Human Rights&Ethics notes2

Human Rights&Ethics notes2 - September 29th, 2010 First...

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September 29 th , 2010 First paper assignment Universalism: Assumes as shared human nature that precedes social actions and culture This shared nature is the basis for a shared set of rights Problems: No evidence for such a shared nature Relies on biological sameness natural law, or God as a source Cultural Relativism: Because all people are culturally situated, an objective analysis of other cultural practices is impossible Because of the above, the validity, worth, or ethical basis of any cultural practices can only be evaluated within their context No universal set of rights applicable to all people is logically possible, unless you assume that a universal moral code transcends cultural realities - Margaret Mead’s book on Samoan open sex culture Problems: Relativism demands tolerance for all cultural practices, which logically shuts down cross- cultural conversation Relativism is the domain of a very small group of well-educated elites in a few societies This approach can be used by abusive elites to maintain personal power in some societies Goodale’s Perspective: Universalism is a cultural worldview that is transnational, but is the domain of a specific class of privileged people who imagine cosmopolitan life as the ‘natural’ and proper way
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This note was uploaded on 11/07/2011 for the course ANTH 3531 taught by Professor Shepherd during the Fall '10 term at GWU.

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Human Rights&Ethics notes2 - September 29th, 2010 First...

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