Ethics Discussion Board

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Sumner's case for relativism is compelling. Sumner stated in his book Folkways that folkways produce morality, global philosophy, and rights. What people regard as conscience or moral beliefs are creations of a culture that has influenced and trained us since childhood. People perceive distinct cultural conditioning rather than universal ethical ideals. Some societies, for example, allow a man to have multiple wives. Sumner discovered that women in Tibet were encouraged to have several spouses. The diversity of our moral ideals suggests that culture alone influences our ethical standards. Shaw's argument for the universality of moral principles such as impartiality, equality, and equity are convincing. Societies have different moral codes and a given morality can successfully fulfill its function or can fail to satisfy the community's goal in having moral ties. Additionally, it is a must for a moral system to work and also the whole population must accept it. Besides, there are no social groups that will allow a morality that is against its interests. Therefore, the social nature of morality allows it to abide by general principles of impartiality, equality, and equity. The moral code must function within a historical context and culture of a particular community. However, variations between societies are unavoidable because people must accommodate needs, customs, and different situations.

Tolerance refers to the willingness or capacity to recognizing and respecting the culture or beliefs of other people. In my opinion, tolerance necessarily devolves into an "anything goes" view of morality. With tolerance, one respects opinions, practices, and morality of other people although what is right for one community is not right for another. However, we need to be tolerant and avoid limiting the freedom of groups with whom we disagree.

May 17, 2023

Philosophical Theories

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Book Review Relativism Ethics

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