The reason cultural pluralism poses ethical challenges is because itinsists that individual ethnic groups exist with the larger societyyet retain their unique cultural heritages. It holds the view thatcertain groups of people be assimilated to a particular culture mostpreferably that of the larger group leading them to abandon their ownculture, traditions, language amongst other customs (Brannigan,2004). Cultural pluralism leads to cultural separatism, which is atransformation of nation of nations as it is in segregated Americanethnic groups. Critics of cultural pluralism view it as a way ofsuppressing individuality since ethnic traditions are static.
One example of an ethical problem posed by cultural pluralism is thepolarity of culture in America. As an American, I feel that culturesare accepted as internally dynamic, versatile, changing forcing allgroups to respect each other and form one culture that will help usenjoy liberty together. It becomes very challenging to maintain aunique culture while living in America and losing identity to such aculture is not unlikely thanks to cultural pluralism. The crisis ofidentity is an ever-growing challenge for many Americans who mayeventually not know what their original cultural background was.
According to the oxford dictionary, cultural pluralism brings theconcept of coexistence in sub-cultures and value systems in a largesociety. It is a situation whereby people from different races,social classes, religions and ethnic beliefs find themselves in thesame society but have to live together. It affects the retention ofunique cultural heritages and the existence of groups on their ownterms with the diverse society. Moral absolutism can be defined asthe ethical belief of absolute standards and is the opposite of moralrelativism. Moral absolutism thus claims that the belief of certainactions is right or wrong regardless of the situation. This viewcontrasts with cultural relativism, which implies judging culture ontheir terms. Cultural or ethical relativism is a way of thinkingabout morality that holds the opinion that no culture is greater ormore superior than the other and thus judgment should be doneaccordingly. Cultural relativism differs from moral absolutism inmany ways like the law sense and judgment being the most outstandingfacts. While cultural relativism judges a person with their culture,moral absolutism judges with without considering the culture as longthe act is wrong or right argues Brannigan (2004). Moral absolutismmay seem as a fairer way of judging others as it is viewed as a justway. Judging people from their culture is ethnocentric and may betermed as unjust. The relativist point of view, disadvantages likemisuse of the concept of liking and creating one’s culture to avoidbeing judged by others is wrong. A culture of killing may for examplebe created leading to lose of life. That would be the violation of afundamental human right.
I would handle the problem posed by cultural pluralism by finding asuitable balance to cultures and ensuring that all cultures arerespected and exist peacefully with others. Some of the possiblephilosophical solutions to the problem of cultural pluralism areembracing cultural relativism which is the opposite of culturalpluralism. Cultural relativism explains that the world is a rapidlychanging sphere with increasing interactions of people from differentcultures every day. Various cultures are in close contact now morethan ever and this interaction can either be viewed as good or badwith respect for other cultural groups. We can shun negativeattitudes towards other groups and develop a positive attitudetowards them through cultural relativism. Cultural relativism isopen-minded, inclusive and culturally sensitive.
Brannigan, M.(2004). EthicsAcross Cultures.McGraw-Hill Humanities Social