Cultural Relativism Essay

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Cultural relativism is the code of regarding the practices, beliefs and values of a culture from the perspective of the culture in question. However different cultures have different moral codes, which is the key to accepting the idea of morality. James Rachels states a few arguments defending cultural relativism. However, I disagree with his arguments because cultural relativism does not always excuse what one culture believes is morally wrong while the other culture believes it is morally right, therefore there is no objective truth. For example, the Greeks believed it was wrong to eat the dead, whereas the Callatians believed it was right. Therefore, one cannot say that eating the dead is morally right or wrong. It is based on matters of opinions that vary from different cultures. Rachel’s first argument, one cannot criticize any other cultural practices, one would disagree and reply; other cultural practices believe one’s life is not a problem. However, that is morally wrong because taking away one’s life is in nature’s hand, not by any human force. So for one to criticize another cultural practice could help save lives. For example, Rachels mention how in the life of an Eskimo, infanticide is common. Also, old people become too feeble to contribute to the family and are left out in the snow to die. Evidently, just because different societies disagree on a certain matter that does not mean there is no objective truth in the situation. Some societies might just be simply wrong their beliefs. However one can easily object to this argument. One would object and believe it is right to kill children and the old people in their culture because of the conditions in which they live in, specifically in terms of weather and poverty. The Eskimos who kill healthy born infants have a meaningfully different value from ours. It is not that Eskimos care less for their children
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