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Moral Subjectivism

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Protagoras in his scholastic endeavor majored in philosophy and the ability to influence human thinking. To him, humanity can control all things in the environment because they possess the will and power to do so. In so doing, man has control over morality and ethical issues that surround life. This assertion’s interpretation depends on the receiving individual since everyone translates information according to his or her own understanding. Ethical subjectivism is one such element of morality that Protagoras seeks to address. It is more of a liberal concern that accepts conflicting judgments from different persons. As opposed to moral realism, it does not involve stringent measures that dictate or control human thinking. Hence, from the perspective of Protagoras, man has a free will to think (Nill, pg. 32). Humanity is the measure of all things and that objectivity is the outcome of all research processes. This means that before any one decides to give inferences with respect to an investigation, they have the ability to share ideas according to how they view the flora and the fauna. The outcome fully depends on conclusive observations and empirical judgments. This discussion focuses on Protagoras’s school of thought and his ability to convince humans to believe in this concept. Additionally, the discussion addresses what ethical subjectivism entails and tries to justify its rationality.


Every individual struggles with some elements of rightness or wrongness. The fact that moral subjectivism seems rational to a sub sect of the society does not necessarily justify that they are wrong or right. The final interpretation and explanations of an individual proves his or her stand. This therefore means that the outcome of a value judgment varies from one culture to the next. As such, anthropology has an enormous impact on an individual’s ability to think and make reasonable inferences. As such, no collective norms exist in the society to control philosophic ideas. On the other hand, moral objectivism explains that besides the societal norms that keep changing, the global standards remain the same. Hence, ethical objectivism is a two-way traffic that represents volatile views and standard measures. The global concerns of moral objectivism dictate that even though man controls individual thoughts, they must concur with the universal standards of ethics stipulated by nature. For instance while exercising the freedom to do many things; humans must respect the natural human rights since freedom should not curtail the ability of other entities to co-exist peacefully. As such, humans have control over personal lives and over the world but then limits prevail. The most significant aspect of this type of reasoning is that a thin line exists between fine and dire. The definition of the two concepts depends on a person’s interpretation. This means that relativism exists between good and bad (Zilioli, pg. 2, 15). People possess different beliefs and attitudes but the fact they hold conflicting perceptions does not make any of the groups good or bad. Secondly, the study indicates that no culture is inferior to another and hence no part of civilization in the face of the universe displays barbaric elements. Generally, this concept makes sense since in every facet of the society freedoms exist but then boundaries also limit an individual’s ability to harm others. In providing liberty for everyone, nobody should curtail the freedoms of other members of the society. For moral subjectivism however, the universal standards do not have control over individual judgment and no boundaries deter any one from doing what he or she believes is right. Other people even propose that euthanasia is right. According to them, no second thoughts oppose the move but rather that is the truth. It has two extremes either good or bad and it does not offer relativistic approaches. As other people gladly embrace this concept, others consider it as an anti-realism approach that only favors the selfish individuals. These individuals perform actions at the expense of others within the populace. Hence determining whether this approach is viable purely depends on individual encounter with it.

Moral subjectivist, morality, instances it appears to be true and value judgment

As afore mentioned, moral subjectivism gives room for open-mindedness but does not take into consideration the effects of the actions to others to the rest of the world. Each person makes individual decisions and decides on the action as true even though others may view it from a negated perspective. As such no universal values safeguard humanity, no laws exist to restrict individual behavior and finally, no external forces determine and individual’s action (Nill, pg. 17, 21). This leaves people to understand moral subjectivism as a utilitarian concept. In essence, one does something that pleases him or her even if the action harms another party. It is an effort to create happiness for all but then the avenues through which people look for happiness might prove reactive to the majority of civilization. Before further explaining the rationale behind the study, it is imperative to understand what morality entails. Morality dictates that the society consists of rule, principles, and guidelines that stipulate how persons need to coexist breaching of such laws leads to dire consequences punishable by law. As such, it stipulates that respect to human life is paramount hence, esteem to basic human rights provide a peaceful environment for coexistence. Nobody forces morality on another person; studies consider ethics and morality as an intrinsic step that an individual possesses as long as he or she is humane(Paul, Ellen, Fred, & Jeffrey, pg. 54). Hence, people have noble ideas that they seek to share with an ethical point of view. They seek audience from persons who trust them with the belief that if anything goes wrong them the communicator has the ability to mitigate. This is why Protagoras had the courage to support this concept and form a philosophic niche in the contemporary and classical societies. Even though most persons attest that ethical subjectivism does not support many humane processes including the right to life. While in such instances it proves to be wrong, in others, it is true for instance; the society dictates that an abortion is wrong. In a different scenario, others rule out drug use and alcohol abuse. In both cases, only one individual makes the decision and takes the bold step. However, the result of the action affects the other close relations either directly or indirectly. Sometimes in cases of rape and forced sexual encounters, the affected person prefers abortion as a solution to an emotional problem. Secondly, one may opt for an abortion when the mother’s life is at risk. To the rest of the world this is an endeavor in termination of life and thus this is wrong. Contrarily for an ethically subjective person, it is right since some intuition led the person who took the audacious step. In the second case, drug abuse and the excessive use of alcohol destroys health. As such, sensitization programs engross everyday life to stop such habits. Many persons wonder why drug users fail to observe such warning signs and continually abuse drugs. From a third party point of view, this is very wrong but from the drug, abuser since they do not affect any one it is correct. As such, moral subjectivism loses meaning in that drug abuse directly affects the families of the drug users since they become emotionally disturbed. This is because they understand the risks that accompany such habits. Secondly, cigarette smoking affects people second hand users largely leaving them with a high probability of getting lung cancer. These two cases vary widely because the first one though morally subjective is justifiable since in most cases the mother of the child needs safety, protection, and assurance after such an incident. There is continuity in life of one party. In the drug case however, the activity suppresses individual bid to survive. First, the individual puts his or her life at risk and secondly he or she risks the lives of other people. The rationale behind the two types of reasoning is that sometimes, ethical subjectivism is right even though in most instances it is not acceptable. The raison d'être of incorporating moral subjectivism depends on its ability to save a life and lessen effects to the rest of the population. Though it does not consider universal principles, a utilitarian approach requires compromise or else it leads to the destruction of human race as a whole.

Difficulties with moral subjectivism

Moral subjectivism probably defends the cause of the minority within the society. Various conflicts of interest arise with the mention of the subject. Moral subjectivism is a phenomenon that mostly exists among the selfish individuals. In almost all probability, the ego-centered characters explicitly use moral subjectivism to achieve their cause. The problem with moral subjectivism is because it offers a platform through which only the carrier of the action benefits from the outcome at the expense of the surrounding. Sometimes it is imperative to consider global standards before carrying out an activity (Zilioli, pg. 37). Studies indicate that weighing the consequences of such events, aid in finding a long-lasting solution. In most cases, the problems involved probably come in small magnitudes and hence require basic and collective solutions. From a personal perspective, this concept needs expert opinion since persons that prefer its ideologies may disrupt social order without even realizing it.

Personal stand including the reason why moral considerations must override all other considerations

As earlier mentioned, morality does not force its way into an individual’s life. It is a matter of choice and often involves pragmatic measures (Paul, Ellen, Fred, & Jeffrey, pg. 54). One chooses to like or hate a principle and they do not require consent from external sources to prove their mandate. Moral subjectivism is not justifiable since why should an individual at the expense of proving him or herself right destroy the world. Though some measures of this concept sustain life, majority of them destroy it. Morality must always override other individual principles including the above-mentioned opinion. Ethics create a harmonious environment in which everyone coexists but if the ideas of only the few run the state then it becomes difficult to survive. The most vital areas of the society that should not face interference from moral subjectivism include politics, technology, social order, and economics. If leaders portray such principles then in most instances they turn out to be dictatorial and thus control resources. As such, the society requires less morally subjective persons because they probably ignore the ideas of the marginally sidelined individuals. However, quality advice from the morally subjective individuals might help in disastrous situations. The only ideas from Protagoras’s point of view that need embracing must support affirmative acts like environmental sustainability, political stability, and economic empowerment. Alternatively, they must deny negating concerns that might cause another Nazism regime. 

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