Isolationism Essay

841 words - 4 pages

Flavia Neyra 
In “Trying Out One’s New Sword” by Mary Midgley, she expresses her argument in opposition to theory of relativism. Relativism is a theory that states a person has moral reasons which depend on person’s group, culture or society. According to Midgley, this theory is referred to as “moral isolationism”. Midgley brings up intriguing ideas and uses rhetorical questions to support her argument. Midgley’s argument analyses three main points that she emphasizes and I will provide two counter ideas that oppose her argument.
Moral isolationism is a theory that believes the world is divided separately into sealed units of societies and that moral judgments can only be applied to the ...view middle of the document...

To know what is morally right in our own culture we must have a comparison from another culture. Without this comparison, our culture is unable to have a framework of morality and would be unable to benefit from other cultures insights and mistakes. Midgley argues that moral judgment is a necessity. Cultures must have opinions and criticism towards other cultures in order to judge whether something is morally right or morally wrong. If moral isolationism were true, then individuals would not have an opinion about anything, making them not understand their own culture. Without these opinions, our society would not be able to grow or develop morally to what it is today.
The last reason Midgley points out is that the American culture is strongly influenced by so many other cultures such as Greek, Jewish and Roman, that these sealed units cannot be isolated. Every culture in some way influences other cultures and to separate them is unrealistic. This means that moral isolationism is illogical. If every culture were isolated then most likely there would be no culture and no moral judgment to decide what is truly right and wrong. Every moral question that is thought about would be gone because every moral question comes from different society moral views.
Disagreeing with Midgley, I believe that not being morally isolated is the reason that causes major disagreements between cultures. Wars and riots have occurred because of cultures criticizing and judging what they believe is right or wrong. Taking the American...

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