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Flashcards in Exam 1.5 Deck (17)
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Cultural Relativism

Moral values are relative to culture.


Extreme Relativism (subjectivism)

Moral values are relative to the individual.


What are the 3 big points of CR?

1. Moral values are relative to one's culture and are defined by one's culture. These values are morally right for the culture.
2. How does a culture decide on its moral values? Tradition and custom. Majority opinion.
3. One cannot consistently criticize the moral values or another culture.


Moral Objectivism

1. Objectivism is the view that moral values are objectively true and absolute and apply to people everyone, whether they agree or not. People who disagree are WRONG. Moral values not relative to time, place, culture, or personal value.
2. Moral objectivists don't always agree about the correct moral values.
3. It does allow for EXCEPTIONS.
4. Distinction between holding a moral value and prompting it.


What's the distinction between holding a moral value and promoting it?

Put your position in law--it becomes basis of law.
Contribute to cause.
Write letter to the editor.
In your circle (family).
Do nothing.


What are attractions of relativism?

-sounds more open-minded
-allows you to avoid moral responsibility



People sometimes do this in the area of morality. They do something they know is wrong and make up a reason to justify what they did.


What are the difficulties facing relativism?

Practical Problem
Logical Problem


What is the practical problem?

-one thing to talk and another thing to do it
-struggle to NOT pass a moral judgment
-living it is challenging, must go through life without making judgments


What is the logical problem?

-runs into a logical theory
-"it is wrong to judge the moral values of others because there are no objective moral values"


CR Argument

Premise: Different cultures have different moral values. Mere disagreement doesn't mean there is no truth of a question.
Conclusion: CR follows from this.
Critical: Is moral disagreement exaggerated?


What is Food Relativism?

P: Food dishes are different in each culture.
C: Food is relative to culture.


Virtue of Tolerance

-Tolerance in the personal sense
-Tolerance in the political sense


What is the traditional understanding of Virtue of Tolerance?

-"to put up with" something you believe in wrong
-it is a virtue
-it does have a limit
Intolerant--tolerant--too tolerant (condoning)


What is the contemporary understanding of Virtue of Tolerance?

-to be tolerant means to accept a view in the sense that it is philosophically justified
-this is moral relativism
-ex. to ask someone to be tolerant of abortion



1. What are the objective values?
-appeal to reason, human experiences, and empirical evidence
2. How to resolve disagreements?
3. Especially in the context of Pluralism


Different Types of Moral Disagreements

1. Objectivist v. objectivist (what values are)
2. Objectivist v. Relativist (who values apply to)
3. Relativist v. Relativist
-CR v. ER
-CR v. CR (about values across or within cultures)
-ER v. ER
4. Worldview Disagreements
-Theist v. Theist
-Secularist v. Theist