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PAPER 6 12_8_07 FINAL

PAPER 6 12_8_07 FINAL - Lorberg Michael Lorberg Mr Jehle...

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Lorberg, Michael Lorberg Mr. Jehle Expository Writing 101 December 2 , 2007 “The Complications Brought About By Moral Absolutism” Moral absolutism rigidly upholds the belief that there exists a right and a wrong to any and all moral issues , with no room for debate or negotiation of any kind. In the essay , “Women and Cultural Universals” , Martha Nussbaum discusses the need for universal human rights , the general rights of women worldwide , and proposes a list of capabilities everyone should have to determine a good life. “The Ape and the Sushi Master” , by Franz de Waal , discusses altruism in primates and men , and also compares various scientific perspectives on the origins of morality in men. “What Does the Dreaded “E” Word Mean Anyway?” is an essay in which Stephen Jay Gould discusses the history of the word “evolution” , how it has changed through time , and how the common populace largely refuses to embrace the biological definition as factual. There are many complications regarding the question if human beings need moral absolutes. Human beings do need moral absolutes because without them decisions cannot be reached. At the same time , moral absolutes are not needed because they are impossible to impose on everybody. Concerning disagreements in the scientific community , we must respond utilizing moral absolutes. In order to make a firm decision about anything , a strong sense of morality is required. Nussbaum says , “[Ambivalence on issues] suggests the sort of moral collapse depicted by Dante when he describes the crowd of souls who mill around in the vestibule of hell , dragging their 1
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Lorberg, banner now one way , now another , never willing to set it down and take a definite stand on any moral or political question” (Nussbaum 359) and shortly after , “…it is better to risk being consigned by critics to the “hell” reserved for alleged Westernizers and imperialists—however unjustified such criticism would in fact be—than to stand around in the vestibule waiting for a time when everyone will like what we are going to say” (Nussbaum 360). Concerning women’s treatment , and really much any other issue , Nussbaum makes the claim that a stance must be taken , regardless of how it is perceived in the eyes of critics; attempting to placate all parties is an impossible position to maintain. Confirming this claim , de Waal states , “People can reason and deliberate as much as they want ,
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