The Intellectual Standard


Cultural relativism is the ever-popular theory claiming that, “any set of customs and institutions, or way of life, is as valid as any other” (Hartung,1954). In its appeal to tolerance—the seemingly incontrovertible “virtue” of the modern era—it has gained wide appeal amongst myriad disciplines, most notably in the social sciences (UNESCO, 1995). However, the theory is destructive in both theory and practice. In theory, cultural relativism emphatically denies reason and objective reality (Zechenter, 1997). In practice, it sanctions the worst manifestations of violence and oppression.