Moral Theory

Topics: Ethics, Morality, Cultural relativism Pages: 3 (608 words) Published: March 5, 2013
Paper 1: Moral Theory

Cultural Relativism

Arguments For:

(Freedom of expression

(Know one has the right to judge moral practices of other cultures

(No universal moral code

Arguments Against:

(There is no absolute truth

(Wrong actions could be right

(Cultures don’t have to have any good reasons for their moral views

(Truth is whatever you believe

“What courts as a decent human being is relative to historical circumstance, a matter of transient consensus about what attitudes are normal and what practices are unjust”(Wilson). I have to disagree with Wilson’s class. Who are we to tell as a society to tell another culture that their way of living is wrong? “We must understand that to cry “tolerance” for one principle and then “offended” when others are exercising their beliefs and freedoms is hypocritical. This problem is increasing as free societies are changing their practices of tolerance”(All About Philosophy).

To observe the theory of cultural relativism, you must first start with in open mind. In this world there are large amounts of people who belong to different cultural and societies. Cultural Relativism is the premise that ones beliefs, values, and morals are based on their on culture. Therefore, since morality is based on the society in which you live, and different societies have different views of right and wrong, there can be no moral absolutes. Since there are no absolutes, under this view of cultural relativism all moral views determined by ones culture is deemed true whether you agree or not. Cultural relativism is one of the many components of moral theories that deals with the idea that “moral utterances are truth-apt” and truth is decided upon the practices and beliefs held by that society. For instances take the Eskimos culture engages in infanticide. This practice is shocking to most cultures. Does it make sense for our society to say that this is immoral? No according to cultural...
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