Disagreeing with cultural relativism

Cultural Relativism Possible interpretations of Cultural Relativism 1.

Disagreeing with cultural relativism


Why do we all morally disagree? Updated on March 22, more Jade is a graduate of Aberdeen University in Philosophy and Anthropology and remains interested in these areas while training as a teacher. Descriptive relativism is the view that the moral values of individuals conflict in unresolvable ways.

The notion of descriptive relativism can be applied to one individual and their difficulty in resolving a personal moral dilemma as none of the options available seem to be more obviously correct. It is most commonly used in the form of cultural relativism because the differences are more clear cut.

Cultural relativism takes the notion of descriptive relativism and applies it to the differing moral values which seem to follow cultural lines. This view still allows personal histories and beliefs of individuals to form the basis of disagreement among individuals but the focus lies on cultural diversity and the moral beliefs which result from socialisation in a particular culture.

However, it is difficult to find examples of descriptive relativism which truly hold up to the standards set for moral disagreement.

Disagreeing with cultural relativism

Essentially, descriptive relativism is a means of explaining differing moral views as a result of cultural background and experiences. It seems logical and understandable that this should be the case as it is difficult to conceive of a world in which all people agree on moral situations entirely no matter what their social background is.

Experience tells us that behaviour does drastically differ from place to place in the world and so cultural relativism seems the simplest, most logical means of dividing the differences. Although it does, of course, have problems the behaviour of individuals does most often tend to be a result of the history of their society and the cultural norms with have come about from this past experience and social expectations.

Cultural behaviour and beliefs come from the development of their own forefathers and their history. Thus, surely this is also the case for morality. It is difficult to conceive of morality being entirely innate, for people to be born with the belief that murder is always wrong or that theft is always wrong seems difficult in a world of more grey areas than black and white ones.

Anything being innate is difficult to accept as it seems from experience that we learn everything we do; no behaviour or knowledge has been accepted as innate so why would morality be a different case?

Committing acts and thus practising beliefs would certainly seem to be a learned trait which can only result from the common practices of those around.

What is cultural relativism?

There are examples of such things as cannibalism being an accepted behaviour in some social groups while in others, like our own, cannibalism is assumed and accepted to be an immoral act. The issue is whether or not we are able to tell these other societies that their behaviour is immoral.

What evidence do we have to support our morality above theirs? Perhaps neither view is more intuitively correct from an objective perspective and thus a level of acceptance of other behaviours and beliefs is required.

Chapter Summary

Hampshire describes the great variety of cultures with a diversity of kinship structures, sexual customs, admired virtues, relations between the sexes etc.

Usually each case can be boiled down to, at least in some sense, a difference in normative, factual beliefs.

Surely though this is understandable as morality itself cannot exists outside of society. Without a social structure or culture in which to learn behaviours how could morality and behaviour based upon moralities exist? Morality may be the base upon which we build our behaviours, but perhaps it is a more mutual duality of both morality and socialised behaviours and beliefs which inform how we are to act.

Morality may not be able to exists without these factual beliefs to also define correct behaviours. Morality may in fact require the framework social norms provide in order to thrive.But I just cannot see how any of those conclusions can lead to, or even can co-exist with, Cultural Relativism.

Why might one be a Cultural Relativist? Below I bring up common arguments for Cultural Relativism and then provide counter-arguments. So many cultures disagree about so many that we can understand progress.

Moral relativism - Wikipedia

If morality, as. Published: Mon, 5 Dec When it comes to human rights, the issue of cultural relativism is widely discussed. Majority of the human rights literature encompasses the western and non-western argument on what best illustrates what human rights should be. Cultural relativism is the view that an action is morally right if one’s culture approves of it.

The argument for this doctrine is based on the diversity of moral judgments among cultures: because people’s judgments about right and wrong differ from culture to culture, right and wrong must be relative to culture, and there are no objective.

Ethical Relativism 1. Ethical Relativism: In this lecture, we will discuss a moral theory called ethical relativism (sometimes called “cultural relativism”). Ethical Relativism: An action is morally wrong (or right) for someone if and only if that person’s culture believes it is wrong (or right).

When it comes to human rights, the issue of cultural relativism is widely discussed. Majority of the human rights literature encompasses the.

Cultural relativism is widely accepted in modern anthropology. Cultural relativists believe that all cultures are worthy in their own right and are of equal value. Diversity of cultures, even those with conflicting moral beliefs, is not to be considered in terms of right and wrong or good and bad.

Descriptive Relativism: Why do we all morally disagree? | Owlcation