What is the relationship between moral and cultural relativism? Read the answers in their entirety
a. The relationship is antagonistic: cultural relativism is the idea that cultures can and should
be judged and categorized in relation to each other based on criteria that transcend any
particular culture (i.e., cultures that value freedom, that have relative equality between sexes, that
respect private property etc. are ranked higher than those that don't). Moral relativism is the idea
that there is no universal human morality, and that what is or isn't moral depends on the
cultural context. Therefore, according to this view, cultures should be studied objectively and
scientifically, without moral judgment.
b. The relationship is taxonomic: cultural relativism is the idea, developed by Bronislaw Malinowski,
that cultures should be categorized relative to one another according to such factors as social
structure, kinship system and mode of subsistence. Moral relativism is the idea, developed by
Margaret Mead, that moral systems should be categorized relative to one
another according to such factors as whether abuse of women is considered to
be legitimate or not, or whether obedience to authority is an important value, etc.
c. The relationship is complicated. Cultural relativism is the idea that one culture cannot