A Relativistic View of The Ballad of Narayama

Topics: Morality, Moral relativism, Cultural relativism Pages: 4 (1251 words) Published: December 4, 2013
A Relativistic View of The Ballad of Narayama

(1) First Position
Utilitarianism, a branch of moral realism, is a doctrine that attempts to explain the abstract idea of morality. Consequentialism, a broader basis of utilitarianism, defines an action as being right or wrong by saying that the right act in any moral dilemma is that which leads to the greatest good for the greatest number of people. It focuses in on the consequence of an action and declares that this result is the true basis for judgment about the morality of a decision. Utilitarianism takes these ideas a step further and defines the quality of the consequence of an action as its “utility”. The only way to fundamentally ensure that our actions are good is to prove that the results of the chosen action were really better than the results of the other possible choice. (2) Second Position

Moral relativism is a philosophy that defines morality in a way that directly depends on the individual or group of people involved. One prominent division within moral relativism is the meta-ethical position. The basic proposition behind this argument is that moral judgment cannot be universalized and in this way morality is relative to the parties involved. This permits any culture to practice anything they see as right, and this belief within the culture makes it the right thing to do. In the mindset of a meta-ethical relativist, we must reserve our judgment if we see people committing what we feel are morally wrong actions and understand that they may be doing the right thing in the context of their culture. (3) Major Objection

A moral relativist would see many flaws in the ideology of utilitarianism. One major objection is that utilitarianism is too intense of a doctrine as it suggests there is always a way to act that would benefit more people. There is inherently too much pressure put on humankind if utilitarianism were to be followed because it requires us to constantly act like “moral heroes,”...
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