“the Strengths of Cultural and Ethical Relativism Outweigh Their Weaknesses” - Discuss

Topics: Morality, Culture, Ethics Pages: 4 (1232 words) Published: December 13, 2012
“The strengths of cultural and ethical relativism outweigh their weaknesses” - discuss.

Cultural relativism is the concept that what is right or wrong varies according to the beliefs of each culture. Within different cultures we may observe that what we believe is morally wrong, they see as a normal thing, such as how many muslims believe that chopping off the hand is the correct punishment for stealing, where as in my culture this would be seen as simply barbaric. Because there are so many different cultures across the world, this means that there are no universal rights or wrongs that we can apply to everyone, and different societies have different moral codes, meaning that ours is just one among millions. Because of the ethical diversity all over the world, this means we have to be tolerable to all opinions and can not judge anyone or deem their actions right or wrong.

Ethical relativism is the concept that there are no universally valid moral principles. This is because all moral principles that a person holds, are specific to them and their own beliefs, knowledge and experiences. This means that there is no such thing as good in itself, as there are many different opinions on one topic that one person may see as good, but another may not. Because the good or bad is dependent on different peoples’ opinions, there can be no objective basis for us to discover the truth.

“If you say there is no such thing as morality in absolute terms, then child abuse is not evil, it just may not happen to be your thing.”[1] This quote is an example of how cultural and ethical relativism can be applied to real life. If there is no absolutes in terms of good and bad, then who am I to say that an act such as child abuse or abortion is wrong? just because I may see it as wrong, this does not mean that other people or other cultures may also think it is wrong, in fact, they may have no problem with it.

Although cultural and ethical relativism may at first seem...
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