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
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According to Ethical Relativism, there are no universal truths, which apply to all human beings at all times, and proposes that moral principles should be viewed as "local, conventional, subjective and self-justified" (Yardley, 2012). While ethical principles should conform to social, cultural norms and moral beliefs and practices are frequently products of cultural upbringing, the basis for Ethical Relativism is fundamentally unsound because it can be used to justify and rationalize practices and behaviors that are inherently immoral, such as racism, discrimination, hate crimes and oppression. Ethical African
Culture affects how one views others and the world around them in a large way as shown by past experiences, heritage, and family. Family affects our culture because the people we spend our life with have such a large impact on the way we act. Moreover our past experiences affect us by learning from what we and others do and the result. Things one has experienced in the past greatly affects how one views the world. This is clearly shown in Robert Lake’s(Medicine Grizzlybear’s) essay, “An Indian Father’s Plea.”
Our moral beliefs indicate the kind of environment or culture we grew up in. Therefore, if we were born in Somalia, we would believe that it is morally right to go through female circumcision as a rite of passage. However, if we grew up in the western world, then we would not believe in female circumcision. We can therefore see the relativist 's argument of cultural relativism in this case, because if cultural relativism exists, then naturally, morality will also be relative. Additionally, to support his stance, the relativist will also argue that tolerance comes into play when it comes to cultural relativism.
In this prompt the argument that Morality exists is irrelevant, contrary to our thoughts and beliefs. Everyone follows a set of moral rules. Ethical relativists disagree with this belief because, they believe that morals are distinctive from each individual culture. These relativists as described are mixing up moral and cultural distinctions, or are simply not willing to completely understanding the cultures they are standing up for. There are two different types of relativism Ethical, and Cultural, that rely upon the argument of cultural differences, which have flaws that make the argument unsound.
In Monique and the mango Rains, there are many connections to course concepts. This book connects to the anthropological perspective which includes holism, cross culturalism, and cultural relativism. She also experiences culture shock. This book can be related to the Anthropological Perspective because there are examples of holism, cross culturalism, and cultural relativism thought the book.
Philosophy 2200C Taylor Pearl Paper #1 The Cultural Differences Argument for Moral Relativism In this paper I will be discussing the theory of the Cultural Differences Argument for Moral Relativism and also the flaws this theory holds. First I will explain the general idea of Moral Relativism, followed by two examples of cultural differences that are often cited to further explain this theory. After that I will discuss what the Cultural Differences Argument is for Moral Relativism.
The concept of ethics entails systemizing, justifying, and recommending right and wrong conduct. It involves in practical reasoning: good, right, duty, obligation, virtue, freedom, rationality, and choice. Humanity has questioned this concept of ethics and ‘good’ for as long as it has survived, as it deals with real-life issues such as “what is morally right and wrong?” and “how do people ought to act?”
Writers like Alasdair MacIntyre, Bernard Williams and Philippa Foot have abandoned “the project of rationally justifying a single norm of flourishing life for and to all human beings.” They deny that ethics can have trans-cultural norms
Cultural relativism is the understanding of other cultures in their own terms. To achieve the understanding of the rituals used in the cultures of another, one must be able to look at them from an emic (insider) perspective. One must also be able to look at his own culture from an etic (outsider) perspective. The ability to look at one’s culture from the etic point of view will make it easier to explain the rituals to someone from a different culture, for example, rites of passage. Rites of passage are used to mark a life stage and are celebrated by tradition or religion, meant to separate a specific group.
Cultural bias highlights differences among viewpoints, persons and groups that preference one culture over all. We can describe cultural bias as discriminative because it introduces one group's accepted behavior as valued and distinguishable from another lesser valued societal group. Cultural bias was found to be the major determinant of where certain people live, what their opportunities in education and health care. Bias is a tendency to favor of one person, group, a thing or point of view over another, often, in an unfair way. Bias can be a personal opinion or a more public opinion, such as a news story, that only presents facts that support one point of view.
Every society has its own unique cultures in which people will have different ideas of moral codes. The diversity of these cultures cannot be said to be correct or incorrect. Every society has independent standards of ethic within their society and these standards are culture-bound. Cultural Relativism has a perception in which rightness or wrongness of an action depends entirely within the bounds of the culture. This theory opposes the belief in the objectivity of moral truth.
In other words, “right” or “wrong” are culture specific, what is considered moral in one society may be considered immoral in another, and, since no universal standard of morality that exist, no one has the right to judge another societies custom (Ess, 2009). Cultural Relativism is closely related to ethical relativism, which views truth as variable and not absolute. What makes up right and wrong is determined solely by individual or the society (Ess, 2009). Since the truth is not object, there can be no standards which applies to all cultures.
Cultural globalization is often understood as the spatial diffusion of global products. At a deeper level, cultural globalization may be seen as the contested process of internationalization of values, attitudes and beliefs. The spread of cultural practices and symbols makes the world more the same, but at the same time triggers resistance. Hence, cultural globalization while uniting the world is also seen to strengthen local cultures and is a major force behind the creation of identities. Such homogenization or differentiation can be noticed in the change of cultural practices and consumption patterns over time and space.
(Luco, Week 3 Notes, p.9) Cultural Relativism is simply a combination of the following three theses: 1. The only criterion of moral truth or falsehood is the moral code of a cultural group. 2. A moral claim is true, relative to a culture’s moral code, if and only if the claim is generally accepted within that cultural