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phil 100 lec 22 + 23 notes

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Peter Horban

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Lecture 22Criticisms of Ethical RelativismDespite its initial plausibility ethical relativism must face several serious criticisms1Consider the general form of the relativists argument It might be reconstructed as follows2What is believed to be morally right varies from society to society3Therefore what is morally right varies from society to societyBut the above argument is clearly invalidFurthermore unless one already accepts ethical relativism the premise of this argument provides no reason for accepting its conclusionIn general believing a statement to be true does not make it trueIn general a statement is not made true even by everyones believing itPerhaps morality is the exception here but even if it is the burden of proof lies squarely on the shoulders of the ethical relativist to demonstrate to us that it is2If ethical relativism is true then no one is ever in a position to criticize the moral beliefs and practices of any societyThere is no objective standard by which it can be argued that the moral beliefs and practices of any society are any better or worse than th
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