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Philosophy Assignment

In such extreme expression this relativism may dangerously threaten the efficiency of international law and international remedial systems which had been created during many decades. If the observance of international standards will be regulated by extremely cultural tradition, large-scale disrespect, violation and infringements of human rights will become consecrated by the law. In "The Challenge of Cultural Relativism" Rachels attacks the trendy idea of cultural relativism:
Undoubtedly, this argument is unacceptable because the principle is right, but the conclusion is wrong. So, it does not follow from the simple fact of difference that there is no real truth regarding the matter of incongruity.
In process of interaction and mix of cultures the culture of the personality also changes. This process may both enrich and disorient people. Present instability of cultural aspect of the personality reflects fundamental changes in how we today perceive and express themselves. According to Rachels there are three consequences of cultural relativism. He states that if relativism were true "we could no longer say that the customs of other societies are morally inferior to our own". Also "we could decide whether actions are right or wrong just by consulting the standards of our society." Moreover "the ideas of moral progress and social reform would be meaningless". However, many of us don't want to recognize these consequences. So the conclusion of Rachels is the following: "cultural relativism is not true".
2. In "Active and Passive Euthanasia'" Rachels argues the distinction between two kinds of euthanasia and focuses on the moral difference between killing the patient and letting him die. He discusses the difference between two kinds of euthanasia - the first, so-called "active" euthanasia means that the definite direct actions are taken to kill the patient. The author insists that this kind of euthanasia is never morally permissible. The second one is "passive" euthanasia that means withholding treatment and allowing a patient to die.
Rachels describes a patient dying from a cancer and feeling a terrible pain. He is sure to die soon and he suffers, and he wants to die, and his family shares his desire. In case the doctor withholds treatment, his pain will be more terrible and it may take him longer to die. In case the doctor takes some actions to kill him, he won't suffer long and his death will be easy. Rachel states that this case provides the strong reason for active euthanasia.
Rachels argues the ...Show more


1. Cultural relativism is a concept according to which human values don't have a general character and essentially vary according to various cultural prospects. This relativism is sometimes extended to encouragement, protection, interpretation and application of human rights which may be interpreted differently within the framework of various cultural, ethnic and religious traditions…
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