Monday, September 10, 2018

Multiculturalism And Moral Relativism

"Once the ideas and insights of an individual or group are disseminated, anyone can employ them. No one culture owns its accomplishments; they belong to everyone. When the knowledge is out there, we can all access it. There is no inexorable link to race or ethnic origin.

For example, even though primarily Western scholars have developed modern physics, it is not inherently Western. If a primitive thinks he can jump off a thousand-foot precipice and fly because the totem told him he can, he will die. His death is not caused by Eurocentric science but by his ignorance of the nature of reality Western scientists articulate.

Having said all of this, we must emphasize that if significant accomplishments have been ignored, we should redress the injustice-not because of the race or ethnicity of the thinker but because of the importance of the ideas.

George Reisman, an economist at Pepperdine University, has made similar observations. He argues that the trends toward "multicultural education" and "diversity" as well as critiques of "Eurocentric" or "Western" values are misguided and ill-informed.

For one thing, these trends imply that all cultures have contributed to human progress and knowledge equally. Reisman argues that this is false, since Western values-whether scientific, philosophical, economic, or moral-have proved to be vastly superior. These societies that have embraced Western values, whether geographically in the Far East or in the West, reveal this.

In addition, Western civilization is open to everyone, since it constitutes a body of knowledge and values that is not linked inexorably to any race, nationality, or region of the globe. For these reasons, Reisman contends that multiculturalism is a new form of racism because it reduces matter of the intellect to a matter of racial or ethnic membership."

Francis J. Beckwith and Gregory Koukl, Relativism: Feet Firmly Planted in Mid-Air, p. 94-95

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