|Introduction to Ethical Studies: An Open Source Reader
|Chapter 5. "Ethics Are Relative" by Edward Westermarck
Compare and constrast Westermarck's views on conscience in this reading selection with Alexander Bain's view as expressed in his "Conscience Is Learned."
Westermarck writes, "…a theory which leads to an examination of the psychological and historical origin of people's moral opinions should be more useful than a theory which postulates moral truths enunciated by self-evident intuitions that are unchangeable" in defense of his view that a intuitionistic ethical theory is not reliable. Discuss whether his observation commits the genetic fallacy.
In his plea for a fair hearing, Westermarck writes, "And what unprejudiced person can help changing his views if he be persuaded that they have no foundation in existing facts?" Explain whether this remark is a tautology and whether it helps his case.