Culture Relativism states that we cannot absolute say what is right and what is wrong because it all depends in the society we live in. James Rachels however. James Rachels summarizes the former theory into one brief statement: “Different cultures have different moral codes.” (Rachels, 18) Ethical relativism. Cultural Relativism. Morality differs in every society, and is a convenient term for socially approved habits. Ruth Benedict, PATTERNS OF CULTURE ().

Author: Douktilar Faerg
Country: Antigua & Barbuda
Language: English (Spanish)
Genre: Marketing
Published (Last): 4 July 2004
Pages: 13
PDF File Size: 9.45 Mb
ePub File Size: 11.40 Mb
ISBN: 962-1-76353-544-3
Downloads: 59238
Price: Free* [*Free Regsitration Required]
Uploader: Munris

Humans are more creatures of habit than they are of universal morality.

The conclusion, however, concerns what really is the case. The notion of right is in the folkways. The people there believe jamee everyone else is using black magic to poison them.

He states that we agree that we should not eat our grandmother, when only pages before he discusses the disagreement over eating relatives. Hemsley Long Paper Prof. Moreover, our own code has no special status; it is merely one among many.

There is no way, on the other hand, to scientifically prove in and of themselves, not with relation to the environment or any other external factor whether cremation or cannibalization is morally better, relatkvism whether infanticide is morally right.

Using these two examples, Rachels comes up with two general arguments that cultural relativism uses: Along those same lines, it is imperative that the young of the society be cared for so that they may carry it into the future.

Click here to sign up. As a result, he makes relatiivsm on the lack of differences among cultures that should not be made. Abu Rizvi December 6, HCOL A Cultural and jamess relativism are two widespread theories that are used to explain the differences among cultures and their ethics and morals. When the two theories are combined, they form a complete theory that some anthropologists and philosophers apply to cultures to describe rituals and actions that differ among them.


Shipka and Minton, p.

Cultural Relativism | WYSU

One of Professor Rachels’ key points is raches cultural relativism is based on a faulty argument which he calls the cultural differences argument. Enter the email address you signed up with and we’ll email you a reset link. Rachels argues that cultural relativism would continue to support the notion that, because there is a difference of a opinion, there cannot be one truly correct belief. I believe, further, that modern international moral affirmations, such as the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights, support my position.

Therefore, it may be arguable that cultural or ethical relativism does not apply to most cultures, only to those on the extremities that Benedict cites. As time goes on, certain actions rachesl to become congenial, and others, uncongenial. There is nothing moral about whether or not Earth is flat—it has been scientifically proven that Jaems is an oblate spheroid.

Benedict cites another example of relxtivism culture-wide action that would seem illogical and immoral to someone of Western culture: Similarly, there is no reason to think that if there is moral truth everyone must know it.

One final example that he uses to support his analysis is the difference between cultures that refuse to eat cows and those who do not.

According to Locke, the duties of parents to their children and their authority over them cease when the children become adults. Therefore, there is no objective ‘truth’ in morality. Rachels covers the topics and examples of cultural relativism within the central area of the spectrum, while Benedict covers relstivism at the far ends. For rachelss, we would not be able to condemn cultures that enslave people or that commit genocide.

Rather, he was simply a nice guy who liked to work and be helpful. Another situation addresses the Eskimo practice of infanticide. Paradox and Discovery, Fifth Edition, p. Benedict, 36 In one instance, a chief responded to the apparent death of his sister and her daughter by gathering a war party and eventually killing seven men and two children while they were sleeping.


Cultural Relativism

There is no rule that states that moral cultures must abide by such a code, and that any culture that does not is not moral. The first conclusion is that a member of one culture would not be able to consider any other cultures inferior to their own, as it would not be true—they are simply all different. He had no desire to mask his true personality and conform to the tendencies of his culture. Right and wrong are only matters of opinion, and opinions vary from culture to culture.

While each culturally-specific ritual may be difficult to understand for other cultures, the culture in which it is followed sees it as indispensable and imperative for survival. One example Benedict uses is that of an island of northwest Melanesia. For instance, writing insociologist William Graham Sumner, affirmed: A prominent ethical theory, cultural relativism, holds that the right or the good is the customary.

Benedict has the opposing viewpoint that the morals and ethics of cultures are, in fact, relative. In fact, there is disagreement even between his examples that show his assumptions are incorrect: According to Rachels, Eskimo mothers often kill their female babies after birth, without social stigma being attached to the action.

Remember me on this computer.