What Is Cultural Relativism?
Cultural relativism is “moral relativism regarding cultures; the view that right actions are those sanctioned by one’s culture,” (Vaughn 135). “Many believe cultural relativism is a much more plausible view of morality,” as opposed to subjective relativism, where views of right and wrong are based by an individual’s mindset (Vaughn 137). Cultural relativism sets a standard of ethics that are agreed upon and deemed as the norm of each society or culture. For instance, dining etiquette is different between the United States and China. In the U.S., meals are typically eaten with a fork, spoon, and/or, knife. In China, on the other hand, meals are normally eaten with chopsticks. Essentially, cultural relativism is as follows: “If a culture approves of an action, then that action is moral for them. If a culture disapproves of an action, then that action is immoral for them,” (O’Connor 5).
With cultural relativism, there is no moral or ethical standard for the entire world. Every culture has there set of ethics seen as right, and would naturally view other sets of ethics as wrong. For exa...
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...uly have much correlation due to other factors, such as science and religion, resulting in the argument to be not sound and ultimately invalid. In addition, Vaughn mentions “tolerance, is, of course, both morally praiseworthy and beneficial to our fractured planet of conflicting values,” (141). Here, tolerance, and honesty, can be seem as moral among all cultures, where no culture would view it as immoral; thus, the conclusion of the cultural differences argument is debunked.
In summation, the argument of cultural differences is proven to be invalid. From a general point of view, it can be seen as valid since cultures vary with different beliefs, therefore there is no “golden rule” that applies to every individual; however, from scrutiny, it is shown that morality of one culture cannot be objectively true or false due to other cultures and studies known.
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