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Different Societies have Different Moral Codes and Ethics - Essay Example

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Different Societies have Different Moral Codes and Ethics

Therefore, ethics is the main framework that guides actions of people in the society since it encompasses the actions that people should do or avoid doing.1 People’s concepts of ethics are acquired from religion, philosophy and culture, and the three will establish the ethical standards of any community. Different communities will have different ethical standards, and this bring the question of if ethics is relative to society and that there is no basis for saying that acts are right or wrong, independent of what this or that culture says. Cultural Relativism Mary Midgely explains that people find it hard to understand the moral values of other cultures since they will have different values. For example, in Africa, some communities practice female circumcision and the belief is that all women should undergo this procedure. However, this is exceedingly rejected by other communities, and in the United States, this is strictly prohibited. She explains that people need to understand their own culture in order to appreciate what their own culture expects them to do. The ethical standards in a community will be guided by the values that custom has placed on society. However, since there are societal disorders, some people deviate from the customs and this cause the evils in the society. On this basis, cultural relativism explains that the meritorious deeds are those that a majority of people in society approves. For this reason, morality is a product of culture since it will determine what people approve of or do not accept. Proposers of cultural relativism argue that there is no basis for deciding good or evil and that the cultural perspective will determine what is right and what is wrong.2 Since different cultures will have varied opinions, the decision of what is wrong and what is right by viewing different cultures is an issue of significant concern, as no group of people will let go of their heritage to take up another one. Therefore, cultural relativism threatens harmony among people of different cultures since the different groups of people will have varied values, which will dictate how they associate with one another. It creates the notion that there is no other way of determining good or bad other than the cultural beliefs f people. Cultural relativism will make people judge one another on the grounds of their cultural practices, and this may bring a lot of disorderliness in the society. Since the values of different cultures are diverse, finding one central procedure for judging actions becomes hard when cultural relativism comes into play. Conducts that are appreciated by one culture may not be accepted by another culture, and the idea of defining morals by considering the cultural beliefs of people will not be instrumental in making judgments of good and bad. Since ethics is concerned with what other people will say about their actions, there needs to be a universal procedure for determining what is right or evil. Relying on culture to decide this will bring a lot of controversy as people will have varied moral codes depending on their heritage. Edward Westermarck in his book the sources of moral ideas explains that ethics is a normative science used to formulate the validity of the actions people do. In this regard, he explains that deciding what is good or bad cannot merely be judged by what people think. Therefore, judging actions by what a certain ...Show more


Name Instructor Task Date Ethics and Culture Introduction Ethics is a system of moral values, which define what is accepted or what is not accepted in society. Ethics enable people to make decisions since they dictate the things that people should or should not do to gain public acceptance…
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Different Societies have Different Moral Codes and Ethics
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