Presentation on theme: "Cultural Relativism: Ethics in a Global Context Ronald F. White, Ph.D. Professor of Philosophy College of Mount St. Joseph."— Presentation transcript:
Cultural Relativism: Ethics in a Global Context Ronald F. White, Ph.D. Professor of Philosophy College of Mount St. Joseph
Descriptive and Prescriptive Realism Descriptive Realism (Objectivism) – There are universal facts Prescriptive Realism (Objectivism) – There are universal values (Hypernorms) Teleological Theories – Objectivity of utility ratios Deontological Theories – Objectivity of human rights Virtue-Based Theories – Objectivity of standards character excellence
Descriptive Relativism Descriptive Relativism (Truth is Relative) – Historical Relativism – Cultural Relativism What is a culture? What is a cultural belief? What is a cultural practice? – Individual Relativism (egoism)
Prescriptive Relativism Prescriptive Relativism (Value is Relative) – Historical Relativism – Cultural Relativism – Individual Relativism (egoism)
Toleration Descriptive Relativism and Toleration – To what extent are we morally required to tolerate false descriptive beliefs expressed by other individuals and/or cultures? Prescriptive Relativism and Toleration – To what extent are we morally required to tolerate false prescriptive beliefs expressed by other individuals and/or cultures? Limits of Toleration – Liberty Harm Principle-(paternalism) – Utility – Beneficence – Justice
Cultural Intervention (Imperialism) Are there times when one culture has the moral obligation to intervene in the intolerable beliefs or practices of another culture? Which of the following are “intolerable?” – Genocide – Denying women Education Health Care Voting Rights Property Rights Freedom of Movement (driving an automobile) – Sex Slavery (Women and Children) – Violation of Property Rights – Violation of Freedom of Speech – Polygamy – Cultivation of Illegal Drugs – Corrupt Governmental Officials – Use of the Death Penalty – Civil War – Environmental Pollution Under what conditions is cultural intervention morally required? Are there utilitarian constraints?
Small Group Discussion Questions What is cultural identity? Discuss some of the following “cultural beliefs.” To what extent should these beliefs be tolerated by other cultures? – The soul is immortal – Homosexuality is morally wrong – Water boils at 212 degrees Fahrenheit at sea level – Human females are less intelligent than males – The earth is flat – Prayer cures cancer – It is wrong to eat meat – It’s OK to offer or take a bribe Discuss some of the following “cultural practices?” To what extent should these practices be tolerated by other cultures? – Eastern Culture – Western Culture – American Culture – Chinese Culture – Islamic Culture – Nazi Culture – Roman Catholic Culture – Urban Culture – Appalachian Culture – Ancient Greek Culture – Scientific Culture – Business Culture
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