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Author Topic: Should we respect all cultures? (Must free write before opening)  (Read 593 times)

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Offline meowpiepandaTopic starter

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Should we respect all cultures? (Must free write before opening)
« on: September 17, 2011, 05:01:18 AM »
Really, I mean semi-free writing.  You can do some minor tweaking, but don't go and change your entire concept.  I want raw evolving thoughts.  (Which is also what you're getting from me here, so please don't hate me for this.  :-\ )

Sorry if this is more "political" but I meant it as a philosophical writing exercise not a political debate.  I apologize to everyone if this is in the wrong section, especially mods who have to deal with it.

I did not look up the definition of culture before writing this.  So take it with a grain of salt please, this is a random thought process I felt like sharing.

Should we respect all cultures?

I think it would be fun for me to say to stop here and write down your reaction to this question.
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I'm curious what we really mean when we assume that all cultures should be respected.  I think that we tend to make a bit of an exception when it comes to "cultures" we view as more powerful or that we view as harmful.  Many try their best to balance what they view as offensive, sometimes in small terms some in bigger if they wish to feel intellectually up to the challenge, but if something strikes us as so far out of our comfort zone or we see it as harmful enough to us or another we may very well denounce it as a "culture" at all, allowing us to maintain our pride as tolerant modern thinking individuals.  If, say, a person's father is in a gang, his uncle, his cousins, sibling, friends, all part of the same set of social rules and expectations, isn't that a culture?  Same with the goverments many distrust and the teenagers we often cut down (or worse, preteens).  Are we just defining "culture" as a set of social rules we are able to tolerate?

I'm not really trying to question the "right and wrong" of this, it's just something silly to think about.  That or I lack the confidence to take it seriously... hahah

I'm curious what comes to mind both before and after reading the longer part, so I hope you'll indulge me on this!

Offline Caela

Re: Should we respect all cultures? (Must free write before opening)
« Reply #1 on: September 17, 2011, 08:21:54 AM »
I'm going to say no. Certainly people have the right to their cultures and, if you're talking about separate, sovereign nations, we should butt our noses out but just because I'm not trying to change someone, doesn't mean I have to respect them either. There are practices in many parts of the world that I, as a modern American, find barbaric and horrid, and would never allow to be perpetuated on me or mine, but for the people who live there that is the way life is and trying to tell them it's wrong is baffling to them. I don't have to like or respect it, but I don't have the right to try and change it either, only the people living it really have that right.

Now talking culture on the smaller levels you mentioned (gangs, teens etc.) that happen within each country; some should be respected, others not so much. I have no respect for gang cultures. These are groups that are, most often, carry out a series of illegal activities and harm so many people in so many ways (including the gang members themselves who end up dead or in jail) it's probably hard to truly quantify. If there were a good way to stamp this out without causing even more mayhem I'd be all for it.

Smaller sub-cultures that are non-violent and non-harmful (such as the Amish or collectives of people from the same area originally trying to keep parts of their original culture alive, "Chinatown", "Little Italy" etc.) should certainly be respected and even learned from. Calling Teens as a whole a culture is a bit hard because they don't really have a cohesive sort of core. I tend to see them more as people still looking to determine what sort of culture they are wanting to be a part of, learning and making choices, but not quite finished yet. They shouldn't be marginalized, these are HARD choices to make but I don't see them as having their own, distinct, culture so much.

Oh any any respect I might have for another culture, just like for another person, ends if the safety of my family, or myself, is threatened.