Global Ethics And Religion: Religious Moral Diversity And Relationships

1179 words - 5 pages

Global Ethics and Religion In James Kellenbergers' essay "Religious Moral Diversity and Relationships," he aims to establish the difference that exists between moral diversity and moral commonality. Throughout his paper, Kellenberger attempts to persuade the reader to not only acknowledge both moral diversity and moral community but to also appreciate them. To analyze this paper, I will analyze the effectiveness of the author's claims but critique how valid they are in the use of his argument. I will then analyze how effective the structure of the essay is in supporting his conclusion that both moral diversity and moral commonality should be acknowledged and appreciated.

While Kellenberger's essay is written in a mainly expository way, it does have some use of polemic discourse when it comes to persuasion. A good majority of his writing is on evidence and facts used to support his personal opinions, which he then adds later based on the evidence provided. Basically, his method is to allow the evidence to speak for itself then he introduces his personal ideas to help guide the reader in the direction he desires. One example of this method is when examining cultural diversity and the result the modern Western ideologies have had on other cultures. The author quotes Samuel Huntington saying, "Traditional societies can become modernized through increased 'levels of literacy, education, wealth, and social mobilization, and more complex and diversified occupation structures,' without adopting the culture of the 'West'" (Kellenberger, 66).

The author first states the evidence provided by the quote from Samuel Huntington, which supports Kellenbergers later claim that "It is a multicultural world in which cultures co-exist. When geographically apart, they are put in proximity by electronic communication. But, moreover, often cultures co-exist in their diversity in the same physical place" (Kellenberger). By using this setup, the author is effective in providing sufficient and valid evidence to his readers, which then permits him to establish his argument with the commentary he follows with.

Another example in which we see the use of this method is in the section where Kellenberger compares cultural diversity with moral diversity. To show the difference between these two topics, Kellenberger uses an illusion of the Inuit societies. He provides us with the following quote " In traditional Inuit societies, husbands offer male guests the sexual favors of their wives, and this is approved by custom" (Kellenberger, 68). After providing this illustration, the author provides his personal input by saying, "Cultural differences clearly influence marital expectations and hence the different moral practices in Inuit marital expectations. However, cultural diversity itself is not quite identical to moral diversity. For one thing, ceteris paribus, some cultural differences in themselves certain small particulars of dress may correlate with no mo...

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