Putting aside for now the moral relativism vs moral absolutism arguement, since moral absolutism is at the very least not clearly defined, most people will choose to respect other people's beliefs even if they don't agree. So how far does this go? This example is the perfect hypothetical (actually, I have two), but its real: I work for a small company. My boss met a few of his employees through word of mouth and he's had several that belong to the same Christian extremist religion. I'm not exactly sure what its called, but it doesn't matter. The core of their beliefs is essentially fatalism: you put your entire faith in God to direct the path of your life. Now this has several implications such as meaning you can't plan for the future in any way - no bank account, insurance, investments, etc. But the one that really concerns me is that you can't ever get any medical treatment of any kind. And when I say none, I really mean none: this includes band-aids. So here's the situation: One of my boss's employess before I started working for him collapsed one morning in the office just before lunchtime. After a while, his relatives came and carried him away and he died a day or so later. "Respecting their beliefs" in this case meant not calling an ambulance. Now we can't know if medical treatment could have saved the guy since we don't know how he died, but could you have sat and watched someone die without at least trying SOMETHING? Would you have called an ambulance? Second sitution. I came back from lunch today and one of my coworkers left suddenly: his sister just died in childbirth this morning. She was 26. Statistically, its pretty rare these days for women to die in childbirth, but thats because the vast majority give birth in hospitals. Now our legal system is pretty clear on this - if she had been 17 and died in a preventable way, her parents would now be in jail. It happens about once a year in Philly that some parents go to jail for not taking positive action to save their child's life (legall, prayer is not considered positive action). So what do you guys think? If you found yourself in a situtation where you would ordinarily call an ambulance for someone, knowing their beliefs, would you do it? Would you give first aid? Perform CPR? Or watch them die? My boss says he would (and he has) just watched them die. I don't think I could sit by and not do something.