Philosophy 160 Discussions
Philosophy 160 Discussions
Study Questions on Vaughn, Chapter 2: “Subjectivism, Relativism, and Emotivism”
Answer the following questions regarding the chapter reading. (Most questions can be answered in one or two sentences. Use your own words: do not simply copy the textbook word-for-word).
What is moral objectivism (accurately define the view)?
Two-part question. First, what is moral absolutism? Second, does moral objectivism require absolutism?
Two-part question. First, what is cultural relativism (define the view)? Second, what would a cultural relativist say about the rightness or wrongness of the practice of “honor killing” (honor killing is the practice of killing one’s family member (e.g. a father kills his daughter) because she has dishonored the family)?
Two-part question. First, what is subjective relativism (define the view)? Second, what would a subjective relativist say about the rightness or wrongness of the practice of “honor killing” (honor killing is the practice of killing one’s family member (e.g. a father kills his daughter) because she has dishonored the family)?
What is emotivism?
According to Vaughn, many people claim to be subjective relativists until they realize the absurd implications (conclusions) of subjective relativism. What is one implication (conclusion) of subjective relativism that Vaughn discusses?
According to subjective relativism, did Hitler do something morally right when he ordered the extermination of millions of innocent people in the Holocaust? If so, why? If not, why not? Explain.
In your own words, explain the most common argument for cultural relativism (note: this argument for cultural relativism appeals to different cultural beliefs about right and wrong). (pp. 23-24)
How does Vaughn argue that cultural relativism does not promote tolerance? Explain his reasoning.
Two-part question. Vaughn draws out various implications (conclusions) of cultural relativism. First, according to cultural relativism, if a cultural majority approves of genocide against a minority, then would the genocide be morally right? Second, if cultural relativism were true, would we be able to criticize a cultural majority for committing genocide against a minority?
General Instructions: You must post two comments on the discussion board. Each comment must be between 150 and 300 words.
COMMENT 1 INSTRUCTIONS: Read Chapter 2. Now answer the following three questions below regarding moral objectivism, cultural relativism, and subjective relativism.
First question: This question concerns whether cultural relativism, subjective relativism, or moral objectivism is true. Suppose that in the early 1800s a majority of people in our American culture approved of the owning of black slaves and believed it was morally right. Question: Was it in fact morally right to own slaves simply because the majority believed it to be morally right? Was it in fact morally right for the slave owners to own slaves simply because the slave owners believed it to be right? OR was it wrong to own slaves no matter what the American culture believed and no matter what the slave owners themselves believed? Back up your answer with good reasoning.
Second question: Is moral relativism true or is moral objectivism is true? First, pick either moral relativism or moral objectivism and define the view. Second, argue that the view you picked is true and that the other view is false. Back up your position with good reasoning. (You must show that you accurately understand the view you are supporting and you must support it well).
Third question: let us observe that ideas (viewpoints) have practical consequences for us and society. Would we and our society be better off if we adopt the viewpoint of cultural relativism OR if we adopted the viewpoint of moral objectivism? In other words, which view (if adopted) has better practical consequences for us and society? Back up your answer with good reasoning.
COMMENT 2 INSTRUCTIONS: Accurately describe and critique (object to) a point made by another student in their post. First, identify the full name of the student whose point you are critiquing and, second, describe and critique that point. Take the perspective of a debater or lawyer who is critiquing the other side. Back up your critique with good reasons.
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