Cultural Relativism Essay

Topics: Morality, Ethics, Religion Pages: 3 (1093 words) Published: November 20, 2011
Is cultural relativism good for our society?

Cultural relativism is a belief where there are no absolute moral views or beliefs can be apply to all cultures, which makes “right” and “wrong” different in every society; what is considered “right” in one society may be considered “wrong” in another. Since no universal standard of morality exists, no one has the right to judge another society’s customs. If this belief is held true, then every culture will have their own set of “rules” to live by and no one can judge on, even they are doing things that are abnormal in this world, because in that particular group the action will be viewed as perfectly normal. This creates a situation where no person regardless of his or her authority in society can define what is right and wrong. This may lead to chaos and an attitude within people that they will never strive for progression or advancement. Cultural relativism is not a good philosophy to guide the interactions among individuals and cultures because there are some universal rules we must follow, (ex: no murder, no genocide etc). Society’s rules should be created under those moral codes and human should judge on them because there isn’t perfect in any man-made things, but cultural relativism is also needed in society, in order to remind us to keep an open mind on everything.

In each society, there has to be some universal rules that exist in order for a society to continue to work. In the essay, The Challenge of Cultural Relativism by James Rachels, he argued that many values in each society must be more or less universal. For example, if a society does not prohibit murder, people can kill each other freely at anytime, and no one will judge whether it is right or wrong. In that particular society, no one will feel safe, everyone is afraid of each other and will decrease the interaction between them. This eventually will lead a society to collapse because its existence is based on the interactions of human beings....

Cited: Rachels, James. “The Challenge of Cultural Relativism.” Ed, LAHS World-Lit Team. [print]
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