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In his article Cultural relativism and cultural values Melville Herkovits defines the principle of cultural relativism as judgments are based on experience and experience is interpreted by each individual in terms of his own enculturation 26 This is the basic premise of cultural relativism that beliefs values and morals are all based on ones culture Therefore since morality is based on society and different societies have different views of right and wrong there can be no moral absolutes Since there are no absolutes under this view of cultural relativism all moral views determined by ones culture are deemed true whether they conflict or not Upon first glance relativism seems like a very appropriate concept of morality in the world It is clear to see that there are differences of what is acceptable and unacceptable in different societies across the world Growing up in Western culture I have grown a fondness for meat especially steak It is a momentous occasion when I can go out or fix a nice juicy steak for a meal the bigger the better This is not a problem in my culture save those few health conscience people who say I will die by heart disease However if I were raised in an eastern Hindu culture these dietary practices would be considered wrong My act of eating cow would be considered a moral atrocity From examples like these and many others around the world we can see a good case for different cultures having different moral views but is that really the case I believe that at a surface level cultural relativism holds some merit however if we look deeper into the issue we can find a flawed and inaccurate theory for the way that the world should work Some of the biggest arguments given in defense of cultural relativism are the many different practices of different cultures from around the world Melville J Herskovits gives examples of a West African culture
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