What moral guide should American society use for making moral decisions: moral absolutism or moral relativism?

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Compose a brief essay of at least 400 words but no more than 600 words (not including your references list) on the following topic, referring to and critiquing relevant ideas from at least three of the Week 5 readings as you develop your thoughts: What moral guide should American society use for making moral decisions: moral absolutism or moral relativism? 

Notes:

Make sure you understand the difference between a moral issue and legal issue.  Sometimes these issues can overlap, but not always.  For example, slavery was legal in areas of the US before 1865, however, was it moral?  Many see cheating on a spouse/significant other as a moral issue, but in most areas of the US, can one charge his/her spouse with a crime?

Many students use the example of one stealing food (morally/legally wrong) to feed his/her family as proof of relativism.  However, this is actually a conflict between several moral issues (see Haidt’s talk) of care for others, justice, in-group loyalty, and respect for authority (or law in this situation).  Given this conflict of values…how does this play out in the debate of relativism versus absolutism?  

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