I believe that certain cultures can be judged right or wrong if they act in such a way that does not uphold its existence, but on the other hand I believe that we must respect the cultures of others even where some beliefs do not live up to our standards of 'right' and 'wrong'. Cultural relativism is a concept for much debate, my essay has looked at two arguments on the affirmative, namely the argument from the virtue of tolerance and the cultural differences argument. Although the arguments are insufficient to prove cultural relativism as a fundamental philosophical truth, they do provide reasons for many people to consider themselves 'cultural relativists', and thus give the concept a great deal of merit in meta-ethical philosophical studies.
Even though the theory of ethical relativism is rejected by most, it must be acknowledged that it raises important issues that should not be ignored. It reminds us that different societies have different moral beliefs and that our beliefs are deeply influenced by culture. It additionally encourages society to better examine the reasons underlying beliefs and ethics that differ from our own, while challenging us to scrutinize our reasons for the beliefs and values we hold.
To many that’s the key understanding to morality, However in ethics some say it is in actuality a myth. The difference between right or wrong is strictly a matter of human opinion not culture. There are many probable reasons why most people view moral decisions objectively. For Example, When talking about cultural differences there are many fundamental ideas such as “Different cultures have different moral codes“. Many also argue that there is no objective “Truth” in morality, right and wrong are only matters of an opinion which is different from culture to culture().
Is it all relative? Moral relativism is a widespread theory that can be used to explain the differences among cultures and their ethics and morals. Ruth Benedict describes relative morality as a concept based specifically on the ethics of a culture and how they are related to those of other cultures. He argues that many cultures are so contrasting when it comes to specific areas of culture and lifestyle that they cannot be unified under one universal moral code that governs all of humanity. Conversely however, James Rachels, author of Elements of Moral Philosophy, does not subscribe to the theory of moral relativism.
‘“Cultural relativism implies that another common place of moral life illusion moral disagreement, and such inconsistencies hint that there may be something amiss with relativism. It seems it conflicts violently with common sense realities of the moral life. The doctrine implies that each person is morally infallible”’ (Vaughn 14). Rachels states that, “cultural relativism would not only forbid us from criticizing the codes of other societies; it would stop us from criticizing our own” (Rachels 700). However, there are some reasons one may accept relativism and it is because it is a comforting position.
In turn, this criticism means that because our cultures are incredibly complex relativism attempts to explain and justify our moral differences by saying they are a result of our different cultures and history. Therefore the differences between moralities of cultures are blamed on their cultural and historical differences leading us to be accepting of these differences and encouraging coexistence. Although, the complexity of cultures is not a justification for being accepting of cultures. Relativism deems it immoral to condemn a culture 's actions and to be intolerant; however, if a culture were to arise that was clearly morally intolerant we should stand against it. When we apply relativism we are focusing on agreement and tolerance between cultures; however, not all cultures should be tolerated.
P2: Well informed, open minded people intractably disagree about all ethical claims C: Therefore there are no objective moral truths. This is the fundamental claim for moral relativism. Cultural relativism is really an application of this statement as it acknowledges that individuals disagree about ethical claims, but aims to impose a ‘golden rule’ to determine whether an act is morally wrong or right. To put the cultural relativism theory into words: an act is morally right if and only if it is permitted by the moral code of the society to which the agent belongs. The studies of cultural relativism and moral relativism are often confused and it is important to know how to differentiate between the two.
One example is known as Ethical Relativism. Ethical Relativism has been developed on the basis that there is no common set of values that can apply to everyone, as there are an infinite number of cultures that exist and clash with each other. Morality is extremely relative, so the best way to solve a moral dilemma is by analysing the conditions of the specific culture to which it applies. In this paper, I will be discussing and analysing Ethical Relativism and the ways it can be applied to moral issues. To truly understand the meaning of the the term Ethical Relativism, one must first break down the word itself.
Thus, the only time a person can be sure he is right is if he is constantly open to differing opinions; there must be a standing invitation to try to disprove his beliefs. Second, there is the criticism that governments have a duty to uphold certain beliefs that are important to the well being of society. Only "bad" men would try to undermine these beliefs. Mill replies that this argument still relies on an assumption of i... ... middle of paper ... ...s beliefs are not reflected in their conduct. As a result, people do not truly understand the doctrines they hold dear, and their misunderstanding leads to serious mistakes.
Any individual who attempts to formulate an objective set of values will always fail, because the prism through which they analyze the world will inevitably be marred by their own experiences and perspectives. Therefore, moral standards are actually cultural standards, and nothing more. Cultural Relativism posits that there are no universal ethical truths, only various cultural codes. Cultural relativism is a theory about the nature of morality. (489) One proposition of this theory states that, “it is mere arrogance for us to try to judge the conduct of other peoples.