I'm referring of course, to the recent shooting in Newton, Connecticut where a 20 yr old man entered the school, murdering 26 people (20 children, 6 educators) then committed suicide. He murdered his own mother in her home first, then took her guns and went to the school where she worked part-time as a teacher's aid and began murdering children (ages 5-10) and teachers. http://www.tucsonsentinel.com/nation...nning-down-27/
Now, it may seem like an odd question, but it is one worth asking IMO as it explores the nature of morality itself.
Is it truly immoral to commit such an act? Or is it merely relatively immoral? For many of us, we believe it is objectively or universally (truly) immoral. That is, it is immoral independent of what the gunman thought. Simply because the gunman may not have believed it was immoral doesn't actually make it immoral. It's a heinous, immoral act regardless of what he (or anyone else) thinks.
But for others, this is only relatively immoral. That is, it is only immoral for certain people...but not for others, it just depends on whether or they think they should butcher children or not. If they do, then it's moral for them to do so, if not, then it is simply immoral for them to do so, it's whatever that person "feels" or thinks at the time. There have been a few of those people posting in recent threads how heinous and wrong this tragedy is. I submit that this is an example of objective morality...that is, whether they want to or not, they are acknowledging this is an objectively immoral act. To them, it is never moral for someone to murder his mother in cold blood then drive to the school where she worked and take out that frustration on the children and teachers she cared for...all because of some grievance with his mother.
I submit that such an event is indeed immoral and is always immoral regardless of who commits the act and what they may believe about the moral value of this act. But I also acknowledge that there are a few people who believe this is not the case at all and instead, under these same exact circumstances, it is not necessarily immoral and in fact, moral. I'd like to hear from these moral relativists and have them defend how this event is in their worldview, a moral act.
Consider this a challenge to moral relativists.
*************** EDIT *********************
I've further defined and clarified some elementary yet necessary ethical concepts for this discussion. Their posts can be found by clicking the below links. I would encourage reading those before participating in this discussion (if you are not well versed in ethics already).
Moral Subjectivism / Role of Reason
Proof in Ethics? / Minimum Conception of Morality (defined)