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Ethnocentrism And Cultural Relativism

Connecting various subject matters serves as a beneficial option for explaining complex ideas through factual information and theories that expand across multiple academic disciplines. A theory is a collection of ideas that intends to explain a complex idea, but there still remains uncertainties. On the other hand, a fact is defined as a concrete piece of information that correspond to truths, and serves the purpose of making a statement true. Naturally, we rely upon both facts and theories to develop new ideas to propel humankind forward.

The interdisciplinary correlation of fact and theory across given areas of knowledge, such as ethics and history, have improved our medical treatment philosophies. Likewise, facts and theories from ethics and history have created the foundation for social principles worldwide. When considering possible linkages between different areas of knowledge, conflicts can potentially play a role in particular instances. Ethics in corporational management has clashed with information of natural sciences, causing adverse effects for the general public.

Also, ethics may inquire on specific ideas that contradict with the understandings we have developed throughout history in medicine. As a result, facts and theories can be related across various subject areas, but the potential for discrepancies among these areas of knowledge still remain a possibility. The AOK ethics fundamentally includes both intuition and logic. For example, conducting a lobotomy, a procedure that severs the connections of the brain’s frontal lobe, is illegal throughout most of Europe, but was not the case in the 1940s.

In 1949, Egas Moniz, a Portuguese neurologist, received the Nobel Prize for his new treatment for schizophrenia. Likewise, with the understanding that Moniz’s intention was to increase the individual’s quality of life, it can be logically understood that the he acted with the patient’s best interests in mind. Today, government regulations ensure that the procedure is not performed, given the theoretical immorality of severing a patient’s brain connections. Currently, the procedure has lost support, and is no longer practiced.

The World Health Organization (WHO), created by the United Nations as a concern for international health, certifies their role in monitoring medical standards currently practiced around the world, as stated in their most recent report. The report, International Health Regulation, specifically states that their organization “facilitates harmonisation of standards and best practices through the creation of regional and global regulatory networks. (Ratanwijitrasin et al. , 2002) ” Without the facts supporting the lack of ethics for the lobotomy, the procedure would likely still be practiced throughout the world.

Therefore, in this case, facts are needed to establish medical theory. however, there are still variations of the lobotomy, such as the bilateral cingulotomy (still severs a part of the brain), that operate on the brain in a highly unethical manner. Thus, the implementation of ethical standards within medical practices differs according to time and location. Knowledge acquired from history takes either a ethnocentric approach or entails cultural relativism. Ethnocentrism refers to the idea that one believes that their ethnic group is superior to other groups.

Cultural relativism is the belief that all cultures are worthy and of equal value. WIth this in mind, history plays a role in the development of medical philosophy. Changes in medical practices are result from an understanding of a specific practice to be unethical, creating a need for a new procedure. For example, in the 1930s, Chloroform was used as anesthesia for surgeries and childbirth, and served as the initial treatment for surgery patients to remain unconscious before doctors discovered nitrous oxide gas as a safer alternative in the 1950s.

From a cultural relativist perspective, it was understood that the nitrous oxide would be better for the consumer in terms of safety, and also better for the medical industry, given that the gas is developed naturally. Medical philosophies are thus a combination of different areas of knowledge, including ethics and history; however, the ethical principles of pharmaceutical companies have conflicted with the natural sciences. For example, in 2015, the company Turing Pharmaceuticals increased their price of their AIDS medication Daraprim from $13. 50 to $750 overnight.

Looking at this from a ethnocentrist perspective, Turing Pharmaceuticals understood that their price hike would generate more income for themselves, which overruled the financial burden on the consumers. For those not under government assistance programs, there is a clear discrepancy, given that not all patients will be able to afford their medications that they have been prescribed. In conclusion, a framework of medical treatments is presented . however, this is contradicted by some ethical standards, ergo revealing flaws in current medical philosophy.

Within ethics, one could either take a utilitarian or deontological approach to acquire knowledge. Deontological ethics takes a moral point of view for the decision at hand, while a utilitarian approach focuses solely on the outcomes. For example, looking at former U. S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s usage of a personal email server for official communications has developed opinions from both ethical perspectives. The U. S. Federal Bureau of Investigation found Hillary Clinton’s judgement to use her own private server for her work as ‘extremely careless”, but ultimately recommended that she not face criminal charges.

Looking from a deontological point of view, a primarily Republican perspective sees Clinton’s actions as immoral, given the fact that she was handling classified emails on a vulnerable server; however, a Democratic perspective views Clinton as innocent, given the fact that some emails were mislabeled. From a utilitarian outlook, the common Republic stance criticizes Clinton, given the fact that she handled classified emails on her own private server; however, the opposite viewpoint argues that many of these emails were either later reclassified, or were not labelled properly at the time.

With the understanding that ethics is rooted in intuition and logic, the argument that the standard of what is “ethical” is brought to light. Therefore, the development of medical philosophy is solely based on ethics, and not influenced by history. In Plato’s Socratic Dialogues, Socrates states the argument that “people will naturally do what is good provided that they know what is right, and that evil or bad actions are purely the result of ignorance”. The idea of “doing good” then becomes natural, and is not prone to change over time (Ibid); however, the perception of what is right has clearly changed throughout history.

While historic Greek philosophers viewed ethics, or ancient moral theory as agent centered, which demands that moral consideration should be given to the moral agent, rather than instead solely to the consequences of the agent’s acts. Modern philosophy has coined ethics as action centered, which explores the idea of morality from whether the given action and circumstances are moral or immoral. Modern medical philosophy embodies the evolution of the term “ethical”, as well as the transition to doing the right thing. Ethics and history can also be linked to tie in facts and theory in interdisciplinary studies.

Social principles combine legal theory and facts to formulate, or revise current standards in international law. For example, during World War II, Nazi doctors conducted research to determine if people had natural immunity to tuberculosis by injecting live tubercle bacilli into the lungs of inmates. The research appeared justified to the German government, given that their purpose was to test current theoretical treatments focused on finding cures to diseases, which was then applied by the Nazi government to further their racial theory.

The development of the Nazi racial theory would then be decreed by means of the Racial Purity Law on July 14, 1933; however, the theory accepted by the Nazi regime was not accepted by different indigenous knowledge systems, which opposed, and ultimately suffered from the new philosophy. Afro-Germans, an ethnic group defined as German citizens of Black African descent, faced horrific conditions throughout the Nazi period.

The Afro-Germans lost their passports, and were subjected to the idea of an “African colonial empire under German predominance. Similarly, children subjected to Lebensborn, a German association hoping to raise the birth rate of “Aryan” children via extramarital relations, faced eternal horrors, given their shame of learning their role in the development of the Aryan race. In contrast, in the early stages of the Holocaust in August 1933, the Haavara Agreement between Nazi Germany and Zionist German Jews created the possibility for German Jews to emigrate to Palestine.

Traditionally, Nazi Germany and the German-Jewish population disagreed about ideological theory; however, the Haavara was seen from the Nazi perspective as a solution to rid Germany of its “Jewish problem”, while also providing financial benefits given their financial ties throughout the country. The Haavara agreement allowed the Jewish population fleeing from Germany to use their assets to purchase German manufactured goods to export to Palestine, creating a method to salvage some of their personal belongings.

Consequently, German factories in Palestine made large sums of money, upwards of $22. 5 million before the start of World War II. From the German-Jewish perspective, it was viewed as a method of escapism from the Nazi regime, allowing nearly 60,000 German Jews to emigrate to Palestine. Nonetheless, a theoretical approach to the relationship would support that racists, including Adolf Hitler, were in support of Zionism; however, the Nazi regime historically despised Zionism, and did all they could to undermine their efforts.

The concept of linking facts and theories throughout multiple academic fields is crucial to the development of knowledge. Current medical treatment philosophies would not exist without the fusion of ethics and history. In addition, social principles are founded in both the structure of ethics and history; however, discrepancies do exist between fact and theory, such as that linking ethics in corporational management to the natural sciences, and ethics and the history of medicine.

When assessing the value of facts and theory, these discrepancies must be taken into account to reach a proper conclusion. After all, lobotomies offer some medical benefits, although it is an uncommon practice, and viewed as highly unethical to where it is no longer practiced. Ultimately, the relation of facts and theory is often linked across multiples areas of knowledge in order to create a framework of understanding; however, discrepancies will fundamentally exist in areas of knowledge that are contradicting.

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