Cultural Relativism Theory and Virtue ethics
Write an essay based on any of the topics covered in class during the period of week 1 and week 6. Paper must be between 2 and 3 pages (excluding cover page, annexes, and reference page). Cultural Relativism Theory
Cultural Relativism Theory is morality that differs in every society, and is a convenient term for socially approved habits. It is also the oldest philosophical theory that speaks about the nature of morality. Cultural relativism theory claims that different cultures have different moral codes and nothing is there or an objective standard that can judge a society’s moral code if it’s better than the other society.
Therefore there is no culture or a society that has a better moral code because there is nothing that can judge it, so each culture and society’s moral codes are the same. In this topic of Cultural Relativism Theory there is no universal truth. The moral code in a society maybe good or bad, nobody knows, so nobody can judge whose better. The moral code of a society determines what is right within that society and it is mere arrogance for us to try judge the conduct of other people
In Cultural Relativism Theory each culture has different moral codes and their moral code could be good or bad in that society. For example the Callatians and the Greeks, they have different tradition at which the Callatians don’t agree with the Greeks tradition and the Greeks don’t agree with the Callatians as well. For the Callatians they eat the bodies of their dead fathers whereas the Greeks don’t practice that. Instead they practiced cremation at which they believe that is the proper way of disposing a dead body. Also another example with the Eskimo’s and Belizeans.
The Eskimos men have more than one wife at which they share it with a guest as a sign of hospitality in which also other men can have sexual access to a woman at which a woman can leave her husband and find a new partner. They also have less regard for human life and infanticide the female babies and also the old people are left to die at which nobody cares. However for us today as Belizeans everything is different from the Eskimos and nobody would want to practice what the Eskimos do.
For cultural difference argument we might think that it seems reasonable but we found out that it is not. For cultural relativism theory there is a certain form of argument at which its strategy used by cultural relativists is to argue from the facts about the differences between cultural outlooks to a conclusion about the status of morality.
As we can go back and look at the example about the Callatians at which the Greeks believed that it was wrong to eat the dead, whereas the Callatians believed it was right. Therefore eating the dead is neither objectively right nor objectively wrong. It is just an opinion that varies from culture to culture. Also there is a general argument in which different cultures have different moral codes and that there is no objective truth in morality and that these are just matter of opinions that varies from culture to culture.
The trouble for cultural relativism theory is that the conclusion does not follow the idea that forms the basis of the argument and that is if the idea which forms the argument might be true, the conclusion might still be false. And we don’t know all the truths in the world and as a matter of fact we wouldn’t know the truth about morality. However, we might say that one culture may be wrong while the other is right or both might be wrong, or both might be correct, nobody knows.
Furthermore, if you take cultural relativism seriously there are consequences. First, we could no longer say that the customs of other societies are morally inferior to our own. This means that we would stop condemning other societies only because they are different from us. Also we would be stopped criticizing other societies or culture. Second, is that we could decide whether actions are right or wrong just by consulting the standards of our society and this might be simple because anyone can just ask whether their action is in accordance with the code of one’s society.
Also this forbids us to criticize our own culture. ` Moreover, some cultures have common values because their culture does not differ nearly as much as it appears and the difference is in our belief system not in our values. In addition, all cultures value for their children, for honesty and no killing. Also there are some moral rules that all societies will have in common, because those rules are necessary for a society to exist.
In conclusion we learned from cultural relativism that it rest on an invalid argument, universal truth does not exists, there is no better culture, different cultures might have different moral codes but not one is right or wrong because nobody can judge.
Write an essay based on any of the topics covered in class during the period of week 7 and week 12. Paper must be between 2 and 3 pages (excluding cover page, annexes, and reference page).
The Ethics of Virtue
There were three philosophers that approached ethics by asking what is a good man, what makes someone to become virtuous and what traits of character make one a good person? These philosophers are Aristotle, Socrates and Plato. However, the modern philosophers approached ethics in a different way by asking what is the right thing to do? Therefore, this leads them to a different direction and went on to develop their own theories about righteousness, obligation and duty, not of virtue.
They talked about ethical egoism in which each person ought to do whatever will best promote his or her own interests. Also utilitarianism that we ought to do whatever will promote the greatest happiness for the greatest number. In addition they spoke about Kant’s theory that our duty is to follow rules that we would be willing to have followed by all people in all circumstances. Lastly they spoke about social contract theory that the right thing to do is to follow the rules that rational, self-interested people can agree to establish for their mutual benefit.
These theories were familiar by the modern philosophers from the seventeenth century. However many philosophers disagree with modern philosophers that they are completely lacking in a particular good quality or value and in order to save the subject they returned to Aristotle’s way of thinking. A theory of virtue should have several components. First, there should be an explanation of what a virtue is. Second, a list should be given that specifies which character traits are considered to be virtues. Third, is that they should explain what these virtues consist. Fourth, is that they should explain why these qualities of character traits are good ones for a person to have. Lastly, is that the theory should tell us if these are virtues are the same for all people or do they differ from person to person.
Aristotle suggested an answer for the definition of what a virtue is and he says that it is a trait of character manifested in habitual action. Pincoff says that virtues are those traits of character that lead us to seek people and vices are those traits of character that leads us to avoid people. However we may define virtue as a trait of character, manifested in habitual action, that it is good for a person to have. Examples of virtue character traits that a person should have are as follows: Courage, honesty, generosity, loyalty etc.
Each of the virtue character traits has its own features and its own problems in which Aristotle argued that virtues are means poised between extremes which are the vices that is one of excess and the other of deficiency. For example they looked at Courage in which it is a mean between the extremes of cowardice and foolhardiness in the face of danger. Courage is sometimes said to be a military virtue because it help the soldiers accomplish their task. Also Generosity as an example is the willingness to spend one’s resources to help others. Also Honesty as an example is needed because without it, relations between people would go wrong in countless ways. However it is sometimes wrong to tell truth and an honest person can sometimes lie when there are compelling reasons.
Aristotle says that virtues are important because they are qualities needed for successful human living and virtuous person will fare better in life. Also virtues are not the same for all people because each person possesses different traits of character and these virtues depend on social roles and each society has different social roles and so traits of character to fulfill these roles will differ so this means that virtues will differ in different societies. Aristotle and Rachel say that some virtues are necessary by all people in all times.
Virtue ethics have two advantages: moral motivation and doubts about the “ideal” of impartiality. Moral motivation is an advantage of virtue ethics because virtue ethics is an appealing and it provides a natural and attractive account of moral motivation. A virtue ethics doubt about the ideal of impartiality is another advantage and impartiality has been the theme for the modern moral philosophy in which the ideas of all persons are morally equal.
The total theory of virtue would include an account of all considerations that figure in practical decision making, together with their underlying rationale.
Cite all sources used in your report. Remember it is plagiarism to use other’s work and give them credit.