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Explain the concepts of both individual and cultural relativism - Essay Example

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Generally, ethical relativism is described as the concept in which actions are determined by the perception of an individual or that of a particular culture. In most cases, ethical relativism has two main concepts; the individual relativism and cultural relativism (Brooks,…
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Explain the concepts of both individual and cultural relativism
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Management Ethical Relativism Generally, ethical relativism is described as the concept in which actions are determined by the perception of an individual or that of a particular culture. In most cases, ethical relativism has two main concepts; the individual relativism and cultural relativism (Brooks, 2011).
Individual Relativism
This ethical relativism concept argues that the perception of what is ethically right depends on an individual. For instance, an individual might believe in giving a bribe as an act that is morally right while another individual might argue that giving a bribe is ethical wrong. Of importance to note is that, at times this concept counters itself and its subsequent argument of what might be perceived as right of wrong could be concluded as baseless (Brooks, 2011).
Cultural Relativism
This ethical relativism concept articulates that the perception of what is ethically right is dependent on a given culture. For instance, one culture might believe in cannibalism as being morally right while another culture is against the practice. Needless to say, this concept assists in understanding why certain practices are common in some cultures and not others (Brooks, 2011).
Contrast between Ethical Relativism and the traditional theories
Utilitarianism vs Ethical Relativism
Apparently, the concept Utilitarianism argues that action could be defined as morally right or wrong when the consequences are at hand unlike ethical relativism where right or wrong is determined by an individual or culture (Brooks, 2011).
Kantian Theory vs Ethical Relativism
Kantian theory is described as one of the best ethical principles as it articulates that human beings have the opportunity to effectively use their reasoning faculty to determine what their obligated to do and do it diligently. Conversely, ethical relativism does not entail actual reasoning on a particular action but simple perception (Brooks, 2011).
Social Contract Theory vs Ethical Relativism
This contract theory revolves around an agreement that is formed by two differently organized groups of people where responsibilities are assigned to each member of the group. Moreover, limitations and rights about certain issues are defined. In ethical relativism, cultural relativism where society is incorporated does not have limitations and rights, but practices that are perceived morally right or wrong (Brooks, 2011).
Divine Command Theory vs Ethical Relativism
Actually, divine command theory argues that actions deemed to be moral rightly ought to be equivalent to what God has commanded and that being moral is following what God has commanded unlike Ethical Relativism where an individual or culture decides what is right or wrong (Brooks, 2011).
Natural Law Theory
This theory articulates that natural laws that are created as a result of human reasoning could be termed as morally right or wrong. As such, this theory argues that good and evil are concepts that are both neutral and universal. In ethical relativism, what individuals/ and or culture perceive as morally right or wrong are actions in natural law theory which are purely natural laws (Brooks, 2011).
Virtue Theory
This theory argues that the character of an individual is the most important issue with regard to ethical thinking. As a result, Ethical Relativism differs from virtue because character is not considered in the perception and the culture relativism is not easily determined through ethics in a group of people (Brooks, 2011).
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Brooks, T. (2011). Ethics and Moral Philosophy. Leiden: Brill.
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