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How do the views of dogmatism, rationalism, and relativism affect ethical thinking - Essay Example

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How do the views of dogmatism, rationalism, and relativism affect ethical thinking

To begin with, one should give a definition of each of them. Dogmatism, as it can easily be understood from the name, stands for an approach according to which ethical thinking of a person is heavily influenced by dogma which is a predetermined set of idea that one is not able to change in any way. In other words, dogmatism provides a person with answers to a wide range of question and does not require one to critically examine each case. It is quite obvious that under these conditions a person can hardly experience any freedom in the course of ethical analysis of a situation.
Contrary to the above mentioned approach, rationalism urges a person to actively participate in the critical examination of the issues and claims that reason is the only viable way to verify the acquired knowledge. In other words, people are encouraged to use their mind to find answers the questions with the help of their own reasoning. Thus, the biggest difference between the two approaches that were discussed so far might be exemplified in the following comparison: a person guided by dogmatism is similar to a train who follows the rails (dogma), while one who is guided by rationalism resembles a car which can go in multiple directions as long as the steering wheel (reasoning) is being turned.
Finally, there is another approach which is different from the above mentioned to. It is called relativism and, as one can guess for the term, suggests that ethical thinking should be engaged rigid categories of right and wrong, but argues that the same action might be viewed in different light according to circumstances. Continuing the comparison made in the previous paragraph a person who is guided by relativism travels on foot which means that one is able to visit territories which are out of reach of a vehicle and is not limited in one’s movements in any way since there is not seen to follow any rules.
As one can easily see, dogmatism, rationalism and relativism ...Show more
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Summary

It would not be a mistake to suggest that one of the peculiarities of the human personality is the fact that actions of the people are often guided by abstract values. Indeed, there is an entire area of knowledge that accumulates findings with regard towards the issues of right…
Author : jamesonstreich
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