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1 ) ETHICAL RELATIVISM BY MATT SLICK Ethical relativism is the position that there are no moral absolutes, no moral right

and wrongs. Instead, right and wrong are based on social norms. Such could be the case with "situational ethics," which is a category of ethical relativism. At any rate, ethical relativism would mean that our morals have evolved, that they have changed over time, and that they are not absolute. One advantage of ethical relativism is that it allows for a wide variety of cultures and practices. It also allows people to adapt ethically as the culture, knowledge, and technology change in society. This is a good and valid form of relativism. The disadvantage of ethical relativism is that truth, right and wrong, and justice are all relative. Just because a group of people think that something is right does not make it so. Slavery is a good example of this. BY HUGH LAFOLLETTE Ethical relativism is the thesis that ethical principles or judgments are relative to the individual or culture. When stated so vaguely relativism is embraced by numerous lay persons and a sizeable contingent of philosophers. Other philosophers, however, find the thesis patently false, even wonder how anyone could seriously entertain it. Both factions are on to something, yet both miss something significant as well. Those who whole-heartedly embrace relativism note salient respects in which ethics is relative, yet erroneously infer that ethical values are noxiously subjective. Those who reject relativism do so because they think ethics is subject to rational scrutiny, that moral views can be correct or incorrect. But in rejecting objectionable features of relativism they overlook significant yet non-pernicious ways in which ethics is relative. In short, each side harps on the opponent's weaknesses while overlooking its own flaws. That is regrettable. We are not forced to choose between relativism and rationality. There are ways in which ethical principles and behavior vary legitimately from culture to culture and individual to individual.

BY SHELDON CHUMIR Ethical relativism is the view that what is right and wrong can only be determined or justified relative to the standards of the individual, group or culture in question. More specifically, cultural ethical relativism can be stated as follows: Ethical standards vary from culture to culture; therefore, there are no universal moral standards which apply across cultures. On this view, female genital mutilation (FGM) is not wrong in Somalia because the practice accords with local tradition, but it is deeply wrong here because it is contrary to Canadian gender equality (amongst other reasons).Ethical relativism appeals to many people. But as we shall see, it leads to a number of inconsistent and unsatisfactory conclusions. First, let us make an important distinction, for there are two main types of ethical relativism: Descriptive relativism notes that there are differences among cultures ethical practices and standards without saying anything about their justification. Prescriptive relativism goes further and claims that people ought not to apply the standards of one culture to evaluating the behavior of another culture. This is usually called cultural relativism. 2) UTILITARIANISM BY JOHN MILL An ethical philosophy in which the happiness of the greatest number of people in the society is considered the greatest good. According to this philosophy, an action is morally right if its consequences lead to happiness (absence of pain), and wrong if it ends in unhappiness (pain). Since the link between actions and their happy or unhappy outcomes depends on the circumstances, no moral principle is absolute or necessary in itself under utilitarianism. Utilitarianism, as described by John Mills book Utilitarianism, was established as if a religion with its dogmas, doctrines, principles, and proprietary terminology. Though Utilitarianism attempted to portray the illusion that Utilitarianism is not dependent on a deity, and especially not on a religion. Utilitarianism lended evidence of how religions are often born, which is by mans propensity to apply nouns to verbs; of placing preexisting actions under the rule of a newly invented system of authority.

BY LARRY NEAL GOWDY From Utilitarianism: The utilitarian doctrine is, that happiness is desirable, and the only thing desirable, as an end; all other things being only desirable as means to that end. The majority of mankind finds a happiness in consuming the earths resources, resulting in the destruction of life and environment, leading to the great suffering of all living beings, and Utilitarianisms unclarified claim for happiness cannot be accepted as a measure of ethical or moral behavior. 'As an end' ought to be the gaining of knowledge of what is correct knowledge, of acquiring accurate information to be used for forming accurate logic and then guiding one's behaviors according to what is known to be correct behavior, and the 'as an end' should never be an anti-intellectual 'whatever feels good.' BY JEREMY BENTHAM Utilitarianism is a moral philosophy, generally operating on the principle that the utility (happiness or satisfaction) of different people can not only be measured but also meaningfully summed over people and that utility comparisons between people are meaningful. That makes it possible to achieve a well-defined societal optimum in allocations, production, and other decisions, and achieve the goal utilitarian British philosopher Jeremy Bentham described as "the greatest good for the greatest number." This form of utilitarianism is thought of as extreme, now, partly because it is widely believed that there exists no generally acceptable way of summing utilities across people and comparing between them. Utility functions that can be compared and summed arithmetically are cardinal utility functions; utility functions that only represent the choices that would be made by an individual are ordinal. Benthams theory of utility is based on three central features: 1. The greatest happiness principle (or utility principle) 2. Egoism 3. Artificial identification of ones own interests with those of others

3 ) UNIVERSALISM BY DAVID S.LAWYER This word can have many meanings but in the religious sense it has mainly one meaning outside of the Unitarian Universalist religion: universal salvation. This means that every person eventually goes to heaven. Note carefully the qualifying word "eventually". This may imply that sinners are punished for a finite period of time after death before going to heaven. Within the Unitarian Universalist religion "Universalism" has a different meaning. It often is taken to mean the religion of the Universalist Church prior to the merger with the Unitarians in 1961. The non-religious use of this word is common today in academic circles. It is commonly used to mean universal in scope. For example, it is sometimes said that the American labor movement was representative of universalism because it included various races and classes. From now on we'll use this word only in it's religious sense. From a universalistic view it is true that not all of humanity now, as could be said, stands in the same place or even lives in the same world. The driving force of universalism is this very fact. It is the attempt to take formal recognition that we all live in different worlds yet in the same world, on this same globe. It attempts to globalize the view, to in fact, universalize the scope of the ethical order. BY WENDY CONNICK Moral universalists believe that certain actions are good or evil regardless of an individual's beliefs. Also called moral objectivism, this philosophy argues for the existence of a universal ethic. Certain behaviors are simply wrong regardless of the circumstances. In a 2007 interview Noam Chomsky defined universalism as If something's right for me, it's right for you; if it's wrong for you, it's wrong for me. Universalism is based on the idea of a rational test that can be applied to any ethical dilemma. The exact nature of this test varies widely among different factions of universalists. For example, utilitarianism states that the correct rational test is Does my action create the maximum good for the maximum number of people? If the answer is yes, then a utilitarianism would say that the action is morally correct.

BY ONORAL O'NEILL'S One distinctive understanding of universalism in ethics is that ethical principles are principles for everybody. They prescribe obligations for everybody, define rights for everybody, list virtues for everybody. The most minimal version of ethical universalism is a claim about the form of ethical principles or standards. It is the claim that ethical principles hold for all and not merely for some, that is, for everybody without exception. A second conception of universalism in ethics emphasizes the content as well as the form and scope of principles. Principles which hold for everybody will prescribe or recommend the same for everybody (same obligations, same rights, same virtues and so on). Universalism in ethics combine views of the form, scope and sameness of content principles with ambitious claims that a single fundamental principle provides the basis for all derivative ethical principles and ultimately for ethical judgment of particular cases. Often the proposed fundamental principle is a version of a "golden rule."Variously formulated golden rules are found in Hindu and Confusion sacred texts, and in many other traditions....One well known golden rule is Christian with Jewish antecedents" "Do unto others as you would that they should do unto you". Others are prohibitions rather than injunctions, such as "Do not do unto others what you would not have them do unto you." 4 ) KANTIAN ETHICS BY FARLEX Kantian ethics is another theory of "how one should act" however it differs from the utilitarian theory in a sense that it focuses more on the actual action and the morality of that action as opposed to the consequence of that action. This theory implies that as long as you act in a moral way then the consequences of your actions don't matter. Immoral actions include lying and using people as means to an end. Immanuel Kant favoured a categorical deontological ethic where "one ought to do thus and thus." Duties are duties regardless of the consequences. Only what is neither good nor evil in itself, but dependent on something else for its goodness or evil be called evil at one time and good at another. Intrinsically good actions are not like this; they are always good in and of themselves. Telling the truth is an intrinsic good and a lie is an intrinsic evil, that there can never be a good lie. A strength of this approach is that one need never wonder what is the correct course of action in a complex situation.

Kantian ethics makes the 'catholic' god into 'metaphysics', or replaces the god 'god' by the god 'ratio' who prescribes 'natural' law (the 'moral' way). Kant might be seen as godfather of the present 'rational' Western World that heavily undervalues intuition. BY WIKIPEDIA Kantian ethics are deontological, revolving entirely around duty rather than emotions or end goals. All actions are performed in accordance with some underlying maxim or principle, which are deeply different from each other; it is according to this that the moral worth of any action is judged. Kant's ethics are founded on his view of rationality as the ultimate good and his belief that all people are fundamentally rational beings. This led to the most important part of Kant's ethics, the formulation of the Categorical Imperative, which is the criterion for whether a maxim is good or bad. Universalizing a maxim (statement) leads to it being valid, or to one of two contradictions a contradiction in conception (where the maxim, when universalized, is no longer a viable means to the end) or a contradiction in will (where the will of a person contradicts what the universalization of the maxim implies). The first type leads to a "perfect duty", and the second leads to an "imperfect duty."Kant's ethics focus then only on the maxim that underlies actions and judges these to be good or bad solely on how they conform to reason. The Formulation Rule of Kantianism: Act only according to that maxim by which you can at the same time will that it would become a universal law. Act so that you always treat others as an end, and never as a means to an end only

BY MARIANNA PAPASTEPHANOU Therefore, given that Kantianism is one such categorization, employed descriptively as well as polemically, the examination of its association with communicative ethics may shed new light on the latter. Moreover, any attempt to define a contemporary cognitivist ethics founders on the problem of its dependence on, or departure from, Kant - a problem that enhances the need to involve an implicit or explicit critical comparison between discourse ethics and Kantian ethics. Now, this need becomes more urgent if one recalls the postmodernist, feminist, communitarian and other objections to the Kantian transcendental subject, to Kantian rigorism and universalism.

5 ) RIGHTS AND JUSTICE BY THE OPEN UNIVERSITY Justice, then, is a term that refers to society and its political arrangements as a whole. One way of describing the relation between rights and justice is to say that rights recognise everyone as, in a fundamental sense, the same, whereas justice accommodates the fact that we, while living together, are all different. Justice is commonly thought to have two applications which Aristotle distinguished as distributive and commutative justice. The first, distributive justice, is concerned with the distributions of things (rights, goods, services and so on) among a class of individuals. A principle of distributive justice specifies how things such as rights, goods and wellbeing should be distributed among a class of people. The root idea of distributive justice, according to Aristotle, is that of treating equals equally. Nevertheless, it is far from simple to specify what this means. The second form of justice, commutative justice, is about the treatment of an individual in a particular transaction it is about giving someone what he or she deserves or has a right to. According to Plato, it is about giving each person their due. Thus, like rights, the term justice is a contested concept, one whose meaning is never completely fixed or finally closed and agreed upon. This contestability and flexibility of outcome is what Aristotle referred to when he said that justice is the mean (middle) point between conflicting claims.

BY MERRIAM WEBSTER In philosophy, the concept of a proper proportion between a person's deserts (what is merited) and the good and bad things that befall or are allotted to him or her. Aristotle's discussion of the virtue of justice has been the starting point for almost all Western accounts. For him, the key element of justice is treating like cases alike, an idea that has set later thinkers the task of working out which similarities (need, desert, talent) are relevant. Aristotle distinguishes between justice in the distribution of wealth or other goods (distributive justice) and justice in reparation, as, for example, in punishing someone for a wrong he has done (retributive justice). The notion of justice is also essential in that of the just state, a central concept in political philosophy.

BY ALZHEIMER EUROPE The principle of justice could be described as the moral obligation to act on the basis of fair adjudication between competing claims. As such, it is linked to fairness, entitlement and equality. The right to be treated equally, and in some cases equal access to treatment, can be found in many constitutions, but in actual practice, a number of different factors may influence actual access to treatment. Nevertheless, it is possible that a high degree of incapacity and increased vulnerability, perhaps combined with failure by others to recognise their personhood, may result in a lack of distributive justice. 6) ETERNAL LAW ETHICS BY MARK MURPHY Natural law theory is a label that has been applied to theories of ethics, theories of politics, theories of civil law, and theories of religious morality. We will be concerned only with natural law theories of ethics: while such views arguably have some interesting implications for law, politics, and religious morality, these implications will not be our focus here. This article has two central objectives. First, it aims to identify the defining features of natural law moral theory. Second, it aims to identify some of the main theoretical options that natural law theorists face in formulating a precise view within the constraints set by these defining features and some of the difficulties for each of these options. It will not, however, attempt to recount the history of the development of natural law thought. BY VILLA NOVA UNIVERSITY Although natural law is not written in the sense that human laws are codified, it is knowable and binding by nature. That is, natural law manifests itself to human reason not by any external sign but by a rationally conducted examination of human nature with all its parts and relations. In this sense, natural law is virtual because it exists in every human being even before ones power of reason is sufficiently developed to form actual ethical judgments. One of the oldest recorded definitions of natural law comes from the Roman orator, Cicero. He asserted that natural law is

.right reason in agreement with nature, of universal application, unchanging and everlasting.There will not be a different law at Rome and at Athens, and different law now and in the future, but one eternal and unchangeable law for all nations and for all times. (1928, 3.33) Rather than utilizing the customs and laws of a particular society as a standard for determining ethical conduct, natural law theory asserts that all human beings by their nature seek happiness and this standard defines conduct as intrinsically ethical and other conduct as intrinsically unethical. Human beings are hot wired for happiness, goal-driven beings inclined toward the good. Plato and Aristotle understood happiness to be a good pursued solely for its own sake as an end, not a means to another end. The converse is also true, namely, that humans are hot wired to avoid unhappiness. Hence the similarity between natural law and the aphorism, Do good and avoid evil, which some have identified as "the natural law." A general paradigm explicating the content of the natural law exhibits the following seven elements: the natural law is naturally knowable by all human beings; the natural law is knowable by the power of reason; the natural law is naturally authoritative over all human beings; the good is prior to the right; right conduct is action that responds nondefectively to the good; there are a variety of ways in which conduct can be defective with respect to the good (i.e., intention, circumstance, situation); and, some of these ways can be captured and formulated as general rules.

BY KENNETH EINAR HIMMA The term natural law is ambiguous. It refers to a type of moral theory, as well as to a type of legal theory, but the core claims of the two kinds of theory are logically independent. It does not refer to the laws of nature, the laws that science aims to describe. According to natural law moral theory, the moral standards that govern human behavior are, in some sense, objectively derived from the nature of human beings and the nature of the world. While being logically independent of natural law legal theory, the two theories intersect. However, the majority of the article will focus on natural law legal theory. The conceptual jurisprudence of John Austin provides a set of necessary and sufficient conditions for the existence of law that distinguishes law from non-law in every possible world. Classical natural law theory such as the theory of

Thomas Aquinas focuses on the overlap between natural law moral and legal theories. Similarly, the neo-naturalism of John Finnis is a development of classical natural law theory. In contrast, the procedural naturalism of Lon L. Fuller is a rejection of the conceptual naturalist idea that there are necessary substantive moral constraints on the content of law. Lastly, Ronald Dworkins theory is a response and critique of legal positivism. All of these theories subscribe to one or more basic tenets of natural law legal theory and are important to its development and influence. 7) ISLAMICS ETHICAL LAW BY LARRY NEAL GOWDY Similar to most all other ideologies, Islam bases its beliefs and standards on the books of its faith, which for Islam are the Qur'an and Hadith. Also similar to Christianity and other religions, Islam interprets the definition of what is ethical by what an individual deems to be right or wrong in the books' stories and teachings. Again similar to most all other ideologies, if a question of correctness in ethics might be raised that is not agreed upon by all of the different ideologies' books, then there will be no agreement by the followers because the concept of ethics itself is an unknown. And if Allah's words and laws are forever true, then look at what Allah wrote in His creation, and become a scholar whose ink will forever be more sacred than that of the martyr's "As to those who reject Faith, it is the same to them whether thou warn them or do not warn them; they will not believe. Allah hath set a seal on their hearts and on their hearing, and on their eyes is a veil; great is the penalty they (incur)." Quran, Surah 2 BY S.PARVEZ MANZOOR Historically, Muslims derive their Islamic ethics from the Quran and the Hadith. The Quran contains several commands Muhammads followers must obey. The Hadith presents Muhammad as the exemplary human whom Muslims must imitate in all respects. Muhammad was only a mortal being commissioned by God to teach the word of God and lead an exemplary life, writes Hammuda Abdalati. He stands in history as the best model for man in piety and perfection. He is a living proof of what man can be and of what he can accomplish in the realm of excellence and virtue.

Ram Swarup explains how the actions and judgment of Muhammad recorded in the Hadith are perceived by Muslims : The Prophet is caught as it were in the ordinary acts of his lifesleeping, eating, mating, praying, hating, dispensing justice, planning expeditions and revenge against his enemies. One is also left to wonder how the believers, generation after generation, could have found this story so inspiring. To them morality derives from the Prophets actions; the moral is whatever he did. Morality does not determine the Prophets actions, but his actions determine and define morality. Muhammads acts were not ordinary acts; they were Allahs own acts [i.e., acts empowered, guided and approved by Allah]. It was in this way and by this logic that Muhammads opinions became the dogmas of Islam and his personal habits and idiosyncrasies became moral imperatives: Allahs commands for all believers in all ages and climes to follow. When viewing Islamic ethics, Muslims see Muhammad as the exemplary human being, the one all people should seek to imitate. Along with more general virtues, the Five Pillars of Practice form a core of Islamic ethics. In addition to many motivations for ethical behavior, anticipation of final judgment is the strongest. BY MOIZ AMJAD Having understood the concept of ethics and seen the different schools of moral philosophy, it is now time to focus on the ethical philosophy of Islam. We shall begin with an introduction to the standard of judgment regarding ethical and unethical behavior as given by Islam and the motivating force that, according to the tenets of Islam, should play the major role in opting for 'good' and avoiding 'bad'. Finally, we shall see the distinction between ethical philosophy of Islam and other ethical philosophies. As a part of this test, God also gave man the basic knowledge of 'good' and 'bad' at the time of his inception. Thus, according to Islam, every individual has been bestowed a clear standard of judgment of 'good' and 'evil' by God. The Qur'an, in Surah Al-Shams (91: 7 - 10) has presented this knowledge of the human soul as an evidence of the fact that soon, man shall indeed face separate consequences of his 'good' and 'bad' deeds.

Thus, according to the Ethical philosophy of Islam, the knowledge of good and evil or in other words the standard of distinguishing good from evil is a part of the sapiential sense[5] of man. This sapiential sense includes, besides many other concepts, moral concepts like justice, truthfulness, honesty, helping the weak, freedom in one's personal matters etc. It is quite possible though, that there is a difference in the application of these concepts in practical life situations, yet the concepts themselves have never been questioned and are, and have mostly remained, universally accepted. It is for this reason that ethical values like justice, honesty, trustworthiness and truthfulness etc. have never even been questioned philosophically, even if there is a considerable practical deviation from these values or a huge difference in the practical application of these values.