Cultural Relativism (Essay Sample)

December 4, 2020
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Cultural Relativism
We all come from different cultures and therefore, have our own sets of beliefs and norms that we ascribe to. To some of us, it is accurate that we are slaves of our cultural beliefs. Often, people look at things and even pass judgement while being guided or being influenced by their cultural background. Therefore, it is indeed possible to find or say something from another culture is right or wrong or ethical and unethical especially when our cultures guide us. The above is often referred to cultural bias, and cultural relativism is the opposite of such thinking. Cultural relativism seeks to have people judge or view values, beliefs, principles, and practices within the confines of a particular culture. This means that while the norms may vary from culture to culture, everyone is right or equal simply because there is no single system which is fit enough to be used as a yardstick. Cultural relativism was born from the idea that the world lacks an ultimate standard measure of right or wrong and good or evil. Consequently, whatever people regard as right or wrong and good or evil is indeed the product of the society. Therefore, every deed in society is subject to an individual’s cultural perspective or simply an individual’s cultural background.
Currently, it appears that cultural relativism is almost upheld all over the world of course except a few societies. Today, use of words such as tolerance, pluralism, as well as acceptance has become rampant, and people are culturally creating space for others. People seem to understand each other better and are willing to seek to comprehend the workings of other cultures. To a large extent, cultural relativism has helped us to co-exist and to accommodate each other despite our diverse cultural backgrounds. People do not question or out-rightly say something is evil or good unless the action in question is universally considered good or evil.
However, it is essential to consider all factors that relate to cultural relativism. Initially, we had cultural perspective, and it brought about a willingness to seek to understand politics, history as well as psychology. People used to want to understand another culture’s actions rather than opt for the easy way out and say “we need to understand and accept the morals of other cultures.” The universal truths, lies, good as well as evil were coined because we had cultural perspective. Gradually, however, the world has moved on from seeking to understand history and psychology to simply accepting everything as it is. The world has slowly eroded the aspect of reason, and currently, it is almost impossible to categorize something as morally right or wrong.
In conclusion, it is true to say that cultural relativism has helped to become accommodative. However, it is also true that it is gradually robbing us off the ability to make or pass any judgements whatsoever. We have become more tolerant as well as accommodative to more bizarre and incomprehensible activities in the name of cultural relativism. As is always the case, people have turned what cultural relativism originally meant to something contradictory. The incorporation and global adoption of the words tolerance, acceptance, and pluralism have also helped to dilute the matter at hand. It is fair to say that absolute relativism is nearly impossible and that its basic premise of truth being relative is flawed.

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