What Is Wrong With Relativism?
Relativism is a philosophical theory asserting a form of truth. Yet it only asserts truth relative to the individual, or to a particular time or culture, or both. It is the idea that some elements or aspects of experience or culture are relative to, or dependent on other elements or aspects. While at first the statement “all is relative” may seem like a legitimate theory, it does of course come with its share of criticisms. The theory of relativism not only disregards morality but it also contradicts itself.
Relativism completely undermines and disregards morality. Moral relativists believe that whether or not an action is moral is only relative to an individual’s belief system or the cultural values that they choose to live by. This poses an array of problems because it is not right for morality to have such relative stipulations. For example, we all know that slavery was a very immoral action. Relativists however, will not ask themselves whether or not slavery was moral. They will only ask themselves if a particular culture or society believed it to be moral at that time. So even though slavery took away human beings civil rights, if it was thought to be okay at the time, then relativists would have no argument against it. This is a problem because it justifies wrong actions and blames no one, no matter how horrendous the actions are. The same can be said for the holocaust. Hitler’s society believed that the slavery, torturing and killing of millions of Jews was the right thing to do at that particular time. A relativist would not argue against the holocaust, but simply say that the actions were relative to the thinking of that society at the time. Morality cannot always be relative. If a theory poses no responsibility for wrong actions, then I believe that it negates the whole idea of morality. Everything cannot be right all the time.
Relativism also contradicts and refutes itself. If “all is relative” then all is...