What Should I Do

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					What Should I Do?

Part 1: Ethical Relativism
    Everyone has a code of ethics
 Hitler
 Al Qaeda
 That guy who dented
  your car door in the
  WalMart parking lot
  and didn’t leave a
 Everybody!

      Universal Truths
          Capital “T” Truth
      Moral codes that are
       true for everyone in all
       times and all places.
Four “major” views of truth…
   Moral Subjectivism
       Right and wrong don’t really exist (at all)
   Ethical Relativism
       Right and wrong depends on majority
   Soft Universalism
       Right and wrong are determined by a few basic Truths
        (deep down) but are often put into practice in different
   Hard Universalism
       There is ONE best way for everyone to live which is
        determined by the Truth, and if you think differently,
        you are wrong.
            Cultural Relativism
 Herodotus   observed that different cultures
  all have highly developed moral character,
  but that their views about what should be
  considered moral are determined by the
  culture…hence “Culture is King.”

 This is   a Descriptive theory
             Freud’s Agreement
   Freud’s concept of the
    Superego as an
    internalization of
    society’s standards
    also implies that our
    moral development
    relies on cultural codes
    of ethics, even when
    we are not conscious
    of them
 With whatshould we be tolerant? With
     what should we not be tolerant?
The flaws of ethical relativism
 “the idea that the attitude of the majority is always
  right simply is unacceptable”
 Majority attitudes are changing
 The traditional notion of culture is disintegrating
 The tolerance proposed by ethical relativism is
 Evidence of soft universalism…
Cultures do share basic ideas
 David Hume  argued that all human beings
  share compassion
 James Rachels argues that all cultures:
    Valuecontinuation of the culture
    Abhor lying
    Abhor murder

 If this
        is true, then soft universalism seems a
  more truthful view than ethical relativism
Do the Right Thing (p.126)

 Read thesummary of Spike Lee’s film and
 discuss with a few classmates, in a group,
 what you believe the message of this film to
 be. What ethics, if any, are being

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