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Chapter 13

CH.13 morality, religion and justice.docx

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Sisi Tran

CH.13 MORALITY, RELIGION AND JUSTICE  Secularization theory holds that religion is on the decline and ppl arnd the wrld are discovering new secular and rational ways to mke sense of their lives Universalism, Evolutionalism, and Relativisim  These are 3 interpretive models for mkng sense of cultural diversity  Universalism is the perspective that sees people frm different culture as largely the same and any observed cultural variability exists only at a superficial level. Universalists assume tht ppl are he sme wherever you go and differences tht we see across cultures are largely differnces in terms of conventions and are of little significance  Noam Chomsky proposed tht the notion of a universal grammar tht is evident in all languages of the wrld. Across diverse language grp there are many common features of word orders and morphemes  Pidgin language is a language created out of a mixture of different language as a means of communicating amng ppl who don’t share a common language  Creole languages learned by ppl whose parents speak a pidgin language. Unlike pidgin languages they descended from, creole languages have a fixed morphology and syntax and complicated grammatical rules  For creole languages to share grammatical features with other languages of the world, despite their origin in spontaneous pidgin languages, is evidence that has been argued to support the existence of a universal grammar  Relativism is the second way of mkng sense of cultural diversity. It maintains tht cultural diversity in ways of thinking is not superficial but reflect different psychological processes. Culture and thought are mutually constituted as there are different cultural practices tht lead to habitual ways of thinking, thinking can also vary  Ppl in East Asian cultures more concerned with face than ppl in western individualistic societies and the reserve is true for self-esteem  Evolutionalism is similar to relativism as it also maintains tht cultural variability reflects genuine differences in psychological processes. Also similar to universalism it maintain tht there really is only one way tht the mind has evolved to think. The evolutionist perspective interprets cultural differences in ways of thinking as reflecting increasing stages of development and maintains tht some ways of thinking are more mature r advanced than others, and ppl of different cultures would all think in the sme ways once they reached the sme point of development or participated in a cultural context tht allowed for the full expression of the mind’s capabilities Ethnocentrism and Interpreting Cultural Variability  The evolutionist perspective tends to be met with the most resistance by cultural psychologists. And they resist it because of concerns abt whether one can objectively identify a standard or evaluating a psychological phenomenon  Ethnocentrism leads ppl to assume tht their own culture’s way of life is in some ways better or more natural than that of others  Enthocenrism bias is a challenge to consider standards for psychological phenomena that would be universally valid than one tht are favored within one’s own culture Kohlberg’s stages of moral development  Most influential model of moral reasoning in psychology derived frm the evolutionist perspective  Lawrence Kohlberg provided a dvlpmntl framework for understanding ppl’s abilities to reason morally. He maintained tht moral reasoning implicated cognitive abilities and these abilities would progress as individuals developed, matured and were educated. The ways we conceive of what is right/wrong hinge on he stage of moral dvlppmnt we have reached  This model has 3 levels h captures dlvpmnt progression of moral reasoning in all cultures of he world. Level 1: Pre-conventional Level  Individuals understand cultural rules and labels of what is good/bad but interpret these labels in terms of either physical or hedonistic consequences of their actions  It suggests tht ppl interpret morality based on a calculation of hw much better/worse off they would be for acting in a certain way (whether it satisfies one’s own needs and occasionally the needs of others). Behaving in a way tht provides best overall return Level 2: Conventional Level  Ppl are able to identify themselves with a particular grp and social order and they show loyalty toward this group  The social order of the grp is actively maintained, supported, and justified by individuals’ efforts to live up to the grp’s standards  Conventional moral reasoning is abt viewing actions as moral to the extent tht they help maintain and facilitate the social order. Actions are seen as morally wrong if the involve violating any rules or laws tht the social order has maintained, regardless of wht those rules or laws are about  Level dictates wht is morality abt following the rules, and individuals should not question where those rules come from Level 3: Post-conventional Level  Moral values and principles are seen to exist separately from the authority of the social grps tht hold them.  It is based on the consideration of abstract ethical principles of what is right/wrong, and moral decisions are reached based on logical extensions of those principles  Whether others agree with you or whether there are rules h contradict you are independent of whether action is viewed to be moral.  Good behavior is seen as that which is consistent with a set of universal ethical principles tht emphasize justice and individual rights  These 3 stages foes in the same order/sequence but every culture reasons at different level Cross-Cultural Evidence for Kohlberg’s Model  Studies showed that in all cultural grps here were adults who reasoned at the conventional levels, and in no cultural grps did the avg adult reason at the pre-conventional level although many samples of children revealed evidence of pre-conventional reasoning  Evidence of post-conventional reasoning was not universally found  The lack of reasoning abt justice and individual rights among tribal and folk populations suggests to the relativist that here might be different categories of moral reasoning that are missing from Kohlberg’s framework  It doesn’t capture moral reasoning of much of the non-Western world as it is bound up in Western understandings about moral values Ethics of Autonomy, Community, and Divinity  Shweder and colleagues argue that Kohlberg’s model of moral reasoning represents just one of 3 different codes of ethics that guide ppl’s moral judgments arnd the wrld  They refer to the code of ethics inherent in Kohlberg’s model as an ethic of autonomy. This ethic views morality in terms of individual freedom and rights violations. There is an emphasis on personal choice, the right to engage in free contracts, and individual liberty. An act is seen as immoral under the ethic of autonomy when it directly hurts another person or infringes on another’s rights and freedoms as an individual. Ex: immoral actions would be to steal someone’s lunch money b.c it causes harm to tht person. The ethic of autonomy appears to be of critical importance in all cultures, and indeed it’s hard to imagine hw any culture could function if its members did no view harming each other to be problematic  A second code of ethics that Shweder proposes is an ethic of community which emphasizes that individuals have duties that individuals have duties that conform with their roles in a community or social hierarchy. According to this code, there is an ethical principle to uphold one’s interpersonal duties and obligations toward others. Actions are seen as wrong when individuals fail to perform their duties. Ex: immoral action would be a son’s failure to attend his parents’ wedding anniversary celebration because he doesn’t feel like it. Immoral behaviours are perceived as those that involve a failure to live up to the duties and obligations associated with one’s roles  A third code of ethics that Shweder proposed is an ethic of divinity which is concerned with sanctity and the perceived “natural order” of things. This code contains the ethical principle that one is obligated to preserve the standards mandated by a transcendent authority. It involves a belief tht God has created a sacred world and everyone’s obligation is to respect and preserve the sanctity of this world. In this ethic, actions are seen as immoral if they cause impurity or degradation to oneself or others, or if one shows any disrespect for God or God’s creation.  These 3 different codes of ethics would be seen as moral codes to the extent tht they reflect an understanding of right/wrong tht is not based on either one’s own subjective preferences (which would indicate tht the belief is viewed as a personal choice) or a community’s view of what is right/wrong (indicating belief is a seen to be a matter of convention)  In much of the world, ethics of community serve as important moral principles although westerns have a tendency to view the ultimate principles of proper behavior as those tht protect individual rights. Ethic of Community Gemeinschaft and Gesellschaft Relations  Tonnies argued that there are 2 means by which individuals can relate to each other in a grp. Some grps are characterized as Gemeinschaft which loosely translates from German as community. Gemeinschaft grps are characteristics of smaller folk organizations and within these groups, interpersonal rltnshps play an especially important role  Gemeinschaft rltnshp bind ppl together with the social flue of concord- relationships are viewed as real, organic and ends in them. People feel connected to others because they feel a unity  The integral role of interpersonal relations in Gemeinschaft grps suggests tht obligations associated with one’s relationships would tke on weight of full moral obligations  Another grp is Ges
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