Essay Ethical Relativism, By William Graham Sumner

834 Words Dec 2nd, 2014 4 Pages
In Folkways, William Graham Sumner claimed that morality is actually just a reflection of the mores. He further argued that since morality came from the typical culture groups, it should be only bounded within the group but not universally. The thesis Sumner raised in his argument, aka, ethical relativism, had been challenged by many objections. In this essay, I will provide one objection of ethical relativism and argue that even Sumner attempted to address the objection; his thesis is still fallacious due to begging the question. One critical objection to ethical relativism is the absurd objection. This objection suggests the ethical relativism is absurd due to it cannot make relevant moral distinctions. Ethical relativism claims that right and wrong are dependent upon what one’s culture believes; hence the right action is right just because it is consisted with the custom. If we follow that, then it is impossible for us to say any culture’s ethical beliefs are better or worse than any other. Think about that if we live in 200 years ago when slavery still exist, relativist would believe that the slavery is the right thing since it is believed by most of people at that time. While, we know that slavery no longer exist in our country now, and we do think that is an improvement compare to what we did before. However, there are still some parts of world that slavery still exist; and according to relativism we cannot find any moral position to criticize them since whatever…

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