Cultural Relativism

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We live in society that feels our way of doing things is obviously the best way. Most believe that all other cultures and societies should be doing things the way that we do them. But, what if our cultural definition of what is right or wrong isn't the case for another culture.? This paper will define cultural relativism, explain why it is important when studying other cultures, explain the difference between it and ethical relativism and explain if there are limits to cultural relativism.

Cultural relativism is the view that no society or culture is better than or superior to another culture when comparing systems of politics, morality, law, etc. Different cultures have different moral codes. Right and wrong are merely a matter of opinion. Cultural relativism states there are no independent standards by which to judge "correct" or "incorrect" actions and that all standards are subject to the culture in which they are taking place.

This is very important when studying and visiting other cultures because what may be "right or "wrong" to you, might not be the same to the culture you are visiting.There is no objective standard that can be used to judge one societal code better than another. Different cultures have different moral codes, and the moral code of a society determines what is "right" or "wrong" within that particular society. It is mere arrogance for us to try to judge the conduct of other peoples. Having an attitude of tolerance toward the practices of other cultures will always be helpful when traveling or studying another culture.

Ethical relativism holds that there are no universally valid moral principles, but rather all moral principles are valid relative to individual choice. It differs from cultural relativism because ethical relativism lets the individual decide what is "right" or "wrong" based merely off what they feel or believe and has nothing to do with what their culture is telling them. For example, we live in a culture that has a...
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