The Challenge Of Cultural Relativism Essay

The Challenge Of Cultural Relativism Essay

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The Challenge of Cultural Relativism Argument
The Challenge of Culture Relativism written by James Rachels argues the downsides and upsides to the idea of Cultural Relativism. This is the idea of Cultural Relativism: the principle that an individual human 's beliefs and activities should be understood by others in terms of that individual 's own culture. It was established as axiomatic in anthropological research by Franz Boas in the first few decades of the 20th century and later popularized by his students.
This idea talks about the different cultures three in particular; Greeks, Callatians, and the Eskimos. These three cultures are completely different from each other, the Greeks are very family oriented and believe that loved ones after death should be cremated or buried, the Callatians are also family oriented but they believe that they should eat the bodies of their lost loved ones, and the Eskimos are family oriented but they kill most of their female daughters and also leave their elderly out in the cold to die off. Based off the idea of Cultural Relativism I would have to agree with Rachel’s idea that there are some good points to Cultural Relativism but most of the idea is quite far-fetched. There are quite a few things wrong with Cultural Relativism such as different cultures burial opinions, the inability to change customs, and different religious beliefs.
Cultures have completely different ideas on how to deal with the dead. Rachels states “Darius, a king of Persia, was intrigued by the variety of cultures he encountered in his travels. He had found, for example, that the Callatians (a tribe of Indians) customarily ate the bodies of their dead fathers. The Greeks of course did not do that – the Greeks practiced cre...


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...he Theory, and I agree with him. The idea of how we should treat the dead in our society by eating them seems obscured to me and I do not understand why anyone would want to do that. If Cultural Relatives existed today then in World War two we wouldn’t have been able to help the Jews and Minorities because we should have accepted that in Hitler’s Society, that is how they are. That to me is just an idea that I cannot agree with, I believe that all people should be treated equally until they attack the United States. The Jews never attacked Germany but yet they were persecuted as though they had. Under the Theory of Cultural Relativism, When ISIS killed those hundreds in Paris in one night, and plenty more here in America we should have just turned our head and accepted their believes. I do not believe one American would say “oh that is just their religion, it’s okay.”

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