“In a sense, we all live in radically different worlds. Each person has a different set of beliefs and experiences, a particular perspective that colors all of his or her perceptions. Do the farmer, the real estate dealer, and the artist, looking at the same spatio‑temporal field, see the same field? Not likely. Their different orientations, values, and expectations govern their perceptions, so that different aspects of the field are highlighted and some features are missed. Even as our individual values arise from personal experience, so social values are grounded in the peculiar history of the community. Morality, then, is just the set of common rules, habits, and customs which have won social approval over time, so that they seem part of the nature of things, as facts. There is nothing mysterious or transcendent about these codes of behavior. They are the outcomes of our social history.”
Louis Pojman, Who is to Judge
IN YOUR OWN WORDS:
Every person is different. Everyone has their own beliefs due to their different experiences. All individuals see situations in different ways. Someone may see something that another person does not due to their values and expectations. Our individual experiences add on to the set of social values that everyone follows. Morality is something all everyone follows. They have won social approval in our communities over time. They come naturally and are the outcomes of history.
OPINION and INTERPRETATION:
I love the paragraph I chose. It couldn’t be any more true. Every person has their own story, and our stories shape us. We learn from our mistakes and as we learn, we grow as a person. Everyone has different beliefs because of their experiences. We all have the same morals because morals are the set of common rules, habits and customs that everyone follows. Even though we all have the same morals, we all see things differently. That’s what makes us individuals. We are all unique in some type of way.
VIEWS on PLURALISM: Next, think about pluralism and universal values. If haven’t already, answer the following questions:
‘As a universal value, members of one culture have no right to evaluate the moral values of another culture.‘ Do you agree with this statement? Why or why not.
I both agree and disagree with this statement, depending on the situation. Every culture is different because what is viewed as right in one culture, can be viewed as wrong in another culture. I disagree with the statement because there have been situations in other cultures that Americans would not agree with. For example, child labor laws. We have very strict labor laws and in other countries, young children work all day for very little money. I agree with the statement when it comes to morals that don’t put people in harm. Every country has morals that other countries might think are weird but we have no right to judge them.
Is the argument against subjectivism convincing to you?
I think that the argument against subjectivism was convincing. He stated that this would make morality a useless concept which I think is true. What would be the point of having universal moral values in a culture if everyone just did what they thought was good or bad? Everyone thinks differently when it comes to what is good and what is bad. I thought the point that he made about Hitler and Gandhi was a very good one.
Is the argument against conventional relativism strong and convincing?
I think the argument against conventional relativism was convincing. He stated that if conventional relativism was accepted, racism, genocide of unpopular minorities, slavery and advocacy of war are as equally moral than their opposites. He also says that the notion of a culture or society is difficult to define. You can belong in a group within a society that has different values than the society as a whole. An example he provided was with abortion.
Who are ‘we’ to make moral judgments? Is it even possible? Under what circumstances? Explain your thinking and refer to the reading.
I don’t think we can really make moral judgements. If it was possible, I think that we really can only make judgements within our own culture. Even though there are moral values in every culture, not everyone follows every single one of them.
6. MULTI-MEDIA: Include a picture (or a music, a poem or a quote ) that represents your viewpoint on this issue.