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wgu_hum_mod6_summary - Questions of Moral Philosophy Key...

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Questions of Moral Philosophy Key Concepts Cultural Relativism Cultural Relativism (sometimes called Moral Relativism ) is the view that morality (behavior which is right and wrong) is culturally determined. According to its tenets, therefore, there is no objective moral rule or law that is universally correct. Further, each culture's moral standards are correct and to be regarded with tolerance and not to be judged, according to this approach. Cultural Relativists note that different cultures have widely different moral codes and consequently they argue that there is no clear way to determine which view of right and wrong is correct. It would be arrogant of us to question the ethics of another culture, they say, because our notions of morality are culturally determined. Cultural Relativism suggests that we take a society's moral code as we find it and not judge it. Cultural relativists argue that just as cultures create different styles of food and clothing, they also establish different moral codes. In their view, when we say "X is good," we really are saying "X is socially approved." Most advocates of Cultural Relativism think that we should conform to the moral norms of the society we live in, recognizing that something isn't "good" absolutely, but only "good in this or that society." Cultural Relativism also provides a welcome caution about the dangers of moral certainty, of thinking that our culture and morals are the best. Critique of Cultural Relativism There are several major criticisms of Cultural Relativism: 1. Cultural Relativism wrongly accepts cultural moral norms uncritically. 2. Cultural Relativism values tolerance and the acceptance of cultural differences more than the happiness and welfare of people. 3. Cultural Relativism ignores the role of moral development in societies (and people). 4. Cultural Relativism prematurely rejects the possibility that there are universal rights, including basic human rights, that should apply to all cultures.
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Universal Values There is a theoretical assumption that all societies and cultures share some common values because these values are required by every culture and society in order to survive and function. For example, protecting very young children crosses all cultural lines, and is considered a universal value for that reason (as children represent the future of the human race). Rules against killing and lying appear across cultures. The necessity for these values is obvious; they benefit the people who want to live together safely. These values are called universal even if there are cultural variables--exceptions a culture may allow from these strictures. Philosopher James Rachels argues that it is a mistake to think that cultures are all that different from one another. The most important function for any group is to maintain its survival. We know that many of the values that we embrace are necessary to encourage and enforce behavior for the survival and functioning of society. He sees these values as
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wgu_hum_mod6_summary - Questions of Moral Philosophy Key...

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