Relativism: Goodman's theory

Relativism: Goodman
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Name Class Professor Date Lenn Goodman argues that there are certain things that are simply wrong. Do you think Goodman is right? It is quite refreshing that a treatise is made available that pushes forth the idea that not all things are relative. In an age of subjectivity and relativism where values and concepts of right and wrong are dependent on one’s interpretation, arguing otherwise is just brave.


Goodman’s disagreement on Matilal’s idea of pluralism that human norms differ from one society to another, one culture to another was also well founded. While in many aspect true, right and wrong is not just about common consent but unanimity. For what is agreed by many may not necessarily mean right. In addition, Matilal’s assertions have political colors considering that he is subconsciously seeking for approval and legitimacy of some of India norms which may be despicable in other cultures. Matilal’s four rubric of morality, namely, respect for life, deference to truth, abhorrence of theft, and rejection of adultery although laudable, is not enough and cannot stand against the test of universality. Such, Goodman puts forth the four areas which human experience, regardless of time, culture, understanding, religion or circumstance will always be wrong and cannot be justified by relativity. We already know them but Goodman, put coherence and logic why these acts are not to be done in the first place. They 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. ...
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