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HAT Forum: Moral Relativism

  • 519 Church Street Toronto, ON, M4Y 2C9 Canada (map)

HAT Forum
Sat Sep 24th 2016
11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
519 Church Street Room tba or 304
Topic: Moral Relativism
Proposer: Richard Dowsett

Morals are the personal or societal standards concerning the acceptability of thoughts held and actions taken. Moral Relativism is the idea that these standards are formed in a crucible of experience, history and culture. As such, they vary greatly across individuals, across nations, across time and between societies.

1.      Accepting this diversity, do we then go a step further and say that there is no way to judge morals across cultures? Does this then require us to tolerate all morals and their ensuing behaviours on the basis of this diversity?

2.      How does a multi-cultural society like Canada determine a course for its laws and a set of values for its governance and institutions with a multiplicity of moral frameworks that are, at once, equally valid and often contradictory?

3.      Theistic societies have used the “word of god” as revealed through holy texts, as being the objective basis for many differing sets of morals. Is there any other available objective standard to judge between moral systems?

4.      Are there moral universals?

5.      Does/should Moral Relativistic tolerance extend back through history?

6.      In your own life, how do you wrestle with the question of Moral Relativism?

Earlier Event: September 17
Bill C-14: What Went Wrong?
Later Event: October 1
HAT Forum: Sustainability