Benedict-Morality Is Relative

Superior Essays
In this essay I plan to clearly summaries the philosophical arguments of Benedict - Morality Is Relative, Rachel - Morality Is Not Relative, Kant - The Moral Law, and Mill - Utilitarianism. All of these arguments contain different theories of human nature being swayed by laws and morality. I will categorize which arguments focus on the absolutist view, which holds that there is exactly one right answer to everything. As well as labeling which argument leaning to a more objective side, where all forms affirm the universal validity of some moral principal. This then proposes a cultural relativism principle, meaning there are no universally valid moral principles, but all moral principles are valid relative to cultural or individual choice. These …show more content…
Her conclusion was based on the principles that certain cultures and societies can determine ones moral beliefs. Since culture is such a divers system the morals of certain cultures also may vary. (467) This argument leans toward a more objective views where some cultures have a universal trend of having unique moral views. The social system is like a work of art that has different themes that turn into cultural tendencies that create a system where certain people live and believes greatly that morals support their actions. Benedict explains that that we need to consider why we think things to be abnormal or normal behavior. This is a great example of a deontological theory, since a culture can determine what is seen as a right or wrong action. One cultural practice might seem completely abnormality to us but to that culture it is absolutely normal. …show more content…
His objective theory affirms there is a universal validity of some moral principles. In studying different cultures such as Greek, Callatians, and Eskimos; he saw many differences but also universal morals in all cultures. He discovered that all cultures value telling the truth, caring for the young, and believed in not harming one another. These three principles are vital to a cultures ability to survive. Rachel points out in his argument three unfavorable consequences of cultural relativism. The first, states that we must not distinguish “customs of other societies as morally inferior to our own”. (471) Secondly, we can determine what is right or wrong by the standards of our society. Lastly, “moral progress is called into doubt”. Therefore, if progress means making things better by replacing old ways, then those social standards are able to change as well. This makes the idea of cultural relativism implausible according to Racheal because then cultural morals can then be changed. However, he still believes in the teleological theory where the answer to labeling an action as right or wrong is sometimes a nonmoral value.

Related Documents

  • Great Essays

    Moral relativists such as David Wong and Gilbert Harman have provided a more sophisticated version of moral relativism which mitigated some flaws of the inaugural and naïve form which Rachel argued against. Cultural relativism is also a relevant theory to explain the extreme cases of disagreements in our world. However, there is still invalidity and shortcomings of the cultural relativism argument that hinders moral progress, or deteriorate the view about morality into nihilistic grounds. Hence it is still essential to maintain some moral truths as objective instead of accepting the theory in…

    • 1886 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Great Essays
  • Great Essays

    I believe in a theory based on doubt, Moral Skepticism. People are unable to completely deny all possible views of what is right and wrong, so one must discern that all morals are inherently false beliefs while justifying their own. In order to understand moral Skepticism one should first examine its origin. While moral skepticism is divided into branches, dogmatic skepticism and Pyrrhonian-model skepticism, their…

    • 1131 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Great Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Subjectivity Of Morality

    • 1833 Words
    • 8 Pages

    The morality of every decision and action is objective. If morals are objective then as a society we may look back at certain actions and assess their morality. Just because an action or decision was agreed upon in the past or by certain parties as morally acceptable, it does not make those actions morally acceptable when we reflect up those times. That is why people and societies progress and reform in order to stray away from immoral actions. This contradicts the assessment made by J.L.…

    • 1833 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    This question help us thing about the way we thing as a society. What we let inside our own society, she talks about respect being earned. But to earn respect it is necessary to have a reason why. We cannot give respect to a culture just because we thing is honorable or right one or more things that culture did. We need to look more deeply and if we want to give respect or praise an event of a culture we should look at the dark side of the events as well.…

    • 1277 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Social relativism implies the belief that moral values and norms are based off of the dominant attitudes within a given society or culture. The same action completed in once culture may be morally right to them, however, the same action done in a different culture could be seen as morally wrong. Strong relativism suggests that absolute, universal, and objective truths about morality do not exist. While on the other hand, weak relativism suggests that certain basic values and norms appear to be universal (in many cultures) but they are different in the way that they understand each of the values and norms. An example of this relativism would to have two cultures agree that life is to be valued, but each culture could disagree on what exact value they put on…

    • 1153 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    As he states that the mores change is in order to provide good, it follows that the morality, which Sumner claimed to be determined by mores, is also changed in order to provide good. If that is the case, it looks like we can just make an object moral rule “provide most good” instead of “consistent with culture”. Utilitarianism, which states actions are morally right only if they can maximum overall “good”, seems suit better with Sumner. It is also noticeable that Sumner made a big assumption. His whole argument lies upon the assumption the morals came from folkways.…

    • 834 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Which Pojamn rules as impossible through a subjective lens, then Pojman posits that conventionalism cannot possibly work to resolve cross-cultural issue through the lens of conventionalism (Fieser 49). He postulates that there is a better suited ethical theory. Which he affirms is moral objectivism, the view that there exists as least one moral principle that all societies and cultures can adhere to. Pojman attempts to prove that there is a universally valid moral principle that is binding on all rational agents and he posits that if an individual does not adhere to this principle, this individual is stupid and…

    • 722 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    An argument that this claim brings up is that there are other ethical theories that endorse social harmony, with their purpose being to point out flaws in modern thinking and suggest solutions to better humanity. Although this can be argued as true, utilitarianism is the theory that best promotes this social harmony. Utilitarian philosophers enforce impartiality, meaning that all decisions should consider all beings capable of suffering, or otherwise called the moral community. Now, this is not to say that the action that creates the greatest amount of happiness is the best from a utilitarian perspective. This misunderstanding can be taken as one group in the situation gaining most of the happiness while the other group gains only a small bit of happiness.…

    • 1011 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    In some cases cultures adopt a moral code that violates most of the ideas of morality. What happens then? Mackie’s argument relies solemnly on the intrinsic rightness of the action. How about slavery, women’s rights’ there was evolution and disagreement they always geared toward the universal rules. That is because people judge some things as right or wrong not because of their ideals but rather on intuition or common moral sense.…

    • 550 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Great Essays

    Deontology recognizes that each individual is equal to another, and that dominance of one person over another is unethical because of this equality (Burkhardt and Nathaniel, 2002, pg 33.) In Deontology, it is essential to judge the act itself as ethical instead of judging the end result. The nature of a particular act will determine whether it is a good or bad action, despite the fact that the end result might favor the individual involved (Burkhardt and Nathaniel, 2002, pg 31.) In order to ensure that this concept is understood, Deontology necessitates that individuals consider whether or not their action would rationally become a universal law to be followed by all humans; if this is not the case, then the act is unethical. (Burkhardt and Nathaniel, 2002, pg 32.)…

    • 1590 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Great Essays