Cultural Relativism and Ethical Obscurity
If you wonder, why the world is so confused
and incoherent, look no further then the concept that All Truth Is Local. "Cultural Relativism is the view that moral or ethical systems, which
vary from culture to culture, are all equally valid and no one system is really "better" than any other. This is
based on the idea that there is no ultimate standard of good or evil, so every judgment about right and wrong is a product
of society. Therefore, any opinion on morality or ethics is subject to the cultural perspective of each person. Ultimately,
this means that no moral or ethical system can be considered the "best," or "worst," and no particular
moral or ethical position can actually be considered "right" or "wrong."
This viewpoint is patently absurd on
face value. Yet much of humanity uses "words like "pluralism," "tolerance," and "acceptance"
in a loose way in which modern society defines these ideas has made it possible for almost anything to be justified on the
grounds of "relativism."
The article by Gene Howington,
Ethical Relativism: A Good
Idea or a Path to Anarchy? – cites a compelling example of an indisputable immorality performed
that resulted in the deaths of innocents.
of the strongest arguments against ethical relativism comes from the assertion that universal ethical and/or moral standards
can exist even if some practices and beliefs vary among cultures. In other words, it is possible to acknowledge cultural differences
and still find that some of these practices and beliefs are wrong. Consider that although the Aztec had a society that was
in some ways more advanced that their contemporary European counterparts, that their practice of human sacrifice is simply
Most people seldom analyze their personal
behavior in light of such extreme historic atrocities. However, many live a life of individual relativism. The OBJECTIVITY, SUBJECTIVITY,
AND MORAL VIEWS site poses the danger of accepting a situation ethics and the risk of adopting
the dead end captivity of iconoclasm.
relativism is close to, but should not be confused with, moral nihilism. An individual relativist takes standards
seriously perhaps even by going so far as establishing a strict, or burdensome moral code for himself or herself. Under this
position, we view the code as binding only for that one person. A nihilist, on the other hand, believes that morality
is an illusion. Nothing is really binding, even a code one establishes for oneself. Nihilism about any subject is difficult
to overcome, if overcoming it means giving a nihilist reasons adequate to change his or her belief, because the nihilist can
continually reject the basis for our reasoning. We may claim that an objective moral code is needed for proper social function,
to avoid harm, to do good, to preserve integrity. The nihilist keeps telling us that all of this is an illusion or that each
involves an imposed standard."
Is there really a difference
between a personally devised ethical system, which inescapably descends into an abstruseness of conflict and indiscriminate
conduct, and the nihilistic delusion that no moral behavior is attainable? Admittedly, each act of moral conscience is individual,
but when society promotes a cultural relativism mystique, in order to establish an egalitarian moral neutral acceptance, the
glue that binds civilization together breaks apart.
basis that philosophers acknowledge as foundational for any culture that accepts a deity, is natural law. The University of
Tennessee provides an impressive summary of moral thought, in MORAL PHILOSOPHY THROUGH
The traditional underpinnings that apply Aristotle’s precepts, to Christian teachings
are found in Aquinas Natural Law Theory. Aquinas’s account of natural law appears in his "Treatise on
Law," a section of his several thousand page Summa Theologica (1a2ae q. 90-144).
"In short, for Aquinas, all moral laws are ultimately grounded in God’s unchanging
eternal law, and we discover general rules of natural law through intuition. Legal experts then deduce more specific rules
of human law from these, and in scriptural divine laws we find examples of both general and specific rules. Since we don’t
have access to the complete list of eternal law, from our limited human perspectives morality begins with a search for the
general rules of natural law. But where do we begin looking for the general rules of natural law? Aquinas says that we must
look to human nature as a guide:
... [each human being] has
a share of the Eternal Reason, whereby it has a natural inclination to its proper act and end: and this participation of the
eternal law in the rational creature is called the natural law. [Summa Theologica, 1a2ae 90:2]
According to Aquinas, when God created us he gave us natural instincts that reflect the
general moral principles of natural law. There are two distinct levels of morally-relevant instincts. First, God implanted
in us an instinctive intuition that we should pursue our proper human end. Second, God implanted in us a series of instincts
that define our proper end as living, reproducing, and rational creatures."
Now the relevance of submitting yourself unto the authority of divine design is rare in
an age of godless cultural relativism. Without a willful acceptance of inspired purpose and rules for prescribed conduct,
the barbarism of immoral nihilism is inevitable. Politically, the rages of wicked government repression become institutionalized,
and a much greater cruelty, than most cleric domination abuses. One need not be a defender of any particular faith to accept
the fundamental inherent autonomy of your being within the world. Your plight is often proportional to your
circumstance, but your morality or lack thereof; is directly tied to the nature of your created soul.
The ontogeny of every individual is a
product of social environment, mortal will and providential inspiration. Most of temporal society is geared to combating political
disputes or fostering phony promises. Personages cope according to their singular talents and determination to compete. Many
reject, from this equation, the role and influence of the muses consorting with your own mythology. Notwithstanding, the very
mention of obedience to Almighty God and the submission to His natural law, bears the risk of being burned at the stake of
the cultural relativist.
Thinking About Obscurity suggests: "Obscurity is the idea that when information is hard to obtain
or understand, it is, to some degree, safe." Alas, this seems to be the current condition of embracing natural law in
an age of cultural relativism. Asking for divine inspiration that seeks eternal reason or using your natural
instincts to discover everlasting principles, is hidden from the nihilist and their relativist cousins. Their condescending
attacks against religion stems from their own inadequacies, while they spend their energy on convincing themselves of the
illusion that a world without God is safe for their own form of Nahuatl liturgy sacrifices.
Dr. Edward Younkins provides a strong
defense of Western Civilization in his essay, "Why the World is the Way It Is: Cultural Relativism
and It’s Descendents". By including, "Multiculturalism, racism, postmodernism, deconstructionism, political correctness, and
social engineering are among cultural relativism’s "intellectual" descendents", into this mistaken value
system, the stage is set for his valid conclusion.
"In reality, the superiority
of Western culture can be objectively demonstrated when cultures are appraised based on the only befitting standard for judging
a society or culture—the extent to which its core values are life affirming or antilife. Prolife culture recognizes
and honors man’s nature as a rational being who needs to discern and produce the circumstances that his survival and
flourishing require. Such a culture would promote reason, man’s natural rights, productivity, science, and technology.
Western culture, the prime example of this type of culture, exhibits levels of freedom, opportunity, health, wealth, productivity,
innovation, satisfaction, comfort, and life expectancy unprecedented in history.
Western civilization represents man at his best. It embodies the values that make life as a man possible—freedom,
reason, individualism, and man’s natural rights; capitalism, self-reliance, and self-responsibility based on free will
and achievement; the need for limited, republican representative government and the rule of law; language, art, and literature
depicting man as efficacious in the world; and science and technology, the rules of logic, and the idea of causality in a
universe governed by natural laws intelligible to man. These values, the values of Western civilization, are values for all
men cutting across ethnicity, geography, and gender."
That so many pseudo intellectuals
not only reject this timeless assessment and actually rebel against the natural order of society, demonstrates why the world
is such a mess. Diversity of ethnical relativism cries out for a methodical demise. The cultural suicide of civilization is
really a crisis in valid moral values.
There is little safety left on a planet that surrenders it individual responsibility
to the collective and forgoes any duty to fulfill ones natural purpose. The progressive slough that society proceeds upon
only demeans the whole. Abandoning the quest for universal ethics denies our instinctive intuition. In order to fulfill
our nature as a rational creature, humanity must believe that rightful moral principles are ubiquitously applicable.
SARTRE – February 24, 2013