Argument On Cultural Relativism

1745 Words 7 Pages
Being a cultural relativist implies the notion of lacking the capability to make critical moral judgements about the views and practices of other cultures (Westacott, n.d.). Hence, we ought not to be a cultural relativist because it is essential that we retain the capacity to make critical moral judgements about the views and practices of other cultures and not remain ignorant to critiquing nor praising those views. This is because judgement is a human necessity and required to facilitate for growth and development of already established morals in our own culture through understanding the morals which other cultures entail. In brief, this is an argument against cultural relativism. The following shall be an examination of this problem. In what …show more content…
Wong states that just because a culture believes certain practices and beliefs are true to them, does not make them morally true for all in society (Wong, n.d., p. 37). Wong acknowledges that customs of various cultures are subjective. However, he does not agree with the idea that those cultural beliefs determine what is right and wrong in society. It is in fact the “moral acceptability” and “moral criticism” that determines what is correct and incorrect (Wong, n.d., p. 37). Wong claims that practices in a given culture “may influence what people think is fine and just, but it is quite another thing for custom to determine what is fine and just.” (Wong, n.d., p. 37). Therefore, one must accept that there is an objective moral truth, apart from the beliefs that are exclusive to one’s own culture. For instance, Wong holds a viewpoint on the concept of tolerance being a moral value (Westacott, n.d.). Tolerance is a value which must be derived from an objective position. Since moral relativism does not by itself entail a tolerant attitude, you need to have an objective moral truth involved. It is rather a moral relative truth to determine the value of tolerance. Cultural relativists have an acceptance of other cultures; therefore, they do tolerate. However, the difference is that they do not judge. Consequently, tolerance is a virtuous quality to have as a cultural relativist, but the absence of …show more content…
146). Taylor mentions that there requires a third system of judgement to neutralise the morals of different cultures; “For to choose between any two methods, a neutral third method must be used…to give reasons for accepting one method and rejecting the other.” (Taylor, 1987, p. 157). However, Taylor claims this cannot be a possible outcome as different decisions can still cause opposing opinions (Taylor, 1987, p. 157). Therefore, through this reasoning, moral judgement can be viewed as unachievable. I fail agree with this argument. Just because there are opposing issues when having a third system of judgement, does not ignore the fact that the system does exist. This system is the objective moral truth which cultural relativists do not accept. Moral judgement is achievable through this third neutral system because it is objective and does not sway in any culture’s direction. Therefore, opposing opinions are naturally existent, but the moral stance in society still exists and is achieved due to its

Related Documents

Related Topics