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Cultural Relativism Essay

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Below is an essay on "Cultural Relativism" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

Cultural Relativism is a theory stating the idea that cultural norms and ideas differ from culture to culture. In addition, Cultural Relativism says that there are no universal standards and truth in ethics. It is relative to the culture to determine whether a moral standard is right or wrong. There is no objective standards judging other cultures code as inferior or superior to another. Thus, since cultural relativism states that we can’t judge other cultures moral codes, then we must be tolerant of them. The Cultural Relativism theory generates an argument in a form of proposing a conclusion about morality based upon facts of a culture. For example, infanticide is a moral code of the Eskimo society. The Eskimo’s believe that infanticide is morally acceptable while American’s view infanticide as iniquitous. As a conclusion, infanticide is not right or wrong because it depends on the cultures opinion and beliefs about infanticide. Such arguments is called “Cultural Differences Argument.” Cultural differences argument ties into one generalized argument: “Different cultures have different moral codes. Thus, there is no right or wrong, it just depends on the cultures beliefs and opinions. The understanding of cultural relativism could be associated with the idea of fashion. Comparing fashion trends in the 1980’s to what we define as fashion today differs. In the 1980’s, it was fashionable and a hit for people to wear bell bottoms and shoulder pads. However,there is no universal standards for interpreting fashion for all times and places. In relation to cultural relativism, there is no universal truth or standards to determine right and wrong. Moral standards are relative to the culture and the moral codes of the culture determines what’s right or wrong within that specific culture.

          Although cultural relativism might be true, the theory is being criticized in ways that it will lead to consequences if we take the theory as correct. Moral progress is an...

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