Cultural Relativism: Moral Beliefs A nearly full coverage and great paper on the meaning and the way we play it out in everyday life.

Essay by didyaCollege, UndergraduateA+, January 2003

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Cultural Relativism: Moral Beliefs

Cultural relativism is the viewpoint and belief that there are no absolute moral truths, only truths relative to the culture in which you belong to. What one society would consider morally right, another society might consider to be morally wrong, therefore, what is morally right and what is morally wrong are only relative to a particular, individual society. Cultural relativism implies that what is "good" is what is "socially approved" to a culture.

Beliefs, values, and morals are all based on individual cultures. It is clear to see that there are differences of what is acceptable and unacceptable in different societies across the world. There is no master book or something to tell us whether our judgements about the world are true or not.

Growing up in my culture, I have learned to love meat. It's the best when I can go and have a nice, juicy steak for a meal, the bigger the better! This is not a problem in my culture (except for those few health conscience people who say I will die from heart disease, but who listens to them anyway.)

However, if I were raised in the Hindu culture these dietary practices would be considered wrong. Eating my nice, juicy steak would be very morally wrong.

The example of Hindu culture, (taken from my discussion instructor) is that they are outraged at our culture for our practice of eating beef because in their culture, cow meat is based on the religious belief that dead relatives are reincarnated into animals such as cows.

From examples like these and many others around the world we can see a good case for different cultures having different moral views. I believe that at a surface level cultural relativism holds some merit, however if we...