Chapter: What is Morality

Chapter: What is Morality?
This is just a general introductory chapter to get you thinking about the issues. Read of
the three cases. Make sure you understand what Rachels means by Moral Reasoning and
The Requirement of Impartiality.
Chapter: The Challenge of Cultural Relativism
1) What is the difference between claiming “Different cultures have different moral
codes” and “Morality is relative to cultural”? Does the truth of the first claim
demonstrate the truth of the second?
2) What is the Cultural Differences Argument? Why does Rachels claim that it is
unsound? How does the question about the shape of the Earth relate to the Cultural
Differences Argument?
3) What are the consequences of taking Cultural Relativism seriously according to
Rachels? Is he right? Are these really the consequences of Cultural Relativism?
4) What is Rachels point when discussing the various reasons people may have for
believing it is wrong to eat cows? What is this suppose to demonstrate about Cultural
Relativism? Does the discussion of Eskimo infanticide demonstrate the same point?
5) Why does Rachels think that certain values must be more or less universal? What does
it mean to say a value is universal? Can you think of any other universal values? Do
universal values demonstrate the falsity of Cultural Relativism?
6) What is the difference between tolerance and Cultural Relativism? Would accepting
Cultural Relativism promote tolerance? Should tolerant people be Cultural Relativists?
7) What is the benefit of Cultural Relativism?