I just spent a good long time writing a well thought out post on forum. My intention was to refute the ability to apply moral absolutism. I think the person I replied to got intimidated and just decided to insult me instead of answer my questions.
I didn't want it to go to waste, so I thought I would share it here.
QUOTE(Observer of dreams)
Moral absolute, this falls in step with cultural subjectivism.
I think you have the wrong idea of cultural subjectivism. Cultural subjectivism says that actions are right and wrong based on that culture which is evaluating them. So, as a member of a Northern Minnesota culture, it is wrong for me to lay at the beach nude. It would be fine for me to do this on many beaches in Hawaii.
Kantianism on the other hand argues that right and wrong is defined by intention. If you intend to do good to your best ability, no matter what accidental consequences, you can do no wrong. There are, of course, implied limits to this situation. Kant encourages understanding of the far-reaching effects of decisions. Although lying might be a good idea now, it may reduce general trust among people over time.
According to Kant, one must constantly evaluate ethical situations since new, undocumented situations will arise.
I just remembered a fun little story of a moral absolute gone awry.
Imagine you work as part of the underground railroad (help slaves to freedom). Most everyone would view this as a very good thing to do... right? ...at the time, this was considered stealing since the slaves were someone else's property.
Well, one night when you have a few slaves hiding in your basement, the sheriff comes by on a tip that you are hiding slaves. He comes to your door and asks, "Are you hiding any negros?" Would you be wrong to lie to him? If you don't, you will forfeit the lives of the innocent people you were trying to save and most likely your own.
I would say that I have a moral obligation to tell a lie to the best of my ability. I'd even feel obligated to risk my life if my lie failed to convince the sheriff.