Deontology can be looked at as a generally flexible moral theory that allows for self-interpretation but like all others theories studied thus far, there are arguments one can make against its reasoning. One objection to deontological moral theory is that the theory yields only absolutes and cannot always justify its standpoints. Actions are either classified as right or wrong with no allowance for a gray area. Furthermore, the strict guidelines tend to conflict with commonly accepted actions. For example, lying is always considered morally wrong--even a “white lie.” Therefore, one must not lie even if it does more good.
I will start by introducing two famous arguments in favor of Moral Relativism and explain why they are flawed arguments. I will later address some problems with the theory itself. Two forms of Moral Relativism are Subjectivism and Cultural Relativism. Subjectivism holds that what is morally right and wrong depends on individual’s opinions. A person’s approval of something makes it morally right; a person’s disapproval of something makes it morally wrong.
In his essay, “The Challenge of Cultural Relativism,” James Rachels argues that cultural relativism is an unsatisfactory moral theory because it is based upon an invalid argument, if cultural relativism were true, this would have some troubling and implausible consequences, and there are some moral rules common to all societies. In this short paper, I will argue that moral objectivism is a more satisfactory moral theory than ethical relativism. Vaughn first defines ethical relativism by stating that moral standards are not objective, but are relative to what individuals or cultures believe (Vaughn 13). Rachels says that cultural relativism states “that there is no such thing as universal truth in ethics; there are only various cultural codes,
I will begin to illustrate what Waldron means by such a right. Before we even look at the meaning of “a right to do wrong”, Waldron clarifies that he is looking at “wrongs” from a moral view not a legal view. “A right to do wrong” means that an action is morally wrong but it is an action that an individual has the moral right to do. It is suggested that an individual should not act in an immoral way but has the choice to do so. Waldron wishes to answer the inconsistencies in the paradox of the moral right to do wrong.
To Ought or Not to Ought… That is the Question Humanity rises from the predominant catalyst of social mores that align with society’s norms. Morality, although a proverbial construct we familiarize with, fails to be defined universally. As with any ethical issue, the distinction between “good” or “bad” has been debated amongst philosophers, theologians, and even within internal consciences. Common-sense morality lacks empiricism compared to science, yet its implications hold equal weight, for a well-defined moral construct gives rise to individual and societal ramifications. Often, it seems unquestionable why certain acts are deemed “bad”.
Arguments that Cultural Relativism is True An argument that would support cultural relativism would claim first that different cultures have different moral codes. Therefore, there is no objective truth to morality. Right and Wrong are only defined... ... middle of paper ... ...rks Cited or Bibliography Gaskill, Dan. "James Rachels’ The Elements of Moral Philosophy." Chapter 2: Cultural Relativism.
The cultural differences argument goes like this; 'Different cultures have different moral codes, thus there is no one correct set of moral claims, only those that conform to the major set of beliefs within the given culture'. Firstly I am going to look at James Rachel's (in 'The Elements of Moral Philosophy', Ch.2) analysis of this argument, and secondly I would lie to give my assessment of the argument. Rachel's argues that this argument is not logical, as the conclusion does not follow from the factual premise. The premise makes an assertion about differences in moral beliefs. The conclusion makes an assertion about the nature of moral facts or truths.
The number one problem associated with self deception is that it has the capability of creating moral dilemmas, such that people use it as a "prophylactic against leaning from experience," according to Dalrymple. Because one knowingly deceives oneself into believing something even in the face of strong evidence to the contrary. The main driver of self deception is self interest. Due to our concern for our own well being we choose to believe and hold certain beliefs. Dalrymples argument is that by refraining from making judgements we are refusing to evaluating what is acceptable in a society and we let certain behaviors such as crime and brutality to flourish.
However, the formulation is quite different in that from a wide range of human habits, individual opinions drive the culture toward distinguishing normal “good” habits from abnormal “bad” habits. The takeaway is that both theories share the guiding principle that morality is bounded by culture or society. Implicit in the basic formulations for both theories, the moral code of a culture is neither superior nor inferior to any another. The codes of individual cultures are just different and there is no standard or basis upon which to perform any type of comparison. Therefore, under both theories, the lack of standards across cultures implies that attempts to judge relative correctness or incorrectness between them cannot be justified.
There are many ethical issues and beliefs that come into debate when the practices of another culture are believed to be immoral, cultural relativism is an attempt at solving these moral disputes by encouraging an attitude of tolerance to all cultural practices. The principle of cultural relativism that holds that the practices of another culture cannot be judged as right or wrong on any independent standard as morality is dependant on one’s own cultural upbringing. Morality is as they would say, “a matter of opinion”. While this at a distance this axiom seems to be perfectly sound it has a large amount discrepancies that are seen when examined closely or imagined hypothetically. Within this essay I will be examining the main arguments of cultural relativism such as the moral diversity of all cultures, the absence of any moral truths that can be universally acknowledged, that one can’t criticise or question their own culture’s practices in the name of social progress as it is intolerant and finally that cultures cannot have moral superior practices or morals that are superior to another.