In Section 1, I sketch the moral regress argument for moral skepticism. In Sections 2-3, I present the views of how we come to possess our moral knowledge which are relevant for my discussion. I motivate and describe both McGrath’s perceptual account and the compelling inferentialist view which McGrath targets with her dilemma: moral bridge inferentialism. In Section 4, I give McGrath’s dilemma against moral bridge inferentialism and respond to both horns of the dilemma. Finally, I conclude my discussion with considering the status of McGrath’s dilemma in light of this paper.
“Is Morality Relative or are there Objective Moral Truths?” In A Defense of Ethical Relativism by Ruth Benedict from her “Anthropology and the Abnormal,” Journal of General Psychology, in her part take on Modern Social Anthropology, Benedict views ethical relativism as part of the new modern civilization in which each society has their own moral views and “like a work of art” each culture has a theme and certain tendencies which they chose to favor. On the contrary, The Case Against Moral Relativism by Louis P. Pojman, moral relativism is viewed as a misled argument by relativists and explains in detail some of the moral differences in each culture and how this affects humanity as a whole. Subjectivism, “Morality is in the eye of the beholder,”
The suggestion that the Judge’s life contains “splendid rubbish [...] to cover up and paralyze a more active and subtle conscience” displays the duality of the characterization which the narrator creates. The juxtaposition of “splendid” and “rubbish” serve to expose the Judge’s deteriorating morals, while crafting the surface of respectability. This subtle use of contrasting opinions aids to establish the narrator’s sarcastic tone, simultaneously displaying the judge’s desired character and then undermining that character with suggestions of his true nature. The choice of the word “rubbish” especially highlights the sarcastic tone, equating the sequence of Judge Pyncheon’s life to that of trash, worthy of nothing. This carefully placed, critical diction reveals the true feelings of the narrator, bolstering his sarcasm.
It is mere posturing to say that you are for or against “relativism” unless you say what you mean by the term. Moral relativism is the view that moral judgments are true or false only relative to some particular standpoint (for instance, that of a culture or a historical period) and that no standpoint is uniquely privileged over all others. It has often been associated with other claims about morality: notably, the thesis that different cultures often exhibit radically different moral values; the denial that there are universal moral values shared by every human society; and the insistence that we should refrain from passing moral judgments on beliefs and practices characteristic of cultures other than our own. Moral relativism has been identified with all the above positions; and no formula can capture all the ways the term is used by both its advocates and its critics. But it is possible to articulate a position that most who
Kant and the Lying Promise In “Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals”, Kant explores the subject of duty and the binding force of morality. Kant explores the morality of among many cases, this paper being focused particularly on the case of the lying promise. To determine the morality of such action, Kant provides the Formula of Universal Law, which relies on a maxim passing four steps in order to be considered moral. First, I will explain the Formula of Universal Law and focus on the ethical position of duty belonging to Kant’s deontological ethics. Next, I’ll present Kant’s lying promise case and will analyze his explanation of it being immoral through the Formula of Universal Law.
They argue that it has many major flaws, but they acknowledge that parts of theory have some truth to it. Throughout this essay, cultural relativism will be questioned, but also supported in some ways. The idea of cultural relativism reminds me of a sociological term--ethnocentrism--that essentially means the opposite. Ethnocentrism is essentially a bias about your own culture against other cultures. One can only see their culture (usually as dominant to the others), rather than attempting to see the perspective of whatever culture is in question.
Bernard Williams’ essay, A Critique of Utilitarianism, launches a rather scathing criticism of J. J. C. Smart’s, An Outline of a System of Utilitarian ethics. Even though Williams claims his essay is not a direct response to Smart’s paper, the manner in which he constantly refers to Smart’s work indicates that Smart’s version of Utilitarianism, referred to as act-Utilitarianism, is the main focus of Williams’ critique. Smart illustrates the distinction between act-Utilitarianism and rule-Utilitarianism early on in his work. He says that act-Utilitarianism is the idea that the rightness of an action depends on the total goodness of an action’s consequences. Smart also discusses how act-Utilitarianism is often associated with hedonism, and that
What makes lying wrong? In the following piece, I will evaluate different ethical theories about lying and determine which one is the best. There are many different ethical theories, which can be used as a basis for an ethical judgement, these range from Utilitarianism to Native Spirituality, from the manically consequential to the incredibly passive. In this piece, I will focus on Utilitarianism, Virtue Ethics and the Golden Rule. I will begin with utilitarianism.
much can be gained from ethical theory utilitarianism, more specifically rule utilitarianism. In this essay, I will explain what rule utilitarianism is and two of its types. I will discuss situations where rule utilitarianism can be looked at as somewhat morally wrong , to show an objection on the theory. I will give an objection to how the general guiding rules are made and also to give an analytical view on the principle of utility. Utilitarianism is a popular type of consequentialism, rule utilitarianism is a form of utilitarianism.
In the Standford Encyclopedia of Philosophy authors Bernard and Joshua Gert express the differences in descriptive and normative morality. While identifying the definitions of both terms, we will also take a look at the similarities of both as well as differences and examples. Let 's begin by dissecting the definition of descriptive morality. Descriptively is to refer to certain codes of conduct that are put forward by a society or a group (such as a religion) or accepted by an individual for her own behavior (Gert). In regards to the descriptive sense of morality there are specific codes put forward that count as moral, which are distinctions made amongst the characteristics of morality, etiquette, law and religion even in small standardized societies.
In this article, I am going to argue that lying is bad. In the first part of this article, I will elaborate briefly on the Formula of Universal Law (FUL), the Formula of Humanity (FUH), Consequentialism and what lying is. In the second part of this article, I am going to provide three reasons why lying is bad, and refute possible objections to this ideology. Lastly, I will end off by concluding my claim. The FUL states that you should act only according to that maxim whereby you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law without contradiction.
Ethical reflection is established upon questioning the meaning behind, or source of, various concepts of morality, as well as assessing their different functions. In Nietzsche’s Genealogy of Morals, ethical reflection can be seen in the form of questioning the origin of established values. This is particularly important in relation to my own concept of ethical reflection because it shows that Nietzsche is attempting to study deeper into the heart of what makes our values moral or immoral (innately good, or externally motivated). Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics does well at considering the intent behind our actions. In this text, Aristotle establishes that happiness is the ultimate end which we all seek.
In the world of philosophy, specifically ethics, there is always a controversy about Cultural Relativism, due to the different bias of where the values and beliefs of a person come from, either the culture they grew up in, the experiences they face throughout life as well as the way they were raised. James Rachels in his essay analyzes the format of ethical relativism which he calls Cultural Relativism. Cultural Relativism as defined by James Rachels “is a theory about the nature of morality.” Rachels at the beginning contradicts himself through equivocation by explaining his definition of Cultural Relativism through stating: “Cultural Relativism challenges our ordinary belief in the objectivity and universality of moral truth. It says, in effect,