Moral objectivism versus moral relativism: a critical examination
This study is a critical examination of the long standing debate between the theories of moral objectivism and moral relativism. The debate goes back to ancient times when philosophers like Plato, Socrates, and Aristotle among other Greek philosophers began to ask what a good life is and how it can be attained. The problem under investigation was to evaluate arguments by moral objectivists and moral relativists in order to establish whether the two views can be reconciled. The research objectives were to analyze how objectivism and relativism conceptualize the moral notions 'right and wrong, good and bad.' To establish which between the two perspectives is more logically consistent and thus more plausible and which view accounts best for moral experience and progress. The research was qualitative, employing library and an integrated approach of conceptual and prescriptive analysis methodology. The researcher studied the works of scholars in books, journals, local daily and unpublished research work. From the arguments advanced in the two views, moral objectivism and moral relativism, the debate cannot be resolved in absolute terms. However, some forms of resolving moral conflicts have been discussed. In the final analysis, this study found that the views of objectivism remain consistent and more plausible because relativism condemns itself to an objective standard of making moral judgments through its self refuting claims resulting into its auto'assimilation into objectivism. This enables us to arrive at a possible compatibility though not by mutual agreement in their claims, but in a way that relativism can be said to complement objectivism and objectivism accepting temporal relativism. Notable in the debate is a common characteristic that, theory and practice find their place in the two theories.