

Firstly, Rachels’ presents Relativism, one of the oldest philosophical theories about morality. It states that right and wrong depend on each individual’s society. This theory highlights that moral relativism is the belief that there are no absolute moral truths. This teaches us that what may be true for one individual may not necessarily true for another.

It continues to explore how customs differ in each society and that these don’t rank in importance, they just present different values and customs. People often think that how they are raised is the ‘truth’. Thus, everyone generally tends to believe that customs of his/her society are better or the best. Further, Rachels’ presents the idea of Herodotus, who highlights that people who are constrained by the idea that something can only be ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ are extremely naïve.

The Relativist theory can be explained through different cultures and religions. For example, one culture may consider virginity, freedom and religion highly valuable, and can be considered irrelevant or even wrong in another. Other things in society such as practicing female circumcision are moral and in another societies could be wrong, when faced with the idea of genital mutation. In certain societies the beating of a wife when she steps out of culturally ascribed roles is not seen as immoral but to others such acts would often result in punishments. So this demonstrates that what is considered right or wrong is dependent on the society that builds those values.

Upon critical evaluation, Rachels’ finally highlights that this relative approach only validates those moral view current society. It also discriminates against the minority, where if this small group in society thinks something opposing to the general public does that make them wrong? Such ideas were presented in arguments of...

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