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.
One of the glaring statements that has often been made is the possibility of generalizing human rights without taking into consideration the difference in culture, tradition, religion more importantly human nature itself which vary from each one to another. Is it likely that we can achieve human rights which are universal without the existence of a universal culture? Firstly, the idea of human nature indicates both their nature and their source: they are rights that one has simply because one is human and that a right is a special entitlement that one has to something. They are held by all human beings, irrespective of any rights or duties one may or may not have as citizens, workers or members of families, private organizations and so forth. In the language of the 1948, they are universal rights.
Having argued that there are universals, Russell attempts to justify the existence of ‘Properties’, a type of universal. Resemblance Nominalism rejects the existence of Properties on the grounds that there are no universals. But since it considers resemblances between Particulars to exist, it
To prove that moral truth is not a myth, Opposing values of the Nyakyusa and the Eskimo tribe will be looked at Problem statement Is it possible to prove that cultural relativism is wrong to claim that moral truth does not exist in ethics? Hypothesis According to Gensley (2011:170-171), each culture has different moral codes, all cultures have to be able to tolerate the cultures of others without judging their moral codes but accept them as true when society approves of them, but they are instances where this is unacceptable. If people are not able to judge a certain culture then the world has to accept acts like those of the Nazi’s and apartheid as right. One can clearly notice that a certain way of a culture is wrong but because of the norm “they are no object truths in society” one is forced to do nothing about the situation and insist that an act is right. Act is approved by society Customs are also approved by a community in which they exist not only by religion (Wilson, 1960:76).
I will try to show some logical contradictions that occur even if we ignore this is-ought problem. One maxim of moral relativism which will form the basis of the following arguments is “There is no “universal truth” in ethics—that is, there are no moral truths that hold for all people at all times” (Rachels 1986, p. 421). I will compare this claim to others made by relativists and attempt to show that this central claim of relativism is violated by the others. “The moral code of a society determines what is right within that society; that is, if the moral code of a society says that a certain action is right, then that action is right, at least within that society.” (Rachels 1986, p. 421) This is the central claim of moral relativism, the single claim that sums it up best. It is a very interesting claim though, because it states what is right, not within a single society, but within all societies.
The clean autonomous morality derived from Rousseau's and Kant's conception of human freedom as self-determination is, Habermas states, inevitably alien to the reality of everyday life. However, through its mediated form universalistic moral principles can effect practical validity, evidenced by the inclusion of fundamental rights in contemporary constitutions.1 Within a single country the expectation that universal principles will be applied is related to the fact that there is an authority, namely the state, which guarantees that all others will be held to the same principles. The problem [of modernity?] is: how can international relations be bound by recognized principles of a universalistic morality , where there is – and perhaps should not even be – such an authority? For a world state would be something to be feared.2 On Modernity – “at the end of the 18th century, there was the experience of living in a society and a time in which all pregiven models and norms were disintegrating, and in which one therefore had to discover one's own.
1. Explain what is meant by the term absolutism and relativism Relativism is the denial of any absolute or objective values like truth, moral goodness, beauty, etc. And the affirmation of the individuals; community or culture as the source of values. Absolutism is the view that values of truth, beauty, and/or moral goodness are independent of human opinion and have a common or universal application. The absolutist's view is that some statements are "objectively true," that is, true independent of whether anybody recognizes their truth.
With this being said, society only has the right to restrict behavior on the basis of justice, and not because society deems it to be immoral. Within the Principle of Liberty, Mill also claims that it is not acceptable for society to put restrictions on an individual’s conduct, for reasons that they feel would be in the best interest of that person. The majority only has the right to develop laws that confine the conduct of individuals with the purpose of protecting the basic rights of others; otherwise they would be obstructing that person’s right to individuality. Mill believes that everyone is entitled to certain moral rights that cannot be denied. Every member of society is entitled to rights of security of his person and property, as well as basic liberties such as freedom of opinion and the right to live his life as he so chooses.
“Constructivism” does not espouse a substantive international relations theory of its own, but rather criticizes other theorists for failing to take account of the full content and sources of state interests. For constructivists, the international system is an ideational construct of state actors, in which there are widely shared inter-subjective beliefs. States “construct” one another in their relations, and states’ sovereignty constantly defining and redefining it through social interactions. To fully understand the “interests” of states it’s important to understand human consciousness and its role in international society, and why certain norms – such as a norm favoring the use of force to protect human rights – can emerge within the society of states (Murphy, 2012). The post-Cold War era has seen international law (IL), transnational actors, decisional fora, and modes of regulation mutate into fascinating hybrid forms.
The first is of Kant who believes that self interest should be disregarded when deciding whether actions are moral or not. This is because morals can be manipulated for our own benefit. I.e. morality is subjective. This can be interpreted as self interest is part of, or is, morality, which can lead to justifying actions which go against the consensus of society e.g.