Case Against Moral Elitism

Topics: Morality, Ethics, Cultural relativism Pages: 4 (1229 words) Published: January 28, 2013
Assess the case against Moral Elitism

Moral Elitist believe in a metaphysical claim: there are moral facts and an epistemic claim: we have access to them. According to moral relativism, there are no moral principles or values objectively real and applicable to everyone; rather, what’s right/wrong and good/bad essentially depends on individual preference or culture, and this varies from person to person or group to group. There is not just one moral fact but instead there are millions and we access them be research. There are two different forms of moral elitism one is cultural relativism which based on societies and the other is in the individualistic form, moral subjectivism.

Moral relativism seems tolerant (“you do your thing and I’ll do mine”), but is it reasonable to believe? We should think not. First, let’s look at it in its group or cultural form, cultural relativism. According to cultural relativism, ethics essentially depend on one’s culture or tribe. That is, CR says action X is right or good if the society says X is right or good, and X is wrong or bad if the society says X is wrong or bad. Action X may be right in one culture but wrong in another. Our culture may hold that apartheid is wrong, but another culture may be okay with apartheid, because of a difference in the history of interracial relations. On cultural relativism, then, morality is wholly a matter of cultural invention, i.e. social construction and because such circumstances vary from group to group, so do the constructed moralities. Thus, we shouldn’t impose our culture’s moral values on others, and others shouldn’t push theirs on us. There are no better or worse societies, they are just merely different and so one society cannot judge another. Instead we should be non judgemental and celebrate diversity.

Cultural relativism sounds good, but is it sound? Let’s assume that cultural relativism is true, this would be very problematic. The biggest problem for this argument is put...
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