Explain the difference between moral relativism and cultural relativism
Owen Taylor R.P.E. Essay 20th September 2008 a) Explain the difference between moral relativism and cultural relativism Relativism is the principle that all points of view are equally valid and that all truth is relative to the individual. Moral and cultural relativism are perceived by many as somewhat similar and are easily confused. However there is a substantial difference between the two, which will be explored in the following. Cultural relativism is the manner that a person's attitude and conduct should be understood in terms of his or her culture. It explains the reasons why those from different cultures have a vastly different way of life. Cultural diversity has been documented since the earliest times. The Greek historian Herodotus travelled around the world and found it vastly different from his native homeland "The customs of the Getae...when a baby is born the family sits around and mourns at the though of suffering it must in endure...but when somebody dies, they bury him with merriment and rejoicing" this exemplifies the gulf between beliefs throughout the world then. Now, there are still limitless different beliefs in the world. One of these is the death penalty. It is enforced in numerous countries such as the United States and Thailand yet in even more countries it is highly frowned upon showing the cultural
As we know, philosophers divide ethical theories into three major
As we know, philosophers divide ethical theories into three major classes. They are Metaethics(descriptive), Conceptual(applied), and Normative(prescriptive). Metaethics basically takes the scientific approach to concocting where exactly our ethical principals and philosophies come from (Feiser, 2005). Descriptions and explanations of moral behaviors and beliefs are provided on the basis of facts studied by such specialists of anthropology, sociology and history (Beauchamp & Bowie, 2005). Conceptual ethics covers huge controversial issues on the basis of what is right, good, and established by justice, virtues, responsibilities and obligations. These credited terms are examples submitted by Beauchamp and Bowie on page 6 of our text. James Feiser explains that issues such as abortion, animal rights, capital punishment, nuclear war, etc. would fall under conceptual ethics. Normative ethics distinguishes the differences between what is right and wrong (Feiser, 2005); what mom and dad taught us growing up. It is defined by what is accepted as the societal "norm" (Beauchamp & Bowie, 2005). Is killing someone ok? No. Is saving a life ok? Yes. Is defending your life ok? Yes. If either the attacker or defendant dies in an act of self-defense for one's life, who's to blame? In our society, what is established as the norm is if the attacker dies, the defendant is not held
The Virtues in the company: Prudence: Indispensable or only acomplement for the good enterprise handling?
The Virtues in the company: Prudence: Indispensable or only a complement for the good enterprise handling? Which are the tools on which there are to count an outstanding industralist? It will be sufficient to count only on a complete theoretical frame, or will be required an integral education that also includes the education of own moral values of each person? Often we questioned ourselves about which there is to have an industralist successful leader and, who is able to take their organization to the top. There are some who maintain that a prestigious formal education is all the necessary one to develop the potentialities of the person, and to form to whom it will have under his responsibility, the future of the companies. to happen this, industralists outstanding and more successful would not exist than others; if all counted on the same education, and this by itself is sufficient, there would not be companies that emphasized by on the others. It seemed to be, that in no case it is sufficient simply to count on education and theoretical models, although yes are necessary. To be industralist successful (in all the scopes which it means), it is necessary to have in addition, a complete formation personal, composed by Christian and universal values, that differentiates to a man average, to one truely successful one. Here the virtues that each man has
Hick's views on body and soul
. 'Hick's views on the body/soul distinction are more coherent than those of Dawkins.' Discuss As materialists both Hicks and Dawkins are united in the belief that human beings are whole, they oppose the dualist belief that the body and soul are two separate entities, with the soul being able to exist beyond the death of the physical body. Despite their apparent similarities Hick and Dawkins present opposing view points. Hick a 'soft' materialist presents the possibility of an afterlife. Dawkin's view certainly appear more simplistic: as a 'hard' materialist he presents the view that the only possible way for human beings to exist beyond death is through the continuation of our genes through our offspring. According to Dawkin life is nothing more than bytes of information continued in DNA. For Dawkins, the only conceivable theory is that of evolution. We are as we are because of our genetic make up, not the efforts of our souls. Hick's view is that a person includes both physical and mental, the human being is therefore a 'psycho physical unity'. According to Hicks what lives after death is a replica or a duplicate. It is God who creates the replica, once we die. Hick's views are in keeping with the Christian doctrine of resurrection as outlined by St Paul in 1 Corinthians: 'When buried, it is ugly and weak: when raised, it will be beautiful and strong. .....There
Explain what is meant by calling an ethical theory relativist or absolutist.
Explain what is meant by calling an ethical theory relativist or absolutist. Absolutism is based on a universal set of ethical morals that all people are subject to follow. These principles are objective and therefore more like legalistic morals because no personal judgement is included, and are intrinsically, in and of itself, right. Consequently, every person of every time and every place should follow these laws, regardless of belief. This supports the idea that moral standards have always existed so that good may prevail in the universe. An example of an absolutist is Plato who believed that justice and goodness existed as ideas beyond our awareness in another world, meaning that goodness and justice exists but what we comprehend are merely illusions of the certain truth. Our actions, consequently, can participate in real goodness, meaning that we must be good or bad in an absolute sense. Plato used this idea of universal principles to support his Theory of Ideas which bases itself that justice, goodness, love, etc. are shadows of the certain truth found in the World of the Forms. This strengthens the theory of Religious absolutism, that everyone is based on the same universal standards, for example both an American and an Indian would both be equally wrong for killing for whatever reason. The deontological view is that there are moral rules that cannot be broken and
Analyse and evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of natural moral law as a definitive ethical theory
Analyse and evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of natural moral law as a definitive ethical theory (12) The strengths that can be ascribed to natural law are a product of its absolutist deontological view of morality. This is to say that it enables people to establish common rules in order to structure communities. This can be an attractive option in a society such as our, enduring a relativist era that is suffering from a break down in traditional social structures and moral uncertainty. Aquinas's view of reason as a tool for moral understanding and his idea of a common nature and morality for all people gives natural law a universality that goes beyond any one religion or culture. This can be seen as a very positive aspect considering the intercultural strife and disharmony that exists between cultures and societies which all uphold similar basic principles such as conserving life. Natural moral law gives a concrete reason to be moral and provides a firm basis for individuals to refuse to cross moral boundaries. It also provides justification and support for those ideas popular in today's world such as human rights, whilst condemning actions such as torture, irrespective of consequences. Natural law also provides a way of living, giving guidance on day-today questions of how to live life and then links them to the fundamental principles of life. It provides a complete
Assess Kant's philosophy: How successful do you find his approach?'
Stacey Mottershaw 61/Wb 0th November 2003 'Identify and explore the central features of Kant's theory. How successful do you find his approach?' Immanuel Kant was born in 1724 and is known as being one of the greatest philosophers of all time. He is also one of the last philosophers to create an entire philosophical system that covers most of the major issues in ethics. In this essay I am going to be looking into Kant's Ethical Theory and the first and second formulation of his categorical imperative test. I am going to evaluate how successful they are in completing the aims they were originally given. Kant is a deontologist who only ascribes worth to the deontological approach and he does not administer his theory around consequences. This means that he believes all agents should perform their actions out of duty, with no other motivation and with no regard to the consequences of the action. Deontological theories differ over the basis or grounding of duty. For some, the duty is to God's will whereas to others (including Kant) the duty would be to the moral law, which is generated by the application of reason. He believes that to do something out of duty is to do it simply because it is the right thing to do. If a moral agent acts merely out of duty because it is the right thing to do then Kant would ascribe them moral praise. However, if they performed the same
Ethics - Terms to know
ETHICS TERMS TO KNOW Worldview--The way the world is seen & made sense of; framework of individual understanding. e.g. Deism - God abandoned creation Nihilism - Reality has no value; traditional values unfounded Existentialism - Life has no meaning but what we give it Eastern Pantheism - Polytheism, i.e. Hinduism Naturalism - Secular humanism / modernism; God is irrelevant--nothing exists but natural world New Age Pantheism - All is one; no distinction between plants, people; all are God Judeo-Christianity - There is only one God who created universe; God is involved w/ creation Post Modernism - God is dead; truth is a social construct; relativism prevails Ethics--The explicit, philosophical reflection on moral beliefs and practices. (The difference between ethics and morality is similar to the difference between musicology and music. Ethics is a conscious stepping back and reflecting on morality, just as musicology is a conscious reflection on music). Descriptive Ethics--Stating actual moral beliefs. Normative Ethics--Study of what is really right or wrong. Metaethics--Study about field of Ethics. Metaethics Theories Objectivism--There are correct and incorrect answers. Subjectivism--There are no correct or incorrect answers. Absolutism--All moral rules hold without exception--there is only one truth; opposite of relativism, contrasts with
Is Any Account of the State of Nature Convincing?
Is any Account of the Condition of Mankind in the State of Nature Convincing? (30) The State of Nature is a hypothetical state where there is no government, no state, and no laws to rule over mankind, which allows us to understand the question of 'why should I be governed?' The movement from the State of Nature to a government or a state, many philosophers argue, is based on the need for a social contract, supported by Hobbes, Locke, and Rousseau. The social contract is an agreement between the people to live together under the laws in our society (according to Hobbes, this contract can either be tacit or explicit), though the reason that we enter this social contract differs due to the many conditions of the nature of mankind in the state of nature, as each account offers a very different view on humanity. Hobbes depicts a savage State of Nature (referred to as a 'State of War' in Leviathan), and to understand this State of Nature, we must first understand its components - people. Hobbes puts forward that the most fundamental desire of mankind is that of 'self preservation', and that it is indeed a 'natural right'. Hobbes believes that, as there is no law or authority to stop us acting on this desire, we are liable to do almost anything to stay alive, with no regard for the well-being of others. As this is a fundamental desire for the whole of mankind, Hobbes reasons that
How might a moral relativist respond to the claim that people should always tell the truth? Assess the strengths and weaknesses of relativist views of ethics.
A. How might a moral relativist respond to the claim that people should always tell the truth? B. Assess the strengths and weaknesses of relativist views of ethics. (A) To tell the truth is morally right, but telling a lie can also be morally right. Can the contradictions both be justified if the motive is love? Can we lie if the intention is love, or by always telling the truth are we "better people"? Some relativists claim that as long as the intention is love, then an action is morally right. In a relationship, when the crucial moment arrives and your partner turns to you and says, "Do you love me?", how best do you respond? Morally, can you justify lying to someone about love? The law of love says that you can not refrain from action. If refrain denies you from following a certain course, then can lying be accepted? Dependant upon whether you do love the person or not, the best approach to take will be a matter of your personal opinion and beliefs. Fletcher would deal with a situation relative to love. Relativism, "relativizes the absolute, it does not absolutize the relative". If the absolute is such that, you should tell the truth because it is the loving thing to do, then relativism would say that, maybe saying "Yes, I do love you", may be justifiable, but it may also cause the most pain in the long run. This relativist approach is held by consequentalists. The pain