Полнотекстовый поиск:
Где искать:
только в названии
только в тексте
слова в тексте
только заголовок

Рекомендуем ознакомиться

Остальные работы->Реферат
In a public junior high school he began to read feverishly. In English classes he flourished, but socially he did not. Impressed deeply by Mark Twain ...полностью>>
Остальные работы->Реферат
In the book The Red Badge of Courage, Henry changes in many ways as a soldier. In the beginning of the story he is scared of battle and runs, yet by t...полностью>>
Остальные работы->Реферат
Frederick Douglass’s Autobiography, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave, is situated in a context that was not open to, or ...полностью>>
Остальные работы->Реферат
(Cloud 38) Sociologists are trying to determine why this frightening rash of school shootings now seems to be a U.S. phenomenon, and how following bas...полностью>>

Главная > Реферат >Остальные работы

Сохрани ссылку в одной из сетей:

Untitled Essay, Research Paper

Essay I

Relativism: The Tangible Theory

Since the beginning of rational thought, philosophers have searched for

the true meaning of morality. Many theorists have attempted to answer this question with

reasoning, in an attempt to find a universal set of rules, or a way to distinguish right

from wrong. Some theorists believe that this question is best answered by a single moral

standard, while others debate if there can be a single solution. Cultural Relativism

explores the idea that there can be no one moral standard that applies to everyone at any

given time. The Kantian theory, on the other hand, states that a universal sense of duty,

would most benefit humankind. I believe that the Cultural Relativist theory takes into

consideration the different cultures that make up the population as a whole. The idea of

universal truth in ethics, is a myth. The customs of different societies are all that

exist. These customs can not be ‘correct’ or ‘incorrect’ for that implies there

is an independent standard of right and wrong by which they may be judged. In today’s

global community people are interacting more and we are now discovering, more then ever,

how diverse cultures and people really are. For these reasons the Cultural Relativist

theory best defines what morality is, and where it came from.

Today all over the world people are communicating in ways never before

imagined. Cultural Relativism believes that one set of morals will not adequately adapt to

the individuality of all the cultures and subcultures in the world. What this means is

that there is no one moral law that fits every situation at every time. There will always

be exceptions to the rules. Cultural Relativism leaves the creation of moral and ethical

standards to the community. The community then makes moral judgments based on its specific

culture, history, and individuality. For these reasons Cultural Relativism helps the

community, by letting the community set its own moral standards, rather than impose a set

of morals, as the absolutists would suggest. Imposing a set of universal morals would not

be able to compensate for all the different cultural differences that exist today. If a

universal moral law were to be created, what criteria would be considered? Would one use

each communities’s religion, customs, laws, educational standards, or culture? It would be

impossible to take into consideration all of the different factors unique to each

community when creating a universal moral truth. That is why Cultural Relativism is the

best solution for moral standards, each community considers all their own factors of

culture, religion, education, etc. and then create their own set of morals based on their


There are many different situations in everyday life that call upon our

moral judgment.

With all of the people in the world and all of the different situations, who is to say

that there is one set standard that we should follow on the societal level, as well as the

individual? Cultural Relativism, challenges the ordinary belief in the universality of

moral truth. It says, in effect, that there is no such thing as universal truth in ethics;

there are only the various cultural and personal codes, and nothing more. Moreover, our

own code has no special status; it is merely one among many. One clear example of this is

illustrated in the treatment of women in some countries, against the way they are treated

in the United States. In the United States women are privileged with the same rights as

men, therefore creating, by law, an equal society. However in some Middle Eastern

countries women are not allowed to show their faces in public, own land, or may be forced

to be just one wife to a man with many wives. The questions philosophers ask in this

situation is, "Which one of these cultures is morally correct in their treatment of

women?" According to absolutists there would be one universal solution. And, in this

case, there is clearly no such solution. If you were to support the United States’

treatment of women, you would have to go against many of the Middle Eastern beliefs and

moral standards. Another way of looking at it would be from the woman’s perspective. In

the United States the woman is given freedom and the ability to choose, whereas in the

Middle Eastern culture she has no rights. Is that culture morally correct for the woman?

There are just too many variables to take into consideration when trying to make moral

decisions for all cultures to follow. If we were to use a set standard we would have to

judge people and their culture. And who is to say that one culture and its people are

right, and that the other is wrong? In ancient Egypt people were allowed to marry their

brothers and sisters. In most of today’s cultures that is morally and ethically wrong.

The reasoning behind this change in marriage styles results from

scientific research. Scientists have found that over time inbreeding causes a higher rate

of birth defects among the offspring. This fact has influenced many of the

‘developed’ cultures to outlaw inbreeding. Does this mean that the Egyptians were

morally wrong because they did not have the scientific knowledge about inbreeding that we

have today? utilitarians would have us believe yes. They would state that the only moral

way to have acted, would be to not inbreed due to the fact that it causes harm, thus

unhappiness, to the offspring. If this is true, how are we sure that we are not morally

wrong in what we do, if in five or ten years into the future science discovers that what

we consider morally right now is harming us physically? This is where the beauty of

Relativism comes into focus. Relativism would say that neither culture is right, or wrong.

Relativism would state that each culture would decide, on an individual basis, what it

would consider morally and ethically right. Our modern society is full of diversity among

cultures. There are no set rules and morals that we can follow because of that very fact.

People are different, and to judge them by any other standards than their own is morally

and ethically wrong in itself. Relativism warns us, quite rightly, about the danger of

assuming that all our preferences are based on some absolute rational standard. They are

not. Many (but not all) of our practices are merely particular to our society and our own

personal preference, and it is easy to lose sight of that fact. These are the reasons that

I believe that Relativism best answers the question, is there a set standard of morals and

ethics for all to live by, or does each community, culture and individual create its own?

Now that I have touched on more of a Cultural Relativistic view, I

would now like to apply the same theory to an individual. I believe individuals have the

same kind of freedom to design their moral truths in a way that suits them, separate from

their community. Thus, just because a society sets a standard of morals, there is nothing

prohibiting an individual from straying from that standard, besides the society

capabilities of enforcing those moral truths. Assume for a moment there is a community,

that enforces all of its moral truths with the death penalty. When one is deciding to go

against those truths, or not, he would only have to calculate the risk of getting caught.

Thus, the old saying "you can do what ever you want, as long as you can get away with

it", would be accurate.

A common point that is brought up against Relativism, when applied to

the individual, is the point that according to Relativism it is wrong to say that one

moral truth is right or wrong, because each culture and individual are allowed to make up

their own truths. Then how can a society punish a person for not following their moral

standards? I would reply as follows. Moralities differ in each society, serving a

functional purpose that is unique to the factors that comprise the area. The differences

of all aspects of life are considered when morals are being produced. Society values are

developed in order to ensure prosperity, stability and harmony; when the values are

threatened, so is the good of the society. In order to maintain social balance, all

members are forced to conform to these values. Those who choose to disobey societal maxims

are banished or ostracized from the community. Social codes benefit the individual, too,

they are not constructed simply for the benefit of the society as a whole. The reckless

behavior of the nonconformist could be dangerous to an individual’s well being. Thus,

these morals, are for the good of all. However, if a member of the society can break these

moral codes and do so successfully, there is nothing in one’s personal moral code itself

wrong with doing so, except the society instilled guilt that is learned and taught through

the generations. And that is exactly it, because morals are created by the community, and

there are no universal truths, then if you have enough people not following the moral

truths of their community, then the morals for that community will change accordingly.

That is what Cultural relativism is based on, the community being able to change their set

of morals, how else would that happen if it does not start from the individual level.

From the examples shown in this paper, Cultural and Individual

Relativism clearly is the more logical choice as the theory that best provides a workable

solution to the question of what controls ethics and morality. While absolutists try to

prove that there is one single set of moral rules that can be used as a guideline in the

validation of moral and ethical standards for the cultures and individuals of the world.

The Utilitarians are trying to create a greater happiness for all involved in the

community. And the Kantians are looking for their universal sense of duty. However they

all can be questioned with this single statement, "if anyone, no matter who, were

given the opportunity of choosing from amongst all the nations of the world the set of

beliefs which he thought brought the most good and happiness, he would inevitably, after

careful considerations of their relative merits, choose that of his own country. Everyone

without exception believes his own native customs, and the religion he was brought up in,

to be the best." And this discredits the possibility that one such person can come up

with a set of morals, or a true way to calculate those morals, because in fact everyone is

biased to his or her own moral beliefs. Absolutism is obviously not a feasible solution

due to the fact that the cultures of the world are too radically diverse to ever be able

to be classified under one set of moral and ethical guidelines. I believe the Utilitarian

idea of maximizing the good of the whole is also not feasible, on account of everyone not

agreeing on what makes them the most happy. The Kantinisen sense of duty is discredited in

the same way, on account of everyone’s sense of duty being different. Although there will

never be a moral or ethical theory that clearly includes all cultures as morally right,

the Relativist theory is by far the most sensible solution offered to us at this time.


Загрузить файл

Похожие страницы:

  1. Untitled Essay Research Paper Essay To Kill

    Реферат >> Остальные работы
    Untitled Essay, Research Paper Essay: To Kill A Mockingbird In the ...
  2. Untitled Essay Research Paper SNI has been

    Реферат >> Остальные работы
    Untitled Essay, Research Paper SNI ... Korea. Extensive research was conducted concerning ... paper should be considered extremely reliable. It is based on extensive research ... research our mutual requirements, understandings, and responsibilities, record it on paper ...
  3. Untitled Essay Research Paper Neural Networks

    Реферат >> Остальные работы
    Untitled Essay, Research Paper Neural Networks A neural ... and commercialized, and much research continues in hopes of extending ... steadying a robotic arm. Research was also done on teaching ... paper. Another implementation would be a collection of people, each ...
  4. Untitled Essay Research Paper Even since a

    Реферат >> Остальные работы
    Untitled Essay, Research Paper Even since a little lamb came ... baby for adoption.Assisting medical research.Just curiosity (Dixon).The ... the authors of this essay and of this paper are males and ... is not a good place for research. Harold Varmus, director of ...
  5. Untitled Essay Research Paper Policies and Procedure

    Реферат >> Остальные работы
    Untitled Essay, Research Paper Policies and Procedure Guidelines ... erasers ? rulers, triangles ? tracing paper ? lettering and symbol templates ? ... be instructions included in each section. These instructions ... sides of the paper to save paper. The information on ...

Хочу больше похожих работ...

Generated in 0.0025348663330078