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 Cultural Relativism (27)

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socratic4(102) pic



Cultural Relativism

The modern left argues that due to preferability being subjective (different people prefer different things) there is no metric on which we can objectively measure the preferability of different cultures, and that as such we shouldn't have preference for any particular culture. However, this is untrue, there are universal preferences among all humans, such as avoiding pain, getting wealthy, surviving, and generally improving living standards. These are completely tangible and measurable metrics and we can observe that certain cultural behaviors can further or hinge these universal preferences. As such it makes sense that we should adopt and preserve the cultural behaviors that are best at substantiating these universal preferences while abandoning and discouraging those that aren't. 
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The modern left argues that due to preferability being subjective (different people prefer different things) there is no metric on which we can objectively measure the preferability of different cultures, and that as such we shouldn't have preference for any particular culture.

Your explication of what the "modern left" believes is inaccurate. To a cultural relativist "preferability" is necessarily a non-factor precisely because of cultural relativism. People grow up "preferring" what they have been taught to prefer. All of their life experiences are viewed from the perspective of the culture they were born into. Of course, in reality, modern technology makes it a bit more complicated than that, because culture is often exported abroad. However, the general principle remains that even absorption of different cultures takes place within the framework of the dominant culture.

However, this is untrue

Of course it's untrue. It's your own straw man argument which you are attributing falsely to the left in order that you may debunk it. I have seen you do this in several threads, and the problem is your misunderstanding of the perspectives involved.

there are universal preferences among all humans, such as avoiding pain, getting wealthy, surviving, and generally improving living standards

None of these "preferences" are ubiquitous so I am afraid you have failed to tear down your own straw man. Avoiding pain is not a preference to a masochist, getting wealthy is not a preference to a socialist, surviving is not a preference to a suicidal depressive and generally improving living standards is not a preference to hermits who want to live in the wilderness.

I know you are going to find this offensive, but much of what you post is pseudo-intellectual nonsense. Offensive or not, it's the reality of the situation.

socratic4(102) Disputed
1 point

A) I wrote general universal preferences, not unanimous universal preferences. Meaning I'm referring to what most people generally want, not what everyone wants.

B) I don't believe you're an elected representative of the modern left and in fact, Cultural Relativism as I described it, is promoted by the modern left as I'm a sociology student and what I wrote is exactly what I was taught.

D) My argument is against the acceptance of every cultural behavior, and in no way did you refute my argument. Do you believe we should accept every cultural behavior?

Did you notice that virtually all your counter arguments are premised on ignoring the actual content of the original argument and focusing on subtleties?

1 point

I wrote general universal preferences, not unanimous universal preferences.

The very meaning of the word, "universal", is that it is applicable to all cases. Trying to change the way English works in order to obfuscate your own ignorance is childish. You've evolved from inaccurate to outright stupid in the space of a single reply.

I don't believe you're an elected representative of the modern left

You are turning the facts upside down. It is I who is challenging your authority to speak on behalf of the left, not the other way around.

Also, C comes after B, not D. You really should learn the alphabet before you attempt debate.

1 point

I know you are going to find this offensive, but much of what you post is nonsense from an inexperienced child.

For me, the system where the most people are not suffering is the best system.

Simple as that.

Now you will say 'suffering is not objective', I know that and if you've got an issue with empathy then seek therapy.

Peace out.

1 point

For me, the system where the most people are not suffering is the best system.

People suffer under all systems, because every system so far attempted has resulted in either intentional or unintentional hierarchy. By the very definition of hierarchy, people at the bottom suffer for the sake of those at the top. Just because capitalists own 24 hour news channels which keep telling you nobody suffers under capitalism does not mean you are being told the truth. There are presently around 43 million Americans who are officially classified as living in poverty.

1 point

I support centrism and if I had to pick which I way I lean it's definitely the left.

I completely comprehend the flaws of capitalism and how inescapable poverty becomes in the generations that follow the one where it was fair.

socratic4(102) Disputed
1 point

Should I be allowed to plant a fruit tree in my backward?

1 point

There are presently around 43 million Americans who are officially classified as living in poverty

And just think, while you make meager wages and pay your student loans, you'll be classified as "living in poverty".

1 point

Cultural relativism is supposed to be used as a way of thinking about the motivations and actions of individuals in other cultures in anthropology. It holds that one should attempt to understand the actions of people from other cultures from that cultures perspective, instead of one's own perspective.

Contemporarily, it is often misinterpreted to mean that all cultures are equal in merit and that no culture is better than another. This is easy to debunk; culture "A" that practices female genital mutilation and slavery is of course inferior to culture "B" which does practice FGM or slavery while being the same in every other respect.

1 point

Contemporarily, it is often misinterpreted to mean that all cultures are equal in merit and that no culture is better than another. This is easy to debunk; culture "A" that practices female genital mutilation and slavery is of course inferior to culture "B" which does practice FGM or slavery while being the same in every other respect.

The words you are using (i.e. "merit" and "inferior") are not in any way related to cultural relativism, and are instead expressions of your own personal bias. There is no scientific scale to measure the inferiority or superiority of culture or there would be no such thing as cultural relativism in the first place.

In fact, I'll be honest: the bias evident in your writing is extraordinary. You claim a culture is "inferior" for practising what you describe as "female genital mutilation", but you do not describe the practice of male genital mutilation (i.e. circumcision) as "inferior" because it is endemic to your own culture!

WinstonC(864) Disputed
1 point

"There is no scientific scale to measure the inferiority or superiority of culture or there would be no such thing as cultural relativism in the first place. "

I suggest you read up a little on cultural relativism, because you appear to have no idea what it is. If different cultures are not in any way inferior or superior to each other then why do you argue that the western world should adopt some form of socialism?

"You claim a culture is "inferior" for practising what you describe as "female genital mutilation", but you do not describe the practice of male genital mutilation (i.e. circumcision) as "inferior" because it is endemic to your own culture!"

Circumcision is an archaic practice that is deeply harmful to the sex of the male it is performed upon (albeit not quite as harmful as "FGM"). I was giving an example that would not be controversial, since everyone agrees on the harm of "FGM" but there is no such popular consensus on circumcision.