Cultural and Moral Relativism: Led by Qaisar Siddiqui

  • New Unity @New Unity 39A Newington Green London, England, N16 9PR United Kingdom

Once again, an item of clothing has come to represent the apparent clash of civilisations, with the recently overturned ban on the "burkini" in France highlighting, once again, the complex interplay of multiculturalism and individual liberty in the Western world. Yet while the liberal doctrine of freedom before taste can help us settle the question on controversial swimwear, there remain other aspects of non-Western cultures that are considerably harder - if not impossible - to reconcile with "Western" values, such as child marriage, FGM, and honour codes. How can we respect a culture if we find some of its practices morally repugnant?

As part of our seasonal theme on cultures, we'll be discussing if it is even possible to balance our respect for subjective tastes and experiences with our own moral convictions, and looking into what Kant, Einstein, Nussbaum, and Jain philosophy have to say on the issue of cultural and moral relativism.