Strengths of ethical absolutism

Written by tracey chandler Google
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Strengths of ethical absolutism
Ethical absolutism advocates universal standards. (Hemera Technologies/ Images)

Ethical absolutism is based on the idea that a single set of moral codes exists and can be universally applied to any situation in any context. In contrast, ethical relativism is ruled by context and abides by the notion that what is “right” or “wrong” in any given situation will be directly affected by the experiences and the environments of those involved. There are a number of advantages to be had from a strong belief in ethical absolutism, some of which are outlined below.

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Unshakeable morality

One of the strongest aspects of ethical absolutism is its unshakeable confidence in what is morally right or wrong. Ethical absolutists possess an inner belief in the moral certainty of their actions. They make decisions and form opinions based on ideas which they believe are universally correct in any context and within any situation.

Speedy decisions

Ethical absolutism speeds up and strengthens decision-making too. An ethical relativist might be tortured by a decision that he or she must make, because the “right” or “wrong” path to take might not appear to be so straight-forward when taking contextual information and particular circumstances into consideration. The ethical absolutist, on the other hand, makes decisions quickly and with ease, because he or she is guided by a universal set of ethical codes which can never be questioned or doubted.


The peace that comes from ethical absolutism lies in its objectivity. People who live their lives by a strong belief in ethical absolutism are able to live with fewer worries relating to their behaviour and the decisions they make. Ethical absolutism provides people with the certainty that the decisions they make or the beliefs they hold are morally correct, whether others agree or not. By remaining objective and making decisions based on an absolute code of ethics, someone who lives by ethical absolutism actually leads a life which is free from the stress and worry that non-ethical absolutists feel when unsure about whether or not they have behaved correctly or have made the right decision. The ethical absolutist is not plagued by doubt. They know what the right path is in all situations and they have little to consider when making a decision or sharing an opinion on what they believe to be morally correct.

Moral superiority

The ethical absolutist believes that there is a universal “right” and “wrong” for every kind of situation, whatever the context. However, the absolutist also recognizes that it takes time for the world to catch up to the universal “right,” which is why he or she can see the difference between what is done and what “ought” to be done. The ability to distinguish between these two ideas allows the absolutist to be tolerant of people who choose the “wrong” path. The tolerance that the ethical absolutist feels in these instances fills them with a strong sense of moral superiority as they wait for the world to catch up. The strength of this moral superiority can be incredibly empowering.

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