Re: Human Rights, Singapore

Wed, 20 Apr 1994 15:10:52 CST

R. Scupin has brought up Hatch's distinction between cultural
relativism and ethical relativism. I, along with most anthropologists,
reject ethical relativism, since to embrace it would seem to make one
amoral. But I take this position not as an anthropologist but as a
human being. My question is, Is there anything specifically
anthropological about the decision to make ethical judgments? Note that
there clearly is something specifically anthropological about
temporarily *suspending* ethical judgments--namely, as an aid to
understanding and analyzing human culture as a natural phenomenon.
--Bob Graber