Richard Sweder’s Three Categories

Superficial thought about moral questions, or blind following, might lead to the Nazi socialist kind of conformity to group-think and harm to others. Sweder’s three categories were less than convincing (in the introduction lecture). Differences between different cultures regarding human behavior in select situations were regarded as moral issues rather than economic adaptations empirically. I.M.O. what are regarded as behavioral questions in various cultures are actually the result of economic and environmental issues.

The idea that Americans aren’t concerned with purity is incorrect. Americans are obsessed with purity. Watch the commercials on laundry and proper clothing, or the right body powder and deodorant spray. Never in history has a people been so obsessed with purity. I saw a movie where one terrorist encountered another, who had used cologne, and the other said in greeting him; my friend, you smell like a whore!  Americans being largely materialists, need the purity of material items, and the ineffable cleanness of a washed and waxed car, new shoes and hair grease or whatever it is they use. The purity of no wrinkles, of not being affected by age or poverty, those are important. There was a fast food restaurant where a cook had put excrement in with the burgers; it was torn down and a Walgreens erected in its place.

American women with their world-leading prosperity have the lowest childbirth rate and number of abortions. The gap between U.S. and other cultures of the second and third world are regarded as likely to decrease when economic conditions improve in second and third world nations to a level comparable to that of the U.S.A. People conform their behavior to what is possible rather than to an abstract concept of morality- except perhaps in a percentage of conservatives.

Formerly conservative churches (in a place in history on a scale from the year 33 a.d. to the present) have become liberal beyond recognition with the increase of prosperity. Morality and church participation change in various nation in regard to who administrates the church (it was the state in Germany for instance, and is in China today). Politics may determine religious structure as it certainly has in China and the former Soviet Union in the past two centuries.

The categories of what are regarded as moral Universals seem consistent with Kant’s categorical imperative. Each creature experience a shared empirical experience in nature. The creature standing or swimming next to me is eaten by a predator; fear and empathy are responses. I.M.O. fairness and the rest are environmental responses for survival. The environment is planetary (like a Universe for primitives) and all experienced it. In a complex society different responses may arise, such as intentional apathy for survival.