Final Straw For Rachels Analysis

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In some cultures and religions, honor killings are allowed when a member of the family, typically a woman, violates principles deemed to be essential to upholding the honor and social standing of the family. This usually occurs when a woman refuses an arranged marriage, is a victim of rape, has sex outside or marriage, or other similar “crimes” (BBC News). Recently in Germany, a man named Asadullah Khan killed his 19-year-old daughter for such reasons. He believed that, according to his Muslim faith, his daughter brought dishonor to her family by being romantically involved with a boy not of his choosing (The Independent). On top of this, she reportedly had been avoiding her family and had stopped wearing her headscarf. The final straw for…show more content…
However, Rachels then goes on to refute this claim by pointing out fundamental mistakes it makes. For example, if cultural relativism were true, we would no longer be able to judge morally wrong actions of other societies. In fact, under cultural relativism, we would not even be able to judge the moral actions of our own society (Rachels 22). Rachels argues that cultural relativism is not an acceptable moral paradigm; all cultures do have at the very least some necessary values in common, and some actions of a society can be judged to be objectively wrong. For example, it is necessary that all cultures have such values as “do not kill” and “do not lie”. If a culture did not have these values, no one could trust anyone else to ever tell the truth, and no one would ever feel safe. Rachels argues that people living under these conditions could hardly be called a society – these conditions encourage isolation over association with others (Rachels 26). Because of this, it can be determined that there are in fact universal and objective standards to judge other societies against, and while it is important to keep an open mind about other cultures, it is equally if not more important to criticize cultures when they (or we) violate these standards (Rachels

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