Are Moral Codes Relative or Absolute?
The moral codes are relative not absolute. The main premise that supports the conclusion refers to the interpretation of the rules contained in the codes of ethics and their application in regard to the particular case. The moral codes and rules are based on the morale doctrine that is adopted within the certain community. In its turn, such an adoption depends on the range of circumstances as well as the will of the governors and the people in the environment. The religious doctrines and the legal systems might have limited influence on the morale. In fact, the latter always determines what is right or wrong in a particular situation. However, the people, who apply the morale to the case, are the ones that determine the rules and the scope of moral action.
Therefore, it should be stressed that the adopted morale theories are of the greatest impact on the morale codes. Thus, within the framework of the deontology morale, the individuals would be forced to follow certain rules, which are determined by someone else. In other words, the final moral decision that overhauls the case goes through many filters, including the ones of the decision-maker, the creator of the rule, the interpreter of the rule and participants of the dilemma. The morale is indeed relative as it depends on the personalities of people and authorities that have laid down the rules and currently enforce them.
At the same time, it should be noted that the feature of relativity might greatly depend on the ethics theory applied. For example, in the framework of the virtue theory, the number of filters decreases. In case the involved individual recognizes the supremacy of the virtue ethics, his or her actions and decisions are shaped by personal moral beliefs and values. In other words, the individual is less dependent on the external moral characteristics. He or she has a choice to appeal to the internal motives and considerations on the given subject, proving the relativity of moral codes.
The utilitarianism provides that while making the moral decisions, a person should choose the way that will result in the achievement of the greater good. Hence, the rules of the moral codes will be created with the considerations of the perceived good that is to be achieved. Again, the scope of the good cannot be exactly determined by the moral code; it can only provide certain guidelines for the possible measurement of the outcomes. Therefore, the rules still relate to the particular person that passes the decision, the circumstances of the case, and amorphous good that will be gained in the future. The moral codes are relative to the many influencing factors of a specific condition.
Moreover, the morality is frequently calculated based on the potential harm that might be caused to the individual. The moral codes usually provide for the least harm to the others. Yet, it does not claim that the outcome should be beneficial for all the individuals involved, but rather employs the idea of greater overall good. Thus, there are too many questions as to the moral codes and their essence through the prism of perception of different doctrines and the individual treatment of good and bad.
The aforementioned considerations related to the acknowledgement of the moral codes and their relativity in different circumstances, the following recommendations regarding the adoption of the moral codes in the working environments are provided. First of all, the organization should determine the theory that will be followed in the design of the moral rules and their enforcement. The overarching theory defines the guidelines of ethical codes. Secondly, it is recommended to involve the employees into the process of decision-making regarding the future moral code, its scope, interpretation, application, and enforcement. Thirdly, it is necessary to set a kind of commission or a team that will elaborate the moral code that applicable within the organization. The recruitment of the team members should consist of the transparent and valid procedures that will prevent possible prejudices and bias. Moreover, the team that designs and introduces the ethical code should try to create the guidelines for the identification of the most relative and amorphous concepts. The review of vague rules and values is necessary to prevent the future manipulations that might occur in application of the moral code within organizational environment. Furthermore, the organizations should regularly revise and add the moral or ethics codes in order to prevent them from becoming extensively rigid, be condensed to the context, and articulate the personal needs. The changes that might precede the adoption of the moral code might also refer to the decision-making procedures, which should define the personnel that will have a deciding role in choosing the particular option. The procedures also prevent the leaders and employees from following the course of actions that might deteriorate the health of the organizational environment as well as well-being of the company.
In conclusion, the moral codes are correlated to the subjective perceptions and consistent with the number of the factors that are frequently determined at the moment of the ethical rule application. Therefore, the creators and enforcers of the moral code should attempt to define the universal rules for the involved members and provide the general guidelines for understanding and determining the vague ethical concepts. In other words, the moral codes are relative in regards to circumstances, perceptions, participants, and the prism of ethical theories.