Essay on Religious Relativity

Satisfactory Essays
Bailey Jamile
October 11, 2010
Rel 150; T/R 1045-12:00


Relativism is the theory that truths, values, and norms are different for different people, depending on their cultural, economic, political and religious backgrounds. The theory of religious relativism requires students to tolerate other people’s religious beliefs and practices, at the same time recognizing their own beliefs and practices as just one system in a world of diverse, yet equally legitimate, religious systems. In todays society we see an array of people practicing, preaching, and learning religion. We find people everyday that recognize their own beliefs to be beliefs and nothing more but we also see people who consider their beliefs to be the truth
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Religious relativism is very easy for me to comprehend and is very easy for me to practice. Being that I don’t consider my points and views to be the “absolute truth” then it is very easy for me to appreciate other religions, beliefs and practices. Each religion has it’s own beliefs and practices and it is vital for us to understand that. “Ethnocentrism is the view that one particular ethnic group is somehow superior to all others. The word ethnocentrism derives from the Greek word ethnos, meaning nations or people, and the English word center. A common idiom for ethnocentrism is; tunnel vision. In this context, ethnocentrism is the view that a particular ethnic group’s system of beliefs and values is morally superior to all others” (All About Philosophy. Bagish. Page 3). Therefore, ethnocentrism is a bad concept when we are dealing with cross-cultural learning. If one doesn’t adopt relativism into their life then cross-cultural learning will be impaired. Adopting relativism will help us to see things that others believe and things that we are not familiar with from someone else’s perspective before we jump to conclusions or make harsh judgements. By adopting relativism we will understand that all views have no absolute truth, that there is no single religious belief that can be universally true and that everyone has differences in perceptions. I don’t believe there are circumstances where relativism shouldn’t be applied. However, I can understand why
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