The Morality Of The Trobriand Islanders Essay examples

The Morality Of The Trobriand Islanders Essay examples

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It holds that, as a matter of fact, moral beliefs and practices vary between cultures (and sometimes between groups within a single society). For instance, some societies condemn homosexuality; others accept it; in some cultures a student who corrects a teacher would be thought to be disrespectful; elsewhere such behavior might be encouraged. The rules, principles and standards that constitute a morality differ in different religions, and cultures, just as they differ historically. The morality of ancient Greece was not the morality of feudal Europe or contemporary American; the morality of the Trobriand Islanders is not the same as the morality of the Kwakiutl Indians (Barnet, 2008). In this paper I intend to argue that moral reasoning is shaped by our culture and upbringing.
II. Terms
Moral Reasoning entails (1) reasoning from moral rules, principles, or standards and (2) resolving conflicts among them, thereby placing limits on what one may do with a clear conscience (Barnet, 2008). Moral reasoning has various purposes, particularly guidance for conduct which includes what someone should do and what one should not to do. Ernest Hemingway suggests that “…what is moral is what you feel good after and what is immoral is what you feel bad after (Barnet 2008).”
Culture is defined as something that is widely shared by members of a social group and shared in virtue of belonging to that group (Prinz, 2011). Putnam states that, “reason always results from a balance between immanence to culture and traditions and transcendence to them (Bruce, 2011).”This means that the power of reasoning is the relationship between being a member of a culture and exceeding the culture. Two terms to be aware of for this paper are cultural relativis...


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...s extremely useful because it sheds insight on the difficult problem of false perception and the lack of absolute truth even when trying to be tolerant of other cultures.
IV. Conclusion
Looking at the US and Singapore example I can conclude that moral reasoning is shaped by culture and upbringing. Neither the US or Singapore is right or wrong with their actions. The opposition that morality is absolute, universal, and objective is very closed minded and unrealistic when it comes to the scope of a whole world full of many differing cultures and moral codes. According to Putnam’s statement, “reason always results from a balance between immanence to culture and traditions and transcendence to them”, we need culture in order to have reason. By being a member of a culture we are able to transcend beyond the limit of that culture and create our own individual morality.

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