A Critique of Ethical Relativism. MT Louis P. Pojman. Objectively. Therefore,. Ethical Relativism is the idea that moral rightness & wrongness. Louis Pojman: Against Relativism and For Objectivism conclusion (which denies moral objectivism) must be true. If moral objectivism must be. View Critique of Relativism from BUL at University of Florida. II. 3 A Critique of Ethical Relativism1 Louis Pojman In this article I first analyze the structure of.

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This is an illustration of how nonmoral beliefs e. As a matter of fact, they differ. We may not be able to know with certainty that our moral beliefs are closer to the truth than critiqur of another culture or those of others within our own culture, but we may be justified in believing this about our moral beliefs.

Louis Pojman: Against Relativism and For Objectivism

We turn to the crucial dependency thesis. How large must the group be in order to be a legitimate subculture or society?

But why should we choose to view morality this way? Is this harmful to moral objectivism? What about strong dependence? Perhaps there is not as much diversity as anthropologists like Sumner and Benedict suppose.

Beliefs about what is right and wrong differ across cultures the Diversity thesis. We distinguished a weak and a strong thesis of dependency. Why should anyone give such august authority to a culture of society? Although each culture does have a particular language with different meanings — indeed, each person has his or her own particular set of meanings reativism we do learn foreign languages and sthical to translate across linguistic frameworks.

Cultural relativism seems to be a fact, but, even if it is, it does not by itself establish the truth of ethical relativism. The fallacy of objecting to a proposition on the erroneous grounds that, if accepted, it will lead to a chain of states of affairs that are absurd or unacceptable.


A Critique of Ethical Relativism | Papers at

Beliefs about what is right and wrong differ across cultures — C1. What this means is that there is no reason why Pojman would need to find it false. The tribe differs with us only in belief, not in substantive moral principle. Quine,13 holds that languages are often so fundamentally different from each other that we cannot accurately translate concepts from one to another. But he or she may also belong to a church that opposes some of the laws of the state.


The kind of common features that Kluckhohn and Wilson advance — duties of restitution and reciprocity, regulations on sexual behavior, obligations of parents to children, a no-unnecessary-harm principle, and a sense that the good people should flourish and the guilty people should suffer — these and other features constitute a common human experience, a common set of values within a common human predicament of struggling to survive and flourish in a world of scarce resources.

There is an even more basic problem with the notion that morality depends on cultural acceptance for its validity. All moral principles derive their validity from cultural acceptance. Is there anything to recommend the strong thesis of dependency over the weak thesis of dependency? Thus, there is no objective right and wrong. Cultural diversity in itself is neutral with respect to theories. But he has also produced evidence that, underneath the surface of this dying society, there is a deeper moral code from a time when the tribe flourished, which occasionally surfaces and shows its nobler face.

If moral objectivism must be false, then moral relativism must be true. This thesis holds that language is the essence of a culture and fundamentally shapes its reality, cutting the culture off from other languages and cultures.

What is considered morally right and wrong varies from society to society, so there are no moral principles that all societies accept.

The trouble with this option is that it seems to lead back to counterintuitive results. And two people cannot be in disagreement about their feelings. Leave a Reply Cancel Reply You must be logged in to post a comment.


How about just three? Language groups mean different things by words. Conclusion Ethical relativism — the thesis that moral principles derive their validity from dependence on society or individual choice — seems plausible at first glance, but on close scrutiny it presents some severe problems.


This theory, set forth by B. If he succeeds in both stages, the argument for relativism is defeated. Subjectivism seems to boil down to anarchistic individualism, an essential denial of the interpersonal feature relatibism the moral point of view; and conventionalism, which does contain an interpersonal perspective, fails to deal adequately with the problem of the reformer, the question of defining a culture, and the whole enterprise of moral criticism.

In our own culture, the difference in the nonmoral belief about the status of a fetus generates opposite moral prescriptions. Nevertheless, pojjan relativists still have at least one more arrow in their quiver — the argument from the indeterminacy of translation.

Therefore, there are no universally valid moral principles, relativiism standards that apply to all people everywhere and at all times. On the other hand, there is enormous cultural diversity, and many societies have radically different moral codes.

Of course, if my partner dies, I critoque still claim that I was acting from an originally social set of norms. Before he attacks P2 he must be sure that he is attacking the right version of P2. Pojman tries to attack this argument. John Ladd, Ethical Relativism Wadsworth,p.

Does any one of these statements seem problematic? If Pojman acknowledges that P1 is true, does this harm moral objectivism? The major difference between pro-choicers and pro-lifers is not whether we should kill persons but whether fetuses are really persons. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Ruth Benedict indicates the depth of our cultural conditioning this way: