The Effects Of Cultural Relativism On Society In The Philippines

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Culture is the way we live as humans. It encompasses beliefs, practices, values, attitude, laws, norms, artifacts, symbols, knowledge and everything that a person leans and shares as a member of society. Cultural relativism is where one suspends one’s cultural roots and understand by seeing another culture according to the standards of that culture. Although having a common culture is a way for us to coherently relate with one another it is also important for us to open our eyes to the changes in our surroundings and to be able to adapt to them. Imagine a place where everyone thinks his/her own culture is superior to others. Of course our perspective can help us understand why certain actions are considered right or wrong. Taking into consideration the continuous change in different countries, our own country is taking its share in change as well. The Filipinos have taken the diverse cultures being brought to the Philippines rather well. Acknowledging, respecting and beginning to understand others cultural beliefs brings us closer together. Cultural relativism is the ability to understand a culture on its own terms and not to make judgments using the standards of one’s own culture. Since the Philippines is a growing and developing country, we are open and very hospitable to foreign cultures and are starting to adapt to those traditions. Although it is not ethical to judge a book by its cover, we must learn to politely reject or accept things that are no longer aligned to our moral values. Cultural relativism has made a huge impact and change in the Philippines that we are experiencing both the good and bad changes it has brought to us. The Philippines is changing and adapting, both for our benefit and a possible downfall.

The mindset of the Filipinos right now, especially the younger generations, is to keep up with the trends and to climb the social ladder. Not thinking if their actions are benefiting to the society. The issue of the younger generations is that they do not understand the true nature of cultural relativism which is to bring people together by understanding and accepting the differences of the diverse cultures. As the saying goes, “change is good” and it has proven that it truly is good. By learning to accept and adapt to the different cultures brought upon the Philippines, we have become better than we were before. We are slowly changing for the survival of our country. Our nation is shifting and this is due to the influence of other Asian countries and the Western countries. Humanity is constantly changing, growing and developing. And when the concept of relativism is applied it encourages the ability, capacity and potential of people since there is no fixed standard as to what is morally right and wrong, it is based purely on a persons’ perspective.

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Cultural relativism promotes cooperation in a system and it is visible in our nation already. The treaties and agreements made by the president of the Philippines is making a difference for our little country. We are making ties and are able to unite with countries much capable than ours. Although we are different we are able to form stronger bonds with others due to the different definition of success which may lead to potential achievements. By embracing our differences we are able to connect and understand each other better. It also creates a society where equality is possible and attainable. Cultural relativism has changed the rights of women along the centuries and has allowed changes in the society. It has made a huge impact towards the education system, political values, women’s rights, social issues and many more. It allows people to define themselves without contradicting the moral code of others. That division produces and promotes equality.

It encourages respect and understanding in a system. When people come from different cultures, they have to learn to adapt to one another in order to avoid offending anyone. And although they are adapting to one another, they are still distinguished as themselves since there is a clarity of who they are. A society can evolve and develop because there is an equal and pure level of respect for one another. And because of that respect it creates a potentially judgement free society. People don’t react because they find it wrong, they react because it is new to them. You do not receive judgement from others because the only person judging you is yourself. People who might disagree with you are those that have set their own standards for themselves.

There are so many positive possibilities that cultural relativism has to offer but it also has a negative side to it that can cause a country’s downfall.

Cultural relativism could cause chaos. Since there is no fixed standard for moral ethics it becomes harder to judge what is right or wrong. If your moral ethics says it is alright to do bad things then it becomes hard to question someone’s moral code. Even if the law states that it is bad to do this but you find it in your moral code that it is right, what could possibly stop you from committing that act. In this scenario there is no hardbound way to protect the members of the society. That makes the society a battle for the strongest to emerge on top. With that it limits moral progress by holding people back because it is reflected in the laws and customs of the culture.

It limits the progress of humanity. If you take away the capability to judge one moral standard to the other or simply comparing a new culture to an old one then the definition of good and bad becomes uncertain. A country’s definition of success is no longer valid because each is successful in its own way. The difference of the cultures in terms of its takes on issues and problems cannot be judged since they have separate beliefs of what is right and wrong.

So in this perspective cultural relativism is either good or bad for a society to prosper. Depending on how cultural relativism has affected the people, it can change a country for its own good or it can bring a country to its suffering. Moral standards make sense in a person’s culture. By creating individualized cultures, on singular or larger scales, it does become easier to keep and embrace the traditions that humanity has developed over the millennia. The best way to adapt to the changes it brings is to simply bring awareness to the public and to the upcoming generations in order to promote understanding as early as possible.

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The Effects Of Cultural Relativism On Society In The Philippines. (2021, September 16). Edubirdie. Retrieved July 16, 2024, from
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