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scribble 05.06.2010 01:20

Modern western culture superior to any other culture ever?
 
I am not the kind of guy who thinks everything is equal equal everywhere. So for example I don't buy views that all religions, cultures, nations, customs etc are equal or have similar merit. Some things in life are equal, some better and some worse. The politically correct and fashionable view that all cultures have equal merit in my opinion is just bull. So my view is that current modern western way of life is quiet cool. The personal freedoms and choices available are probably unprecedented in human history. Freedom of speech, democracy, no death penalty, sexual freedom, gay rights, people not anal about religion, more gender equality, comparatively lower corruption, lack of forced marriages, no honour killings, wife beating socially not accepted....... I could go on forever.

Are there not problems in the west? Sure there are many but on the whole I feel the positives outweigh the negatives more than in any other part of the world. I was born in the east and have lived sizeable early chunk of my life there but I have lived majority in the west so I do know roughly what I am talking about. I enjoy and appreciate aspects of various cultures but western culture is where I feel at home and I think it is superior to any other way of life I have come across.

People get so attached to the culture they were born in that they can never look past it and get all worked up when someone points out valid and constructive faults. Call me a traitor but I see things for what they are :p If I thought there were better places in the world then I surely would move there.

Now that I have placed fuel and dry wood together......what say you?

cannut 05.06.2010 01:45

Re: Modern western culture superior to any other culture ever?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by scribble (Post 834970)
I am not the kind of guy who thinks everything is equal equal everywhere. So for example I don't buy views that all religions, cultures, nations, customs etc are equal or have similar merit. Some things in life are equal, some better and some worse. The politically correct and fashionable view that all cultures have equal merit in my opinion is just bull. So my view is that current modern western way of life is quiet cool. The personal freedoms and choices available are probably unprecedented in human history. Freedom of speech, democracy, no death penalty, sexual freedom, gay rights, people not anal about religion, more gender equality, comparatively lower corruption, lack of forced marriages, no honour killings, wife beating socially not accepted....... I could go on forever.

Are there not problems in the west? Sure there are many but on the whole I feel the positives outweigh the negatives more than in any other part of the world. I was born in the east and have lived sizeable early chunk of my life there but I have lived majority in the west so I do know roughly what I am talking about. I enjoy and appreciate aspects of various cultures but western culture is where I feel at home and I think it is superior to any other way of life I have come across.

People get so attached to the culture they were born in that they can never look past it and get all worked up when someone points out valid and constructive faults. Call me a traitor but I see things for what they are :p If I thought there were better places in the world then I surely would move there.

Now that I have placed fuel and dry wood together......what say you?

Absolutely;Micheal Jackson,Tiny Tim,Sara Palin,Me and on the Brighter side DB comes to my mind:D:p

scribble 05.06.2010 01:49

Re: Modern western culture superior to any other culture ever?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by cannut (Post 834976)
on the Brighter side DB comes to my mind:D:p

DB does not count as he is English :D

NotAllThere 05.06.2010 06:39

Re: Modern western culture superior to any other culture ever?
 
I don't know if it's superior, but I can't think of a culture I'd rather live in.

portsmouth68 05.06.2010 07:33

Re: Modern western culture superior to any other culture ever?
 
Why does one have to be better than the other?

The Dalai Lama once said to take any aspect of our life that is important whether it be religion or social and to create our own sense of values and beliefs. Surely we have to move away from the collective grouping of cultures and to accept that there are positives and negatives in all cultures.

Mikers 05.06.2010 07:42

Re: Modern western culture superior to any other culture ever?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by NotAllThere (Post 835009)
I don't know if it's superior, but I can't think of a culture I'd rather live in.

...said the first bacteria to the second bacteria

RolandRB 05.06.2010 08:03

Re: Modern western culture superior to any other culture ever?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by scribble (Post 834970)
I am not the kind of guy who thinks everything is equal equal everywhere. So for example I don't buy views that all religions, cultures, nations, customs etc are equal or have similar merit. Some things in life are equal, some better and some worse. The politically correct and fashionable view that all cultures have equal merit in my opinion is just bull. So my view is that current modern western way of life is quiet cool. The personal freedoms and choices available are probably unprecedented in human history. Freedom of speech, democracy, no death penalty, sexual freedom, gay rights, people not anal about religion, more gender equality, comparatively lower corruption, lack of forced marriages, no honour killings, wife beating socially not accepted....... I could go on forever.

Are there not problems in the west? Sure there are many but on the whole I feel the positives outweigh the negatives more than in any other part of the world. I was born in the east and have lived sizeable early chunk of my life there but I have lived majority in the west so I do know roughly what I am talking about. I enjoy and appreciate aspects of various cultures but western culture is where I feel at home and I think it is superior to any other way of life I have come across.

People get so attached to the culture they were born in that they can never look past it and get all worked up when someone points out valid and constructive faults. Call me a traitor but I see things for what they are :p If I thought there were better places in the world then I surely would move there.

Now that I have placed fuel and dry wood together......what say you?

I don't think we have created a "superior" culture. It may be a preferable one to live in, though. But some of the goods we have in our culture come from places where conditions aren't so good so in a sense they are all part of the system we have. So we have good culture living off and maintaining bad culture. We are just lucky living in the good part of it.

Suzagna 05.06.2010 09:07

Re: Modern western culture superior to any other culture ever?
 
I agree with this view of the western world. I wouldn't dare to say that our modern culture is superior to any other culture "ever", but if we talk about all the other cultures now, I definitely think that we have the privilege to live in this part of the world, where there is freedom of speech and just freedom as well. I think too that some religions are worse than others, not all religions are tolerant.


Quote:

Originally Posted by RolandRB (Post 835028)
I don't think we have created a "superior" culture. It may be a preferable one to live in, though. But some of the goods we have in our culture come from places where conditions aren't so good so in a sense they are all part of the system we have. So we have good culture living off and maintaining bad culture. We are just lucky living in the good part of it.

You have a point there, but I think that applies to the "material" quality of life: we profit from cheap products coming from cheap labour countries. I think that scribble means culture as freedom of press, tolerance, social justice, etc. Anyway it is true that a lot of this countries that produce cheap stuff are the ones that lack an open and tolerant society (China, Vietnam,etc).

05.06.2010 10:21

Re: Modern western culture superior to any other culture ever?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by portsmouth68 (Post 835023)
Why does one have to be better than the other?

The Dalai Lama once said to take any aspect of our life that is important whether it be religion or social and to create our own sense of values and beliefs. Surely we have to move away from the collective grouping of cultures and to accept that there are positives and negatives in all cultures.

The Dalai Lama is a fool who ruled, with his aristocratic class of "monks" over the Tibetan people with an iron fist and got the kicking he richly deserved (by other fools, but that's another story). Man needs to get a job, seriously.

In any case, yes, the Western value system is the best, culturally and scientifically we're the most (only?) developed "civilisation" and the way we know all this is that no one else seems too sure of themselves. They're all watching Friends reruns, and will come around slowly.

scribble 05.06.2010 13:02

Re: Modern western culture superior to any other culture ever?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by portsmouth68 (Post 835023)
Why does one have to be better than the other?

In life one has to make choices based on what is better for them. So for me western culture suits my way of thinking best hence I find it better/superior. It does not mean that other cultures are completely devoid of merit or that western way is perfect.

For example let's take Saudi Arabia, for me western European way is 100 times better than Saudi way. So yes not every thing is equal or similar. Some things are actually better.

Quote:

Surely we have to move away from the collective grouping of cultures and to accept that there are positives and negatives in all cultures.
In my opinion western way of life provides the best available framework. I am actually an individualist and not slave to any culture as such but modern western culture does provide better frame work for such individualism to exist freely and openly. Much better than some other cultures where such things could be frowned upon and herd mentality rules lot of the times.

portsmouth68 05.06.2010 13:22

Re: Modern western culture superior to any other culture ever?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by scribble (Post 835170)
In life one has to make choices based on what is better for them. So for me western culture suits my way of thinking best hence I find it better/superior. It does not mean that other cultures are completely devoid of merit or that western way is perfect.

In my opinion western way of life provides the best available framework. I am actually a very individualistic minded person and not slave to any culture as such but modern western culture does provide better frame work for such individualism to exist freely and openly. Much better than some other cultures where such things could be frowned upon and herd mentality rules lot of the times.

The trouble with your philosophy is that you are only taking the positive aspects of western culture. You have failed to take into account of exploitation, drug and alcohol abuse, violence, the breakdown of the morals and family values and suppression of religion that imposed Christianity on many 'uncultured societies' not through preaching but through arm oppression.

Whats more you talk about freedom but forget that it is not such a free society here, after all we don't allow Muslims to build minarets and to openly practice many of their beliefs. We are the world leaders in the abuse of the environment and and the abuse of power (Mr Bush and Blair in Iraq for instance).

You speak of being individual but the majority of westerners follow the herd that you don't believes exist and there is very little individualism in reality.

Your view sounds like it is based on my dad is bigger and better than yours argument...

I totally value freedom in the West but I also value the sense of family that I get from the East but each need the other to be worthwhile.

scribble 05.06.2010 13:37

Re: Modern western culture superior to any other culture ever?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by portsmouth68 (Post 835183)
The trouble with your philosophy is that you are only taking the positive aspects of western culture. You have failed to take into account of exploitation, drug and alcohol abuse, violence, the breakdown of the morals and family values and suppression of religion that imposed Christianity on many 'uncultured societies' not through preaching but through arm oppression.

I have taken everything into account :D Btw I am not talking about western past. I am talking about what it has evolved into in modern times. Dark ages is nothing to be proud of. Oh! and "morals and family values" are over rated.

Quote:

Whats more you talk about freedom but forget that it is not such a free society here, after all we don't allow Muslims to build minarets and to openly practice many of their beliefs.
Last I checked they were fully able to practise their religion. Also intolerant ideologies lose right of crying tolerance. Western culture is where it is at due to shoving religion where it belongs ie. in the background. Although bin would be the preferable place for religion.

Quote:

We are the world leaders in the abuse of the environment and and the abuse of power (Mr Bush and Blair in Iraq for instance).
Not unique to the west.

Quote:

You speak of being individual but the majority of westerners follow the herd that you don't believes exist and there is very little individualism in reality.
Human nature is human nature world over but still the framework and possibilities for such behaviour is better here.

HashBrown 05.06.2010 13:51

Re: Modern western culture superior to any other culture ever?
 
Our great civilisation is based on the wealth of plunder and slaves and continues to be so, so yes great for us, but no so much for the workers in Asia, Latin America, USA who let us live as we do.

Gav 05.06.2010 16:41

Re: Modern western culture superior to any other culture ever?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by RolandRB (Post 835028)
I don't think we have created a "superior" culture. It may be a preferable one to live in, though. But some of the goods we have in our culture come from places where conditions aren't so good so in a sense they are all part of the system we have. So we have good culture living off and maintaining bad culture. We are just lucky living in the good part of it.

Well said - for most of the people posting here our culture is great because compared to most of the world, we in 'the West' live like kings.

The flipside of our cheap consumer goods, cheap oil and cheap commodities (relatively speaking) isn't so much fun for the people in the rest of the world.

05.06.2010 16:56

Re: Modern western culture superior to any other culture ever?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by HashBrown (Post 835195)
Our great civilisation is based on the wealth of plunder and slaves and continues to be so, so yes great for us, but no so much for the workers in Asia, Latin America, USA who let us live as we do.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Gav (Post 835261)
Well said - for most of the people posting here our culture is great because compared to most of the world, we in 'the West' live like kings.

The flipside of our cheap consumer goods, cheap oil and cheap commodities (relatively speaking) isn't so much fun for the people in the rest of the world.

Sorry guys, that's just a really bad understanding of the way economics works. The people who work in factories in China don't have a crappy life because kids in London want cheap plastic toys. Without the kids in London, they'd have an even worse life.

scribble 05.06.2010 19:08

Re: Modern western culture superior to any other culture ever?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Gav (Post 835261)
The flipside of our cheap consumer goods, cheap oil and cheap commodities (relatively speaking) isn't so much fun for the people in the rest of the world.

Lot of the problems are self made and have no direct connection with the west. It's easy and convenient to blame west for everything.

sharkey 05.06.2010 19:18

Re: Modern western culture superior to any other culture ever?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by NotAllThere (Post 835009)
I don't know if it's superior, but I can't think of a culture I'd rather live in.

Nah. Pre-Christian Ireland. Perfection.

Wonderful music and poetry, epic sagas, heroes to beat the band, A fish that gained all the knowledge of the world, and every so often, a good old fashioned war over a bull. What more could a man want*? ;)

*Apart from central heating

MrVertigo 05.06.2010 19:59

Re: Modern western culture superior to any other culture ever?
 
Very good question Scribble. I also spent some time thinking about it. There is one interesting point to address as well with this question: why do others also believe their culture is superior to our culture? The answer is that you can't measure the benefit of another culture if you are not living inside it. Therefore living inside western culture you can't measure the positive sides of african culture, because you are not using the right tools. It happened to me hearing africans saying how decadent and retard the western society is when they heard the stories of thousands of old people who died of thirst alone in major cities without any help in europe during summer 2003.
You can have moral, technical, scientific references to compare cultures but it's almost impossible to compare them on all levels.

The topic is very deep and broad, but the most helpful book I read about it and helped me a lot is from the brightest spirit of 20th century, Claude Levi-Strauss (french ethnologist) "Race and History". You may find an extract of that book on Unesco site.
He basically brings the proof that the question of superiority of cultures is as absurd as the question of superiority of races. I encourage everyone to read it, it's not a waste of time.

Treverus 05.06.2010 20:19

Re: Modern western culture superior to any other culture ever?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by scribble (Post 834970)
Are there not problems in the west? Sure there are many but on the whole I feel the positives outweigh the negatives more than in any other part of the world.

I agree, but would add that we developed our life not only through the work of others as Hash mentioned, but through a gigantic abuse of the resources we have on this planet. I am not a green activist, but even I see that we - the "developed" world - do not use our superior technology for the common good, but the short term profits of few. I would expect that out power will keep us on top of the food chain, quite literally, so even if we overfished the seas or have other food shortages, you will still not suffer from hunger here... but how long will this work out?
Industrialization happened only in the past 150 years and we already reached the peaks of many supplies we have... to say it positive: Even if we are the most developed by now, we need to speed up in order to keep our life as comfortable as it is.

Faltrad 05.06.2010 21:12

Re: Modern western culture superior to any other culture ever?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by scribble (Post 834970)
I don't buy views that all religions, cultures, nations, customs etc are equal or have similar merit.

Similar merit??? Nobody said the merit had anything to do with it.

If all humans are born free an equal, humans inherent freedom is of same essence for all.
If freedom is of same essence for all, the use of human freedom by said humans is of same nature.
If the usage humans do of their inherent freedom is of same nature every where, there is no predictable view to be had on any given such behaviour.

Thus: Any given such behaviour being called culture, there is no predilection of a culture to be by nature of different value from another one. Hence there are no differences by nature, differences are contingent.

This is the idea. Not your own rewording. (Is there a philosophy teacher in the room?)


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