Cultural relativism is the idea that morality is relative to culture. That is, what is considered right or wrong varies from culture to culture. This means that there is no universal standard of morality; what is considered good or bad depends on the norms of a particular culture.
Religion is often used as an example of cultural relativism. Different religions have different moral codes, and what is considered morally right or wrong varies depending on which religion you follow. For instance, some religions consider abortion to be morally wrong, while others do not.
Critics of cultural relativism argue that it leads to moral chaos and that it cannot account for certain universals, such as human rights. Supporters of cultural relativism argue that it is a more tolerant and realistic view of morality.
In this essay, I’ll go through each of the sections of cultural relativism and explain them to the reader. Cultural relativism is a viewpoint that focuses on people’s values and moral beliefs rather than their customs or traditions. To assist readers better understand cultural relativism, I’ve utilized James Rachel’s argument.
Rachels believes that there are two types of moral reasoning, which are Subjectivism and Objectivism. Subjectivism is based on the idea that what is morally right or wrong varies from person to person, whereas Objectivism is the belief that certain things are always morally wrong or right, no matter who is doing them. Therefore, according to Rachels cultural relativism would be classed as a form of subjectivism.
Cultural relativism has been used throughout history to justify all sorts of atrocities. For example, in Nazi Germany it was used to justify the Holocaust. The Nazis believed that since the Jews were an inferior race, it was morally acceptable to kill them. However, cultural relativism does have some merit. It is important to remember that we should not judge other cultures by our own standards, as they may have different values and beliefs.
Cultural relativism is also closely linked to the issue of religious tolerance. Many people believe that we should tolerate the views of others, even if we do not agree with them. This is because we should respect the right of others to hold different beliefs. However, some people argue that this is not always possible or desirable. For example, if someone believes that it is morally acceptable to kill innocent people, then it is hard to see how we could tolerate their views.
Overall, cultural relativism is a complex theory with both positive and negative aspects. It is important to remember that we should be tolerant of other cultures, but we also need to be aware of the potential dangers of this theory.
The basic idea of cultural relativism is that “Different civilizations have different moral systems” (Rachels 652). This implies that there is no such thing as a global truth; instead, what appears to be correct or wrong varies from culture to culture. According to a cultural relativist, various civilizations have unique ethical notions, implying that one society’s moral right might be considered unethical in another.
For example, in some cultures women are not allowed to leave their homes without a male relative, while in others it is perfectly normal for women to work outside the home. In one culture, it might be considered morally wrong to eat beef, while in another culture beef is a staple of the diet.
There are several different arguments that can be used to support cultural relativism. One argument is based on the fact that there is no objective way to determine what is right or wrong. What appears to be right or wrong is often a matter of opinion, and opinions vary from culture to culture. For example, some people believe that it is morally wrong to eat meat, while others believe that it is morally acceptable. There is no way to determine who is right and who is wrong.
Another argument for cultural relativism is that morality is relative to the culture in which it exists. What is considered to be moral in one culture may not be considered to be moral in another culture. For example, in some cultures it is considered morally acceptable to have multiple wives, while in other cultures it is considered morally wrong.
According to this hypothesis, there are no distinct standards; instead, they are culture bound (Rachels 652). Furthermore, according to cultural relativism, none of the cultures or codes have any special status and they’re all comparable (Rachels 654). In other words, what is correct or incorrect is decided by society’s norms and standards. People are expected to adhere to society’s rules and regulations.
People who don’t follow these guidelines are deemed as “immoral” or “incorrect.” Some people may believe that cultural relativism is a valid way of looking at things, while others may disagree. There are pros and cons to this way of thinking. One of the main arguments in support of cultural relativism is that it allows for moral diversity. This means that people can have different opinions on what is right or wrong and still coexist peacefully. It also acknowledges that different cultures have different values and beliefs, which should be respected.
On the other hand, some people argue that cultural relativism is problematic because it can be used to justify immoral practices. For example, if someone believes that rape is morally acceptable in their culture, cultural relativism would say that this is okay. This is clearly not the case, and so cultural relativism can be seen as flawed in this respect.
At the end of the day, it’s up to each individual to decide whether they believe in cultural relativism or not. There are pros and cons to both sides, and ultimately it’s a matter of personal opinion.
Cultural relativism, according to Postcolonial Relativism, sees it as unethical to criticize other civilizations and the actions of individuals in other societies. Cultural relativism theory claims that “moral codes vary from culture to culture,” and that “right and wrong are merely matters of perspective” (Rachels 653). According to Rachels’ analysis, societies have their own moral standards.
Different societies have different ways of living, which means that what is right in one culture may be seen as wrong in another. For example, “in our culture, it is considered perfectly proper to eat beef and pork; but Hindus are not supposed to eat beef because they regard the cow as a sacred animal” (Rachels 653). Thus, cultural relativism suggests that there is no such thing as objective morality, and that what is considered morally good or bad varies from culture to culture.
Cultural relativism has been criticized on the grounds that it is used to justify immoral practices. Critics argue that if moral values are relative, then anything becomes morally permissible. As Rachels points out, “if different cultures have different moral codes, then it appears that anything goes: each group is free to develop its own morality, and the members of that group are under no obligation to obey any moral code except their own” (653).
In other words, if cultural relativism is true, then there can be no such thing as an objective moral standard by which to judge different cultures. This means that practices like human sacrifice or wife-burning could not be considered morally wrong, since they are part of the cultural norms of some societies.
Supporters of cultural relativism respond to this criticism by pointing out that the theory does not imply that all cultures are equally good, or that all practices are morally permissible. Rather, cultural relativism simply suggests that we should not judge other cultures by our own standards. We should try to understand and respect other cultures, even if we do not agree with all of their practices.