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The Challenge of Cultural Relativism

            Have you ever felt that another culture was so different than yours that everything they did was just flat out absurd? This is the exact opposite of what a culture relativist would believe. Culture Relativism is essentially the act of not judging another culture's behavior based on the standards of their own culture and that every culture should be analyzed individually. This means that no absolute moral values/beliefs can be applied to all cultures, which makes "right" and "wrong" different in every society. What is considered "right" may be considered "wrong in another society. This means that every culture would have their own set of rules to live by and no one could judge them on it. This belief may lead to chaos because it may impede a society from progression/advancement. We must follow some universal rules (no murder or genocide) and cultural relativism rids an idea of a universal truth. In order to progress, we must be allowed to judge since there is no such thing as being perfect. Though cultural relativism is needed in society to remind us to keep an open mind. .
             James Rachels mentions in his essay, "The Challenge of Cultural Relativism" that many values in each society much be more or less universal. For example, if a society doesn't out law murder, people would be allowed to kill each other whenever they please and no one would judge whether it is right or wrong. In a society such as that, no one would feel safe and everyone would be afraid of each other and in return, there would be a decrease in interaction. This type of mindset would eventually "kill" the society because society is based on the interactions of human beings. .
             If we were to accept Cultural Relativism, "We could no longer say that the customs of other societies are morally inferior to our own" (Ethics: History, theory and Contemporary Issues 40).

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