I am trying to pick two moral theories to compare and argue for one over the other. These theories seem quite different. Out of these 4 are any of the objections larger than the rest?

Appeal to Authority Utilitarianism Cultural Relativism Kantiasm

To me, it seems appeal to authority as well as cultural relativism has many objections.


I suggest utilitarianism versus Kantianism. It's a standard opposition, so in tackling it you are getting well into established ethical discussions. Mill did say in ch. 1 of 'Utilitarianism' that the practical working out of Kant's theories involves an appeal to consequences which grants Mill's own, utilitarian position. However, if correct, this would only show that Kant and Mill are capable of reaching the same conclusions, not that their routes to those conclusions - the philosophical pathways - are the same. I doubt if Mill would have denied this.

An after-thought : the appeal to authority and cultural relativism can connect, and any clash between them avoided, if the authority is one that is (de facto, only) culture-specific, recognised as an authority only within a culture or set of cultures.

  • thank you so much. I haven't decided which is stronger - but I like the classic comparison so far. As of now, I think Utilitarianism is stronger as it is not as strict (which the Universal Law of Formulation creates).
    – guest7
    Nov 11 '17 at 21:31
  • Good point about Kant and Mill being in agreement. The greatest good and all that.
    – user20253
    Nov 14 '17 at 13:44

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