Ethical Relativism

Manukyan Ruth Benedict was considered a founding figure of American anthropologist and Benedict taught at Columbia University. Benedict was partially deaf. She has written many books, many of her books were published, and she is very well known. Benedict views social systems as communities with common beliefs. She believes that one system cannot be better than another. I agree with Benedict’s claim that morality is simply whatever a culture deems normal behavior. It is definitely a satisfactory equation and she shows many great points on why. Benedict has great points on why to accept others moral beliefs even though it may conflict with yours. In Benedict’s view, and in the view of American anthropology of the time, each culture is self-contained, and separate but equal. Each makes sense in its own context, and all you have to do is know the context to understand what the people are doing and why they are doing it. In a simpler term she is saying that you cannot say ones She never believed that there was a “universal” to a variety of human moral standards. Looking at Benedict’s beliefs and applying it to the institution of slavery and the Nazi policy of anti-Semitism and it does indeed make sense. I cannot apply it with my beliefs because I was taught that killing others is bad and that everyone in the world is equal. If you do look at it in a person that agrees with the Nazi policy it makes sense. They believed that the Jews were the problem and a majority of people agreed which made the killings occur. They found that morally correct. As well as slavery, when African American’s were slaves white people found it morally correct to “own a slave”. Most of the United States found that normal. In Benedict’s view we cannot say that Manukyan slavery was morally incorrect because at that time it slavery was considered morally correct. It might not seem as the right thing to do, but back then the culture deemed that as a normal behavior. Manukyan Every single culture has a its own moral principles. A culture’s morals are most likely different from another culture’s morals. There can be a significant difference between cultures morals that do not correspond with each other or even some cultures might have many morals alike. One culture might believe in something and another culture might believe in something completely opposite of that. An example is a culture might find it morally correct to do slavery and another culture might find it morally incorrect to do slavery. Another example is when a culture finds it okay to sacrifice themselves because there belief is they will end up in a heaven with virgins, but another culture just finds that completely incorrect and they value an individuals life more. This is called “Cultural Relativism”. Cultural Relativism is the view that moral or ethical systems may vary from culture to culture. But all these cultures morals are valid and no one system is better than any other. This is based on an important idea in which there is no ultimate standard of good or evil. The right or wrong is decided by society of that certain culture. In other words any opinion on morality or ethics is subject to the cultural perspective of each person. We might think that killing someone is disrespectful and it is frowned upon, but to another culture it might be a religion to kill someone. Such as they might do a sacrifice and everything will be completely normal. There are no independent criteria for us to say that some cultures are better than others because who are we to judge there morals. The morals we agree on they might disagree on and the morals we disagree on they might agree on. Not one culture can be considered better than another. We cannot judge what they feel is morally right. Manukyan Whatever I feel is morally right is because I grew up and adapted to it. People with different moral beliefs grew up and adapted to there own version of morals. Not all morals may seem equally good, but that is something we must live with which can never be changed.

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Ethical Relativism. (2017, Sep 20). Retrieved December 2, 2022 , from

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