Rap and Moral Character

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  • Topic: Morality, Hasty generalization, Ethics
  • Pages : 5 (1832 words )
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  • Published : February 23, 2011
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Rap and Moral Character
In the article Rap and Moral Character by Wesley Cragg and Christine Koggel, the subject of concern is the consequences of listening to rap music and the effects on moral behaviour. The author suggests that rap and moral character are linked and that due to the natural context of rap, it promotes violence, crass materialism, crime, and is misogynistic and therefore corrupts a person’s moral character. Based on their claims, the authors take the position that rap should be censured – morally. In this paper, I will examine the authors’ claims, their reasoning, and their use of concepts. By doing so, I will be able to demonstrate that their thesis (rap corrupts moral character and deserves moral censure) is unjust and unsupported. First, I will analyze their claims to show that they are relevant and can be cautiously accepted but insufficient to prove the thesis. Secondly, I will examine their reasoning to point out flaws and fallacious reasoning. Then I will proceed to evaluate their use of concepts.

Many claims were made in this article. However, many of them were only used to illustrate and to explain matters regarding rap and morality. With that being said, there are about seven claims left that were used to support the authors’ position/thesis of ‘Rap promotes violence, crass materialism, street crime, is misogynistic, and therefore it corrupts moral character and deservers moral censure’. Almost all of the seven claims were empirical (a factual claim that is either true or false and needs to be verified through experience, experiments, correlations, and theoretical explanations). However, the authors never provided any type of verification for their empirical claims that they have made. For example, the claim ‘Rap glorifies crass materialism by any means’ is an empirical claim. This claim may seem to be acceptable but without any proof through evidence, one may have a hard time accepting it due to the fact that there are raps that do no glorify crass materialism at all. Another empirical claim made to support their position is ‘Rap glorifies violence as the primary mean of settling disagreements’. Once again, the authors did not refer to any type of verification from either expert testimonies or experiments. Even though this claim can acceptable since it is based on ‘common sense’. However, a reader who has not experienced any sort of rap that glorifies violence as the primary mean of settling disagreements will have a hard time accepting this claim and will most likely reject it. Therefore, almost all of the seven crucial claims that were made do not have verification and reference. Even if these claims seem acceptable, it is hard to accept the authors’ position due to the lack of evidence.

In objection to this, the authors can argue that all these claims are common sense and that if one was to listen to rap, they will be hearing what the claims are talking about. In response, it is true that a person will be able to find that these claims are true by listening to certain types of rap music. The authors here may be generalizing ‘rap music’ in this case. Since there are many different types of rap music, and each type can originate from different types of culture, therefore not all rap music is the same. In the authors’ claims, they use words such as ‘by any means’, ‘rife with’, and ‘promotes’. It is clear, self-evident, and can be statistically proven that not all rap music is ‘rife’ with bad stuff and not all of them promote horrible things. Therefore, since there are many different types of rap music (context wise), the authors’ claims are not common sense and that the claims will not hold true for different types of rap.

The authors have good logical reasoning where all the important claims are tied and are supportive of their position. Each claim contributes and is meaningful to their position of why rap should be morally censured. However, they make other irrelevant...
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