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What is the meaning of Relativism? Concept, Definition of Relativism

Definition of relativism

1 Meaning of relativism

Relativism, in the broad sense, is the concept that holds that the views have no truth or universal validity, but only valid subjective and relative to the different frames of reference. In general, discussions on relativism are focused on specific issues; Thus, the epistemological relativism considered that there is no objective truth, always depending on the validity of a judgment of the conditions in which this is stated; or relativism moral, that says there is no good or evil absolute, but dependent on the specific circumstances. Similar principles are defended both in linguistic relativism and cultural relativism.
He has been traditionally considered that there are two opposite positions about the nature of society and the human aspects, or at least to certain social events: Objectivism and relativism.
Objectivism holds that truth is independent of the individuals or groups who think it, or in a logically less restrictive form, says that there are some facts objectives on which there is universal agreement. Relativism on the other hand, considers that the truth depends on or is related to the subject that you are experiencing it, but there are no objective truths nor universal agreements shared by all human beings.
We need to be careful in defining what is relativism; Thus, for example, is not relativism accept that there are many opinions about the same things; This is obvious and nobody has denied it. Relativism appears when we also say that these opinions are true if seem real to those who defend them. Relativism holds that there are many ways of conceptualizing some social facts, and that none of them can be considered as "true". Human and social issues recognizes three basic forms of relativism:
(a) cognitive
b) morality
(c) cultural
It is convenient to treat them together as they are closely linked. For example linguistic relativism considers that there are interrelationships between the cognitive level, the cultural level and the mother tongue of a person. Even those who stick to one of them, usually adhere also to the remaining while those who reject them, do it together. Oswald Spengler wrote: "every culture has its own criteria, in which begins and ends its validity. There is no universal morality of any kind".
In the first case, admitting its truth, refuses the absolute truth, so there would be no interest in looking for it. In the second case is denied the existence of the objective good, so it should be clear to ethics as an intellectual activity that seeks a way to achieve it. In the third case, there would be a culture better than another, so it not we should strive of looking for it. Some authors estimate that, in the epistemological level, relativism arises from a skeptical attitude, while at the moral level arises from a cynical attitude.

2. Definition of relativism

Relativism is a philosophical doctrine which denies that there are truths or universal expertise, but that they are relative, subjective, dependent of the context or culture. There would be no real universal or objective, as it holds the Objectivism.
In the old antennas, the Sophists were renowned relativists, as for example Protagoras of Abdera, who said that the man was who imposed on the things your measurement, therefore the important thing was to achieve a just and dignified life without pretension of being search. The heyday of relativism reaches it the sophist Gorgias, who in his treatise "about not being" denies the validity of the language and the possibility of achieving the knowledge. This conception Socrates and Plato, you opposed Objectivism advocates.
Ethical relativism proclaims, that given that moral beliefs are relative to each culture, right or wrong will depend on what each society considers as well. Ethical statements lack of cognitive content, and therefore are neither true nor false. They originate in the emotions and attitudes of those who emit them. No culture can therefore impose its ethical standards on others as superior.
Linguistic relativism holds the influence of native language on the mode of reasoning of people, doing it depends on which language speak of native mode, how think and see the world.
The maximum criticism that receives the relativism is that they say as truth, the absence of absolute truths; Therefore this claim should also be how relative.

3 Concept of relativism

Relativism is the philosophical position that all points of view are equally valid, and that all truth is relative to the individual. This means that all moral positions, all religious systems, all forms of art, all the political movements, etc., are truths that they are relating to individuals. Under the umbrella of relativism, all groups of prospects are categorized. In obvious terms, some are:
• Cognitive relativism (truth): cognitive relativism asserts that all truth is relative. This would mean that no system of truth is more valid than another, and that there is no objective standard of truth. Naturally, this would deny the existence of a God's absolute truth.
• Moral/ethical relativism: all morality is relative to the social group in which it is built.
• Situational relativism: the ethical (right and wrong) are dependent on the situation.
Unfortunately, the philosophy of relativism is dominant in our current culture. With the rejection of God, and Christianity in particular, absolute truth is being abandoned. Our pluralistic society wants to avoid the idea that there really is a good and a bad. This is evident in our impaired judicial system having more and more problems to punish the criminals, our entertainment media which continues to push the envelope of morality and decency, in our schools that teach evolution and "social tolerance", etc. In addition, the scourge of moral relativism is encouraging people to accept homosexuality, pornography on television, immorality, and a series of other "sins" that once were considered wrong but who now are being accepted, penetrating into our society. Each time it is so pervasive that if you speak against the moral relativism and its philosophy that "anything goes", you is marked as an intolerant fanatic. Clear is, this is incredibly hypocritical by those who profess that all points of view are true, refusing even those professing the absolute morality. It seems to be which means reality to moral relativists that all points of view are true, except the points of view that teaches the moral absolutes, an absolute God, or the absolute right and wrong.
Some typical expressions that reveal an underlying assumption of relativism are comments such as: "this is his truth, not mine." "This is true for you but not for me". "There are no absolute truths." Of course, these statements are illogical, which I showed in the article "Countering relativism". Relativism is invading our society, our economy, our schools and our homes. Society cannot flourish and survive in an environment where everything a person does is right in his own eyes, where the situation determines the actions, and if the situation changes for lying or cheating is acceptable - as you will not be caught. Without a common foundation of truth and absolutes, our culture will be weak and will crack.
However, I must admit that there are some valid aspects of relativism. For example, what a society considers right - handle on the left side of the road - another, considers it to be wrong. These are customs a "good and evil" is added, but these are purely relative and not universal as they are based on culture. The principle of raising the children varies in different societies, such as practices in funerals and marriage ceremonies. These "good and bad forms" are not cosmically established on a stone or not derived from some absolute rules of conduct for something unknown God. These are relative, and with good reason. But the relativism of these is asserted as such. It doesn't matter which side of the road handle as all we do it in the same way.
Similarly, there are experiences that are only valid for individuals. I might be irritated by certain sound while someone not. In this sense, what for me is true is not necessarily true for someone else. It is not an absolute truth that the identical sound causes discomfort to all persons. This is a way of showing that certain aspects with relativism is true. But it is valid to say that since there is a type of personal relativism that can then apply this principle to all areas of experience and knowledge, one could say, that these are related also? No. It is not a valid assumption. First of all, doing so would be to declare an absolute judgement which would be contrary to relativism.
Further, if all things are relative, then there can be something that is absolutely true among individuals. In other words: If all people deny the truth and establish the relative truth from their own experiences, then, everything would be relative to the individual. How could there be a common ground from which to judge what good and bad or what is true? It would seem that this can not be.
Of course, that what is important here is whether or not there is absolute truths. Also, could different kinds of absolute truths if there are indeed absolute truths there be? We could ask if the lie always is wrong. Or if 1 + 1 is always equal to 2? Is it always true that something can exist and not exist at the same time? Is it always true that something can be brought himself to existence if it doesn't first exist? If any of these responses can be answered in the affirmative form then relativism is refuted; at least to some degree.
More questions are raised. If all points of view are equally valid, then, do we have the right to punish someone? Can we ever say that it is wrong? To be able to say that something is wrong, first, we must have a standard by which to weigh what is right and what is wrong to make a judgement. If that standard of right and wrong is based on relativism, then, it is not, after all a standard. In relativism, the standards of good and bad are derived from social norms. As society changes, the rules change, also changing what is good or bad. If these change, then, how can someone be judged righteously for something he did wrong if that evil could in the future become a good thing?
Finally: Is it fair to apply the principles of logical analysis? Many relativists say no, but I particularly don't see why not. If a relativist I was convinced that logic is not necessary to examine the relativism, he would have to convince me using logic, which would be counterproductive. If relativism - a relativistic subjective point of their own opinions - to validate its position, would be using a vicious circular reasoning; that is, he is using relativism to relativism. So anyway, he will have lost the argument.
To conclude, if relativism is true, and all points of view are true, then do is my point of view about the relativism is false and true? Contradicts the truth itself? No. It is not contradicted.


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