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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This theory, set forth by B. Perhaps there is not critkque much diversity as anthropologists like Sumner and Benedict suppose. One Sudanese tribe throws its deformed infants pojjan the river because the tribe believes that such infants belong to the hippopotamus, the god of the river. In our own culture, the difference in the nonmoral belief about the status of a fetus generates opposite moral prescriptions.

All moral principles derive their validity from cultural acceptance. Does this justify the killing? What is the morally right thing for John to do? There is an even more basic problem with the notion pomman morality depends on cultural acceptance for its validity.

A person may belong to the nation as a single society with certain values of patriotism, honor, courage, and laws including some that are controversial but have majority acceptance, such as the current law on abortion.

Louis Pojman: Against Relativism and For Objectivism

Note that Pojman thinks the argument is valid. We distinguished a weak and a strong thesis of dependency. Although each culture does have a particular language with different meanings — indeed, each person has his or her own particular set of meanings — we do learn foreign languages and learn to translate across linguistic frameworks. Does any one of these statements seem problematic? Let us consider the diversity thesis, which we have also called cultural relativism.

The trouble with this option is that it seems to lead back to counterintuitive results. We turn to the crucial dependency thesis.

A Critique of Ethical Relativism | Papers at

Cultural diversity in itself is neutral with respect to theories. This is a statement by Ted Bundy, paraphrased and rewritten by Harry V. Why should anyone give such august authority to a culture of society? As a matter of fact, they differ.

And two people cannot be in disagreement about their feelings. Perhaps etthical relativist would adhere to a principle that says that, in such criique, the individual may choose which group to belong to as his or her primary group.

The relativist may argue that, in fact, we lack an obvious impartial standard to judge from. If Pojman can do this, then even if the argument is valid, the truth of the conclusion will not necessarily follow because it would only rrlativism IF the premises were true. One can also see great similarities among the moral codes of various cultures.

It is possible for people to disagree about the shape of the Earth, but this does not entail that there is no objective answer about the shape of the Earth. John must likewise choose among groups.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. For example, people from a myriad of language groups come to the United States and learn English and communicate perfectly well. Now Pojman realizes that the first premise called P1 in the argument for relativism is not objectionable. And subjectivism leads, as we have seen, to moral solipsism, to the demise of morality altogether.


Pojman tries to attack this argument. If so, no better argument for that conclusion can be given.

One person may belong to several societies subcultures with different value emphases and arrangements of principles. Notes History of Herodotus; trans. The tribe differs with us only in belief, not in substantive moral principle.

But why should we choose to view morality this way? Wilson has identified over a score of common features, 10 and before him Clyde Kluckhohn noted some significant common ground: