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Mary Mildgley - Mary Mildgleys views on relativism Many...

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Mary Mildgley’s views on relativism Many people have argued whether it would be more ethical to ignore other different cultures ‘live and let live’ as some people say, or to make moral criticisms on certain things other cultures do. Mary Midgley goes on to explain how she feels about relativism or “moral isolationism” as she calls it. Relativists believe that other people should not criticize other cultures that they don’t understand, but she argues that it keeps other people from any moral judgment and that they’re implying that people could never understand any other culture but their own. In this paper I will explain the meaning of culture relativism, the argument Midgley relays, and my views and understandings on Midgley’s views on moral judgment, the knowledge of cultural differences, the reasons why some people are attracted to relativism, and the ability to criticize our own culture. Cultural relativism is the view that all cultural beliefs, customs, and ethics are not to be judged by any individual within his own society. They believe that each culture has their own moral beliefs which may seem immoral to another culture, and because of this we should not judge that other culture. They also believe that the way to respect other cultures is to not judge them in any way. (CMP, 35) Here is an example of what cultural relativism is: A king of ancient Persia found an Indian tribe called the Callatians, and their customs were very different from the Greeks. The Callatians were accustomed to eating their dead fathers out of respect for them; on the other hand the Greeks burned their dead out of respect for them. Both cultures believe that what they are doing to their own dead is the right thing to do. So, relativists say that because each Greek and Callatian society has their own beliefs that they should not judge each other. (EMP, 16)
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