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Ethical Relativism Thesis

Decent Essays
Loretta Kopelman’s dissertation, Female Genital Circumcision and Conventionalists Ethical Relativism, takes a new approach in a global plight. Kopelman begins her thesis by elaborating on a particular tribe in southern Kenya. She describes how young girls are being mutilated for marriageability. Their fathers, eager for large dowries, perform the ritual on girls as young as nine. While some victims are able to escape and seek sanctuary, this obviously isn’t always possible and thus these girls must live with an inflicted deformity their whole life that doesn’t only cause serious health complications but sometimes even death. Kopelman than appeals to what her reader is thinking at that very moment: disgust. She reminds us that every time the media mentions female genital mutilation the viewer immediately processes child abuse and neglect. However, she argues that our complete rejection of something that is widely accepted in some cultures can actually do more harm than…show more content…
In order for her to establish if it is ethical for a culture to judge another, she must first decide what defines a culture exactly. Lightly paraphrased, going by a CVE moral compass, it is okay to execute female genital mutilation on your young daughter. However, is it okay to perform that circumcision after you have moved to America, where it has been rejected and not only shunned but regarded with disgust? Kopelman is posing her audience that particular question. How do we separate cultures in the global melting pot we live in? If a philosopher adapts the CVE moral theory, then do they also believe morality should be also subjectively sanctioned in sub-cultures? Kopelman’s questioning of “over-lapping” cultures is what grasps the reader’s attention. She is essentially demanding us to see that defining distinct culture is impossible, and thus is very, logically
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