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The Relativist Doctrine - Essay Example

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Thus, the moral principle in a person, which determines what they perceive as truth, is based on an individual’s circumstances, culture, parental guidance and upbringing as well as ones opinions (Underwood, 2001). Thus according to this doctrine, there is no law that is obligatory to be upheld and to exercise control over all men. The law is based upon what a society or a group of people could perceive as suitable during a particular time and dependent on the situation. As the society keeps changing, so does the circumstances and the situations, necessitating the change of such laws ones upheld as the standard of control of the society. Thus, the standard of morality is also amenable to change, as the society and the environment changes (Sulloway, 1996). However, though this opinion is upheld by the doctrine, there arises a question as to whether there are some categories of behaviors, which can be universally acclaimed right or wrong. Truth is defined as saying of what is, that it is and what is not, that is not (Sinclair, 1937). Thus, truth refers to the conformity to facts and actualities. Different cultures have different truths, meaning that it is the culture, which determines the truth and not the reverse. Therefore, the variance in different cultures creates the variance in different truth components as perceived by a people (Feynman, 1965). However, there is a different perspective held by the opponents of the doctrine of relativism. They uphold that a truth is acceptable universally, and thus its nature overcomes all the barriers, that of culture included, standing as the absolute right. According to the doctrine of relativism, if a person has a different culture form that of another, then the upbringing, the experiences and the perceptual evidences as held by the individual, determines the different values that the individuals attaches to their beliefs, and thus the difference in truths they uphold (Sulloway, 1996). The philosophy of relativism holds that Man is the measure of all things. Therefore, the truth can only be attained through the determination of an individual, based on how the individual perceives the world (Feynman, 1965). When a person gives an opinion regarding an issue, then it is an indication of their standpoint both psychological and personal. The lack of parallel culture affects the psychological make up in different people, creating an avenue through which culture determines the truth. However, the limitation associated with this perspective is the fact that if truth is relative, then the knowledge obtained by individuals, based on their cultures cannot be universally applicable. This raises a question as to why knowledge principles apply to all regardless of their cultures (Sinclair, 1937). In consideration of the philosophy of relativism, then any truth is determined by the reasoning of an individual, based on his culture. Reasoning allows individuals to create a compromise between different cultures, assessing their similarity in concurring to beliefs and thus judge on their applicability (Underwood, 2001). Therefore, since not everyone’s truths are true, we generate different knowledge from such truths. Since different cultures imparts different values on an individual belief system, then the justification of issues, through reasoning leads to different knowledge upheld by individuals. Thus, with relativism, in value system and truths upheld by individuals and their cultures, comes about the differences in philosophies, ...Show more
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Name: Course: Date: The truth Truth is relative based on ones culture and upbringing. While one thing could be right to one person, a group of people or a certain community, it could be wrong to others. All this is dependent on the culture of a people and on what they believe to be true…
The Relativist Doctrine
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