Week 4 - Chapter 2 (continued)
Week 4 - Chapter 2 (continued) PHIL 1103
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This 2 page Class Notes was uploaded by Nicole Dante on Friday September 23, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to PHIL 1103 at Fairleigh Dickinson University taught by Dr. Louis DeBello in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 18 views. For similar materials see Ethics in PHILOSOPHY AND HUMANITIES at Fairleigh Dickinson University.
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Date Created: 09/23/16
th September 19 , 2016 Ethical Relativism (cont’d) • Ethical universals o Right or wrong regardless of culture o Ethical relativism would support things like ethnic cleansing § KKK recognizes the murder of African Americans as just o 3 objections (start pg. 20) weaken argument, don’t necessarily dismantle it • Moral Diversity is Exaggerated o Every culture has a form of justifiable murder (pg. 24) o Book makes point of justifiable homicide, not murder § Homicide can’t be committed against an animal, for example § Homicide – the unlawful or unwillful killing of one person by another with malice of forethought • Weak Dependency Does Not Imply Relativism (pg. 25) o Weak Dependency – the application of moral principles depends on one’s culture o Strong Dependency – the moral principles themselves depend on one’s culture • Every culture shoes some respect from human life, or at least places some value on it o Cultures implement it differently o “Value” meant to weaker than “respect” linguistically o Hard to find a culture that doesn’t adhere to this idea § Pragmatic universal § Adhere out of necessity – if value isn’t placed on some life, culture would die off o Still doesn’t dismantle ethical relativism o Example: Eskimos weak and infirm behind when searching for new hunting/fishing land • Other examples: Honor killings/female mutilation o Cultures see as just o Not forced by environment like the Eskimos – weak dependency nd September 22 , 2016 Ethical Relativism (cont’d) • Ptolemy (147AD) – Earth was the center of the solar system, other planets and Sun revolved around it • Copernicus – heliocentric theory o Planets revolve around the sun o Just because everyone agreed on Ptolemy’s theory, didn’t make it right o Universal consent doesn’t imply correctness • Arguments to Undermine Ethical Relativism o Cultural Difference Argument 1. Different cultures have different moral principles. 2. Therefore, this is no objective “truth” in immorality. Right and wrong are only matters of opinion, and opinion, and vary from culture to culture. 1. Eskimos believe that there is nothing morally wrong with (1) infanticide, or say (2) leaving infirm behind when seeking new hunting and fishing ground, as a result of a severe food shortage, or with honor (3) honor killings in certain middle eastern countries, or with (4) female mutilation on certain parts of Africa. a. Therefore, such practices as 1, 2, 3, and 4 are neither objectively right nor objectively wrong. Rather it is merely a matter of opinion, which varies from culture to culture. These values/practices couldn’t be carried over to western culture • Validity – in a valid deductive argument, it’s impossible for the premises (or a single premise) to be true in a conclusion clause All men are mortal Michael is a man Michael is a mortal • No contradiction It is morally wrong to kill an innocent person Ted is an innocent person Therefore, it is morally wrong to kill Ted • Eskimo example o Conclusion is not automatically true as it is in these examples § Gap before the conclusion that justifies the killing § Not a tight logical argument
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