The critics of relativism thus argue that before declaring a moral difference between cultures to be fundamental we should look carefully to see whether the difference does not, at bottom, arise out of disparate living conditions or rest on conflicting factual beliefs.
It will show that the theory cannot be lived out consistently.
Continue to order The famous dispute of Callicles and Socrates about the nature of good and justice — whether they are human institutions, or have a special extra-and superhuman status can be considered, apparently, historically the first of the existing in literature model of reasoned debate on this topic.
Consequently, much moral philosophy from the 17th century onwards has been devoted to establishing an alternative, secular foundation, one that can claim universal validity without appealing to dubious metaphysical doctrines.
This may even be psychologically unavoidable. Even members of the SS signed the document prohibiting disclosure. The Argument from Cognitive Relativism The majority of moral relativists do not embrace cognitive relativism, which offers a relativistic account of truth in general, not just the truth of moral judgments.
The abolition of slavery is a paradigm of such progress.
The philosophically interesting claim at the heart of most forms of moral relativism is that moral statements are true or false relative to some normative standpoint, usually one characteristic of some particular culture.
They simply admit that when they appraise moralities, they do so according to norms and values constitutive of their particular moral standpoint, one that they probably share with most other members of their cultural community.
Clearly, this is a problem for anyone, relativist or not, who elevates the principle that we should be tolerant to an absolute, exceptionless rule. New York: Picador,