The theory of ethics I was assigned is Moral Relativism. Moral relativism is the theory that two conflicting moral ideas/values can both be true because they are from two different societies or moral universes. The theory states there are no set universal rules or moral principles, it depends on the perspective, therefore anything can be correct because there isn’t an unbiased moral universe which to compare to in order to define what is truly correct or not. This theory gives rise to strong criticism, because if moral relativism is true, that means we would have to accept horrendous practices such as slavery or physical abuse of women, just because it is considered to be “correct” in other societies. This demonstrates that to a certain point there are universal moral values needed in order to have a society where people can live with each other, and laws such as no murdering and lo lying, for this to function.
My project sparks up an ethical dilemma when it comes to dealing with the environment. Many say that if something happens due to a natural cause, it should be left untouched, so basically my entire project would be considered morally incorrect since the mangrove died after the earthquake. I have also heard that it is illegal to do anything in the mangrove because it is protected natural area, so once again my project would be breaking the set principles. If we use the theory of moral relativism, my project is completely ethical because in my universe of moral principles, helping the environment is what is correct, therefore I am doing the right thing by trying to help the mangrove restore itself.
The environment is a fragile topic and there are lots of lines we might be crossing with the project, but with the help and support of my dad and ConnectOcean, who are knowledgeable and enthusiasts for the environment, I am not afraid to move forth with the project. If our project were to be breaking severe laws, I would be aware and my collaborators would also notify me since they know more about laws than me. My project involves a lot of risk anyways, because manipulating the natural environment can have negative consequences, but we’re trying to do so in the least harmful way possible. After all, it is important to reconsider the global importance of mangroves and the amount of species they nurture, or carbon dioxide they process. My point is, if the government is against my project, I believe they are against protecting the natural environment. Our ethical principles may be contradicted but I am not afraid to fight for defending my project. Although we are tempering with the mangrove, we have to remember it is for a good cause to try to reforest it, that will benefit us in the long term future when the mangrove is (hopefully) restored! I have watched the mangrove through the entire process and it has been such an impacting and extreme change, that I am willing to stand up and fight for defending my project if anyone believes it is morally incorrect. I am passionate enough about the environment and if anyone believes that nature doesn’t need to be protected, I am sure I could convince them otherwise, because there is nothing more important than our planet! Without it, we would probably not be here! I think I say this on every journal entry, but, we really need to take care of our home and protect it because it gives us life! We are trying to bring the mangrove back to life, which I consider is ethical. There are many other unethical things the government is letting happen, like net fishing or dumping sewage into the ocean; if the government wants to take down my project, I’ll encourage them to take down other more severe activities than trying to restore a natural habitat!!
Learning outcomes: Ethical implications, Global importance
Learner profiles: Principled, Risk-taker, Caring, Knowledgeable
Here are my sources for my research about the theory: Tännsjö, Torbjörn. “Moral Relativism.” Philosophical Studies, vol. 135, no. 2, Sept. 2007, p. 123. EBSCOhost,
D, Arms, Justin. “Relationality, Relativism, and Realism About Moral Value.” Philosophical Studies, vol. 126, no. 3, Dec. 2005, p. 433. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1007/s11098-005-2314-5.
“Ethics Defined: Moral Relativism.” YouTube, 19 Feb. 2017, McCombs School of Business,
Van de Lagemaat, Richard. “Ethics.” “Ways of Knowing.” Theory of Knowledge for the IB Diploma, Cambridge, 2011.
Rachels, James. “Ethical relativism.” Britannica, 2018, Encyclopædia Britannica, https://www.britannica.com/topic/ethical-relativism.
Austin, Michael W. “Rejecting Moral Relativism.” Psychology Today, 23 Jan. 2012, Sussex Publishers,
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