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Relativism

 Relativism

The fourth in a series of slideshows for an ethics course.

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GeorgeMatthews

June 11, 2016
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  1. Moral Relativism Are right and wrong in the eye of

    the beholder? George Matthews CC 2016 Creative Commons, attribution. BY: Ralph Roletscheck / fahrradmonteur.de
  2. philosophical questions about ethics

  3. philosophical questions about ethics

  4. philosophical questions about ethics ! descriptive: How do we explain

    the facts about ethical behavior and thinking?
  5. philosophical questions about ethics ! descriptive: How do we explain

    the facts about ethical behavior and thinking? ! normative: What ethical principles and decisions are really justified?
  6. philosophical questions about ethics ! descriptive: How do we explain

    the facts about ethical behavior and thinking? ! normative: What ethical principles and decisions are really justified? ! meta-level: Can we have genuine knowledge when it comes to ethics?
  7. some major approaches to ethics

  8. some major approaches to ethics moral relativism Right and wrong

    are determined by culture or personal feelings.
  9. some major approaches to ethics moral relativism Right and wrong

    are determined by culture or personal feelings. divine command theory Right and wrong are defined (and enforced) by God.
  10. some major approaches to ethics moral relativism Right and wrong

    are determined by culture or personal feelings. divine command theory Right and wrong are defined (and enforced) by God. natural law theory Nature (especially human nature) is a guide for ethics.
  11. some major approaches to ethics moral relativism Right and wrong

    are determined by culture or personal feelings. divine command theory Right and wrong are defined (and enforced) by God. natural law theory Nature (especially human nature) is a guide for ethics. ethical egoism The good of all is best attained by pursuing the good of each.
  12. some more major approaches to ethics

  13. some more major approaches to ethics social contract theory Ethics

    is based on an agreement about what rules work best for us all.
  14. some more major approaches to ethics social contract theory Ethics

    is based on an agreement about what rules work best for us all. utilitarianism Ethical action aims for the best consequences for the most people.
  15. some more major approaches to ethics social contract theory Ethics

    is based on an agreement about what rules work best for us all. utilitarianism Ethical action aims for the best consequences for the most people. Kantian ethics Some things are just right or wrong; reason tells us which actions are which.
  16. some more major approaches to ethics social contract theory Ethics

    is based on an agreement about what rules work best for us all. utilitarianism Ethical action aims for the best consequences for the most people. Kantian ethics Some things are just right or wrong; reason tells us which actions are which. feminist ethics Morality is not about rules as much as it is about human relationships.
  17. some more major approaches to ethics social contract theory Ethics

    is based on an agreement about what rules work best for us all. utilitarianism Ethical action aims for the best consequences for the most people. Kantian ethics Some things are just right or wrong; reason tells us which actions are which. feminist ethics Morality is not about rules as much as it is about human relationships. virtue ethics The measure of moral worth is the character of the person not good outcomes or right motives.
  18. how to analyze an ethical theory

  19. how to analyze an ethical theory claims What exactly does

    the theory claim about ethics?
  20. how to analyze an ethical theory claims What exactly does

    the theory claim about ethics? consequences What consequences logically follow from the theory?
  21. how to analyze an ethical theory claims What exactly does

    the theory claim about ethics? consequences What consequences logically follow from the theory? arguments What are the major arguments in support of the theory?
  22. how to analyze an ethical theory claims What exactly does

    the theory claim about ethics? consequences What consequences logically follow from the theory? arguments What are the major arguments in support of the theory? evaluation " How convincing are the arguments? " Does it explain what it claims to explain? " Does it clash with our moral intuitions?
  23. cultural relativism

  24. cultural relativism claims

  25. cultural relativism claims 1. Value judgments are relative to one’s

    cultural perspective.
  26. cultural relativism claims 1. Value judgments are relative to one’s

    cultural perspective. 2. Each culture has its own set of ethical standards and none is ultimately any better than any other.
  27. cultural relativism claims 1. Value judgments are relative to one’s

    cultural perspective. 2. Each culture has its own set of ethical standards and none is ultimately any better than any other. 3. There are no moral or ethical universals.
  28. cultural relativism claims 1. Value judgments are relative to one’s

    cultural perspective. 2. Each culture has its own set of ethical standards and none is ultimately any better than any other. 3. There are no moral or ethical universals. 4. We should never say that something is just “wrong.” Instead we should say that it is “wrong for me.”
  29. cultural diversity some examples

  30. cultural diversity some examples ! funeral customs: Should we burn,

    bury, mourn or celebrate?
  31. cultural diversity some examples ! funeral customs: Should we burn,

    bury, mourn or celebrate? ! the value of individuals: Is individual choice more important than commitment to the group?
  32. cultural diversity some examples ! funeral customs: Should we burn,

    bury, mourn or celebrate? ! the value of individuals: Is individual choice more important than commitment to the group? ! etiquette: How should you behave at the dinner table?
  33. cultural diversity some examples ! funeral customs: Should we burn,

    bury, mourn or celebrate? ! the value of individuals: Is individual choice more important than commitment to the group? ! etiquette: How should you behave at the dinner table? ! sex and gender: What roles should men and women play? How should we interact in public and in private?
  34. cultural diversity some examples ! funeral customs: Should we burn,

    bury, mourn or celebrate? ! the value of individuals: Is individual choice more important than commitment to the group? ! etiquette: How should you behave at the dinner table? ! sex and gender: What roles should men and women play? How should we interact in public and in private? ! life and death: How seriously or lightly should we take human life?
  35. cultural diversity some examples ! funeral customs: Should we burn,

    bury, mourn or celebrate? ! the value of individuals: Is individual choice more important than commitment to the group? ! etiquette: How should you behave at the dinner table? ! sex and gender: What roles should men and women play? How should we interact in public and in private? ! life and death: How seriously or lightly should we take human life? Cultural diversity may seem to entail relativism . . .
  36. cultural diversity the Amish

  37. cultural diversity punks in Tokyo

  38. cultural diversity the Yanomami

  39. cultural diversity the Inuit

  40. consequences of relativism If relativism were true . . .

  41. consequences of relativism If relativism were true . . .

    1. There would be no moral absolutes.
  42. consequences of relativism If relativism were true . . .

    1. There would be no moral absolutes. 2. Nothing could be condemned as evil.
  43. consequences of relativism If relativism were true . . .

    1. There would be no moral absolutes. 2. Nothing could be condemned as evil. 3. We could either tolerate other value systems, or impose our values on others by force.
  44. consequences of relativism If relativism were true . . .

    1. There would be no moral absolutes. 2. Nothing could be condemned as evil. 3. We could either tolerate other value systems, or impose our values on others by force. 4. The idea of moral progress would make no sense.
  45. consequences of relativism If relativism were true . . .

    1. There would be no moral absolutes. 2. Nothing could be condemned as evil. 3. We could either tolerate other value systems, or impose our values on others by force. 4. The idea of moral progress would make no sense. Note: we may not like these consequences but that isn’t a good reason to reject relativism – beware the Appeal to Consequences fallacy.
  46. arguing for relativism

  47. arguing for relativism the cultural differences argument

  48. arguing for relativism the cultural differences argument p1 Different cultures

    have different views about what is right and what is wrong.
  49. arguing for relativism the cultural differences argument p1 Different cultures

    have different views about what is right and what is wrong. c There is no correct view about right and wrong.
  50. arguing for relativism the cultural differences argument p1 Different cultures

    have different views about what is right and what is wrong. c There is no correct view about right and wrong. This argument may seem convincing at first glance since the premise is obviously true, but is it really valid?
  51. analyzing the argument

  52. analyzing the argument Valid or invalid?

  53. analyzing the argument Valid or invalid? p1 Different people have

    different views about X.
  54. analyzing the argument Valid or invalid? p1 Different people have

    different views about X. c There is no correct view about X.
  55. analyzing the argument Valid or invalid? p1 Different people have

    different views about X. c There is no correct view about X. A counterexample
  56. analyzing the argument Valid or invalid? p1 Different people have

    different views about X. c There is no correct view about X. A counterexample p1 Different people have different views about stop signs.
  57. analyzing the argument Valid or invalid? p1 Different people have

    different views about X. c There is no correct view about X. A counterexample p1 Different people have different views about stop signs. c There is no correct view about stop signs.
  58. analyzing the argument Valid or invalid? p1 Different people have

    different views about X. c There is no correct view about X. A counterexample p1 Different people have different views about stop signs. c There is no correct view about stop signs. A counterexample shows that an argument is invalid.
  59. another argument for relativism

  60. another argument for relativism the argument from tolerance

  61. another argument for relativism the argument from tolerance p1 Claiming

    that some value judgments are correct and others are wrong may lead to intolerance.
  62. another argument for relativism the argument from tolerance p1 Claiming

    that some value judgments are correct and others are wrong may lead to intolerance. p2 But it is better to be tolerant of human diversity than intolerant.
  63. another argument for relativism the argument from tolerance p1 Claiming

    that some value judgments are correct and others are wrong may lead to intolerance. p2 But it is better to be tolerant of human diversity than intolerant. c Thus we should accept that there are no truly correct value judgments.
  64. another argument for relativism the argument from tolerance p1 Claiming

    that some value judgments are correct and others are wrong may lead to intolerance. p2 But it is better to be tolerant of human diversity than intolerant. c Thus we should accept that there are no truly correct value judgments. This is a valid argument, but can a relativist really accept the second premise?
  65. yet another argument for relativism

  66. yet another argument for relativism the many meanings argument

  67. yet another argument for relativism the many meanings argument p1

    Ethical terms like “right,” “wrong,” “good,” “bad” have no single universal meaning but are used by different groups in different ways to indicate what they find acceptable or not.
  68. yet another argument for relativism the many meanings argument p1

    Ethical terms like “right,” “wrong,” “good,” “bad” have no single universal meaning but are used by different groups in different ways to indicate what they find acceptable or not. c Thus there can be no such thing as a correct use of these terms.
  69. yet another argument for relativism the many meanings argument p1

    Ethical terms like “right,” “wrong,” “good,” “bad” have no single universal meaning but are used by different groups in different ways to indicate what they find acceptable or not. c Thus there can be no such thing as a correct use of these terms. Isn’t the premise of this argument just what cultural relativism is claiming? If so, this argument begs the question.
  70. evidence against relativism

  71. evidence against relativism common core values We all agree that

    we should . . .
  72. evidence against relativism common core values We all agree that

    we should . . . ! Act for the sake of group survival.
  73. evidence against relativism common core values We all agree that

    we should . . . ! Act for the sake of group survival. ! Show respect the dead.
  74. evidence against relativism common core values We all agree that

    we should . . . ! Act for the sake of group survival. ! Show respect the dead. ! Distinguish between justified and unjustified homicide.
  75. evidence against relativism common core values We all agree that

    we should . . . ! Act for the sake of group survival. ! Show respect the dead. ! Distinguish between justified and unjustified homicide. ! Create and maintain social order.
  76. evidence against relativism common core values We all agree that

    we should . . . ! Act for the sake of group survival. ! Show respect the dead. ! Distinguish between justified and unjustified homicide. ! Create and maintain social order. Different cultures may differ in how they implement these values, based on different non-moral beliefs, but all share them and many more.
  77. summary: cultural relativism

  78. summary: cultural relativism claims ! There are no universal standards

    or meanings in ethics. ! Value judgments are relative to culture.
  79. summary: cultural relativism claims ! There are no universal standards

    or meanings in ethics. ! Value judgments are relative to culture. consequences " No moral absolutes. " No condemning evil. " No conflict resolution. " No moral progress. " Anything goes.
  80. summary: cultural relativism claims ! There are no universal standards

    or meanings in ethics. ! Value judgments are relative to culture. consequences " No moral absolutes. " No condemning evil. " No conflict resolution. " No moral progress. " Anything goes. arguments O Cultural differences argument. O Argument from tolerance. O Many meanings argument.
  81. summary: cultural relativism claims ! There are no universal standards

    or meanings in ethics. ! Value judgments are relative to culture. consequences " No moral absolutes. " No condemning evil. " No conflict resolution. " No moral progress. " Anything goes. arguments O Cultural differences argument. O Argument from tolerance. O Many meanings argument. evaluation  Weak arguments.  Common core values count against this theory.  Consequences clash with moral intuitions.