Conclusion Of Cultural Relativism

1886 Words 8 Pages
What is cultural relativism and what are James Rachels’ conclusions about cultural relativism? Do you agree with him? Why or why not?
In The Elements of Moral Philosophy, James Rachel defines cultural relativism as different cultures having different moral codes. Therefore, moral truth is relative and varies from culture to culture. Further on, he justifies why the cultural relativism argument is invalid, and why cultural relativism (if it were true) is an unacceptable form of morality. Finally, he makes concessions to acknowledge some valuable learning points of cultural relativism. In this essay, I argue the flaws in his conclusions and maintains that although it is important for objective truths to exist, cultural relativism may still be a best explanation for some extreme cases of disagreements that we observe today.
The Cultural Differences argument postulates that different cultures have different moral codes. Hence right and wrong is only a matter of opinions, and opinions vary from culture to culture. However, James Rachel points out the invalidity of the argument - the conclusion does not follow from the premise. Disagreements between two different beliefs does not necessarily mean there is no objective truth in the matter, such
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Moral relativists such as David Wong and Gilbert Harman have provided a more sophisticated version of moral relativism which mitigated some flaws of the inaugural and naïve form which Rachel argued against. Cultural relativism is also a relevant theory to explain the extreme cases of disagreements in our world. However, there is still invalidity and shortcomings of the cultural relativism argument that hinders moral progress, or deteriorate the view about morality into nihilistic grounds. Hence it is still essential to maintain some moral truths as objective instead of accepting the theory in

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