Wednesday, January 28, 2015
Group 1 Discussion Summary - Tuesday 1/27/15
We discussed the question, "How do one's surroundings influence one's morals?" The first example that came up was vegetarianism vs. eating meat and/or killing animals for food. Rather than debating the morality of either lifestyle, we used this dichotomy as an analogy to explain how cultural context influences a person's sense of morals. A lifelong vegetarian visiting a beef farm for the first time might be horrified, but a cattle farmer who grew up in that environment is used to it. Similarly, people tend to accept the moral trends in which they are immersed. For example, many German citizens in Nazi Germany felt powerless to contradict the Nazi regime. It was noted that it is often much easier to make moral judgements in retrospect. We discussed the human medical experiments that took place in the concentration camps and concluded that even if valuable results had been produced, there are other humane, morally acceptable means of advancing scientific knowledge.