Lecture 9 Outline

Lecture 9 Outline - Question Meta Ethics: Cultural...

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Meta Ethics: Cultural Relativism Lecture 9 Summer School PHIL 102 1 Question Q: If you were going to be skeptical about morality, what kinds of things would you say? Q: What makes the following statements true? Mt Cook is 37, 089m high Too much salt is bad for you Marmite is nicer than Vegemite Brides should wear white Abortion is morally wrong 2 Cultural Relativism ‘Moral claims are true or false relative to the beliefs and values of the culture in which these claims are made’ Society 1 Society 2 Belief: ‘abortion is wrong’ Belief: ‘abortion is right’ 3 Objectivism (‘Absolutism’) ‘What makes moral claims true or false depends on facts that are independent of whether or not people believe them’ Society 1 Society 2 Belief: ‘abortion is wrong’ Belief: ‘abortion is right’ Facts 4 Appeal of Cultural Relativism 1. Cultural Difference: There seem to be a wide variety of moral beliefs and practices of different cultures. This makes us wonder if any of them could be objectively right or the best 2. Tolerance: Believing in cultural relativism seems to Ft with being tolerant of other cultures 3. Moral Truth: There seem to be no moral truths which hold for all peoples at all times 5 Cultural Differences Argument (Rachels p20) P1 Different cultures have different moral codes C There is no objective truth in morality. Q: Is P2 true? ScientiFc Case: origins of the universe Claim: P2 is false. Therefore P1-C is an invalid inference Objection 1: There is a missing premise P2 Wherever there is difference and disagreement there is no objective truth 6
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Cultural Differences Argument P1 Different cultures have different moral codes C There is no objective truth in morality Reply: P2 is implausible. It is a mistake to think of P1-C as a logically valid inference (with such an implausible hidden premise) Alternative: P1-C is an inference to the best explanation (Mackie) Objection 1: There is a missing premise P2 Wherever there is difference and disagreement there is no
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Lecture 9 Outline - Question Meta Ethics: Cultural...

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