Cultural Relativism Research Paper

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Cultural Relativism is a theory that states various cultures have their respective and distinct moral values. First introduced by anthropologist Franz Boas and popularized by his students, this theory was meant to explain the reasons behind the different practices carried out across different communities (Lewis, 2001). In recent years, modern philosophers James and Stuart Rachels openly disagreed with the validity of Cultural Relativism by claiming that all human communities hold the same fundemental values. This essay will argue for the validity of Cultural Relativism because different cultures have different goals, and therefore have their own distinct moral codes.
The first reason supporting the validity of cultural relativism is the fact
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Since each culture’s goals differ from one another, It is only logical that their moral codes vary as well. Take the aforementioned Baduy tribe in Indonesia as an example. This tribe is divided into two: the inner Baduy and the outer Baduy. Although both believe in the purity of their culture, the former holds their purity as sacred, while the latter has gone through some form of assimilation upon receiving influences from the outside world (Kartakusuma, 2010). The inner Baduy people deem the outside culture as disruptive, and any form of intrusion from other cultures is frowned upon. Punishments for disregarding this rule can take in the form of societal punishment, exclusion, and ultimately exile. This value of protecting one’s culture against the influence of others goes against the modern culture of globalization, where the more diverse ideas and views there are, the better off the community is. This modern community embraces multiple perspectives of the same issue, believing that a rich blend of ideas and perspectives will make life better off. The inner Baduy tribe and the globalization culture have conflicting views on what makes their cultures better off, in which one embraces influences from other cultures and the other deems that to be immoral. These two cultures stand on different ends on the acceptance of other communities, which exhibits varying moral codes across
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