The Debate of Moral Objectivism: Arguments and Perspectives

About this sample

About this sample


Words: 678 |

Page: 1|

4 min read

Published: Aug 31, 2023

Words: 678|Page: 1|4 min read

Published: Aug 31, 2023

Table of contents

  1. Explanation of Moral Objectivism
  2. Arguments in Favor of Moral Objectivism
  3. Challenges to Moral Objectivism
  4. Moral Realism and Cognitive Intuitionism
  5. Ethical Relativism and Subjectivity
  6. Moral Progress and Social Change
  7. The Role of Reason and Rationality
  8. Conclusion

The concept of moral objectivism has long been a focal point in the realm of ethics, sparking discussions about the nature of morality and the existence of universal ethical truths. In this essay, we delve into the rich discourse surrounding moral objectivism and its implications. We will examine arguments both in favor of and against moral objectivism, exploring concepts such as moral universality, cultural relativism, cognitive intuitionism, and more. Through a comprehensive analysis of these perspectives, we aim to shed light on the complexity of the debate and its significance in understanding the foundations of ethical reasoning.

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Explanation of Moral Objectivism

Moral objectivism stands as the proposition that moral truths are objective and independent of individual beliefs or cultural norms. This philosophical position posits that certain actions possess inherent moral value regardless of personal opinions. According to moral objectivism, ethical principles are not merely relative to one's subjective viewpoint; instead, they hold true universally and transcend cultural differences.

Arguments in Favor of Moral Objectivism

The argument from moral universality suggests that the existence of cross-cultural moral principles supports the notion of objective moral truths. While cultures may express ethical norms differently, the underlying principles remain remarkably consistent. This suggests a common foundation for morality that extends beyond cultural boundaries.

Reason and rationality play a pivotal role in understanding objective moral truths. Proponents of moral objectivism argue that humans possess the capacity to engage in rational ethical discourse, enabling them to discern universal moral principles through logical reasoning. This aligns with the notion that moral truths are not contingent on individual opinions but are derived from reasoned consideration.

Moral progress, characterized by an evolving societal understanding of ethical principles, also supports the concept of objective morality. Throughout history, societies have demonstrated a capacity to refine their moral values, indicating a pursuit of more accurate apprehensions of ethical truths.

Challenges to Moral Objectivism

The argument from cultural relativism presents a significant challenge to the idea of objective morality. Cultural relativists contend that differing cultural norms imply that moral standards are contingent on cultural context. They argue that there is no single, objective standard by which all cultures can be judged.

The Euthyphro dilemma, formulated by Plato, challenges the source of objective morality. It asks whether actions are moral because they are deemed so by a divine authority, or if divine authority deems them moral because they inherently possess moral value. This dilemma probes whether moral standards exist independently or are defined by a higher power.

Moral Realism and Cognitive Intuitionism

Moral realism asserts that moral facts are as real and objective as facts about the physical world. Cognitive intuitionism complements this view by suggesting that humans possess an innate moral sense that guides ethical judgments. This intuition is not a result of cultural conditioning but is a fundamental aspect of human nature.

Ethical Relativism and Subjectivity

Ethical relativism challenges the concept of objective morality by emphasizing the role of subjective beliefs, cultural contexts, and personal experiences in shaping moral viewpoints. From this perspective, moral truths are contingent upon individual perspectives and societal norms, leading to a plurality of valid ethical systems.

Moral Progress and Social Change

The concept of moral progress introduces another dimension to the debate. Societal changes and advancements in our understanding of ethics over time suggest that objective moral standards underpin these shifts. As societies evolve, they demonstrate an increasing alignment with ethical principles that more accurately reflect objective moral truths.

The Role of Reason and Rationality

The role of reason and rationality is pivotal in determining ethical principles within an objective framework. Reason serves as a tool to navigate moral complexities, facilitating the identification of ethical truths that transcend individual preferences. Moreover, reasoned discourse enables individuals to collectively establish consensus on moral matters.

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The debate surrounding moral objectivism is a multifaceted and intellectually stimulating discourse that probes the nature of ethics and the foundation of moral truths. The arguments presented in this essay underscore the intricacies of this ongoing philosophical conversation. By examining the tensions between objective moral principles and cultural relativism, we gain deeper insights into the complexities of ethical reasoning and the fundamental questions that shape our understanding of right and wrong.

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Dr. Charlotte Jacobson

Cite this Essay

The Debate of Moral Objectivism: Arguments and Perspectives. (2023, August 31). GradesFixer. Retrieved May 29, 2024, from
“The Debate of Moral Objectivism: Arguments and Perspectives.” GradesFixer, 31 Aug. 2023,
The Debate of Moral Objectivism: Arguments and Perspectives. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 29 May 2024].
The Debate of Moral Objectivism: Arguments and Perspectives [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2023 Aug 31 [cited 2024 May 29]. Available from:
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