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Cultural Relativism and Kant

            In some cases of an individuals thoughts and actions, individualism or subjectivism can be justified. For the most part, however, because many of the things we do affect others in our culture to some extent, these views should not be accepted. It allow a person to do whatever they choose and not take responsibility for it even if it hurts someone else. This is why we should move toward a more cultural relativistic view where within a certain culture certain actions become more objectively scrutinized. This forces individuals to take responsibility for their actions and hopefully to minimize the negative affects of egoism on a society.
             Kant takes a stance that neither of these views are the right ones because neither allow for the possibility of a universal moral law. This view of moral universality is moral relativism. Kant takes this position because he believes a universal moral principle can bind everyone, regardless of culture. To explain his vision, Kant used the idea of the Categorical Imperative. This is the idea that one should adopt only those maxims that one can simultaneously will to become universal law. Basically, one should only do a thing if they think it's ok that the rest of the world does it as well. It's like when someone tells you not to do something because "what if everyone else did it to?" This causes us to look at how our actions affect the rest of the world instead of being sensationalistic and thinking only of ourselves or what is accepted in our culture.
             For Kant, the difference between doing good and being "right" is whether or not one acts morally. It all depends on what a persons motive is. If someone acts in a selfish way but coincidentally helps another person by doing it they are doing good, but they are not being morally "right" because of what their motive was. Is service really service when you are only getting what you want?.

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