Week 1 Discussion: Is it Right to be a Relativist?
Read/review the following resources for this activity:
- Textbook: Chapter 1, 2
- Minimum of 1 scholarly source (in addition to the textbook)
Scholarly ebook: Rachels, J., & Rachels, S. (2019). The elements of moral philosophy.
Ebook uploaded or attached below
Initial Post Instructions
The study of ethics and philosophy is one that brings many different kinds of “thinkers” together. One person’s philosophy on ethics is another person’s philosophy on evil. We will be working this term on constructing personal ethical bases and understanding how ethical codes (both personal and professional) are created and followed.
To start us thinking about the different areas of philosophy and ethics, and how we fit into the different molds or world views, let’s imagine the following scenario:
It is 2019. The federal law banning female circumcision is still under appeal in the courts. You are a nurse assisting a plastic surgeon at a local hospital. The plastic surgeon comes from a country where they practice “female circumcision”. This practice is also sometimes called “female genital mutilation”.
Fire Eyes: Female Circumcision, Written by Soraya Mire, Directed by Soraya Mire, Ethnographer Soraya Mire, Narrated by Carol Christiansen (New York, NY: Filmakers Library, 1995), 57 minutes
You are not a member of the doctor’s culture, but reside in a state where this practice is still legal. The plastic surgeon has agreed to perform this practice on a young girl, the daughter of a friend of the surgeon. The friend has authorized the procedure. The girl only knows this is a custom. You did not know that today you would be asked to assist in this procedure. You can refuse to participate (your job may be on the line in the future due to that decision). Or, you can assist the surgeon. What ought you to do? We now want to examine the ethical issues involved. To do this, let’s look at the role of relativism, moral truths, and other issues.
Initial Post Instructions
For the initial post, address the following questions:
- What would a subjective moral relativist say about what this doctor is doing? Do you agree with the subjective moral relativist? Why or why not?
- Examine what a cultural moral relativist would say here. Do you agree with the cultural relativist? Why or why not?
- Name and evaluate general criticisms of cultural relativism as being the wrong moral approach.
- Is there an objective moral truth about any of the possible actions by the nurse and/or doctor in this case? Why or why not?
- Minimum of 2 sources cited (assigned readings/online lessons and an outside scholarly source)
- APA format for in-text citations and list of references
Initial Post Content: Addresses all aspects of the initial discussion question(s), applying experiences, knowledge, and understanding regarding all weekly concepts.
Evidence & Sources: Integrates evidence to support discussion from assigned readings** OR online lessons, AND at least one outside scholarly source.*** Sources are credited.*
Professional Communication: Presents information using clear and concise language in an organized manner (minimal errors in English grammar, spelling, syntax, and punctuation).
*Credited means stating where the information came from (specific article, text, or lesson). Examples: our text discusses…., The information from our lesson states…, Smith (2010) claimed that…, Mary Manners (personal communication, November 2017)…
**Assigned readings are those listed on the syllabus or assignments page as required reading. This may include text readings, required articles, or required websites.
***Scholarly source – per APA Guidelines, only scholarly sources should be used in assignments. These include peer-reviewed publications, government reports, or sources written by a professional or scholar in the field. Wikipedia, Wikis, .com websites, or blogs should not be used as anyone can add information to these sites. For the discussions, reputable internet sources such as websites by government agencies (.gov) and respected organizations (.org) can be counted as scholarly sources. Outside sources do not include assigned required readings.