Essay:All Cultures Are Not Equal
Dear Rational Wiki,
I want to talk about a controversial subject today. First, I want to make it CLEAR that I do not support Racism, Nazism, white supremacy, hatred or bigotry of ANY KIND! For me personally racism is a DIRECT consequence of anti-intellectualism and ignorance. Why is it so difficult to see that NOT all cultures are equal? Many people have an issue with openly stating this or thinking about it. But how long can we ignore facts? How can we say that Pakistani culture is on par with say, the Norwegian culture? How can you look at genital mutilation, death for apostasy, forced marriages and then say it is equal to a country with top level education, healthcare and freedom? It would not be hard for any of you to say that German National Football Team is better than Iran's. Does saying this mean that one should be "ashamed" of Iran? Of course not! Even hard core leftists such as Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens did see this difference!
Now another concern is that, we are "offending", say a Pakistani by teaching them that say, British culture is superior to theirs.
Well let me say something, my parents immigrated from Georgia (shut out Soviet Union), spent years in the process (illegally for sometime)... I AM GRATEFUL EVERY FUCKING DAY that I get to live in Canada, in a FREE country that allows me to study, to one day practice medicine, that gives me free healthcare and SO much more. I have NO PROBLEM saying that a culture from the Mountains of Caucasus is inferior to the Western European culture? Does this mean I am ashamed to be of Georgian descent? OF COURSE NOT!!!!
To explain let’s put this, somewhat artificially, in mathematical terms. Suppose we rate the culture of medieval Western Europe as a 5. This is equal to all other cultures, according to this version of cultural relativism, since if we believe that ‘all cultures are equal’, then they must therefore all be rated 5 too.
But, we consider our own culture in modern times as an improvement on medieval Western Europe. So, say we rate our culture now a 7, in comparison to our past score of 5. But that would mean that we rate it better than other cultures now, since we just gave all cultures a 5 when we first started this game. So, perhaps all cultures should now be rated a 7. But that would make them better than medieval Western Europe. And then suppose some of these have themselves scarcely changed since medieval times? So they should be still 5 then? Oh oh … You can see what ridiculous tangles this produces.
Most atheists (RATIONAL WIKI INCLUDED) have no problem admitting that not all religions are equal. You look at Muslim countries and it is hard to argue... Why would you disagree with this? I look forward to a spirited debate in the Talk page.
Respect and MUCH LOVE,
Damian (that's not my real name).