Moral Relativism And The Cultural Differences Essay

1613 Words Nov 7th, 2016 7 Pages
In this paper, I will discuss moral relativism and challenge the cultural differences argument that states there are no universal moral truths. The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy states that, “Moral relativism is the view that moral judgments are true or false only relative to some particular standpoint (for instance, that of a culture or a historical period) and that no standpoint is uniquely privileged over all others” (Rachels n.pag.). Therefore, cultural consensus is the considered the “sole truth-maker” for ethical statements (Kowalski 173). If the consensus of the culture is positive toward one topic, that topic is permissible. The not favored topic is thereby impermissible. This then binds moral judgments to the individuals of the same culture and the culture becomes subjected to its own criterion for moral truth. No one society is superior over the others and all cultures are to be respected by others. This sparks a debate on the existence of such universal moral truths. I reject moral relativism and the cultural differences argument by discussing the argument’s self-defeating claim, arbitrariness, and denial of moral progression as well as providing examples from the movie: Hotel Rwanda.
In Hotel Rwanda, the Hutus make up the majority and the Tutsi “cockroaches” comprise the minority. In this movie, the protagonist Paul, a Hutu faces difficult moral decisions regarding helping his Tutsi wife and the rest of his family members. Disagreeing with the beliefs of…

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