Absolutist Rules Always Good or Sometimes Bad? Essay Sample

Absolutist Rules Always Good or Sometimes Bad? Pages
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Absolute morality remains true in all situations. This is not always the right approach; however, sometimes such a resolute view is necessary.

There are many occasions in which absolute rules are good. The fact that they are unchanging, no matter the circumstance, has many benefits. In some cases, people are unsure as to what is right, and so a constant rule would enabled them to make guided decisions. For example, if someone is murdered but had provoked their attacker, then some may argue that the murderer was not entirely at fault and that the punishment should be reduced, whereas others, such as absolutists, would state that murder is murder, and that no compassion should be shown. So, in cases of dispute, and absolute rule would prove valuable.

Absolutism also applies to everyone, and provides people with a good basis on how to treat others. They therefore abolish prejudice and discrimination, which eliminates problems such as racism and promotes equality. This can only be a good thing.

On the other hand, absolutist views can also cause many problems, and, ultimately, be wrong. In many circumstances, it is not always possible to do the right thing, and on occasions, people are forced to do bad things. For instance, if a woman was being raped and accidently killed her attacker out of self-defence, then she cannot be convicted of murder.

They also allow no room for improvement or differences in culture. In many countries or religions, what we regard as wrong, may be completely acceptable, and vice versa. For instance, we as a culture believe that the Death Penalty should only be used as the very last of resorts in the most extreme of circumstances, such as genocide, whereas as places such as North Korea are very liberal with condemning people to the Capital Punishment. A man can be sentenced to death by public shooting (any man with legal ownership of a gun is allowed to take aim) for anything from espionage to violation of credentials (i.e., driving without a licence). To us, such severe punishment is wrong. Many Christians or British people would call such an act murder.

Therefore, there is no real answer as to whether Absolutism is right or wrong, as it depends entirely on the religion or culture, or even the individual. For some Christians, say, the Bible’s Ten Commandments are absolute, and must be used to help govern one’s choices on a daily basis. Conversely, for many other Christians, the Ten Commandments are merely guidelines, and they believe that, at the end of the day, God is merciful, and would not, for instance, condemn a homeless man who stole shoes from a shop to clothe his child. And so, for some, Absolutist rules are always right because they show the ways of ‘Goodness’, yet for others, they are unsympathetic and do not take into consideration the moral intentions behind an act. Even if a man’s actions are what is commonly regarded as wrong, if his intention was to help another who is in distress, then morally, the man is not a bad person.

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