Morlas Essay

This essay has a total of 972 words and 5 pages.


"Morality differs in every society, and it is a convenient term of socially approved
habits." Ruth Benedict, Patterns of Culture (1934)

Human morals and morality have been pondered for hundreds of years by some of the most
enlightened people in human existence. Morals are defined by the culture in which you are
born. People's way of life, their cultural customs, and social norms differ greatly across
the earth. People's morals are different in every society because cultures are all
something that have evolved over time; changing with each generation within a society.
After thousands of years of existence and hundreds of evolved languages, cultures have
evolved different value systems or moral codes for living and communicating; all of which
are referred to as morality.

As human's we strive for perfection for something better then what we've got currently. It
is amusing how we as humans strive for something non-existent, unknown and completely
foreign to us. In achieving this foreign desire we are required to compare and contrast
differences. When we look at the various societies evolving around the globe we look at
the value system of the peoples, their cultures and means of supporting life. We judge
their values against our own set of moral values and pass judgement on whether or not it
is right to act in that way. Standards, like standards of conduct, are the inventions of
man and are therefore all subjective and "culture-bound." (Reason at Work p. 38) As
described by the theory of Cultural Relativism, "different societies have different moral
codes and there is no objective standard by which to judge one society's code to be
morally superior to another" (Reason at Work p.36, 1996 ). A person's opinion on the
subject of whether or not an act is morally right or wrong is entirely subjective and
could never be objective.

We as humans can distinguish between cruel acts and kind acts, helpful and harmful, but we
can not objectively distinguish whether such and action is right or wrong. A society's
views, and thus their values, are unique and part of their culture code. This is how
Cultural Relativism maintains that "there is no such thing as a universal truth in ethics;
there are only the various culture codes and nothing more." This leaves us humans in a
precarious situation, everyone's values are subjective and no one has objective values.
The moral codes of two societies can thus be a complete contradiction and still be an
"acceptable habit," in the respective society. The Greeks and the Callatians varied
differently in the means of disposing the dead. The Greeks believed it was proper to bury
the dead, while the Callatians believed that it was customary to eat the dead. Neither
society is right or wrong, they just follow different cultural codes. So our existence on
earth is not that as one single society of people, rather as unique groups of morally
evolving people who are raised to be cultured and different.

Immanuel Kant argues on the topic of Morality that people have ultimate worth and are
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