Exam questions and outlined answers
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WHAT IS CULTURAL RELATIVISM? IDENTIFY AND EXPLAIN FOUR DIFFERENT CHALLENGES FOR
Cultural relativism: no universal ethical code; depends on one’s own culture
-relativism: relative to one’s own culture; can’t judge others based on own standards
-what if someone is part of more than one culture?
-norms of each culture may contradict with each other
-which culture’s norms do you follow?
-Can’t say anything against what others do because you have to assume that it is
acceptable in their culture
-can’t criticize others
-example: polygamy in other cultures is acceptable but we can’t say its wrong
-the only way to determine if something is right or wrong can be determined by society’s
norms-therefore, we can’t criticize ours or others actions as long as it follows social norms
-contradicts with our previous beliefs
-ex. Most people believe that certain crimes are wrong but it may be permissible in
-example: animal cruelty is a crime in our culture but people don’t always care about
animals in other cultures and torture them
-psychological egoism: everyone primarily does things for their own sake
WHAT IS PSYCHOLOGICAL EGOISM? DRAWING FROM PLATO AND /OR RACHELS, IDENTIFY AND
EXPLAIN TWO ARGUMENTS OFFERED IN SUPPORT FOR PSYCHOLOGICAL EGOISM. THEN IDENTIFY AND
EXPLAIN AN OBJECTION TO EACH ARGUMENT.
-statement of fact; doesn’t consider what we ought to do (morals)
-example : giving up seat for older person on bus because it makes us feel like a better
person, not for the sake of the older person
-example: Lincoln and the Pigs
-psychologist egoist would say that he saved the pigs so he wouldn’t have to worry about
them drowning for the rest of the day
A. Selfish and unselfish people do what they want to do.
B. We do things to have a pleasant state of conscious
-counterargument: only good people would care to have a pleasant state of conscious/
not helping the pigs would only affect the conscious of a good person
-selfish and unselfish people are troubled by different things
Objection to each argument
-only feel bad for pigs because he is concerned for their suffering; a selfish person wouldn’t
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