People also have the ability to think morally for themselves so morality is relative to someone’s point of view. The main point favoring the cultural relativism argument is that if there are no moral principles, then the principles can only be relative to culture. If someone were to express their opinion about the morals of a culture that they didn’t agree with, including what the culture already believed to be right, then that person would lose the argument without any question. This can be easily disproved because in one culture, not every person is going to have the same moral judgments about what is right or wrong and people can establish objective moral principles. A culture also can’t think of them as having the power to decide which is right and
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.
Those who oppose cognitivists are called non cognitivists and they believe that when someone makes a moral statement they are not describing the world, but they are merely expressing their feelings and opinions, they believe that moral statements are not objective therefore they cannot be verified as true or false. In this essay I will be discussing the multiple branches of cognitive theories and non cognitive theories in order to answer the Janus-like question whether or not moral statements truly hold objective meaning. Ethical naturalism is just one branch of a cognitive theory in which naturalists believe that ethical statements are the same as non-ethical ones, meaning they are all factual and can
As James Rachels said, “Cultural Relativism might be true, but it might lead to some consequences, such as no longer being able to say that the customs of other societies are morally inferior to ours, or we could decide whether actions are right or wrong just by consulting the standards of our society and even the idea of moral progress would be called into doubt.” Cultural Relativism has some good advantages; it helps us to keep an open mind about other people´s beliefs. On the other hand, Cultural Relativism is not a good system that should be followed by each culture separately because there are some universal rules that should be followed, for instance no murder. Laws should be created under morality, and they might not be perfect, but they are the best rules that we as humans have. Even though societies still have arguments about their beliefs because it is impossible to have complete peace because of our differences. For example, For the Greeks it was believed that it was wrong to eat the dead, whereas the Callatians believed it was right to eat the dead, or the Eskimos saw nothing wrong with infanticide, whereas Americans believed infanticide is immoral.
In doing this, I hope to provide an evaluation of the weaknesses in the relativist argument, in addition to an exploration of an alternative account of why the IBR has failed to integrate into certain non-Western societies that does not depend on an assertion (radical or non-radical) of relative cultural values. Cultural relativism is the view which advocates for ethical relativism on grounds of cultural differences. Kajit John Bagu defines it as “[t]he notion that a practice, value, norm and law of a society should be understood and appraised by people outside of that society only in that society's terms and standards”1. Human rights, in contrast, are defined within the articles of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), which states in its preamble that it is a “common standard of achievement for all peoples and nations (...) secur[ing] their universal and effective recognition and observance, both among the peoples of Member States themselves and among the peoples of territories under their jurisdiction”. These two notions, at their respective extremes (extremes herein referred to as radical cultural relativism and radical universalism2), are at odds with one another.
Questioning the ideas and decisions of people in authority is crucial to the advancement and development of their self-cognitive thinking and discovery. Everyone has their own idea of ethics and morality, but figures of authority including teachers, heads of nations, or other positions of power, may not always be in line that morality. In order to determine whether a figure of authority is doing what is just, individuals must speak out when they perceive injustice. That means that they must question the authority. Dystopian novels often portray systems of national leadership in which questioning the authority of the government is explicitly forbidden.
Cultural relativism in my opinion is how you look at someone’s culture, beliefs, and rituals although you may not do these same things you can agree to them as being relative or relevant to their own personal and social views. Cultural relativism is important to anthropologist because when they do fieldwork they have to look at cultures with a holistic view and have to see everything done and in their own point of view and relate it to the culture of the society of people doing it. Not to be understood by other people but totally understood by the society doing it so right or wrong is culture specific. There is no standard for morality in today’s society nobody has the right to be judged by their customs. Cultural relativist believe that all cultures are worthy in their own right and are of equal value no one that is not in the society can say whether it is right or wrong for some of the practices done to be wrong.
Lastly, Cultural Relativists often argue that it is mere arrogance for us to judge the conduct of other societies, and that we should adopt an attitude of tolerance toward the practices of other cultures. Although it may be a display of arrogance to judge the conduct of other societies, it is sometimes necessary to do so and convey disagreement when the situation arises. Given these revised interpretations of the 5 claims commonly made by Cultural Relativists, individuals and cultures ought to be guided by a revised philosophy known as Centralized Cultural Relativism, where societies may have different moral codes, but they all inherit certain properties from a parent code, which is influenced by factors including human biology, physiology, and what is necessary for a society to
Cultural relativism Denise Lewis ANT 101: Introduction to Cultural Anthropology (GSF1517D) Instructor: Fae Goodman Date Submitted The comprehension of a different culture practices tends to be difficult when only used in comparison to one’s own culture and practices. It may seem not normal for one’s own standards yet to those of the opposite cultures our own practices may not be considered as normal or logical to them as well. In order to be able to understand any culture, one must really know the meaning of cultural relativism. “Cultural relativism is the idea that the significance of an act is best understood by the standards of the actor’s own culture” (Crapo, 2013). Using this definition will lay the foundation of this paper.
Cultural relativism is the view that each culture must be understood in terms of the values and ideas of that culture and not be judged by the standards of another (Miller, 2007, p. 11). However, critical cultural relativism poses questions about cultural practices in terms of who accepts them and whether they are harming or helping "universal human rights" (Miller, 2007). Consider and list some universal human rights that would be accepted by all cultures. Discuss why you consider these universal human rights for all cultures (for example: you might discuss the right to bear children, clean air, and knowledge). When we freely think of cultural relativism, we tend to kind of break out the box in terms were we have to understand the culture and its entirety.