Moral relativism, as Harman describes, denies “that there are universal basic moral demands, and says different people are subject to different basic moral demands depending on the social customs, practices, conventions, and principles that they accept” (Harman, p. 85). Many suppose that moral feelings derive from sympathy and concern for others, but Harman rather believes that morality derives from agreement among people of varying powers and resources provides a more plausible explanation (Harman, p. 12).The survival of these values and morals is based on Darwin’s natural selection survival of the fittest theory. Many philosophers have argued for and against what moral relativism would do for the world. In this essay, we will discuss
In Chapter Thirteen, “Grassroots vs. Treetops” of Half the Sky by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn the act of genital mutilation is discussed. It starts off by giving gory details on genital mutilation, stating that every ten a girl is mutilated. Despite the medical problems surrounding female genital mutilation, it thrived in parts of Africa as a serious problem for young girls. FGM is sometimes described as a female circumcision, it’s cultural significance is to reduce sexual trends and to make the girls more marriageable. However, often these procedures are done with no new medical supplies and are performed with dirty materials leading to infection and sometimes death for girls partaking. A woman in Illinois is doing her best to stop female genital mutilation by working closely with each village and getting to the main source of the problem. Most people were under educated about what was wrong with female genital mutilation, it was a cultural rite of passage. But through working with each individual village, this woman could help ban female genital mutilation is thousands of villages and increased school attendance at the same time.
Female genital mutilation, also known as female circumcision, is a practice that involves the removal of part or all of the female external genitalia. It occurs throughout the world, but most commonly in Africa where they say that it is a tradition and social custom to keep a young girl pure and a married woman faithful. But to some Westerners, the practice is viewed as being primitive and barbaric. We react with disgust and find it nearly incomprehensible that female genital mutilation can occur in the world today
The thesis of meta-ethical cultural relativism is the philosophical viewpoint that there are no absolute moral truths, only truths relative to the cultural context in which they exist. From this it is therefore presumed that what one society considers to be morally right, another society may consider to be morally wrong, therefore, moral right's and wrongs are only relative to a particular society. Thus cultural relativism implies that what is 'good' is what is 'socially approved' in a given culture. Two arguments in favour of cultural relativism are the 'Cultural Differences argument' and the 'Argument from the virtue of tolerance', the following essay will look at and evaluate both of these
Imagine this! Being either a young girl or a woman forcefully bound against your will while elders perform a procedure called Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). The young girls and women who are forced to have this procedure done not only loses their rights to sexual pleasure but their rights are sliced, chopped, punctured, and finally burnt away. Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) otherwise known as Female Genital Circumcision (FGC) is also a controversial topic in Western societies. This paper will examine the history of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), hegemonic perspective on Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), health consequences of having this procedure done, how Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) affects women’s sexual function, and women who
Female circumcision will continue to be a terrorizing practice in Africa and will continue until laws are strictly enforced or certain religious practices are stopped.FC/GM is a practice that is hardly spoken of even though it is going on all around us. Just because it primarily happens in Africa does not mean women are affected in the Unite States also. Over 180 million women worldwide have been affected. Laws have been put in place but, they are hardly followed. This practice is strictly a religious based practice with no health benefits. If anything it causes more deaths. Survivors of FC/GM remember the procedure like it was yesterday and have terrorizing memories of. Over 20 years late one women is still horrified by her own memories and
Now that we know little about the mutilation process these females undergoes; let’s ask ourselves “Why would someone ever agree to conduct such procedure on their own will?” If mutilation emphasizes the clear violation of human rights, why is this procedure being implemented in many different countries? Well, this issue is due to different ethical, and moral perspective; one may believe that female mutilation is morally right; while others may think it’s a violation of human rights. Let’s first explore the ethical theories on this
The world is in a constant conflict in terms of defining a man with bodily features - what truly makes a man, a man? For years upon years, society has placed an emphasis on the process of circumcision, the removal of the foreskin or prepuce of the penis. Typically completed just after birth in the United States, this is amongst one of the most common surgical procedures completed with an average of one million newborn children receiving this procedure annually. Surely, a procedure as common as this must have some societal significance, which this paper aims to discover. What is the true meaning we put behind male circumcision? Are the religious and ethical reasons truly significant enough to reliably promote a medical procedure this significant? Why do we still perpetuate a culture surrounding the masculinity of circumcision?
Ethical relativism is “the theory that there are no universally valid moral principles” (Pojman). Cultural relativism, which falls under the category of ethical relativism, is the philosophical view that no culture is better than another culture when analyzing their systems of society. Cultural beliefs and assumptions are equally right along with the truth itself being relative to its environmental culture. Objective relativism is the opposite of ethical relativism and states “that there are universal moral principle, valid for all people at all times and climes” (Pojman). “Let’s consider the following situation: a group of people sneak up on someone and beat them up, just for the fun of it. Ruth Benedict, an American anthropologist and folklorist,
Cultural Relativism is an important ethical theory and James Rachels’ argument is significant to provide evidence to prove and disprove the idea. It is important to call attention to and understand differences between cultures. Tolerance is also an valid concept when arguing Cultural Relativism. Regardless of the outcome or viewpoint of the argument it is significant in the fact that it raises awareness for tolerance and differences between cultures and that no culture is more superior or more correct in relation to another. The theory of Cultural Relativism is the idea that each and every culture has it’s own moral code, and if this is true, there is no universal, ethical truth that every culture must abide by. A universal truth being one that is true in all situations, at all times, and in all places. It proposes that a person’s actions should be understood and judged only by those within the terms of their culture. It is an idea of tolerance and open mindedness to cultures who are not our own. In the article, The Challenge of Cultural Relativism, James Rachels discusses important themes and arguments in concurrence with his own argument against Cultural Relativism. I will argue that Cultural Relativism is challenged by James Rachels argument but not disproved.
Culture is the Backbone of a society, when something/someone tries to alter it or go against it everyone will notice. In this issue pointed out by Ruth Macklin, we look at the problems that can arise when an individual’s culture and autonomy clash. Every year there at least 30 million immigrants from all over the world that move to the United states of America, making America one of the most culturally diverse country in the world. Keeping this in mind, we will focus on Ruth Macklin’s issue of Multiculturalism. Multiculturalism is the co-existence of diverse cultures, where culture includes racial, religious, or cultural groups and is manifested in customary behaviors, cultural assumptions and values, patterns of thinking, and communicative styles. Critics argue that we associate culture with a society, community and or family, but rarely with a single individual, thus placing it above the individual person. In this paper we are going to look at four different scenarios on from Ruth Macklin’s article.
Newsstands proclaim it. Talk shows trumpet it. Scandal, murder, and deception! People share a common disdain for these evils, scorning those who commit the dirty deeds. Laws are upheld to prevent people from doing “bad” things, but how do people come to an agreement on what is truly wrong? Even as society moves away from traditional teachings and perspectives, many acts are still universally looked down upon. Throughout history, the majority of civilizations have held surprisingly similar moral ideals regarding acceptable and unacceptable behavior. Although moral relativists believe that morality is individually determined, there is, in fact, an objective moral standard that governs all humanity, because a sense of right and wrong is universal, transcends time and culture, and is evident in the majority of people.
"I remember the blade. How it shone! There was a woman kneeling over me with the knife. I bit her; it was all I could do. Then three women came to hold me down. One of them sat on my chest. I bit her with all my might." These words reflect Banassiri Sylla’s account of her experience undergoing female circumcision, also known as female genital mutilation (FGM), at the young age of eight in the Ivory Coast. This disturbing description of her struggle makes it hard to understand why any culture could support such a practice. Yet, it is estimated that about 132 million women and girls in about thirty African countries have undergone the same, or at least similar, cultural
Cultural and ethical relativisms are widely used theories that explain differences among cultures and their ethics and morals. Morality deals with individual character and the moral rules that are meant to govern and limit one’s character. On the other hand Ethics is somewhat interchangeable with morals, but it actually defines the principles of right conduct, thus to some extent, enlarging its scope to a societal or communal level. Ideally, ethics play a vital role in determining the dos and don’ts when dealing with the society. This essay will discuss what ethical realism is, analyzing why ethical relativism is unsound and unreliable in relation to the relevant evidence and literature, providing valid reason to ascertain why this is the case.