Arguments Against Cultural Relativism

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In James Rachel’s book, The Elements of Moral Philosophy Rachel argues that there are some major problems with the logic that Cultural Relativism is based on. In this paper I am going to argue against Moral Disagreement in which I will merge Cultural Relativism with subjectivism. CR states that the view rightness/wrongness and goodness/badness are culturally determined. What the majority of one’s culture decides is right or wrong. With that definition I would be sure this is true, but some people disagree with this. The Moral Disagreement argument stats this, 1(a) If CR is true, one cannot engage in rational moral disagreements with members of one’s culture or with members of different cultures. 2(a) One can engage in such rational moral …show more content…
For example, the Nazi’s and the horrible acts they committed. These culture’s believed these actions to be morally right? But how can this be? Is there not some objective moral standard that we as individuals hold? Was slavery ok? As Thomas Jefferson (a slave owner himself) says, “we are born with certain inalienable rights” and are free to pursue “life, liberty and happiness” – aren’t these objective standards that would always exist outside the moral codes determined by a given culture? These ideas would seem to contradict cultural relativism’s stance that there are no standards and that “when in Rome, do as the Romans” (17). Rachel seems to argue that some concepts are universally right and need to exist for a culture to truly have a valid moral …show more content…
No one culture is right or wrong. I would imagine that someone might say, well how can you have two cultures who are both right in their rightness/wrongness. If one culture is right how can it be determined who is right? I do follow along with the idea cultural relativism, why does anyone culture have to be right? If one culture is right in one thing than doesn’t that mean that other cultures are wrong? No, of course that doesn’t mean that. Moreover the idea of Moral Subjectivism states the view that rightness/wrongness of an action is determined by what an individual believe about rightness/wrongness for an action. If you don’t believe in something, don’t participate in that thing. Determining what is right or wrong is not going to be the same for every person. Human beings have this fascinating ability to determine their path in life, what will yours be? There is also this idea of consequentialism. Which say many people argue that humans have a conscience (which sets us apart from brute animals) and that we naturally derive what is ethically right or wrong from what our conscience tells us. Is this aspect of Moral Subjectivism something particular that humans have? Something spiritual? God given? Something that exists yet

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