Essay about Cultural Relativism Is A Rule Of Behavior

1231 Words Sep 30th, 2015 null Page
Cultural Relativism is a rule of behavior. It restricts a natural instinct to judge, sort, and distinguish loosely and forbids any form of action. John Rachels’ The Challenge of Cultural Relativism outlines and attacks the theory of cultural relativism. He pays particular attention to the results of Cultural Relativism, and employs various examples to poke holes in the argument. What is important to remember is that his argument must exist under the assumption that a standard of morality that can transcend social differences exists. The three consequences of Cultural Relativism that Rachels identifies are not enough to reject the argument because the transcultural standard his examples rely on cannot be proven to exist.
Cultural relativism subscribes to the idea that all cultures have unique, individual moral codes. As legend has it, a king of Persia was fascinated by the moral differences he noticed the varied with each culture he was exposed to during his travels. An example of this is a comparison between Greek and Callatian treatments towards their dead. The Callatians traditionally eat the corpses of their dead fathers while the Greeks practice cremation. The Persian king, a relativist by practice, believed that a refined world would contain a healthy respect and at least a mild interest of differences between cultures. In reality, Callatians were horrified at the concept of burning the bodies of their fathers and the Greeks were equally revolted by the reverse…

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