Essay about Relativism : The Threat Of Relativism

Essay about Relativism : The Threat Of Relativism

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In our current time where diversity is highly valued and sought after by many institutions I believe that relativism poses the greatest challenge to ethics. I love diversity and being exposed to new and different cultures but I can’t help but notice that by actively praising the planet’s diversity we may be creating a kind of tolerance for some behaviors that are not moral because we wish to avoid creating a kind of culture war. We don’t want to appear intolerant so we tolerate everything. This poses a problem because some cultures may maintain their immoral practices simply because they don’t know any better. If we continue to tolerate those practices because we feel it’s not right to judge other cultures we perpetuate the cycle of their immorality.
A threat to ethics is an ideal or belief that somehow inhibits a person from acting ethically under the guise that they are in fact being ethical. This essay will examine the threat of relativism. Relativism is an attitude which states that every culture has its own definition of right and wrong and that people outside of that culture have no right to judge or interfere with the established practices no matter what they may be. Relativism implies that there is no universal standard for right and wrong. This is a threat because it allows its prescribers to stand idly by as moral atrocities are conducted within a society all the while maintaining a clear conscience.
Simon Blackburn makes a valid point that relativism is an attractive point of view because it is associated with open mindedness and tolerance of different cultures (Blackburn, 19). He also states that people are no longer comfortable imposing their way of life on other cultures. As a result the attitude,” if they do it ...

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...y for the purpose of avoiding these socially unacceptable labels perhaps they need to be better informed and trained. Perhaps public opinion needs to be changed as well. I don’t feel I can’t offer a valid solution to changing public opinion because that is an issue much bigger than I can address at this time. I think public opinion often changes with the introduction of new generations who see flaws in the traditions and beliefs that are handed down to them by their parents and relatives.
The ideas of relativism prove to be the greatest threat to ethics because it causes the follower of its doctrine to believe they are ethical when in fact they are not. My final stance against relativism is this quote from Edmund Burke which I believe concludes my paper perfectly,” The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

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