My Personal Evaluation
Cultural Relativism is a practice of viewing the beliefs from its own perception. James Rachel defines the cultural relativism as the view that different cultures have different moral codes. He views the cultural relativism as an invalid argument because according to Him there are three problems with cultural relativism and there are the following; First, the argument wherein according to Him “different cultures have different moral codes.” This statement applies to the different codes and norms of every society. Rachels’ acknowledge it, however he concluded that “therefore there’s no objective moral truth in morality. Right and wrong matter of opinion and these standards vary across cultures”. It is a misconception because it concludes a true assumption to false evidences. Second is, the content and lastly the consequence wherein according to Him, “we could no longer say that customs of other societies are morally inferior to our own beliefs”. One of the examples that he cites are the concept of slavery and genocide. Also, “we could decide whether the actions are right or wrong through looking the practices of our own standard society”. Rachel also states that if the cultural relativism is true then “the idea of moral progress is called into doubt.” Based from Rachel, “all cultural practices can be tested against a rational standard of rightness or wrongness.” Through these points that Rachels’ raised about the theory of cultural relativism, I agree with his argument.
James Rachels’ critique about the cultural relativism makes me think that cultural relativism has a possibility mistake because one culture or both of them can be wrong or misguided about their beliefs or how they interpret the values of their society. James Rachel argument about the consequence is it strengthens the idea that cultural relativism lacks of coherence wherein it implies that we cannot judge other cultures even though they seem ethically inferior to our belief for example about the cultures that highly protecting the rights of a human, we cannot judge the other cultures if they conclude that protecting human rights is wrong for them but it is right for us. Also, about the consequence of cultural relativism is when we define the actions based on the existing beliefs or codes of the society. The society can give us the idea of what should we believed to be right or wrong but it does not mean that it is really the right or wrong one because we might consider our own experience on that matter.
James Rachels’ also point out that we can also learn about the cultural relativism such as tolerance, humility and being cautious in examining our own norms or culture. Also, regarding the cultural relativism there are some benefits that we can learned from such as being open-minded and respectful to other cultures or beliefs of other societies and the standard that we actually believe in might not be actually right or wrong.