Ethics: Absolute or Relative?

By | August 16, 2017

Some people argue, i.e. attempt to make clear, that ethics are absolute. Their position is often based upon a religious belief, not a matter of fact. Some people argue, i.e. that ethics are relative. Their position is often based on secular hedonism. Although secular hedonism is feeling based, it is clearly not an ethic entirely devoted to the integrity of all. Remember that ethics are derived from facts and feelings. Beliefs are not facts and one’s feelings are not always a legitimate means of living with integrity. Feelings can be vague and obscure. When deciding to live with integrity one must consider the integrity of all. Does the end justify the means?

It depends upon whether one wants justice or the end. A person choosing to live with integrity would always choose justice. Living with integrity is a choice, not a commandment. Living with integrity is knowing right from wrong, and knowing good from bad. How can one know this? Simply separate those concepts that are objective into what is right and wrong in relation to one’s integrity, and then separate those concepts that are subjective into what is good from bad in relation to one’s feelings. Then reflect or discern whether one’s feelings are sound and respect the integrity of all. Although good and bad are subjective, it is important to understand what constitutes subjective legitimacy. What is subjective legitimacy?

Subjective legitimacy is what constitutes what one thinks and feels is the right and the good thing to do. Right and wrong are clear as to what one must do in relation to one’s integrity. Good and bad are subjective and require a greater degree of explanation than objective legitimacy. E.g. there is objective justice and subjective justice. Objective justice deals with the facts of the case, the right and wrong about the case, whereas subjective justice deals with one’s feelings about the case, the good and bad about the case. Now, back to subjective legitimacy. Subjective legitimacy must have some fundamental elements in order to serve the integrity of all.

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