Relativism and Morality
Introduction to Ethics and Responsibility
Professor Tim Carter
November 19, 2010
Relativism and Morality
Goodman refers to four areas of Relativism and Morality. Those four areas are: (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. Addressing these four areas, while seemingly overwhelming, is not necessarily so. I will attempt to prove my point.
We, the citizens of the world, predominately accept the aforementioned four areas as relative to our society and the maintenance, perhaps, of the furtherance of our morals, to continue to be researched and discussed into the twenty first century.
Let us start by taking a look at Genocide, Politically Induced Famine, and Germ Warfare. Goodman states that Genocide is uglier than murder because genocide targets individuals as members of a group. To destroy a race, culture, linguistic or ethnic identity, even a class. The target is a way of life. Pg.88. Genocide has been practiced, along with Politically Induced Famine, since the beginning of time, in one form or another. If one researched and thought deeply enough, one would conclude that even Moses, by following God’s word, practiced a form of genocide. If I recall correctly, even God practiced a form of politically induced famine when He induced a famine upon the land. The earliest time that I am aware of germ warfare being used, would have been WW1. Goodman also states that famine and germ warfare are grouped with genocide and that germ warfare shares the shame with famine, and that the target is humanity at large. pg 89.
... world ignores or denies them" ("Denying the Terror Famine" 5). Altman, Linda Jacobs. Genocide: The Systematic Killing of a People. N. ... of advancing their careers, that the horror of the Ukrainian genocide has been hidden for so many years. To rectify ... accusations of genocide "fraudulent," claiming such allegations were a ploy to conceal Ukrainian-Nazi collaboration ("Denying the Terror Famine" 4). ...
Let us now take a look at Terrorism, Hostages, and Child Warriors. Goodman states that terrorists explode the values they claim to fight for. Their victims blood blurs and blots whatever ends were meant to justify the carnage. pg 89. This is certainly true if we take a look at what happened on 9/11 in New York, Washington D.C., Pennsylvania, and the rest of our country. For it was on that day that terrorists targeted non-combatants to intimidate and attract attention. They certainly attained their goal, we as much as all other countries around the civilized world are definitely paying attention, twenty-four hours per day and seven days per week. Unfortunately we cannot know when, where, how, or with what vehicle the next attack will come.
Goodman states that Hostage taking and the abduction, training and deployment of child warriors are parallel violations of human dignity.
With no disparagement toward Prof. Goodman, because he is certainly wiser in these matters than I, I do consider the previous, short, paragraph to be an understatement. Of course, I am trying to take into consideration what I read on the internet and what I see and hear on television, almost on a daily basis. All we have to do is look at the daily news to see the young men who have been abducted from their families, and put into servitude by the terrorists, already in place. In some parts of the world, children as young as seven years old are being trained to fight and kill. (ABC news)
It is now time for us to look at Slavery, Polygamy, and Incest. To paraphrase Goodman, Slavery is the deepest exploitation to make a person a tool for use. But slavery cannot destroy our freedom. But central here is the inhuman use of beings. pg 90. Our children are still taught that slavery was abolished by President Lincoln. Nothing is taught about the slavery of today. I am talking about the illegal immigrants who are extorted for cash, brought to our country to work in sweat shops, etc. We, the citizenry either ignore that this is going on, or turn our heads and busy ourselves with our own lives and know that the authorities will take care of the problem. However, it just doesn’t work that way. So, the de-basement of our fellow human beings goes on. Polygamy is truly a form of slavery, whether the individuals in a polygamous society recognize it or not. But, when you have a man with more than one wife, those wives are in their situation to help with childcare, bear more children, and take care of the domestic affairs of the family.
... ) – highlighting the role of teachers and schools. The Department for Children, Families and Schools (DCSF2) website illustrates this latter perspective, referring to ... the United Kingdom (which includes Northern Ireland). Although the four countries have the same government there is a degree of devolution ...
Goodman further states that Incest too breaches privacy. It’s chief victims are daughters, although most cultures define it more broadly.
The moral issue is the need to protect emergent personhood in the matrix of the family. A youngster’s sense of subject hood is deeply invested in an emergent sexual identity, and is intrinsically destructive. pg 91. Incest is more common, all over the world, and not just in the third world countries. Children are exploited by any and all members of a family, that’s right, from Mothers and Fathers to Grandparents and everyone in-between. It goes on right under our very noses and we don’t know anything about it, because it is taking place behind closed doors. The girls and boys do not cry rape, because they believe there is nothing wrong with it since they have grown up in families that practice incest routinely.
When discussing Rape and Clitoridectomy, Goodman points out that rape is not just a violation of another’s will. Rape is exploitative, objectifying, and violative. What it violates is not just another’s body but also their personhood, invested in their sexuality. Rape is used to humiliate and demoralize. Rape is always wrong.
Unfortunately, I am unable to dig into my mind to add anything to the subject of rape. I have always known that there is no justification to prove rape is right or legal, at least in our country.
Goodman then asks: What has this to do with clitoridectomy? Only this: that ritual removal of the chief organ of a woman’s sexual gratification and orgasmic satisfaction robs her, in adulthood, of a vital source of satisfaction, self esteem, and warm relations available to members of our society.
... in 1999 1. 8%. Historically, most rape statutes red that rape was forced sexual intercourse with a woman not your wife, ... concurrently or before or after the sexual assault. Sadistic /obsessive rape: Husbands use torture or perverse sexual acts. Pornography is often involved ... will. The traditional definition of rape in the United States most commonly was, "sexual intercourse with a female not his ...
Male circumcision cannot be equated to female clitoridectomy because male circumcision, whether hygienic or spiritually symbolic, does not at all hamper sexual satisfaction in either partner.
Once again I find myself at a loss to enhance the above two topics because what I know of both topics is covered by Professor Goodman.
Mosser, K. (2010)., Introduction to Ethics and Social Responsibility.
San Diego: Bridgepoint Education
Goodman, Lenn E. – Some Moral Minima
The GoodSociety, Volume 19, Number 1, 2010, pp. 87-94 (articles)