Relativism Notes Essay

Submitted By Eric219
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Pages: 5


Two Types of Moral/Ethical Relativism

Personal_/Individual Relativism (aka: Subjectivisim_____)

Each individual_ determines what is right/wrong for him/herself.

Cultural/?Societal Relativism

Each culture society determines what is right/wrong for a member of that society. (Society dictates what is “right”)

Often rejected—Most people judge it to be “counter-intuitive_.” (goes against our reasoned intuition)

Some standard of right/wrong must exist; otherwise, the culture would not exist.

If morality is all about individual approval/disapproval_,

there would be no need for the concepts of right/wrong

(We develop word_/vocabulary/language to express/convey

concepts_ that need to be communicated_.)

The concepts of right/wrong presuppose/assume a Standard
--independent of one’s personal feelings of approval/disapproval—by which all actions are judged.

Cultural Relativism
Definition: The doctrine that the moral rightness/wrongness of actions

varies from society to society; and there is no absolute moral standard binding upon on [individuals] at all times. (John Ladd).

Application: ECR holds that the R/W of an individual’s actions is dependent upon/

relative to the society to which s/he belongs.

Analysis: ECR asserts that all morality is culturally specific_/

bound____; (i.e., all standards of R/W are dependent upon/

determined by the beliefs/practices of one’s culture.

Repercussions (Consequences_/Effects): ECR affirms that there is no absolute

or universal moral truth_--all truth is relative to one’s culture.

(There is no proper/improper, no appropriate/inappropriate, no good/bad, no fairness/unfairness that is universal from society to society)
Merits of ECR
ECR recognizes the social nature of morality and acknowledges the importance of our social environment_ in generating customs and beliefs. (Our personalities, orientations, educations, backgrounds, values, expectations, and experiences are relative to our own society)

Many things govern our perceptions_; and perceptions influence our

beliefs_ and customs.

ECR appears to promote tolerance for other people and cultures__.

Seems to atone for the “sin” of ethnocentricity (centered around our own culture)
ECR encourages intellectual humility
Warns us of presuming that our opinions are based upon an “absolute, rational standard.

Common (Simple) Argument for ECR

Different cultures have different moral codes

Therefore, there is no universal moral code (i.e., there is no objective truth in morality).

Principles of Logic we skipped logic

V_________________________________ Argument:

An argument where the c_______________________ is true if the p________________________ are true.
The t_____________________________ of the premises logically g__________________________

the truth of the c___________________________________________________________________.

The conclusion r________________________ follows from the p___________________________;

so that if the premises are true, the c________________________________ must be true.

Summary: If the p______________________ are true, the conclusion will n____________________ be true.
NOTE: Validity concerns f____________________________; not c_________________________.

P1: _______________________________________________________________________

P2: _______________________________________________________________________

C: ________________________________________________________________________

S__________________________________ Argument:

A v___________________________ argument whose premises are t_________________________.

In order for an argument to be sound:
The argument must be v__________________________ (i.e., the c_____________________

must rightly f_______________________ from the p_______________________________.

The p____________________________