"Is Morality Relative?" Social Siences Assignment. (Essay Sample)
"Different strokes for different folks” might be the most straightforward and least controversial expression of relativism, the idea that what’s good or bad, right or wrong, or true or false, can be different for different people. The idea that morality or truth is relative means that what is moral or what is true depends on something else, such as culture or situation. Or, to put it another way, relativism is the idea that things are only moral or true within certain limits, or in individual senses. This implies that nothing is universally true, false, right, or wrong. Relativism does not justify doing or believing in whatever you feel like.
Cultural relativism is the idea that a person's beliefs, values, and practices should be understood based on that person's own culture, rather than be judged against the criteria of another. For example, in the late 1990s, a family of Iraqi refugees moved to Lincoln, Nebraska. The father feared his two daughters, aged 13 and 14, would be corrupted, so he arranged for their marriage to two Muslims men, aged 28 and 34. The men consummated the union and were charged with the sexual assault of a minor. They argued they were following Iraqi customs as sanctioned by their faith and did not know they acted illegally. The two newlywed men faced sentences on sexual assault charges of up to 50 years in prison. They received 4–6 years and were eligible for parole after two years. Charges against the father were dropped but he was banned from seeing his daughters.
In the mid-1980s, Fumiko Kimura, a Japanese mother living in California, attempted parent-child suicide, to rid herself of shame on learning that her husband had supported a mistress. While she did not die, her two children drowned in the attempt. The Japanese community had petitioned to apply Japanese law, arguing a defense of cultural difference. The mother, it was argued, should be tried not by the standards and law of the United States, but by the standards she was raised to live by.
1. Given the diversity of the United States, and the definition above regarding Cultural Relativism, could anyone at any time, use culture to excuse committing a crime? Should their excuse be taken into consideration? Explain (100 words or more) in detail if you agree or disagree.
2. Describe one or two (1 or 2) circumstances in which conscience, guilt, or both serve as motivators resulting in eventually YOU doing the right thing.
1. Given the diversity of the United States, and the definition above regarding Cultural Relativism, could anyone at any time, use culture to excuse committing a crime? Should their excuse be aayou agree or disagree.
During the 90’s, I believe that the world was adjusting to be familiar about each other’s cultural belief. Then, the internet has not yet existed, and citizens were more dogmatic to follow their own tradition, because that was how they were taught, growing up. I believe that a person can only be as free as his or her thoughts and beliefs. In my opinion, serving justice is not the same as morality.
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