Monday, January 9, 2012
Cultural relativism is an excuse used by human rights violators to justify their abuses. They claim that a difference in cultural extends logically to a difference in moral understanding. That, they say, allows them to interpret human rights however they chose. This is a logical fallacy. Moral relativism does not follow from cultural relativism. Many different cultures from around the world have arrived at the same moral principle of "The Golden Rule" without outside influence. This demonstrates that morality can be independent of culture. Thus, there is no opposition between Universal Human Rights and cultural relativism since they are unrelated. One can keep one's cultural identity while still recognizing some basic, universal human rights. Now one might argue that the Golden Rule is simple, but issues like womens rights and voting rights are much more complicated. But they really are not is one takes a deep look at cultural tradition and uses logical reasoning. Most traditions do not call for the subjugation of women, it is a reinterpretation by males in power that leads to that. And now culture denies people a voice, even is democracy is not the way that voice is expressed. Thus, there can be seen underlying moral laws that flow beneath all cultures. Therefore, there no conflict between the two for moral relativism is a logical and historical fallacy and cultural relativism has no place in a conversation of morality and human rights.