Cultural Relativism And The Cultural Perspective Essay

Cultural Relativism And The Cultural Perspective Essay

Length: 1273 words (3.6 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Cultural Relativism is the view that all moral beliefs and ethical systems, are all equally valid. No one system is better than any other, no matter the variance from culture to culture. Further, Cultural Relativism follows that these beliefs and ethical systems should be understood by everyone else in the terms of their own individual culture. The Cultural Relativist believes there are no universal moral beliefs, and that there is no ultimate standard of good or evil. Instead, they believe each society has customs and beliefs that differ from each other and every judgement of right or wrong is a product of each society. This would mean a person could never judge another custom from a culture just because it is different. There is no standard of right or wrong, rather every culture has its own standards and no one culture can be deemed the best or worst, and no one moral or ethical position is right or wrong. The opinion on ethics and morality is subjected to the cultural perspective of each person. Most Cultural Relativists have several claims that include; each society has its own moral code, each society determines what is right or wrong within that society, no others can judge one’s society as better, and it is arrogant if done (Rachels, 16). The problem with Cultural Relativism is it goes a step beyond understanding the morals of other cultures, it instead says we cannot judge the morals of other cultures regardless of the reason for their actions. There is no longer any perspective, which means arguing over the actions of a culture becomes impossible.
Cultural Relativism claims that each society has different moral codes, which is unarguable. Each society may have a few values that they share, but each society will have di...


... middle of paper ...


...es her God and her family. This is the standard for some cultures. In America wearing a Hijab can be seen as a way of oppressing a woman. It makes her seem subservient to her husband and that she does not have an identity. People must realize that this practice is unique to that culture, and our views may be a product of our culture.
Even though these lessons help remind us that a person should be open minded and not arrogant, they are not enough of a reason to ignore the other shortcomings that Cultural Relativism present. There is a sense of morality that is inherent to mankind. People know that some things are morally wrong even if a culture has deemed it right. The Cultural Relativist cannot say that something is always wrong because they would be rejecting relativism. The morals of right and wrong must come from something that is more fundamental than culture.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay on Ethical Relativism And Cultural Relativism

- Cultures and societies around the world often have different moral beliefs. From an anthropological perspective, to deny cultures any validity in their moral beliefs would be a delusional ethnocentric refusal of cultural relativism. From a moral philosophical perspective, however, this is a conflicting matter. Is morality then simply a social construct based purely on arbitrary opinions. Are there no universal moral truths. In response, conventional ethical relativism puts forth the notion that there are indeed no objective moral truths....   [tags: Morality, Cultural relativism, Moral relativism]

Strong Essays
936 words (2.7 pages)

Essay about Cultural Relativism : Is Wrong From A Young Age?

- Every individual is taught what is right and what is wrong from a young age. It becomes innate of people to know how to react in situations of killings, injuries, sicknesses, and more. Humans have naturally developed a sense of morality, the “beliefs about right and wrong actions and good and bad persons or character,” (Vaughn 123). There are general issues such as genocide, which is deemed immoral by all; however, there are other issues as simple as etiquette, which are seen as right by one culture, but wrong and offense by another....   [tags: Morality, Ethics, Cultural relativism]

Strong Essays
1065 words (3 pages)

The Theory Of Relativism And Cultural Relativism Essay examples

- According to William Penn "Right is right, even if everyone is against it; and wrong is wrong, even if everyone is for it.” The theory of relativism was first thought of by an ancient Greek sophist, Protagoras. He stated that “man is the measure of all things.” Which means man is the ultimate source of value. If we took a look at the world today, we would see that are many other cultures other than our own. With many cultures within the world, everyone is bound to believe that every culture is different....   [tags: Culture, Cultural relativism, Truth]

Strong Essays
707 words (2 pages)

Ethnocentrism and Cultural Relativism Essay examples

- Ethnocentrism and Cultural Relativism Ethnocentrism and cultural relativism are two contrasting terms that are displayed by different people all over the world. Simply put, ethnocentrism is defined as “judging other groups from the perspective of one’s own cultural point of view.” Cultural relativism, on the other hand, is defined as “the view that all beliefs are equally valid and that truth itself is relative, depending on the situation, environment, and individual.” Each of these ideas has found its way into the minds of people worldwide....   [tags: Ethnocentrism Cultural Relativism Culture Essays]

Strong Essays
500 words (1.4 pages)

The Merits And Pitfalls Of Cultural Relativism Essay

- Assess the merits and pitfalls of cultural relativism in contemporary anthropology. Cultural relativism is a contentious methodological and theoretical stance in anthropology, which advises that cultures should only be contemplated in their own context. This was conceptualised by Franz Boas (Boas, 1904). It rests on the idea that cultures are formed through the accumulative process of enculturation. Each culture has evolved in its own circumstances, thus it cannot be judged from a different framework (Herskovitz, 1955)....   [tags: Culture, Cultural relativism]

Strong Essays
1829 words (5.2 pages)

Moral Relativism And Moral Cognitivists Essay

- The debate between moral relativists and moral cognitivists is centered around the question of whether there exists a metric by which actions and intentions can be judged. To avoid any confusion and prevent the opportunity for any strawman attacks, morality will be considered in a broad sense as the distinction between what a person ought to do and ought not do. Also, moral relativism will be defined as holding the belief that moral actions are relative, or subjective, to contextual circumstance and that there exists no metric by which actions and intentions can thereby be globally judged....   [tags: Morality, Moral relativism, Relativism, Culture]

Strong Essays
1028 words (2.9 pages)

Cultural Relativism Is A Weak Argument Essay

- In this paper I will argue that cultural relativism is a weak argument. Cultural relativism is the theory that all ethical and moral claims are relative to culture and custom (Rachels, 56). Pertaining to that definition, I will present the idea that cultural relativism is flawed in the sense that it states that there is no universal standard of moral and ethical values. First, I will suggest that cultural relativism underestimates similarities between cultures. Second, I will use the overestimating differences perspective to explain the importance of understanding context, intention and purpose behind an act....   [tags: Morality, Cultural relativism, Culture, Ethics]

Strong Essays
900 words (2.6 pages)

Essay on Cultural Relativism : American Culture And Values

- Over the years, American culture and values have constantly evolved. This evolution has been aided by the invention of new technologies, gaining new knowledge and discovering new things, and the transmission of foreign items and social practices (D. Kendall 56-57). Immigration can also be a driving force in the evolution of a society for all of the information and practices we have gained from other cultures. America is often called a melting pot because for hundreds of years people from all over the world have come to seek the American Dream....   [tags: Culture, Cultural relativism, Morality]

Strong Essays
1289 words (3.7 pages)

The Concept Of Situational Relativism Essay

- Interpretivism is an approach to social science in which social reality is understood as being constructed and negotiated by participants in that particular reality through the process of meaning-making (McLuhan, 2016). Relativism is a conceptual feature of interpretivism in which reality is analyzed and interpreted through a specific lense. In situational relativism, what is perceived as normal varies across situations (McLuhan, 2016). Picard’s article will be used to exemplify the concept of situational relativism....   [tags: Sociology, Social media, Relativism, HIV]

Strong Essays
1548 words (4.4 pages)

Essay on The Diversity Of Moral Values Through The Theory Of Cultural Relativism

- This study will define the diversity of moral values through the theory of Cultural Relativism (CR) that refutes the paradigm that there is a “right” or “wrong” in the moral paradigms of differing cultures. Rachel defines the important moral question of macrocosmic moral paradigms that claim ”righteousness”, yet individual societies have their own moral codes that deviate from these norms. CR defines the importance of diverse moral perspectives throughout the world, which refute any type of absolutist definition of morality....   [tags: Morality, Culture, Sociology, Cultural relativism]

Strong Essays
1133 words (3.2 pages)