The Concept of Cultural Relativism in a Multicultural World.
Cultural relativism and ethnocentrism are two views of other societies. Ethnocentrism brings about negative attitudes towards other cultures due to the closed-mindedness of some people while more positive attitudes arise out of cultural relativist views. The two points of view are on opposite ends of the ethical spectrum. Many ethicists have come to believe after studying both attitudes that cultural relativism is a direct threat to the discipline of ethics. They believe that by having values that are only relative to a given culture, there is no way to create "universal moral absolutes by which the behavior of people can be judged." Like knowledge, the concept of culture can be abused and it is feared that cultural relativity will weaken the concept of morality. .
Ethnocentrism has three different but prominent levels: positive, negative, and extremely negative. Many people display a positive level of ethnocentrism in the fact that they believe their culture is "to be preferred to all others." But as the ideals become less positive, the belief that all other cultures are completely wrong overruns the simple preference associated with positive ethnocentrism. Ethnocentrism can be eliminated by taking time to take the perspective of another culture before passing judgement. It is mainly a side effect of a lack of knowledge. .
Studying cultural realism is "difficult [in] that whereas anthropology and sociology are empirical sciences, fields of study based on observations and facts, ethics is a normative discipline, based on judgments and moral values [but] a scientist can only predict a certain outcome, and not pass judgment on whether that outcome is morally right or wrong." This is one of the driving differences between empirical sciences and normative discipline. Ethics is open to all opinions, without have a specific correct answer.