Cultural relativity and religion
It is the second of these views which leads to cultural relativity, since if each culture creates and then imposes its own view of what reality is, then there is no neutral ground (no ‘Archimedean point’—as in Archimedes' observation, ‘Give me a place on which to stand and I will move the earth’) on which to stand in order to give a neutral account or evaluation of any society or culture.
Beyond the issue of the incommensurability of different cultures, cultural relativism has raised equal questions for morality and ethics. For if judgements are relative to the context in which they are produced, there cannot be any universal agreement on the good or the beautiful—though oddly, there is more agreement on the true. The intermediate holds that cultures elaborate different worlds in which differences make such a difference that they cannot be understood except on their own terms of reference; but on the other hand, limits are set upon viable worlds by the conditions set in nature—both in the external environment, and also in the human body. Religions can then be understood as consequences of extremely long-running transmissions of somatic exploration and exegesis (i.e. long-running explorations and interpretations of the competence of the human body and its possible experiences).
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