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Vice and Virtue in Everyday Life Chapter 2

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1 Vice and Virtue in Everyday Life Chapter 2
Is It All Relative? Vice and Virtue in Everyday Life Chapter 2

2 Morality as Custom, Heroditus
All people think the moral perspective of their culture is correct. The anecdote of Darius

3 A Defense of Moral Relativism, Benedict
The “abnormals” of one society are the norms of another society. Cultural attitudes towards trances, catalepsy, and homosexuality Cultural diversity forces us to accept moral relativism.

4 Benedict Morality is simply a term used to denote socially approved habits within a culture.

5 A Defense of Cultural Relativism, Sumner
The folkways are the customs and mores of a culture, and we think of them as objectively right. The folkways are coercive. Morals are historical, institutional, and empirical.

6 Sumner All mores of a particular time and place are justified with respect to that particular time and place. Mores appear to be factual. The mores cannot be objectively proven by philosophical method.

7 Cultural Relativism and Universal Rights, Fluehr-Lobban
Anthropologists should protect the rights of the people they study. Fleuhr-Lobban’s experiences in the Sudan

8 Fluehr-Lobban We should be sensitive to cultural differences while refusing to compromise on human rights.

9 Uganda’s Women: Children, Drudgery, and Pain, Perlez
An unjust social system: Unequal division of labor Lack of access to education AIDS Polygamy

10 An Alternative to Moral Relativism, Lengbeyer
Students often prefer ethical relativism to ethical objectivism. Both relativism and objectivism are defective.

11 Lengbeyer There is an alternative, called ethical pluralism.
The core claim of ethical pluralism is that there are multiple correct answers to ethical questions. Is pluralism plausible?

12 Who’s to Judge? Pojman Pojman rejects relativism in its individual and cultural forms. Cultural relativism, the Diversity Thesis, and the Dependency Thesis Subjectivism leads to absurdities.

13 Pojman Relativists treat tolerance as an objective value, and this is inconsistent with their view. Relativism has other disturbing consequences.

14 Pojman Summary: (i) cultural relativism does not entail ethical relativism; (ii) the Dependency thesis is false; and (iii) universal moral truths exist, grounded in “a common human nature and the need to solve conflicts of interest and flourish (p. 112).”

15 The Objective Basis of Morality, Nagel
Why should we care about others? Religious answers “How would you like it if someone did that to you? (p. 115)”

16 The Deep Beauty of the Golden Rule, MacIver
The Golden Rule is a universal procedural rule of ethics. We can test our values with the Golden Rule. The Golden Rule, if followed, would produce social harmony.

17 I Have a Dream, Martin Luther King
There are many universal moral principles appealed to in this famous speech. King appeals to the rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, as well as justice.

18 The Universal Declaration of Human Rights
The Preamble Articles 1-20: negative rights Articles 21-28: positive rights The final 2 articles

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