SWEDEN. It was when I said that I’m not a culture relativist that one of my relatives snapped and started an emotional tirade about how dissapointing I am. Frankly, that made me very surprised. To say that not all cultures have the same value, that a practice should only be compared to that culture, seemed to me to be one of the least offensive things one could say.
You don’t have to look far to see that many cultures have practices that are just plain awful. So what are we supposed to do? Pretend that they are ok and not criticize? Are we supposed to look the other way? And isn’t it just the latter that the left do when it comes to honour violence? Also this is a purely intellectual stance that’s not possible to use in real life. To assess and compare is something humans do automatically.
So I decided to do a list of cultural beliefs, values, and practices that I find just plain wrong:
- Albinos are magical and can be murdered to obtain their bodyparts
- Belief that mentally ill are possessed and therefore can be mistreated
- Belief that mentally ill are a disgrace and therefore should be mistreated and hidden
- Belief that white are superior
And while I’m at it we’ll go back in time to cultures in the past that practiced things like:
- Baal cult burning of children
- Binding of girls feet
- Burning of widows
- Eating the brain of dead parents
- Forced sterilisations
- Human sacrifice
- Ritual torture
Now you tell me: is any of this ok or should it be critiziced? And does saying so make anybody a racist?
I think I’ve made my point.