9) What impact does culture have on ethics? Are ethics subject to cultural differences? Examine.

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Topic:Ethical dimensions

9) What impact does culture have on ethics? Are ethics subject to cultural differences? Examine. (200 Words)

General

  • black mamba

    Ethics are a set of standards that a society places upon itself. It helps guide behaviour, choices and action of its members. Ethical behaviour is influenced by three determinants:
    1)Individual personality traits, values and upbringing
    2)Culture of an individual
    3)organizational ethics

    So we see that ethics always carry reference to a society, an individual can’t be ethical all by himself, though he can be moral. Culture being the basic form of human social network has some influence on determining ethical behaviour. For example, in context of countries, it is ethical norm to greet anyone (including opposite sex) with a peck on the cheek in France, but is a taboo in India. Similarly, polygamy is ethically accepted in many cultures including islam but strictly forbidden and considered unethical in Hinduism.

    However, it does not mean that being ethical means blindly following cultural norms. For, it’s quite possible for cultures to have immoral and be blind to certain ethical concerns. Example, slavery was an accepted norm in USA, untouchability was an accepted norm in India, holocaust was legal and accepted in Germany etc.

    Therefore, we say that culture influence ethics of a society, but it’s not sole determinant. Ethics also rely on rationality (objective aspect of human behaviour), individual morality and values.

    • Happy Boy

      Nice answer and good examples …. 5.5 / 10
      Plz review mine

    • ragini sharma

      nice ans.

    • yogi

      Very good Mamba, nicely put with examples
      plz review mine too..:)

    • OK

      The three determinants are actually only one. Individual values are derived from many factors, culture, organisation are one of them. And they do not exist in different capsules. They all are under the same basket. Like. Culture, religion, school, family, peer group, organisation, society etc.
      Secondly, rather than defining the ethics, it would be better to define the culture. I. E. Culture is a mean to transfer the set of values, practices, and rituals, across the generation. It helps in the conservation as well as evolution of values, which are dynamic with respect to space and time.
      And the values are the source of energy for the ethics.

      • black mamba

        I beg to differ with your stance. But thanks so much for the review 🙂

    • ViVi

      you could also add various determinats of culture which in turn may determine ethics….like climate, geography, socio economic conditions..

      plzz reiew my answer if time permit.

      BTW it was a nice effort… KWAR

      • black mamba

        Yes. This is quite some value judgement. Thanks.
        Yes I’ll

    • Shalu

      nice effort, please review mine…if and when time permits !

    • MAMBA , YOUR EXAMPLES ARE NOT AT ALL RELEVANT TO ETHICAL STUDY —REVIEW YOUR STUDY BUDDY

      • black mamba

        Can h suggest what should be there

        • SOCIAL MORES AND NORMS ARE TOTALLY DIFFERENT FROM ETHICAL QUESTIONS AND THEY ARE MORE CLOSER TO MORALS.
          ETHICAL QUESTIONS LIKE CAPITAL PUNISHMENT, ABORTION, USE OF CONTRACEPTIVE WHERE DIFFERENT ETHICAL TRADITIONS AND INFLUENCE OF CULTURE WILL DETERMINE THE STANCE IN PARTICULAR.
          CONSEQUENTIALISM, UTILITARIANISM , DEONTOLOGICAL ETC…

          • black mamba

            Okay. What u are talking of are ethical dilemmas and how culture helps us solve them.
            But I felt the question was asking about how ethics in terms of social standards are affected by culture.

            • SSPP

              i also feel so… so the best approach seems to be giving examples how different cultures shapes the ethical values and how it differ in different culture…up to the question more over well structured….do you writing exam this year?…

    • Coder

      nice answer

  • ajay

    .culture are various traditions,ideas and beliefs that people of a certain region and religion follow.and according to theory of cultural relativism right and wrong are relative to one’s culture.ethical standards subsume individual opinion over culture.culture promotes group action and legitimises ethical beliefs and practices. in this situation many a times individuality and personal opinions are diregarded over customary and cultural morality.e.g- in the 17th AND 18th century sati was considered appropriate.similarly child labour is legitimate and legal in bolivia but not necessary so in the west.

    this theory also says that ethical beliefs transcend culture and differ from society to society.e.g -some societies may accept monogamy while others polygamy.some may accept capital punishment and euthanasia as correct and others may not.abortion is justified in ireland’s customary laws while the same may not be appropriate in india .western cultures may promote individualism and strenght of personal judgment while the same may not be true for india

    therefore we see that culture may affect ethical values of a region .also ethics are subjected to cultural differences.however in the age of globalisation and strenghtening of global identities with strong intermixing of cultures these differences have become less rigid and more fluid.

    • Happy Boy

      Nice answer …. 5 / 10 …plz review mine

    • ragini sharma

      es ques. me scope bahut hain likhne ke lie…

      aapne achha likha hai

      magar aur bhi vistrit ho sakta tha…

      plz review mine

      • ajay

        Dhanyawad for detailed review aur ha is sawaal mein aur likha na sakta hai

    • yogi

      nice one especially the diversity of examples
      plz review mine..:)

      • ajay

        Thanx for the review

  • Sam Saikia

    Culture can be considered in two stages. First ,in national level and thein in regional level. Indian culture as a whole where Indian identity will be reflected above all regional culture differences. A secular Indian bears the tenet of Indian culture as a whole. Bhaktibaad, sufibaad though regional reflect the cultural identity of India as a whole. Then , regional culture, where each religion tribes show own cultural ethos.

    Ethics is the unwritten socio religious code of society which binds people with a kind of moral doing. Indian culture derives its elements from ancient past, philosophers, history, freedom struggle, Indian epics , Indian constitution etc. Tolerance, assimilation, respect to women, non violence are some ethical conducts that owe their origin to Indian culture. If the bonding of brotherly relation , respect to parents come as ethical codes derived from Indian epics like Ramayana, Mahabharata, the sacrifice for the sake of country is enthused by freedom struggle. Thus, culture impacts ethics in large perspective.

    Responding to socio cultural variety in a country, ethics also varies. If there is moral justification behind ” Meher” in Muslim marriage, the same might be condemned by other religion’s marriage. While in Garo society in Meghalaya, matriarchal society is prevalent, in other areas patriarchal society dominant. Wine is restricted to some religions, while the same is an integral part to many religious rituals of tribes in various parts of India. So, ethical conduct generally varies to regional cultural differences.

    Despite differences, message of ethical conduct is more or less same but expression is different. If a Muslim says ” Wa alaikum assalam wa rahamatu Allah” ( Peace together upon you with Allah’s mercy) , a Hindu says ” jai shri Krishna” but meaning is same that is living with the motto of god. Though, culture impacts on ethics and ethics varies to culture but core value of ethics remain almost same.

    • Happy Boy

      Nice answer …. good examples …. 5 / 10 …..plz review mine

  • rishi

    Culture is said to be one of the factors that determines the ethical behaviour of the human being, others being personal traits and organisation in which one works. Many of the cultural practices/norms are in conformity with ethical values eg. respect the elders, love the younger ones, help the poor, donate to needy ones are found in almost every cultures and thesee are also ethical values of one’s character. Some other traits like how to talk to new people , how to greet them, how to respect a guest, the good ways to dress up in different occasions are also determined by the culture most of the times. In rural India culture also directs the human actions and gives them legality. It also determines the economic activities of the people.

    Ethics are not subject to cultural differences because cultures also have many elements that are not consistent to being ethical. Example may be cited of Indian caste system in which people from lower castes are subjected to many restriction and violations of their human rights is widely prevalent , but this can not be allowed ethically. This can not be said right in respect of Indian culture. Similarly practice of slavery in European and American societies cannot be judged right relative to their cultures. Ethics have some values and set rules that are universal and end in themselves eg. truth, love-caring. However ethics can be integrated in cultural norms.

    • rishi

      pls review

    • yogi

      both part addressed very well with suitable examples
      2nd para “Ethics are not subject to cultural differences”–> seems to go against ur own explanation (see for ur self)

      could have added a one line conclusion
      plz review mine too..:)

  • J.S

    Criticisms invited

  • Happy Boy

    Plz z review friends

    • ragini sharma

      nice ans
      world limi…… ?

      • Happy Boy

        Ya word limit crossed …. agreed

        • ragini sharma

          reloaded ans

    • srikanth

      nice answer

    • yogi

      ur points are appealing , but try to be concise to add more dimensions
      administrative culture was unique good
      plz review mine..:)

    • ajay

      Gud ans bas wahi thoda word limit jyada ho gaya hai

    • black mamba

      good answer.
      all aspects covered nicely.
      especially administrative culture.
      keep writing and reviewing
      🙂

  • ragini sharma

    plz review..

    • Happy Boy

      Ragini madam aapki answer dikhai nehin deraha hey ….plz review mine

  • srikanth

    The relationship exists between ethics and culture is age old relationship.In primitive society what is cultural that is ethical ex.caste system,sati system,child marriages.religion act as embodiment of cultural values and unamendable impose set of values on society. judicial pronouncements,benefits availability,division of labour based on set of cultural values ex:brahminical domination of rituals,untouchability of dalits, marriage system.
    But in evolution ,through genesis of social changes like renaissance,industrial revolution,french revolution,colonalism e.t.c produces a new set of social changes in politics,economic ,social level . These created a need for new set of value i.e. ethics, which gained knowledge through complementing,questioning,supplementing old set of values(culture) adhere to set of new social standards liberty,equality,fraternity,balance of power,rule of law for the promotion of social mobility, humanity,gender equality.
    Therefore culture as body of knowledge ,beliefs ,customs giving inputs and ethics addressing,contesting cultural created set of standard for promoting social solidarity.cultural and ethics have dialtectical relationship with each other

    • Happy Boy

      Nice examples …plz use points and try to make structured answer …5 / 10 plz review mine

    • ragini sharma

      covered lots nice ans

    • srikanth

      pls review

    • yogi

      examples are good, but seems to to be repetitive ones,
      align ur answer with structure of intro, body(,explicitly addressing both parts of the Qn), and conclusion
      plz review mine..:)

  • ragini sharma

    review plz

    • Shalu

      bahot ache examples hain, pls review mine if time permits 🙂

    • ajay

      Uttar acha hai apne Islam,hindu aur jain dharm ka acha vishleshan kia hai waise culture aur dharm ki baaton mein jyada antar nahi hota kintu woh ek samman bhi nahi hote hai

      • ragini sharma

        han aap sahi keh rahe hain…
        thanks 4 review

  • yogi

    please review!!
    Culture owing to its uniqueness impacts the ethics in following ways:
    Our food habits, music preference, dance, religion, moral values among other tangible and non-tangible aspects of life govern the
    rightness and wrongness of our actions. For examples, in some tribal cultures eating a man is not evil, but for mainstream it is gross inhumane act.
    Further, many aspects of Indian culture like respect to teacher and elders, compassion towards weaker sections, etc. are invariably considered as ethical.

    Ethics and cultural differences:
    Ethics are subject to cultural differences as is evident from the fact that what is considered acceptable in western culture is largely
    not accepted in Indian culture like differences in eating and wearing.
    Eating pork is considered unethical in some religious cultures, in some it is considered ethical because it is unkind to kill animals,
    for others it is ethical because it serves the larger purpose of feeding the hungry ones.

    But, in general major aspects of ethics like being truthful, compassionate, honest, trustworthy, impartial etc. are common to almost all the cultures. The unity in diversity of Indian culture strengthens this premise.

    • rishi

      as far as I understand any action being culturally acceptable does not mean that is ethical too. Ethics tell about the rightness and wrongness of the things. different practices getting acceptability in different cultures come under cultural relativism ..

      have written good examples …keep on writing and Reviewing 🙂 🙂

      • yogi

        in respond to –“any action being culturally acceptable does not mean that is ethical too”

        for that cultural group it can be termed ethical, “cultural relativism” also says the same to judge a perosn’s belief sas per his/her own culture (plz correct me if i m wrong)

    • SATHIYA

      Differences between cultures in intro itself and Unity in culture in Conclusion is good.. Your stand of ethics subjected to cultural differences is also nice.. You may give some impact of culture and examples as per the qusetion asked to examine.. Remaining subjected to question asked.. Good..

      • yogi

        thanks friend
        yours done;)

    • SATHIYA

      Please review mine..

    • ajay

      Gud ans ethics is not only about wrongness and correctness of actions its more than that u can reflect the same in ur first para.ur egs are gud

  • ViVi

    Culture is the set of practices or behavir which is generally expected out of an individual.
    It is the way of society to control the action of individual so that it may remain cohesive.
    Culture is impacted by the factors like geography, religion, primary economic activities etc.\

    There are certain ethical practices whichare universal in nature like ove, honesty, truthfullness etc.
    However waht comprisie day to ay ethics can vary depending upon the culture pf the place.
    For. eg drinking wine may be unethical in india society but its is necessity in European society keeping in mind the warmth needs in in its frigid climate.

    SImilarly the ethic are subject to change with change in the structure of the socirty which in turn affects the culture.
    For eg. in old India society women were not supposd to work outside their homes. But in modern society there in a need for wide scale participation of women in mainstream economic activity.
    This change in the socio economic structure has changed the culture and hence the ethics which comes attached wit it,.

    Thus we can see that that culture and ethic do have close relation and is prone to change with change in the social, economic, geographical and climatic circumstance.

    • SATHIYA

      Culture definition and ethics is subjected to cultural differences in your explanation is good.Examples you provided for that is nice. But you can give two to three dimension of impact of cultural on ethics. Othewise, remaining answer and conclusion is limited to question. Good.. keep it up…

    • SATHIYA

      Please review mine..

    • black mamba

      i like how you have linked the two.
      and suggestions taken.
      i felt that u can mention – at times cultural practices are not ethical too
      that wouldve completed the answer

    • yogi

      i can see the spatio-temporal variation in the linking b/w the two, and u have very well fit that to meet the demand of the Qn
      keep it up!
      plz review mine too

  • siddharthan p v

    Please review

    • SATHIYA

      Points of Professional ethics that indian culture nurture, Collectivism rather than individualism is good. You can give introduction of Culture and ethics (Cultural ethics) in a coherent way.. You wrote cultural differences that ethics subjected i.e. is good.. Give what impact it have on ethical standards. You can give better conclusion bro.. remaining good. All the best..

      • siddharthan p v

        Thank you for the review Sathiya.

    • SATHIYA

      Please review my answer.. Now only i uploaded..

  • SATHIYA

    Answer:

    Culture is itself the summation of ideas, beliefs, ethical standards, moral values that is shared, integrated and implemented by the group or section of the society. Cultural ethics defines shared convictions and respect to be exist among the society foe peaceful social order.

    Ethics subjected to Cultural differences:

    1. As we are multicultural, multi ethnic society, there are different set of beliefs and standards existed among the diversified section of the peoples.
    2. What is ethically good or bad is determined by their own values and beliefs. Doing something is good for some one and not for others.

    3. For example, The migrant workers of Karnataka in Kuwait were expatriated to India by the authorities of that country for performing Pooja to Hindu deity within four walls. This shows their sense of beliefs in their culture and intolerance to others beliefs.
    4. Therefore, Ethical standards are determined by Cultural differences.

    Impact of Culture on Ethics:

    The culture could have both positive and negative impacts on determining ethical standards.
    Positive impacts:
    1. All major cultures of the world teaches the values of tolerance, humanity, respect and peaceful co-existence. This results in a peaceful tolerant stable society.
    2. Gives sense of responsibility among the peoples.
    3. Cooperative, mutual assistance nurtured in socio, economic and political spheres.
    Negative impacts:
    1. Cultural relativism could strengthen majoritarian hands at the cost of minorities. This creates a sense of discrimination and fear among the minorities.
    2. Leads to extremism, Ideological war in the name of God and beliefs.

    The Ideal society should always be tolerant, pluralist and stable. Nurturing good values of all cultures in school, College and higher institutions through curriculum is the need of the hour.

    • Shalu

      Answer as per the question. i.e first impacts and then the cultural differences, conclusion is out of sync…good effort,. Please review mine …thanks 🙂

    • siddharthan p v

      Good. Keep writing brother. All the best.

    • yogi

      nice structure
      impact part–>add few examples
      2nd point under neg. impacts need to be written in a manner as to avoid the boldness.
      overall a good answer
      keep writing and reviewing

  • Shalu

    Culture refers to a common understanding among the members of a society regarding the values and practices to be followed. Culture over Ethics often seems to be an easy option as it doesn’t involve delving into the right and wrong of a given action. An Individual thus follows the cultural norms without even considering the ethical impacts of a given action. However, a strong culture is not necessarily a good and ethical one. An analogy of Germany during the administration of Hitler and the train timings, is worth mentioning in this context : “It is not sufficient that the trains run on time, they have to go in the right directions at the desired time”.

    Though the right and wrong of some actions is universally accepted across different cultures (For example : Murder is ethically wrong across all cultures), its not the same with all actions, some actions may be accepted as being morally correct in one culture but may not be the same in other. For example Japanese culture advocates lifetime employment, retrenchment thus may be seen as unethical but the same is not true in case of India.

    • Shalu

      Guys, please review !

    • ragini sharma

      nice ans… 🙂

      • Shalu

        thank u Ragini 🙂

    • black mamba

      your answer is very nice and insightful. ill suggest u to look at @vishwesh_vivek:disqus answer too. can add some points from there, and it will become complete 😀

      • Shalu

        Sure I’ll ..thanks 🙂

    • Sumit

      daily life eg like ban on tobacco and alcohol, gender equality, collective community participation, encouragement for innovation among youth, seems more pertinent for culture setting norms of ethical values.

      • Shalu

        yea agree…thanks for review, Sumit 🙂

  • Michelin

    Ethics is a moral code of conduct that determines good from bad, right from wrong, etc. On the other hand, culture defines the values, practices, beliefs, etc of a society.

    Impact of culture on ethics
    • The Nazi society in 1940s was highly intolerant of Jews and failed to recognize them as humans leave along their rights and entitlements. For the Nazi society, it was against their normative ethics to persecute religious minorities
    • Similarly, the Israelis foster deep sense of hatred towards Palestinians and dishonoring them is not considered ethically wrong in their society
    • On the other hand, Indian society is highly tolerant and respectful of all religious communities. The Constitution embodies this spirit and is seen as laying down the ethical code of conduct for its citizens.

    From the above examples, it is clear that ethics is subject to cultural differences and cannot be defined in absolute terms. Therefore, it changes with context and societies. What may be ethical in one society might not be so in another.

    • SATHIYA

      The example you provided for the cultr diffrences on ethics i.e. Intolerance existed bw two ideologies is good on the same hand comparing indian culture.. this part of the answer is for ethics subjected to cultural differences.. You can give some impact of culture on ethics.. because the question asked is “what impact”.. remaining good

      Please review my answer Michelin.

  • OPTIMUS PRIME

    Culture describes a collective way of life, or way of doing things. It is the sum of attitudes, values, goals, and practices shared by
    individuals in a group, organization, or society. Cultures vary over time periods, between countries and geographic regions, and among groups and organizations. Culture reflects the moral and ethical beliefs and standards that speak to how people should behave and interact with others.

    Since interpretations of what is moral are influenced by cultural norms, the possibility exists that what is ethical to one group will
    not be considered so by someone living in a different culture. According to cultural relativists this means that there is no singular truth on which to base ethical or moral behavior for all time and geographic space, as our interpretations of truths are influenced by our own culture.

    Example:

    The French and Americans have different views on whistle-blowing. Compared to the French, American companies consider it to be a natural part of business. So natural, in fact, that they set up anonymous hotlines. The French, on the other hand, tend to view whistle-blowing as undermining solidarity among coworkers.

    • SATHIYA

      Good answer.. Example excellent..

    • SATHIYA

      Pls.. Review mine.

  • praveen

    Guys kindly help me out with the problem.
    Different culture have different ethical standards as all mentioned.
    How and when an ethical practice becomes unethical ?
    For example was “sati pratha” unethical from the start or became unethical when when Rajaram mohan roy opposed it?

  • Pragyant

    Culture is formed over a period of time. It is a combination of values, practices, festivities, dress code,eating habits etc., which forms a composite culture of a society and helps in differentiating one society from another.
    On the other hand ethics is a value based phenomenon only. It is a measure of right and wrong. Further ethics can be a universally accepted value or culturally followed value system.
    Example for universally accepted rights and wrongs could be;- murder, burglary, honesty, truthfulness etc. which each and every culture teaches to be followed.
    Where as culturally some ethical values vary drastically for e.g.
    Different ways of showing affection in public- Kissing in public is a common thing in western countries and is appreciated where as in eastern countries more so conservative ones like middle east, India , Pakistan etc. kissing in public is seen as an act of disrespect to the culture
    Coming near home as observed during Durga pooja or any puja in north Indian states consuming non-veg during puja or touching the idol after consuming is considered unethical where as in Bengal special dishes are prepared of Non-veg to be served to gods and later to be consumed as prasad.
    So from above examples it can be concluded that except some universally followed values culture have a great impact on ethics and hence ethics is subject to cultural differences.

  • prabhat cse

    Culture
    reflects the transmission of human values (in view of ideas, behavior, manners,
    etiquette, etc.) from one generation to next. Ethics is about the application
    of the culture in a manner which reflects your culture in society at its top.

    Simply, ethics is what your culture is
    transmitted generations to generations.

    Culture creates those values in a person those
    presented through the ethics he follows.

    Say for example, Hindus greet their elders by
    touching their feet which is not acceptable in Muslims. Thus, the ethics in
    greeting elders, though with same intention, are different in different
    cultures with reason that Hindu’s believe in Polytheism & Muslims believes
    in Monotheism. Here comes, the impact of culture on ethics.

    This also nourishes the reason for ‘yes, ethics
    subjects to cultural differences’.

    To go into detail, in different cultures, we can
    observe the difference in the ethics such that Aryans were patriarchal &
    Dravidian were matriarchal. This is about the view of society to look towards
    the women / girls in the society itself and what it actually reflects the
    society itself. With this reference, we can say that, the ethics are subjected
    to cultural as well as social differences also.