Cultural relativism has a variety of definitions, but the main idea is that a universal code of ethics does not exist--it varies culture to culture. Rachel’s examines cultural relativism in “The Challenge of Cultural Relativism” and argues that there are commonalities of ethics throughout every culture. Rachels sections off his argument to better explain what they believe. In this piece, they argue that cultural relativism is not a proper theory. They argue that it has many major flaws, but they acknowledge that parts of theory have some truth to it. Throughout this essay, cultural relativism will be questioned, but also supported in some ways.
The idea of cultural relativism reminds me of a sociological term--ethnocentrism--that essentially means the opposite. Ethnocentrism is essentially a bias about your own culture against other cultures. One can only see their culture (usually as dominant to the others), rather than attempting to see the perspective of whatever culture is in question. An example of real-life cultural relativism is female circumsition or clitordectomy. It’s done in various parts of Asia, Africa, and parts of the Middle East. Typically, the clitioris is removed from the female with no medical personnel and is often unsanitary. An outsider may see this as a violation of the female genitals, which makes it unlawful. However, it is common in these cultures. Whether it is right or wrong is a matter of opinion. It must be viewed in cultural context. This