Cultural Relativism Controversy

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In the world of philosophy, specifically ethics, there is always a controversy about Cultural Relativism, due to the different bias of where the values and beliefs of a person come from, either the culture they grew up in, the experiences they face throughout life as well as the way they were raised. James Rachels in his essay analyzes the format of ethical relativism which he calls Cultural Relativism. Cultural Relativism as defined by James Rachels “is a theory about the nature of morality.” Rachels at the beginning contradicts himself through equivocation by explaining his definition of Cultural Relativism through stating: “Cultural Relativism challenges our ordinary belief in the objectivity and universality of moral truth. It says, in effect,…show more content…
Moreover, our own code has no special status; it is merely one among many. As we shall see, this basic idea is really a compound of several different thoughts.” (Pojman pg.140) We should believe that Cultural Relativism is based on several different thoughts therefore, he contradicts himself in saying that Cultural Relativism only exists as a result of the moral codes we were told in our culture were correct. Rachels states “the customs of different societies are all that exist. These customs cannot be said to be “correct” or “incorrect,” for that implies we have an independent standard of right and wrong by which they may be judged. But there is no such independent standard; every standard is culture bound.” Rachels stating that our standards are culturally bounded contradicts the fact that he states that our standards are from “cultural codes” or ‘moral codes” that we have which are basically the moral codes of our society. Our standard of

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