Week 1 Discussion

Scenario:  Consider the moral and ethical issues, dilemmas, controversies, and questions raised in this week’s reading and video materials. Let us suppose that you were to find a magic ring like the Ring of Gyges. Instead of allowing you to do whatever you wish while the ring is turned, this particular ring gives you the power to to make one change in the morality and ethics of everybody for all time. You can make one thing absolutely acceptable or absolutely forbidden, so that everybody, everywhere, from this day forward and forevermore, would have no choice but to act in this one particular way. You could, for example, strike forever from the hearts and minds of humanity even the bare idea of lying, stealing, cheating, gambling, adultery, alcoholism, addiction of any kind, gluttony, sloth, or any other behavior you think should be absolutely and forever wrong or right.

What is the one change in morality that you would make by using the power of that ring? 

As you think about answering this question, make sure that the change you’re imagining is a moral change.  In other words, don’t write about what you wish would be true — such as that no one should ever have to suffer, or that we should all have equal access to wealth or health care.  Instead, choose a change that would make the world different either by eliminating what you take to be an immoral behavior or by adding a new moral behavior.   

Your initial post should address the following elements: 

1.  In your own words, briefly describe cultural relativism then briefly summarize one of the challenges to cultural relativism made by Rachels in his article “Challenges to Cultural Relativism”
2.  Using the magical Ring of Gyges, describe the one moral change you would made in the world; try to describe this change as if it were a law such as “No one can…” or “Everyone must…” 
3.  Provide 2 reasons for making this change.
4.  Briefly describe the world before and after the change.
5. Using at least one quote from the text or from Rachels’ article, discuss whether the world you have created is better than our current world.

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