Cultural Relativism Essay

Submitted By Fudgebear12
Words: 969
Pages: 4

This essay will be view the many aspects of beliefs, customs and ethics called cultural relativism. In other words, “right” and “wrong” are culture-specific; what is considered moral in one society may be considered immoral in another, and, since no universal standard of morality exists, no one has the right to judge another society’s customs. Cultural relativism is closely related to ethical relativism, which views truth as variable and not absolute. What constitutes right and wrong is determined solely by the individual or by society. Since truth is not objective, there can be no objective standard which applies to all cultures. No one can say if someone else is right or wrong; it is a matter of personal opinion, and no society can pass judgment on another society.

One unique religion is Judaism. Judaism is a religious tradition with origins dating back nearly four thousand years, rooted in the ancient near eastern region of Canaan (which is now Israel and Palestinian territories). Originating as the beliefs and practices of the people known as "Israel," classical, Judaism did not emerge until the 1st century C.E. Judaism traces its heritage to the covenant God made with Abraham and his ancestry — that God would make them a sacred people and give them a holy land. The primary figures of Israelite culture include the patriarchs Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and the prophet Moses, who received God's law at Mt. Sinai. Judaism is a tradition grounded in the religious, ethical, and social laws as they are articulated in the Torah. Jews refer to the Bible as the Tanakh. The four main movements within Judaism today are Orthodox, Conservative, Reform, and Reconstructionist, respectively ranging from traditional to liberal to religiously progressive in their application of Torah. While diverse in their views, Jews continue to be unified on the basis of their common connection to a set of sacred narratives expressing their relationship with God as a holy people. Judaism tends to emphasize practice over belief. Jewish worship is centered in synagogues, which completely replaced the Second Temple after its destruction in 70 C.E. Jewish religious leaders are called rabbis, oversee the many rituals and ceremonies essential to Jewish religious practice.

Christianity developed out of Judaism in the 1st century C.E. It is founded on the life, teachings, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and those who follow him are called "Christians." Christianity has many different branches and forms with accompanying variety in beliefs and practices. The three major branches of Christianity are Roman Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, and Protestantism, with numerous subcategories within each of these branches. Until the latter part of the 20th century, most adherents of Christianity were in the West, though it has spread to every continent and is now the largest religion in the world. Traditional Christian beliefs include the belief in the one and only true God, who is one being and exists as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and the belief that Jesus is the divine and human Messiah sent to the save the world. Christianity is also noted for its emphasis on faith in Christ as the primary component of religion. The sacred text of Christianity is the Bible, including both the Hebrew scriptures (also known as the Old Testament) and the New Testament. Central to Christian practice is the gathering at churches for worship, fellowship, and study, and engagement with the world through evangelism and social action.

The historical origins of Islam date back to seventh century Arabia. Islam is based upon five "pillars" that represent the bedrock upon which all else is based. The first pillar, which makes one a Muslim, is called the shahadah, meaning, "testimony" or "witnessing." It is fulfilled by declaring to two witnesses the foundational creed of Islam: " Ashhadu an la ilaha illa Allah wa anna Muhammadan rasulullah. " This means, "I witness that there is…