(a) Explain in detail how one might argue in defense of cultural relativism.  What evidence would support this theory about moral values?

(b) Explain two arguments against cultural relativism.

(c) Is it possible for a cultural relativist to recommend consistently to everyone that we should be tolerant of each society's moral views?  Explain.

            The defense of cultural relativism is a simple one if you have ever gone to a home of people that practice a different religion than the one you are raised in. Without knowing why a people do a thing how can you hope to correctly apply your moral beliefs. Since most of the practices of any given culture are rooted in some ages past need or belief. Perhaps there was a series of terrible illnesses that occurred but only to girls born blond and blue eyes, so the group learned to cull these children. Yes, we can in all likelihood cure the issue and I would certainly tell the chief of Shaman of whoever that this was possible, “IF they are interested”. I should note however that in say, a situation where women or children were being hurt I might make sure they found out there was another way as well, too many “leaders” enjoy control through multiple routes, and any changes to the status quo could be seen as threatening to the cohesion of the group (or just the leader's power). The point is that without grokking, without truly knowing and understanding the reasons behind any given practice, you cannot call it right or wrong, good or evil. These ideological constructs have one universal truth to them, they are all different, personal, based in perspective, and depend completely upon how one was raised.

            The primary reason I would say that the relativism part of “cultural relativism” is flawed is because there are ethics that go beyond the reach of any given culture. I am pretty sure that even the cannibals know you should not eat people (you get “mad-people” disease). Everyone knows you do not kill babies or children; you nourish them so they can grow to hunt and farm later. Though a famine, plague, or even 70 – 100 odd-years of food scarcity may teach a people to kill any baby born within X years of their siblings, for example… So here we see that while I hold a certain perspective (protector), I can see that life, the world, evolution, even climate change can make other people think, believe, and/ or understand things in a way that I, personally, disagree with. The thing is, unless I am positive that people are being harmed for absolutely no reason, then it is kind of not my business.  The mutilation of an infant to prevent that child from growing up to enjoy their physical being, to mutilate a woman because what? They were born wrong? Broken? Different… hum…, different. Beyond the understanding of… men. How is it that my people respected women equally in the Nordic and Celtic lands, the First Peoples of this land… but Africa, Europe… Everywhere the church has gone, everywhere the profiters colonized… It is really very difficult for me to understand how anyone can think they know better than … whatever, god, evolution, nature. How very vain and ethnocentric we, the human infestation, really are.

            Another point was that of progress, the article talks about how, without anything that can be “better” or different, there is literally no reason or need to have progress. If things are perfect then they do not need to change, they are good as they are. I can only imagine how much slower (than we already have been/ are) our social-psychological group would be evolving if this was the way we all thought.

            Such a person would not be able to take that position, I believe, because they do not believe in universal truths such as “Do Not Eat Soylent Greens” (specific religious requirements aside, Body of Christ).

            I want to close here by stating that while I was raised “Roman Catholic” in an Italian’s house, I have made a very long and wide study of religions both current and historic. My personal belief does not coincide with anything I have read, but a collection of things based on personal observation, study and research, and, well, faith in self. I believe what makes the most sense to me and hope for more.