These are examples of cultural relativism and these examples also would say that one culture cannot be better than another culture because of what they practice and believe. Ethical relativism on the other hand would say that due to the fact that there are several varying ethical norms one’s belief cannot be more good than another. Ethical norms are normally based on one’s culture such that one cannot separate ethics and culture.
Two versions of utilitarianism – act and rule – would both consider the consequences of one’s action to determine which is the right action to do based on which will generate the most pleasure. Unfortunately, we can never foretell or conclude with utmost certainty that the end of the action we decide to do will in reality produce the greatest good or the greatest happiness. Good and happiness, after all are constructs of society and thus changes from one period to another or one person to another. At the same time, the view of what we think may produce the greater happiness may be viewed differently. For example, in the industrial age, it was made to believe that burning coal produces the necessary energy to fuel machineries that aid production of textile and the like. It was believed to be producing the greatest happiness for the greater number because it gave jobs to people and it gave them better level of existence with electricity and other implements in the household. However, at this time, the consequences of coal burning is being felt worldwide due to the greenhouse gases emitted by the coal burning. This is not making the people happy rather they are suffering and feeling the negative consequences. This is a true proof that even when we believe that the consequence of the action would result to our own happiness as well as the rest of the population, we are still not guaranteed about it. It would be best if we were to know everything and foresee every thing that our ...
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