The Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Reading Time: < 1 minute

1. Based on your reading of “The Universal Declaration of Human Rights,” predict what countries would not sign and explain their refusal on their possible operative ethical framework. (Cf. Module 2 and 3 on factors that affect ethical decision-making). How might this document reflect the inherent tension between universalist and relativist ethical starting points?2. From your reading of “Sick Societies,” is the ethnographer Edgerton a universalist or relativist? Explain your answer with examples from the article.

3. Examine the works of Martin Luther King and Herodotus that have been specified, and determine if the perspective in each of these articles is one of moral universalism or moral relativism. Support your answer using the assigned readings.

4. After reading the “Seven Deadly Sins” website, identify your understanding of vice and virtue, its historical origins, how the meanings changed over time, and apply this understanding to topics of relativism and universalism? Use your readings for support.

5. What are the universalist-relativist elements involved in the political tug-of-war of ideas between the Japanese who hunt whales as food and those environmentalists who stand in front of their harpoons in the open seas, to defend the whales?