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 obtai their bodyparts
  • Antisemtism
  • Belief that mentally ill are possessed and therefore are mistreated
  • Belief that mentally ill are a disgrace and therefore are mistreated and hidden
  • Belief that white are superior

    AfghanistanMentalIllness
    Mentally ill man chained in a shrine in Afghanistan. 40 days chained in isolation is believed to be a cure.
  • Belief in witchcraft and to torture witches
  • Bullfighting
  • Childmarrige
  • Children are blank slates
  • Domestic abuse
  • Eating cats and dogs
  • Eating the deads ash (Yonamamo tribe)
  • Fingercutting when somebody dies (Indonesia)
  • FMG
  • Having several wifes
  • Homophobia
  • Hounour violence
  • Keeping the dead in their home or dance with them
  • Marrying a rapevictim to the rapist
  • Patriarchy
  • Selfflagulation

    Sharia
    Sharia in action
  • Sexual abuse
  • Sharia
  • Slavery
  • Social engineering
  • States are allowed to control their populations views, movement, possessions,
  • To throw babies from a roof (Karnataka, India)
  • Women are unclean so men can’t shake hands
  • Women must obey her husband, father or brother
  • Women are worth less than a man
  • Women must cover up or suffer the consequences
  • Women shouldn’t go out alone
  • Women are stupid and shouldn’t study
  • Women who menstruate are unclean and must hide

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
  • CannibalismEugenics
  • Concubinage
  • Eating the brain of dead parents
  • Eugenics
  • Eunuchs
  • Forced sterilisations
  • Harems
  • Human sacrifice
  • Ritual torture
  • Seppuku
  • Slavery
  • Witchtrials

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.

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2 thoughts on “Culture relativism

  1. Yes, I get very tired of the idea of cultural relativism. There were cultures that practiced human sacrifice and considered it okay. Does that make it okay? Heck no. The idea is absurd.

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