Some moral Minima Essays

Submitted By jesster35
Words: 519
Pages: 3

In “Some Moral Minima” Lenn E Goodman argues against the theory of relativism and argues on the basis of moral absolutes. Relativism is the belief that morality is based on culture and upbringing rather than a code/standard of absolute rights and wrongs, in contrast moral absolutes do not change regardless of culture, upbringing, and social conditioning; right is right and wrong is wrong. In Goodman’s opinion anything that the Western world considers morally incorrect is in fact morally incorrect for the entire human race.

Obviously this isn’t true because each of the concepts he brought up (rape, genocide, slavery, polygamy and incest) exist in societies around the world so we cannot say that we should assume these things are against morality by nature.

I think the problem and dilemma we are facing now is the unification of the world’s culture. Prior to modern communication and travel, people could be less than 500 miles from each other and have completely different set of morals and ethics and never interact with each other. People of different cultures are now communicating with people on the opposite side of the planet with just a few keystrokes or dialing buttons. In my opinion this is where the idea of relativity gets messy.

As the world gets smaller and smaller we are forced as human to come up with one moral compass and I think that Goodman has started a wonderful outline for it, however I cannot agree that these things would be wrong in every “untouched” culture.

I recently spent a few weeks in Kenya, Africa. Rape is not considered a crime or injustice in this culture, especially in the older generation. While we were out in the “bush” the little Kiswahili I knew helped me get invited in to a quite a few conversations with many different people in the tribe. After seeing flippancy in the conversations with older men (between 40-60) on this topic I do not think every culture will agree with Goodman when he says…