Friday, February 1, 2008


vjack has a posting, My Conflict over Religious Bigotry that contains the following statement:

I was taught that cultural differences are to be understood, valued, and respected. Attempting to impose one's culture on others was unacceptable, and increased cultural awareness was held up as a desirable path toward increased tolerance.

I reject this point of view . . . to a degree.

I think we can distinguish between those aspects of culture that we can preserve, and those aspects where we have not only a right, but a duty, to rid cultures of such elements.

As I wrote in Morality and Religious Culture, there is a difference between religious culture and morality.

Religious culture have to do with private actions that one does not have to justify to anybody - what to eat, when to eat, when to pray, how to pray, what to watch on television.

Morality has to do with those elements that need to transcend religion - to cut across religions - prohibitions on theft, murder, rape, slavery, and the like.

The former is where we should not impose our culture on others. The latter is where refusing to impose our culture on others means that we are leaving others free to victimize people.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Samuel Skinner
I'll be blunt- I reject most of multiculturalism. All practices that regulate and control power between individuals should be treated the same as our own. The cultural differences I am good with are festivals, rites of passage, food, artistry, etc- basically thing you won't kill over which have no standard of comparison (for example you can't compare Chinese New Year to Easter)