Ethics - Metaethical Relativism

Ethics - Metaethical Relativism - Rachels proposes what he...

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Rachels proposes what he takes to be an independent crossed cultural moral standard that we can use to evaluate the moral rules and practices of different societies can be evaluated: “we may ask whether the practice promotes or hinders the welfare of the people whose lives are affected by it. And, as a corollary, we may ask if there is an alternative set of social arrangements that would do a better job of promoting their welfare. If so, we may conclude that the existing practice is deficient.” P. 63 Two Criticisms that the Meta-ethical Relativist (the metaethical relativist denies that moral judgments are objectively true) 1. Standards of Welfare themselves are culturally relative. There are no objective facts that certain practices harm or benefit those affected by them. According to our American/Western standards of welfare women are harmed by female circumcision, but according to the standard of welfare of societies that practice female circumcision, the practice is beneficial to women because it makes them more beautiful. Counter argument – it is objectively true the being incapable experiencing sexual pleasure, experiencing pain from sexual intercourse, and suffering pain and incontinence on account of chronic infections are bad and harmful for one. 2. Rachels’s standard is simply utilitarianism or consequentialism, he has to assume that utilitarianism true – he has to assume what the meta-ethical-relativist denies — he simply begs the question against MER 1. Relativism and tolerance – The Argument that we must endorse
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This note was uploaded on 02/13/2011 for the course PHIL 181 taught by Professor Thomascarson during the Spring '10 term at Loyola Chicago.

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Ethics - Metaethical Relativism - Rachels proposes what he...

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