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If this is true you can no longer view other societies as inferior (rule 2 and 6)oThis is bad because of certain circumstances that can ariseExample: suppose an anti-semitic society arises and tries to kill off all theJews. If you follow cultural relativism you can not oppose this/say thatthese practices are wrong If this is true, we can decide whether actions are right or wrong by consulting thestandards of our society (rule 5)This implies that your society’s code is perfect and cannot be criticized If this is true, it calls the idea of moral progress into doubt When you replace a way of doing something with a new, better way howcan you judge that the new way is better since you judge actions off theprevious way of your society only Example: giving women more rights cannot be viewed as superior toprevious ways in which women’s rights were limited because culturalrelativism prevents judgment/comparison of other societiesExample: A reformer (such as MLK) technically could never challenge theideals of their society because those ideals are by definition correct Why is there less disagreement than it seems?Originally cultural relativism says that cultures differ dramatically, but it is easy tooverestimate this difference (cultural relativism overestimates the difference)oExample: A culture does not eat cows because they believe you can bereincarnated into a cow (your grandmother could die and become a cow).Similarly we believe you should not eat your grandmother but we think you caneat cows. The difference is not in our values but in our beliefs.All Cultures Have Some Values in Common Example: all cultural groups must be protective of their infants oHuman infants are helpless and cannot survive without careoIf a group did not care for their young, the young would not survive, thus the oldwould not be replacedoTherefore, any cultural group that still exists must care for its young The main point is that societies must have some moral rules in common, becausewithout those rules a society cannot exist What Can Be Learned From Cultural Relativism (things it does right)
1.Warns us about the danger of assuming that all our preferences are based on someabsolute rational standard2.Our moral views can reflect the prejudices of our society, realizing this may result in amore open mind Joel Feinberg Pt. 2Examined the nature and importance of moral rights by having us consider an imaginary placewithout any (Nowheresville) This place is meant to be a way to see what exactly inhabitants miss out on by nothaving any rights Nowheresville, in its final form, has all of the best qualities a place can have except itcompletely lacks rightsoIncludes virtuous inhabitants, duties, deserts, and complex social practices DutiesImmanuel Kant would reject Nowheresville because he thinks actions must be acted onout of duty oFeinberg adds duties, but this is a problem because with duties come rights o“The logical correlativity of rights and duties”With each duty comes a right and with each right comes a duty