Assignment On Cultural Relativism

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Assignment on Cultural Relativism.

By:- Shubhangi singh
BA(H.) Political Science 2nd Year
Hindu College


“Man should not simply live, but live well with conduct governed by moderate virtue. This is regarded as difficult, as virtue denotes doing the right thing, to the right person, at the right time, to the proper extent, in the correct fashion, for the right reason.”


The first clear statement of relativism comes with the Sophist Protagoras, as quoted by Plato, "The way things appear to me, in that way they exist for me; and the way things appears to you, in that way they exist for you" (Theaetetus 152a). Thus, however I see things, that is actually true -- for me. If you see things differently, then that
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According to him there is no measure of right or wrong other than the standards of one 's own society. "The notion of right is in the folkways". However, James Rachels finds certain challenges to this idea. Following could be the consequences if we take cultural relativism way too seriously:-

I) We could no longer say that cultures of other societies are morally inferior to our own.: This is one the main points of cultural relativism. Cultural relativism considers cultures and their social codes different and thus forbids one to criticise. This prevents us from criticizing even the less tolerable practices like slavery , female infanticide, or any such practices. In a way cultural relativism provides immunity to such intolerable practices.

2) The legitimacy or validity of any action could be measured by consulting the standards of our society.: Simple test suggested by cultural relativism is to check whether the action is right or wrong in accordance with the code of one 's own society. This implication is disturbing because it claims that the codes taken as standard rare perfect. And thus contradicts it very own idea. After all, if right and wrong are relative to culture, this must be true for own culture just as much as for other
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As they find it important to condemn some practices such as slavery or apartheid or female infanticide, wherever they occur. It makes sense to think that our own society has made some moral progress, while admitting that it is still imperfect and needs reform.
Arguments For

Cultural Relativism is the ultimate movement of political correctness. It requires ethical, political, religious, and societal tolerance. All views are valid, truth is relative, and "all is acceptable as long as it doesn 't hurt anyone else." Relativism frees a culture from rules and laws and therefore eliminates codes of conduct. Consequently, cultures adhering to "no absolute truths" abandon all that keeps a society in behavioural balance.

#It’s important to be tolerant of others’ beliefs.

If you claim morality is absolute then you are being intolerant of other people’s beliefs. This leads to imperialism, conflict and maybe even worse:
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