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Challenge to Moral Reasoning

Issue Arguments Challenges Counter-Arguments


i. Different societies have i. There will be no standards. i. Despite the differences in
different moral codes. One can always cite that cultural practices, “there are
ii. The moral code of a society argument. some moral rules that all
determines what is right ii. The conclusion does not societies must embrace,
within that society. follow from the premise. because those rules are
iii. There is no objective There might still be an necessary for society to exist.”
standard that can be used to objective truth behind it. ii. There is a “difference between
judge one society’s code as E.g. Flat earth and sphere what a society believes about
better than another’s. earth argument. morals and what is really true.
iv. The moral code of our own iii. We would also be barred The moral code of a society is
society has no special status; from criticizing other closely tied to what people in
it is but one among many. cultural practices. that society believe to be right.
v. It is arrogant for us to judge iv. Likewise, it would bar us However, that code, and those
Cultural Relativism other cultures. We should from criticizing our own people, can be in error.”
always be tolerant of them. practices. No room for iii. How do we judge a practice to
changes, and other cultural be unacceptable? Ask: Does
infusions. the practice promote or hinder
v. Moral progress will be put the welfare of the people
into question. Without affected by it? This becomes
standards, how can one your objective standard.
gauge progress – how can iv. One cannot generalize or
one gauge what is better equalize all moral codes. Some
now than before? might be the best, some might
be worst.
v. Tolerance is good. But, do not
tolerate everything.