Humanities Perspectives

How do we as people decide what is moral an what is immoral?This semester as a class we have discussed and analyzed several philosophers' views on morality and where it comes from.We have discussed: Rachels' idea of relativism, Nietzsche's "might makes right, Plato's divine command, Hume and Stevenson'sMoral sentiment and emotivism, Hobbes and Feinberg'sEgoism, and Hobbes and Rawls' Social contract theories.Now, how does each one of these theories stand up against the case of the "Suicide Tourists"?Does one better explain the morality of such a thing?Could one theory make it right and the other totally wrong?We don't know what is actually right.We can only use each theory as a ruler to measure the morality compared to each.
Rachels describes relativism saying: what one's culture does is considered to be moral.He states that no one culture is superior to another, and just because one society thinks an act to be moral, does not mean that it is not immoral to another.Applying this theory to the case of the "Suicide Tourists" raises two questions:Are we basing what is moral on the tourists who come to relieve their suffering?Or, are we basing what is moral on Dignitas?By Rachels definition of relativism, the tourists are immoral, and Dignitas is considered to be moral.The tourists, who come to Switzerland to ease their sufferings are obviously coming from a culture that says euthanasia is wrong by their moral code.Otherwise, these people would not be traveling to this unknown place to kill themselves.Dignitas, on the other hand, is in the clear because their society allows the practice of euthanasia.If the society looked down on it, then there would be laws against it, prohibiting its existence. When Rachels thought up relativism, I seriously doubt that he thought about two cultures clashing like this.How can this be moral for …


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