In "Some Moral Minima," Lenn Goodman argues that there are certain things that are simply wrong.  Explain how this might be accurate.

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I tend to think that Goodman is right in the idea that there are some universals that all societies should agree upon as being fundamentally wrong.  As the world is becoming increasingly globalized, nations becoming interdependent on one another and isolationism is becoming less evident, it is important that all nations share some basic and fundamental values.  As Goodman concedes, this might border on universalism, but "all politics is compromise," and establishing some basics for universality is a part of that element becoming so much more needed in a globalized setting than ever before.  I think tht Goodman's identification of genocide, terrorism, rape, and slavery as elements that should be fundamentally agreed upon as being accepted as universal wrongs is fairly strong.  If relativism is intended to avoid universalities, I think it does more harm than good if it turns a blind eye to any of these four elements.  The question that Goodman raises which makes the work so significant is what are the ideas that societies should be able to come to consensus as to what constitutes universal wrong.  This is compelling, as it forces all of us to come together and establish ethical baselines for what represents the worst that human beings can do to one another, and thus find ground to avoid such conditions.  I think that this is where Goodman's points made are progressive and unique, powerful in its scope to find a middle ground between ethical relativism and ethical universalism.  In this, I tend to agree with where Goodman is going in the analysis given.

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