The Objectivity of Ethics and History

2012 Words9 Pages
The Objectivity of Ethics and History Topic: Ethics can never be objective and rational; it is just an expression of cultural values. Similarly, the history books are never objective; they just reflect the values and opinions of the victors. Discuss. Introduction: In this essay, I will talk about the ethics and the history respectively among the areas of knowledge and their relations to the objectivity by referring to the role played by the Ways of Knowing: Reasoning, Emotion, Language and Perception with the aid of the examination of my real life situations: the female infanticide in India (for ethics) and the Europeans’ discovery of the New World (for History). The claim that ethics only expresses cultural values represents an argument for the moral relativism. The moral relativism means “our values are determined by the society we grow up in, and there are no universal values” (Van de Lagemaat, R., 2005, P367), while such a certain society stands for a certain culture. That is to say, “moral values are simply customs or conventions that vary from culture to culture” (Van de Lagemaat, R., 2005, P367). However, is it a suitable method of the moral relativism to decide whether something is ethical? Here is the real life situation. It is about the female infanticide in India. Lakshimi, who had already had a daughter, killed her second girl when the little girl was only three-day-old. Female neighbours were sympathetic towards Lakshmi and the little girl but they would make the same decision as Lakshmi despite that they might be punished by the government and even they still thought it is smarter of killing them (Dahlburg, 1994, www). According to those people’s values and traditions, it is quite common to commit the female infanticide regardless of the prohibition from the legislation because of their preference for the male infants. The proverb, “raising

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