The Issues Surrounding Cultural Relativism Essay examples

943 Words Feb 24th, 2016 4 Pages
The Issues Surrounding Cultural Relativism Everyone is entitled to their own opinion regardless of any outside factors. Opinions are mostly shaped by cultural biases that form perspectives on certain topics or ideas. Therefore, one cannot take another person’s opinion as fact because of the aforementioned aspect of bias that an opinion has. The concept of cultural relativism is key to understanding exactly why these biases form and why cultures develop the way they do. Cultural relativism refers to a local truth in which each culture cannot judge one another, regardless of whether those truths are morally good or evil. Outsiders who do not identify or participate with the culture executing these practices cannot judge those committing the act. Cultural relativism within itself is nonsensical as it contradicts itself on several aspects. If all truths are valid, then there exist truths that can be contradicted by other truths. What stops an individual from simply stating that there only exists one ultimate truth instead of several local truths, making concepts like subjectivity, obsolete by definition? Discussions involving individuals from different cultures, or intercultural discussions, fall prey to the contradictions and pitfalls that come with cultural relativism. At its core, cultural relativism refers to the “approach to the question of the nature and role of values in culture” (Herskovits 1973: 7-8). With this in mind, one can conclude that when any interaction…

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