Morality vs. Culture

Topics: Morality, Cultural relativism, Culture Pages: 1 (388 words) Published: May 10, 2005
Is morality Relative to culture?
This argument's foundation is the basic question on whether morality is relative to culture, or owns own desires. The pros of this argument are that we get to establish whether or not morality is a true sense of justice. As Melville J. Herskovitz indicates who is in favor of the cultural relativism notion, "Morality is a diverse unique variation of codes and ethics threat arises from culture to culture, belief to belief." He argues that we cannot judge society based on its laws, and that we have to right to declare them inhumane. The pro's of his argument supporting cultural relativism are that we as a superior society in the United States need to respect the laws and traditions as what is deemed acceptable in other third world nations. After all he eluded, it was by force that Europeans imposed themselves upon African cultures. This serves as the basis for his argument. That we are in no right to judge simply because we live a different lifestyle and fear change. His opposition, Louis P. Pojman makes a great counter attack. He agrees with Herskovitz in that social morality does indeed differ from culture to culture, but that does not make them necessarily right. He continues his argument by accentuating that if conventional relativism is accepted, then racism genocide of unpopular minorities, oppression of the poor, slavery, and even the advocacy of war for its own sake are as equally moral as their opposites. I believe this is where Pojman solidifies his argument. "Conventionalist relativism seems to reduce to subjectivism. And subjectivism leads, as we have seen, to the demise of morality altogether (Pojman)." I cannot pinpoint a con on Pojman's argrument because he acknowledges the importance of ethical diversity, and he strongly recommends that we scrutinize the cultural relativism argument to find the many loopholes that the naked eye can't see. I believe most of morality comes as a result of selfishness in a sense...
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