Cultural Relativism And The Cultural Perspective Essay

Cultural Relativism And The Cultural Perspective Essay

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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 ... 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.

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