Give an example of something that one culture might regard as a virtue that another culture might not. Explain why this could lead to relativism?


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Connor Sephton answered
An example of something that one culture might regard as a virtue while another culture may not is individualism. In the modern society that the majority of us are used to, individualism is something that we are automatically entitled to. We do not think anything of having the ability to express our desires and goals or having the right to further our own interests within society.

The United States and the United Kingdom are ranked two of the highest countries that run on a very individualistic basis. In comparison there are many cultures and countries that do not believe that individualism is an important aspect of the society. These countries and cultures are considered as collective and focus more on working together as groups rather than focusing on individual desires. Individualistic cultures believe that the best way to acquire anything is without the help of others and that society owes the individual nothing. In comparison, a collective culture aims to reach goals together and share success or failure together.

These opposing views of individualism, like many other examples, can lead to the occurrence of relativism. This is the idea that points of view only have relative value according to the differences in perception and consideration. Using individualism as an example, it is possible to say that the idea that society owes nothing to the individual is only relative when compared to the idea that individuals working collectively can join together to take what they need from society.  Those who believe a collective culture is more helpful than an individualistic culture can only say so with relevance when considering the idea that individualistic persons may look the other way if someone needs help.

There are many views that can lead to relativism within cultures and countries, individualism is just one aspect that some cultures feel is a virtue and others do not.

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