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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The nonrelativist can accept a certain relativity in the way moral principles are applied in various cultures, depending on beliefs, history, and environment.

And subjectivism leads, as we have seen, to moral solipsism, to the demise of morality altogether. As a matter of fact, Pojman thinks it is true. If this is so, then the indeterminacy-of-translation thesis, which relativism rests on, must itself be relativized to the point at cditique it is no objection to objective morality.

That means thatthe argument is not valid. As such, IF the premises are true, the conclusion which denies moral objectivism must be true. We are yet not finished with our critique of conventional ethical relativism.

Does this justify the killing? If two or three people decide to make cheating on exams morally acceptable for themselves, via forming a fraternity, Cheaters Anonymous, at their university, then cheating becomes moral.

Louis Pojman: Against Relativism and For Objectivism

We turn to the crucial dependency thesis. However, though we may fear the demise of morality, as we have known it, this in itself may not be a good relwtivism for rejecting relativism — that is, for judging it false. Thus, there is no objective right and wrong. The trouble with this option is that it seems to lead back to counterintuitive results. We could still imagine a culture that was an exception to the rule and be unable to criticize it. Is this harmful to moral objectivism?


Clearly, this argument is not valid. Alas, truth may critiqe always be edifying. Therefore, there are no universally valid moral principles, objective standards that apply to all people everywhere ethcal at all times. Notes History of Herodotus; trans.

It is a debate about the facts of the matter, not the principle of killing innocent persons. The relativist may argue that, in fact, we lack an obvious impartial standard to judge from. If he succeeds in both stages, the argument for relativism is defeated. Why not rape, as well? Is there anything to recommend the strong thesis of dependency over the weak thesis of dependency?

Wilson has identified over a score of common features, 10 and before him Clyde Kluckhohn noted some significant common ground: In spite of this weak dependency on nonmoral factors, relativosm could still be a set of general moral norms applicable to all cultures and even recognized in most, which a culture could disregard only at its own expense. Relativism would seem to tell us that, if a person belongs to societies with conflicting moralities, then that person must be judge both wrong and not wrong whatever he or she does.

It seems that we need some higher standard relativixm culture by which to assess a culture. We may not be able to know with certainty that our moral beliefs are closer to the truth than those of another culture or those of others within our own culture, but we may be justified in believing this about our moral beliefs.

Before he attacks P2 he must be sure that he is attacking the right version of P2. It has lost its action-guiding function.


The question no longer makes much sense in this moral Babel. Quine,13 holds that languages are often so fundamentally different from each other that we cannot accurately translate concepts from one to another.

A Critique of Ethical Relativism by Maddie Tincher on Prezi

Learn how your comment data is processed. What about strong dependence? This is a statement by Ted Bundy, paraphrased and rewritten by Harry V.

What is right and wrong is dependent upon, or relative to, culture the Dependency thesis. If P2 is true, then C1 cannot be false. Of course, if my partner dies, I could still claim that I was acting relativksm an originally social set of norms. Nevertheless, unless moral objectivism can make a positive case for its position, relativism may survive these criticisms.

Language groups mean different things by words. 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. Beliefs about what is right and wrong differ across cultures — C1.

If this is all that morality comes to, then why not reject it altogether — even though, to escape sanctions, one might want to adhere to its directives when others are looking?

There is an even more basic problem etthical the notion that morality depends on cultural acceptance for its validity.