Generally we would assume that the Western culture have morally improved since the 18th century, since slavery, a practice that was once considered permissible, is now judged to be morally wrong and impermissible within the Western society. James Rachel, an American philosopher who critiques the grounds of NCR, points out that if we were to remain consistent with the views of a cultural relativist, we would not be able to fully acknowledge the existence of moral reformers. As human beings, we occasionally like to believe that some social reforms have improved our society, but Cultural Relativism affirms that these are merely neutral changes or a clarification on a standard that is already in existence. Rachel argues that, “it makes sense to think that our own society has made some moral progress, while admitting that it is still imperfect and in need of reform” (751) and since Cultural Relativism rejects this notion, it would imply that the abolition of slavery in Western culture has not improved the society as a whole. This concept conflicts with our current basic human values, specifically, the Western value of liberty. Thus, Rachel argues that Relativism should not be affirmed due to this flaw. The Cultural Relativism, he claims, is implausible since there has been moral progress. For example, in the case of slavery, many individuals within the Western society believed that the African Americans we unintelligent. This racial belief led to the enslavement of the African race and the creation of racial laws; laws that defined whether an individual had the rights to liberty. Since the abolition of slavery, the Western Society has slowly progressed in a sense of rationality; African Americans were no longer seen as barbarians, rather, they are now seen as civilized beings with equal human rights.
Rather than stopping here, James Rachels also attacks Cultural Relativism on the basis that it allows far too much tolerance. It is argued that Cultural Relativism does not guide individuals with a certain moral code or value since it states that when confronted with a moral problem, individuals should consult the society they find