Moral Relativism

Relativism is the correct view of morality. According to the theory of moral relativism, there is no absolute true morality. Instead, there are varieties of true moralities, which are relative to one another. One morality may be a true reference to another morality, and the same morality is false reference to another morality.

Moral relativism is adequately depicted by the Cultural Differences Theory of Cultural Relativism, as explained by James Rachels. That is, every culture has its moral code, on which it has predominantly judged what is right versus wrong (Rachels 37). The cultural, moral codes are different from one culture to another; hence, that which is the right reference to one culture may be the wrong reference to another culture. Such situations are inherently chaotic and confusing, especially in cross-cultural settings. However, the view of morality in relativism helps to restore order in several ways.

First, moral relativism facilitates a smooth interaction between cultures by mitigating cultural arrogance. In the understanding that what is right to one culture may be wrong to another, people disregard the idea of objective truth, and they respect other cultures (Rachels 46). Besides, moral relativism teaches that no one culture has a superior cultural code since its morality is true in its frame of reference (Rachels 37). Thus, people respect other cultures as their equals regarding morality.

Secondly, relative morality enables open-mindedness in judging other cultures. Since there is not one standard cultural-moral code,[1] there is a rationale for every conduct in a culture, which is often passed down from their ancestors (Rachels 37). Hence, it would not be easy to understand why other cultures do what they do, with respect to our beliefs unless we adopted moral relativism from a liberal perspective. That way, moral relativism is the correct view of morality because it creates an understanding of other culture’s, and fosters a harmonic cross-cultural coexistence, amid the theory’s shortcomings.

Works Cited

Rachels, James. “The Challenges of Cultural Relativism.” Rachels, James. The Elements of Moral Philosophy. McGraw-Hill Education, 2014. 35-47. Print.

[1] Rachels “Therefore, there is no objective “truth” in morality.  Right and wrong are only matters of opinion, and opinions vary from culture to culture.” P.37