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 note! Everybody! Truth 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 ways. 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 Tolerance 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 self-defeating 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 advocated?