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Cultural Relativism- Critical Analysis - Essay Example

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Argument in standard form Premises 1. According to cultural relativists, there are no universal moral principles. 2. Each society has its own different codes of conduct 3. Each moral or code of conduct applies only to the society in question. 4. We should adopt an attitude of tolerance towards the custom practices of other cultures Conclusion There is no objective truth in morality; it is nothing more than socially approved customs in a given culture. Discussion Cultural relativism is where each culture or ethnic groups is to be viewed on its customs, behavior on values and norms and not on the basis of those of other cultures or ethnic groups. Cultural relativists see moral norms as a result of culture. They see that many cultures disagree widely on moral norms and values, and there is no way which is clear to solve the differences therein. They, therefore, conclude that there are no accepted objective truths. Cultural relativists see other cultures, not as different not as “wrong”. According to premise one above, it wrong to say that there are no universal moral principles, according to cultural relativists. ...
The Cultural relativism does not conclude that it is not possible to have a universal system of moral values to guide humans from a universal perspective. Rather, it explains that every society has its own moral norms and values to guide members of that society, but these values are of worth to those who abide by them, but they may differ from those of other, different society members (Herskovits 31). This failure to understand the differences between intra and cross cultural relativism is the one which led ethicist like Abraham Edel to write “If cultural relativism is a sociological truth, then your morality judgment of good and bad, right and wrong) is a function (cause) of your domicile. If moral norms and values assertions are expressive (subjective), it all depends on your feelings…” (Edel 27-28). Cultural relativism only has relevance between cultures and not within a specific culture. It is a cross-cultural principle, not an intra-cultural principle. The first premise thus does not make the conclusion that morality is nothing more than socially approved customs to be true since it is evident that cultural relativism does not advocate ethical or individual relativism. In premise 4 if we abide by cultural relativism, then we will not be able to judge other cultures. We would no longer see other customs as inferior to our own, judging other societies merely because they are “different”. This will be good but only in some cases but not in a case where a society is anti-Semitic and waged a war against a Semite society. Cultural relativism would stop us from interfering, and we cannot even judge on the society which tolerant of Semites and one which is anti-Semites it would be ...Show more


Name: Instructor: Course: Date: Cultural Relativism - Critical Analysis Essay Post “According to cultural relativists, there are no universal moral principles. Instead, morality is nothing more than socially approved customs.” (284) I am in disagreement of cultural relativism for several reasons…
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Cultural Relativism- Critical Analysis Essay
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