Cultural Relativism : Moral And Ethical Systems Essay example

Cultural Relativism : Moral And Ethical Systems Essay example

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Cultural relativism is the idea that moral and ethical systems varying from culture to culture, are all equally credible and no one system is morally greater than any other. Cultural relativism is based on the concept that there is no “ultimate” standard of good and evil, so the judgement of what is seen as moral, or immoral, is simply a product of one’s society and/or culture. The general consensus of this view is that there is no ethical position that may be considered “right” or “wrong” in terms of society and culture (Cultural Relativism). In this paper I will argue that cultural relativism is not an adequate view of morality by providing evidence of its most common logical problems and faulty reasoning.
The first problem of cultural relativism in question is the idea that if morality is no more than customs or cultural preferences, then moral dissent, or moral differences, seems to lose its meaning and intelligibility. It is impossible to decide whether a society’s customs are right or wrong, or if we believe that our ideas of morality become right because our society approves of them. We cannot preserve the intelligibility of moral criticism and discourse it there is no higher morality or some common, or “ultimate,” standard across all cultures. If there is no sort of higher moral principle, we also cannot allow for the evaluation of the quality and substance of a society’s moral life (Spinello). It is plausible to suggest that a society in which there is no ultimate “right” or “wrong,” it loses the ability to make any judgements whatsoever. For example, crimes such as murder or rape demand a moral judgement, but cultural relativists cannot say that these sort of crimes are always wrong. While they can be immoral in Place A...

... middle of paper ... every society, but while these cultures may have slight variations to these, the same overall ideas tackle each custom. For example, the age in which a child is considered to be an adult. Because of these assertions, cultural relativists must concede to there being some sort of independent and objective standard after all (@RomneyManassa).
Whether there are holes in the validity of the argument, the eradication of change as a good thing, or the impossibility of deciding if a society’s morals are “good” or “bad,” we can clearly see that cultural relativism has many weaknesses and fails to offer a satisfying ethical approach by which we should guide our lives or our society. In this paper I have provided much evidence of the most common logical problems and faulty reasoning of cultural relativism, establishing that it does not provide an adequate view of morality.

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