What are three reasons why cultural relativism is not plausible?
Cultural Relativism Fails to Account for Universal Human Rights
Cultural relativism is the idea that moral values, ethics, and customs are relative to a particular culture. This means that what is morally right or wrong for one culture may not necessarily be right or wrong for another culture. While this idea has some interesting implications, it fails to account for the universality of human rights.
One of the main issues with cultural relativism is that it seeks to defend practices which are clearly wrong. For example, in some cultures, people may practice female genital mutilation (FGM) or discriminate against those of a different race or gender. While different cultures may have different views on these issues, and this should be respected, it does not mean that these practices should be accepted. A culture should not be allowed to defend practices which are against the fundamental rights of individuals.
Another issue with cultural relativism is that it does not take into account the fact that some universal human rights are accepted by all cultures. For example, the right to life, freedom of expression, and the right to be free from torture are accepted by all cultures as fundamental human rights. Cultural relativism does not allow for the recognition of these rights as universal and fails to provide an adequate framework for protecting them.
Finally, cultural relativism fails to recognize the importance of individual autonomy. It assumes that the values and norms of a particular culture should take precedence over the rights and desires of individuals. This means that individuals may be forced to follow the values and customs of their culture, even if they disagree with them. This violates the right to autonomy, as individuals should be free to make their own decisions, free from the influence of their culture.
Cultural relativism is an interesting concept, but it fails to take into account the universality of human rights. It fails to recognize that some rights are accepted by all cultures and fails to acknowledge the importance of individual autonomy. In order to ensure that the rights of individuals are respected, it is necessary to have a universal framework for protecting them.
Cultural Relativism Ignores the Negative Impact of Cultural Practices
Cultural relativism is the idea that values, beliefs and practices of different cultures should be respected and accepted. Despite the good intentions of the theory, there are a few reasons why cultural relativism can be seen as not plausible.
Reason 1: Some Cultural Practices are Oppressive
One of the main issues with cultural relativism is that it ignores the fact that some cultural practices are oppressive and harmful. For example, in some cultures it is acceptable for women to be treated as second-class citizens, or for certain minorities to be discriminated against. Cultural relativism does not take into account the fact that these practices are wrong, and should not be accepted.
Reason 2: Cultural Relativism Denies Human Rights
Another issue with cultural relativism is that it denies the existence of universal human rights. It is argued by some that all humans are entitled to certain rights, such as freedom of speech and the right to education. However, cultural relativism denies these rights, as it implies that the rights of one culture should be respected over the rights of another.
Reason 3: Cultural Relativism Ignores the Need for Change
Lastly, cultural relativism ignores the need for change. In some cultures, certain practices can be seen as outdated or oppressive, and should be changed in order to promote equality and justice. Cultural relativism implies that these practices should be accepted, even if they are detrimental to certain groups of people.
In conclusion, cultural relativism has some good intentions, but it can be seen as not plausible due to its lack of consideration for the negative impacts of certain cultural practices. It denies the existence of universal human rights, and ignores the need for change in order to promote equality and justice.
Cultural Relativism Does Not Allow for Cultural Change and Progress
Cultural relativism — the idea that all cultures should be respected and accepted as they are — can be a useful perspective in certain contexts. However, there are three primary reasons why it is not a plausible way of looking at the world.
1. It Ignores the Negative Aspects of Certain Cultures
Cultural relativism proponents argue that all cultures should be accepted as equally valid, regardless of the inherent values and beliefs within them. This means that cultures that may have practices or beliefs that are oppressive or harmful to certain groups — such as gender discrimination, racism, or homophobia — are seen as acceptable. This does not allow for progress or change in those areas, which can have dire consequences for those affected.
2. It Fails to Recognize Universal Human Rights
Cultural relativism fails to acknowledge the universality of certain rights and freedoms that all people should have regardless of cultural context. By not recognizing these rights, it fails to provide adequate protection for people who may be living in a culture that does not recognize basic rights and freedoms. This can lead to people being denied essential liberties and protections that should be afforded to them.
3. It Does Not Account for Cultural Exchange and Interaction
Cultures are not static entities; they are constantly evolving and changing, and this is due to the exchange and interaction between different cultures. Cultural relativism does not allow for this exchange or interaction, and thus does not allow for the kind of progress and improvement that comes from the sharing of ideas and values between different cultures. This can lead to stagnation and a lack of growth.
In conclusion, cultural relativism does not allow for cultural change and progress. It ignores the negative aspects of certain cultures, fails to recognize universal human rights, and does not account for cultural exchange and interaction. For these reasons, cultural relativism is not a viable perspective on the world.