Problems vs. Cultural Relativism
If rape, incest, clitoridectomies, execution of bald people at age 38, the oppression of white males, the destruction of Buddhism (or another religion) is moral, then it is moral.
(1) Problem of Sub-Groups: difficult to define boundaries of culture (North America? Ohio? My hood?)
(2) Moral Reformers Dilemma: Moral reformers are unethical people
(3) If you find ONE universal moral value/action that is always right/wrong (e.g. rape of children) in any culture and any time period, then cultural relativism is false.
(4) Cultural relativism is less reasonable than subjectivism. If you are going to be stuck with some form of relativism, why should you make yourself a slave to the ethical WHIMS of a culture? Be a subjectivist and decide your own morality.
(5) Have to tolerate INTOLERANCE. If cultural relativism is true, we cannot complain what other cultures do in their culture. Nazi Germany was intolerant, but they get to decide if they are going to make tolerance right or wrong. Stalinist Russia was intolerant, and we can’t complain. They have the right to be intolerant of free speech if they want.
Problems with Individual Ethical Relativism:
(A) We cannot complain about serial killers. They may have done something illegal, but individuals decide if things are right or wrong. So, Jeffrey Dahmer and Ted Bundy were moral people if they were obeying their moral principles.
(B) Moral Inquiry is counterintuitive. To find out whether or not we should get an abortion or help an old lady across the street, we just need to ask what we believe. To get ethical advice from a friend or book is wrong. Individuals decide right and wrong.
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