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Is multiculturalism an inherently morally subjectivist concept?

asked Dec 30 '10 at 18:53

Fareed's gravatar image


edited Dec 31 '10 at 00:37

Greg%20Perkins's gravatar image

Greg Perkins ♦♦

This term needs to be defined. Descriptive or normative? Etc. The simplest answer amounts to this: Do you like both Mexican and Chinese food? There must be something much more significant in mind for this question.

(Dec 30 '10 at 20:01) Mindy Newton ♦ Mindy%20Newton's gravatar image

ok when I think of multiculturalism I think of food and costume and wine and the like. However I have read that multiculturalism blanks out moral judgement by treating all the cultures as equals. I admit I did not think of the term in this way and hence why I wanted to ask if that is something inherent to multiculturalism as such

(Dec 30 '10 at 21:21) Fareed Fareed's gravatar image

In terms of food and wine and dance tempo and holidays, multiculturalism is morally neutral. It may spice one's life up. Writers who speak of multiculturalism as having the effect of negating moral judgments are referring to moral relativism. Multiple cultures often mean multiple points of view on right and wrong. That the two kinds of differences get spoken of at the same time may be an attempt to confuse the neutral or positive aspects of life-style varieties, in which case, for example, eating rice with re-fried beans is just as "good" as eating it with sweet-and-sour chicken, with actual ethical precepts of right and wrong, in which there is one right and one wrong, no matter how many different cultures weigh in on the issue.

Just as there are no scientific facts to proclaim beans and rice superior to chicken and rice, there is no reason to prefer arranged marriages to romantic, self-determined ones, such relativists would urge. In this case, "multiculturalism" is a package-deal, an invalid concept, and a term to be avoided except when one begins the discussion with a careful delineation of what it meant.

When multiculturalism means morality, it means moral relativism. Moral relativism is, epistemologically, a subjectivist position.

answered Dec 30 '10 at 22:13

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Mindy Newton ♦

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Asked: Dec 30 '10 at 18:53

Seen: 1,149 times

Last updated: Dec 31 '10 at 00:37