Pros And Cons Of Cultural Relativism

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a. Definition -The Cultural Relativism perspective of morality and ethics seeks to understand issues of right, wrong, justice, fairness, and related concepts from the standpoint of social customs, practices and norms. A more formal definition of the concept of “Cultural Relativism” is provided by the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. “Cultural relativism asserts that the beliefs and practices of human beings are best understood by grasping them in relation to the cultural context in which they occur”. Based on this interpretation of morality, each society or culture has its own set of distinct moral codes and standards that are exclusive its inhabitants. Although the standards of morality differ from culture to culture, within the group there are strong expectations and codes of conduct that must be adhered to. Without universal adherence to the group’s codes and standards, there would be no cohesiveness and calamity would follow. External values and moral standards are limited in their application and understanding of morals since everything hinges on culture. . Based on Cultural Relativist thinking, all moral systems are viewed as having provincial value for the people/culture that operates within in. There is no cross
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Pros & Cons - There are a host of benefits of the Cultural Relativist approach to understanding morality. The positive aspects of the approach are: (1) ethical values and practices arise from daily living, and are forged based on collective group standards; (2) enhanced tolerance and appreciation of differences; goal is to understand how belief and behavior foster social order and functionality internally, rather than a comparison to external moral values that may not have much practical application to a cultural group; and (3) morality and ethics are more easily malleable to changing circumstances and beliefs; attitudes change more fluidly because of social, moral, and political pressures as well as new

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