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.
“It’s true for me if I believe it,” says moral relativism. In the same breath, it argues “if it is acceptable in my culture to torture people (for any reason), then I am accountable only to the constraints of my society’s beliefs of what is right, and not to any other standard of moral truth”. In asserting itself, moral relativism embodies the concept of ‘that’s true for you but not for me’ and implies that this moral disagreement between cultures leads to the conclusion there can be no absolute moral truth. In this essay, I will firstly outline briefly the arguments for moral relativism before countering them with reasons why the arguments are implausible. Secondly this essay will discuss the logical concept of absolute truth while highlighting a few weaknesses of relative truth.
The main issue in this piece is violence against women and women’s rights referring to female infanticide and female genital mutilation also known as FGM. Female infanticide is defined as the act of killing an infant simply because it is a female or aborting the fetus because it is a female, and FGM is the circumcision of the female genital intended to inhibit a woman’s sexual feelings (WHO 2014.) Although these are two separate issues with different trajectories they still lead to a violation of human rights (Saad 2014). These two issues are important topics because they will help in understanding and addressing violence against women in developing countries. Female infanticide is most common in India where the people believe that females are much of a burden, and according to who FGM happens in about “28 countries in Africa and in a few countries in Asia and the Middle East” (WHO, 2014).
These principles guide our behavior when reasoning through common ethical issues (Mnelillo, 2010). There will always be a need for ethical decision making. The Logic of ethical reasoning is not followed or adhered to by humans. People do not think critically about ethics, social conventions, and the law (Paul and Elder, 2006). We have seen harsh punishment, suffering, pain; and death plague our society because ethical logic reasoning was suppressed from the human mind.
According to this theory, what is morally good for one person or culture might be morally bad for another, and vice versa: there are no moral absolutes. There is also an individual form of moral relativism. Thus, this is where morality varies between individuals, it is called subjectivism. Subjectivism, on the other hand, involves our beliefs or perceptions, in figuring out what is good and what is bad. Narveson explains subjectivity through morals, which he believes to be “subjective.” Narveson believes that “they are merely a “matter of opinion,” there being no such thing as moral knowledge, nothing about can be really correct or incorrect” (Narveson, MM, p. 3).Thus, whether peanut butter tastes good, for example, varies from person to person; for some people this is true, for others it is false.
To some right, or wrong depends on the person and there moral beliefs. To Lenn Goodman in "Some Moral Minima,” (2010) some things are just wrong regardless to the person or their moral beliefs. Lenn Goodman believes that something’s are just wrong. As we explore Lenn Goodman’s beliefs, the list of universal moral requirements, and the logic behind the theory, we will determine whether or not we agree or disagree that universal moral requirements exist, and should they be followed. From child hood till now the belief has always been right is right, and wrong is wrong.
But as one delves further into this subject of philosophy, the fine differences between morals vs ethics start becoming clearer. It is the context in which one applies these values and principles, that the real difference between morals and ethics becomes apparent. Morals Versus Ethics The main difference that must be considered in this situation is that ethics are about the behavior about a collection of people, whereas morals are highly individualistic and personal in nature. Morals arise more as a set of rules passed down by society that we must conform to, in order to be accepted by the civilized strata of society. For instance, we are taught not to lie, steal, murder and commit acts of dishonesty since our childhood.
“Honor, purity and innocence.” Why is a woman considered honorable, pure and innocent if she is sexually inexperienced? Virginity in America is most commonly referred to during adolescent, every boy is dying to have sex, and many girls are too, but are repeatedly warned of the same sexual curiosity. Virginity is spoken of like it is inherently valuable for a girl to have it, and to lose it to someone that really matters to them. The difference is, a woman’s value in part largely depends on how “good” or “pure” she is while a man’s is
Some people believe that culture is a way that morality can be established, but morality differs from culture to culture. In Doing Ethics, Lewis Vaughn talks about cultural relativism and lays out an argument for it. In the second premise it states “If people’s judgments about right and wrong differ from culture to culture, then right and wrong are relative to culture, and there are no objective moral principles” (Vaughn 26). He makes it clear that he does not support this premise and explains his points as to why this is false. Cultural relativism is the idea that the moral principles someone has are solely determined by the culture one lives in.
Abortion means in the simplest terms killing an innocent child. Sometimes people remember that abortion severely mutilated the mother of the child physically, mentally, and spiritually. However, people do not think that abortion also affects how devastating the child's father, his siblings, grandparents and other family members (Richards, 2010). Presently the society is suffering from addicts of alcoholism, which is slowly killing the family values. Alcoholism and other addictions are not the only misfortune in the family of todays society, but it is a big one.