Cultural Relativism Undermines Human Rights

Anthropologists invented cultural relativism. Founding figures of American anthropology, Franz Boas and Ruth Benedict, the latter in her famous pre-war book Patterns of Culture, argued that you can only understand other peoples’ lives if you consider their cultures and their actions from their own points of view.

In the latter decades of the 20th century, the idea of cultural relativism was expanded to moral or ethical relativism.

  • Tom Forsythe

    Not only are lefties unable to generalize, they want everyone to pretend that the opposite of the general rule is the general rule.

    Their favourite phrases are “not all,” and “not always.” If they can find even a single exception, preferably an outstanding one, they think they have proven their case.

    An example: “Jesus was a refugee.” That is true. But it is unreasonable to presume from that that it is common for refugees to be God Incarnate, or even skilled at carpentry.

    Public policy should always start from general principles, and then allow sufficient leeway for the outliers, not the other way round.

    • Unfortunately we have one as PM.

      • Tom Forsythe

        He really does embody the entire leftist mindset. I doubt he has ever had an opinion of his own.

  • The Left has really screwed up what the academic study of anthro is supposed to be about. They don’t mention that when Anthropologists study Western cultures and use “cultural relativism” as a heuristic, they also do it from the perspective of how Westerners understand themselves. It was never meant to be a “one-way” tool of understanding as the Left is misrepresenting.

  • Relativism began centuries ago with David Hume. It is very deeply ingrained in Western academe and consciousness. It is the time bomb that is killing Western civilization. And the worst part of it is that it is philosophically ignorant, stupid and dishonest.

    • HC

      So majority rule isn’t ethical relativism? Bogus and leftist equals primitive 4th world crusader Muslims in decline.