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Unformatted text preview: Ethical Relativism The cultural relativist thesis
Different cultures have different Different moral beliefs. This is a factual claim This The Ethical Relativist
In order for the cultural relativist In thesis to apply to morality, it must be stated as a moral claim. This claim has many variations. This Variation 1: What a culture claims is Variation right or wrong IS what is right or wrong for that culture. What supports this ethical claim? What 1 The Ethical Relativist Argument
CR: Different cultures have different moral principles. ER: Therefore, what a culture states is right and wrong IS what is right and wrong, for that culture. Note that CR is a factual claim and ER is a moral claim. Difficulties with this argument
The argument is unsound The The argument is invalid The Other Derivative Conclusions
1. 2. 3. 4. No objective standard to use in judging other cultures Our moral code has no special status No “universal” truth in ethics universal” We should adopt an attitude of tolerance. 2 Consequences of Taking ER Seriously
Could no longer say that customs of Could other societies are inferior to ours. Could decide right and wrong by Could consulting our societies standards. Moral progress is called into doubt. Moral Contradictory claims. Contradictory All cultures share some values
Differences are often in belief Differences systems, not values. Since the society values itself, there Since are some moral rules that all societies must have, because those rules are necessary for society to exist. 3 ...
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- Summer '08