Cultural Relativism Essay Research Paper The thesis
Cultural Relativism Essay, Research Paper
The thesis of meta-ethical cultural relativism is the philosophical point of view that there are no absolute moral truths, merely truths relation to the cultural context in which they exist. From this it is hence presumed that what one society considers to be morally right, another society may see to be morally incorrect, hence, moral right & # 8217 ; s and wrongs are merely comparative to a peculiar society. Therefore cultural relativism implies that what is & # 8216 ; good & # 8217 ; is what is & # 8217 ; socially approved & # 8217 ; in a given civilization. Two statements in favor of cultural relativism are the & # 8216 ; Cultural Differences statement & # 8217 ; and the & # 8216 ; Argument from the virtuousness of tolerance & # 8217 ; , the following essay will look at and measure both of these statements.
The cultural differences statement goes like this ; & # 8216 ; Different civilizations have different moral codifications, therefore there is no 1 correct set of moral claims, merely those that conform to the major set of beliefs within the given civilization & # 8217 ; .
First I am traveling to look at James Rachel & # 8217 ; s ( in & # 8216 ; The Elementss of Moral Philosophy & # 8217 ; , Ch.2 ) analysis of this statement, and secondly I would lie to give my appraisal of the statement.
Rachel & # 8217 ; s argues that this statement is non logical, as the decision does non follow from the factual premiss. The premiss makes an averment about differences in moral beliefs. The decision makes an averment about the nature of moral facts or truths. In general, he argues, one can non presume anything about what is or is non true about the universe, from premises about beliefs about the universe. A civilization may believe that the Earth is level, but believing so doesn & # 8217 ; Ts make it so ( nor does belief that the Earth is circular make it so ) . Nor does dissension over the form of the Earth imply that there is no definite form. This unfavorable judgment is non assuming that the premiss on which the cultural differences statement is based on is false, instead that the truth of the premiss can non vouch the truth of the decision.
Rachel & # 8217 ; s claim that physical facts are independent of beliefs about those facts is non justified. We ne’er have entree to the physical universe apart from, or independent of, some scientific or conceptual model. There is no & # 8220 ; position from nowhere & # 8221 ; which we can utilize to find whether our opinions about the universe are true or non. Moral facts are similar. In both instances the truth or falseness of a claim can merely be evaluated against the background of some conceptual model or another. It is in this regard I believe that Rachel & # 8217 ; s statement can be criticised.
I would wish to add a personal unfavorable judgment to the cultural differences statement. The statement presumes that a moral action within a given society is right every bit long as the society condones the act. I believe that this given is faulted given that, as history has frequently shown us, certain societies have been forced, or manipulated into, excusing and transporting out certain Acts of the Apostless on behalf
of the governments within the society. The most common illustration of this would be Hitler’s powerful influence over Germany during World War two that led the state to brutal freaks such as the Holocaust. A possible solution to this job, I believe, would be to add a simple comment to the statement ; ‘Different civilizations have different moral codifications, therefore there is no 1 set of right moral codifications, merely those that conform to the major set of beliefs within the given civilization, given that the beliefs are non forced upon the given culture’ .
The statement from the virtuousness of tolerance is the following statement in favor of cultural relativism that I am traveling to look at. The statement states that: & # 8216 ; meta-ethical cultural relativism promotes tolerance of different cultural moral beliefs, therefore we should accept this point of view, as it is the lone meta-ethical place that promotes tolerance of cultural differences in moral beliefs. & # 8217 ; This statement lies on the premise that because it is the lone meta-ethical place that promotes tolerance one should therefore follow it. I believe that this premise is flawed in that a individual should non follow something merely because it has one favorable facet that is non offered elsewhere. Take for illustration if a scientific theory offered a solution to an unresolved job that had non been attempted before, but lay on a scientifically impossible premise, one would evidently non accept this theory in explicating the phenomenon. I believe this is the same for the statement from the virtuousness of tolerance, as one should non accept the statement merely on the virtue that it is the merely in its field to advance tolerance.
The thesis of meta-ethical cultural relativism, in my position, is neither right nor incorrect, merely flawed. I believe that certain moral beliefs within different civilizations are justified due to the context in which they are in. I besides believe though, that absolute moral truths do be, and can non be judged right or incorrect because of the context in which they are in. In general I believe that a society should be in such a manner that promotes the being of that society, and exists in such a manner that is good for the well being of its members. I believe that certain civilizations can be judged right or incorrect if they act in such a manner that does non continue its being, but on the other manus I believe that we must esteem the civilizations of others even where some beliefs do non populate up to our criterions of & # 8216 ; right & # 8217 ; and & # 8216 ; incorrect & # 8217 ; .
Cultural relativism is a construct for much argument, my essay has looked at two statements on the affirmatory, viz. the statement from the virtuousness of tolerance and the cultural differences statement. Although the statements are deficient to turn out cultural relativism as a cardinal philosophical truth, they do supply grounds for many people to see themselves & # 8216 ; cultural relativists & # 8217 ; , and therefore give the construct a great trade of virtue in meta-ethical philosophical surveies.