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cultural relativism

ANTHROPOLOGY

HUMAN RIGHTS AND CULTURAL RELATIVITY

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Human rights is something every person is entitled to by virtue of their being human. It is an entitlement, something you have without deserving or earning it. It is yours because you are a human being. If it is a right for you, it is a right for everyone else. It is the basic right and freedom to which all women and men are entitled – among them the right to life, liberty and nationality, to freedom of thought, conscience and religion, to work, to be educated, to take part in government.

Cultural Relativity is the anthropological attitude that a society's customs, traditions and ideas are to be described in an objective perspective in context of the society's problem. In other words, it says that we should judge the actions of a society in context to the society's traditions and customs. The basic premise of cultural relativism is that beliefs, values, and morals are all based on one's culture. It is an ideology that all beliefs are equally valid, and that none can be considered inferior or wrong. All ethical, religious and political truths are relative to the cultural identity of the individual. Cultural relativity says that good and bad are relative to culture. What is “good” is what is “socially approved” in a given culture. For example, Infratricide, it isn’t good or bad if you look at it objectively but it’s good in a society that approves of it and bad in one that disapproves of it. Many anthropologists have already become uncomfortable with the form of Cultural Relativity advocated by Benedict and Herskovits. According to them morality differs in every society and all patterns of culture are equally accepted.

There have been on going debates for a long time now about Cultural Relativity and Human rights. Cultural Relativity goes against Human rights. It does not recognize a
person's individual rights but…

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