Relativism and Morality

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Relativism and Morality
Rodney L. Cotton
SOC 120
Robert Neely
February 21, 2011

Relativism and Morality

In the article, “Some Moral Minima,” Lenn E. Goodman raises the question, “if it is true that no norm can be made absolute unless some other is compromised, are there no rules that tell us that principles are principles – no norms delineating concretely, and uncompromisingly, wrong from right?” (Goodman, 2010) Goodman goes on to state that the areas singled out in this article are not comprehensive of every consideration to which humans are due; he asserts that these are just some of the practices that should never be considered as options.

The twelve areas which Goodman addresses include the following: (1) genocide, politically induced famine, and germ warfare; (2) terrorism, hostage taking, and child warriors; (3) slavery, polygamy, and incest; and (4) rape and female genital cutting. According to Goodman, these practices are simply and absolutely wrong under any circumstances.

I think that most of us would agree with Goodman that these twelve acts are absolute wrongs, and their continued practice in society should be halted and eliminated. I will attempt to address each group of “crimes” and include my thoughts with Goodman’s.

In regards to genocide, famine, and germ warfare, each of these is simply a version of murder – specifically, premeditated mass murder. I agree with Goodman that any murder is wrong because it destroys a human subject. Our one basic right as human beings is the right to be alive, the right to live. Goodman distinguishes between wholesale murder and individual murder, not just because of its grand scale but also because of its willful neglect of individual recognition of the persons murdered. Any acts such as Hitler’s holocaust must be condemned on all measures.

The next areas Goodman addresses are terrorism, hostages, and child warriors. As a whole, I agree that...
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