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Cultural Relativism : A actions rightness or wrongness depends entirely on the attitudes of the culture a person finds him or herself to be in.

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Presentation on theme: "Cultural Relativism : A actions rightness or wrongness depends entirely on the attitudes of the culture a person finds him or herself to be in."— Presentation transcript:

1 Cultural Relativism : A actions rightness or wrongness depends entirely on the attitudes of the culture a person finds him or herself to be in

2 An argument for cultural relativism Different cultures have different moral codes Therefore, there is no objective truth in morality. Right and wrong are only matters of opinion, and opinions vary from culture to culture.

3 Is this argument valid? An argument is valid if whenever the premise is true, the conclusion must be true. If we suppose that moral codes do vary from culture to culture, does it necessarily follow that moral truths also vary?

4 The argument is not valid. The premise is about what people believe to be right or wrong. The conclusion is about what really is right or wrong. Compare: people believe different things about God and gods. Therefore, there is no objective truth about the existence or non-existence of God or gods.

5 Arguments against cultural relativism If CR is true, then it is impossible to ever legitimately criticize the standards of another culture If CR is true, it is impossible If CR is true, the best way to determine what is right or wrong is just to survey what most people believe is right or wrong If CR is true, one cannot say of former practices of one’s own society that they are worse or better.

6 Is there as much variation as there seems? Different societies have different views about the legitimacy of infanticide. But this might show that the conditions of the society’s are different—not that they value children differently

7 Rachels: There are objective standards because there are values that are necessary for a society to flourish. No society could exist if it did not value children, or disallow murder, for instance.


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