What is cultural relativism? Give an argument for cultural relativism. Given an argument against cultural relativism. Is cultural relativism acceptable?
Culturalrelativism states that all ethics, beliefs, customs are relative toevery individual in the social context. Its urges that no culture ismore superior based on morality, politics, and law. It is aphilosophical notion that all cultures are equally valid, anddepending on the cultural environment, all cultures are relative.Cultural relativism consists of situational relativism, moralrelativism, and cognitive relativism. Situational relativism refersto the right or wrong depending on a particular situation. Moralrelativism refers to the ethics depending on the social construct,while cognitive relativism is the truth itself, but does not have anobjective standard. Cultural relativists believe that ethical,aesthetic, religious, and political beliefs are relative to theindividual within the cultural context.
Themain argument for cultural relativism is that different culturesbelieve in different moral beliefs, and therefore, there is noobjective truth in the moral code. Correspondingly, these culturaldifferences indicate that no universally correct standards. Moreover,different cultures may either agree or disagree on different things.For instance, some people believe that the earth is roughly sphericalwhile others believe that it is flat. Therefore, cultural relativismsupports the notion that nothing is truly correct belief. Whetherright or wrong, it is a matter of opinion, which varies acrossdifferent cultures.
Onthe other hand, the counterargument for cultural relativism is therelativistic attitude to resist the truth. If one accepts relativismwhile holding a particular position, then, he or she may underminethat position. Cultural relativism brings outright contradiction.Additionally, cultural relativism indicates that there is nouniversal truth in ethics. If one culture believes a particularpractice is right or wrong, then, there is an independent standardfor its judgment. Unfortunately, there it is impossible to have auniversal and independent standard across all cultures due to biases.
Culturalrelativism should be acceptable because it results in tolerance. Itenhances one to appreciate another culture either as right or wronghence, giving more tolerance of different morals, values, practices,and lifestyles. As a result, these decreases inaccurate stereotypes,prejudice, hate crimes, and racism.
Distinguish psychological egoism from ethical egoism. Discuss one argument against psychological egoism. Give an argument against ethical egoism.
Psychologicalegoism is a doctrine that claims every person has one ultimate aimthat favors his or her own welfare. In other words, human actions arebased on self-interest. It is a descriptive theory based humanbehavior observation. However, it can only be a true empirical theoryit does not have exceptions. Additionally, it does not make a claimas how an individual should behave. It does not refer an action goodor bad, moral or immoral, but simply observes the action and makes adescription. It states that people are selfish hence, they makeself-interest choices.
Onthe other hand, ethical egoism is a normative doctrine that claimsthat the moral actions of an individual are based on self-interest.In this case, an individual’s own welfare is the most significantfor that particular person. Unlike psychological egoism, ethicalegoism claims that not all people seek their own self-interest.Therefore, not all actions that are self-interest should be morallyjudged. Further, it states what individuals ought to do and act.
Themain argument against psychological egoism is the fact the theoryview all people as selfish. However, in some cases, people do whatthey ought not to do. For instance, in some situations, people areforced to act according to obligation or duties. On the other hand,ethical egoism conflicts itself when it states that people shouldbase their action on their own self-interest. It cannot be an ethicaltheory because it cannot be universalized since it would lead toaction that is not of self-interest. If an action is right or wrong,it should be the same to any other individual in that position.However, egoists do not like when other individuals act in ways thatthey do because this is against their self-interest.
Distinguish act-utilitarianism from rule-utilitarianism. Discuss and criticize one formulation of act-utilitarianism.
Oneof the most influential and best-known moral theories is theutilitarianism. Its core idea is to determine whether an action ismorally right or wrong depending on its consequences. Actutilitarianism focus on the consequences of individual actions whilethe rule utilitarianism focuses on the consequences of the actiontypes. Act utilitarianism is a concept that believes right actionsbrings happiness to people. It believes individual actions are inaccordance with the moral rules that have positive consequences.Additionally, it believes that it is all right to go against therules as long as the outcome is good. On the other hand, ruleutilitarianism is a concept that believes an action is morally rightif it conforms to the rules that lead to positive outcomes. Althoughat other times following rules does not produce a positive outcome,not following the rules does not also give positive outcome either.
Oneformulation of act utilitarianism is the Hedonic Act Utilitarianism.It states that if a person X performs an action A at a time T, theaction can be considered morally right if and only if, it is the onlyaction a person X could perform at the time T with the highesthedonic value. In other words, this means that an action is morallyright if and only if there is no other alternative act with greaterpleasure, without causing any pain to anyone involved.