The challenge of cultural relativism essay

All in all, the Eskimo practice was a volatile scheme that bore little resemblance to what we call marriage. The conclusion, however, concerns what really is the case. Similar reasoning shows that other values must be more or less universal.

On The Challenge of Cultural Relativism

It is only that life forces upon them choices that we do not have to make. Suppose it is because they believe that after death the souls of humans inhabit the bodies of animals, especially cows, so that a cow may be someone's grandmother. To the general public, these were disturbing revelations.

It is not held subject to verification by experience. Because Cultural Relativism says that these judgments make no sense, the argument goes, it cannot be right. Progress means replacing a way of doing things with a better way. As we shall see, this basic idea is really a compound of several different thoughts.

Or suppose a society was violently anti-Semitic and its leaders set out to destroy the Jews. An issue that now affects cultural relativism is while before cultures did not intermingle, they now live side by side, as neighbours and good friends, or worst enemies.

While cultural relativism has many great philosophies and could help lower the hate crime rates, it is important to realise that perhaps not all practices, such as the oppression of women, should be tolerated.

There may be situations in which it is thought to be permissible to lie.

James Rachels, The Challenge of Cultural Relativism - Admission/Application Essay Example

However, we would also be stopped from criticizing other, less benign practices. If so, then how? There is a difference between observing a practice that seems counterintuitive and foolish and one that is harmful or degrading.

But from a logical point of view, is it sound? Morality differs in every society, and is a convenient term for socially approved habits. Reformers such as Martin Luther King, Jr. Communication would then be extremely difficult, if not impossible. No; the difference lies elsewhere.

The Greeks believed it was wrong to eat the dead, whereas the Callatians believed it was right to eat the dead.

The Eskimos also seemed to have less regard for human life. Not every moral rule can vary from society to society.

Challenge of Cultural Relativism

Also, Eskimo mothers nurse their children much longer than we do, sometimes for four years or more, and if a woman already has a child or two it is very difficult for the woman to nourish more children. Our idea of social reform will also have to be reconsidered. I emphasize this in order to show that the raw data of the anthropologists can be misleading; it can make the differences in values between cultures appear greater than they are.

The great pioneering sociologist William Graham Sumner, writing input the point like this: Here is an outline: They were shocked, as Darius knew they would be, and replied that no amount of money could persuade them to do such a thing.In the text “The Challenge of Cultural Relativism,” James Rachels breaks down and discusses the theory of Cultural Relativism by presenting the pros and cons of this theory.

He exposes some of the shortcomings of the theory arguing that some of the claims are wrong and contradictory. Mar 15,  · James Rachels’ essay, The Challenge of Cultural Relativism, is primarily a critique of cultural relativism and, in a way; the writer has put forward a case for moral objectivity.

He identified a logical fallacy in the argument of Cultural Relativism and. Section I: Argument Summary: (at least one paragraph on each of these major headings) What is the main argument for cultural relativism?

Remember, this. Cultural Relativism This essay covers various aspects of cultural relativism and its argument to readers. Cultural relativism is a theory, which mainly concentrates. Cultural Relativism Essay Is cultural relativism good for our society? Cultural relativism is a belief where there are no absolute moral views or beliefs can be apply to all cultures, which makes “right” and “wrong” different in every society; what is considered “right” in one society may be considered “wrong” in another.

In the text “The Challenge of Cultural Relativism,” James Rachels breaks down and discusses the theory of Cultural Relativism by presenting the pros and cons of this theory.

The challenge of cultural relativism essay
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