Cultural Differences

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Cultural Differences

Postby Sabina » Tue May 25, 2010 9:11 pm

I suppose we are all aware of the existence of cultural differences, while some of us may be more knowledgeable of the specifics than others. Most people accept and respect these differences. Personally, I am quite fascinated with pretty much all cultures and the various, sometimes strange (unusual), approaches that result from different view points.

Still, when it comes to certain things, the understanding and respect for these differences stop. When it comes to some, usually more extreme things (like mutilations, etc.), most people can't apply their own previous view point to respect the different approach of another culture in this particular case. Basically, they can't get themselves to be Ok with it.

Why is that?
What is it that makes us change our minds and use different logics?
Is the logic actually different at all?
Does it have anything to do with logic?
What are your thoughts?
"Whether You believe you can, or you can't, you are right."
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Re: Cultural Differences

Postby Metatron » Tue May 25, 2010 9:35 pm

Well, the logic... We know that correct logic must not always be sound.

Cultural differences... Well, it's kind of like with religion, isn't it? I am comparing one to the other because, basically, in both cases you usually have three kinds of people. First, there are those who blindly believe that their identity is good, or even better than the rest. Second, you have those who are proud of what they belong to, but are tolerant. Then last of all you have those who are in charge. Whether they believe their identity is better or whether there is any actual, substantial pride in them is irrelevant, the only thing that matters is that by showing the right example, by speaking the right words, they can create conflict, keep the conflict alive, and benefit from the conflict by being against it.

The situation in Slovakia and Hungary is a very good example of this. Both are very proud nations, both point fingers at each other, and in their own opinion, they're both innocent and the ones being picked on. Those who point out cultural differences are always the ones who are in charge. This has always been and will be a good strategy to keep themselves in office. I don't know if you've heard of it, but the hungarian government (that hasn't even been officially created yet) wants to give hungarian citizenship to the hungarians living in southern Slovakia (which would include me as well). We all know this wouldn't be of benefit to us, because being part of the EU has al;ready given us the benefits of this citizenship. We also know Hungary wants the Treaty of Trianon gone and "its" territory back. So this is just provocation and very strong one indeed.

However, this is a perfect opportunity for our prime minister to be patriotic, especially now that the elections are approaching and patriotism is the only attribute you need to have, if you wanna be a polititian in this country.

There's some massive logic behind this, Sabina. Sometimes I wonder if the two sides don't have secret tea parties where they agree on the next dirty move against the other. Yes, this is logic. And I'd say it's the same everywhere.

This is mostly why I always say I am not Slovak, I am not Hungarian, I am Human. I dislike national pride because it produces only conflicts on every scale and I believe this is why it was invented. After all, in a democracy the political parties and their strength reflects the ideology of the majority of the citizens. Those who are not ok with other cultures do the same thing as the polititians, BUT, for different reasons and on a smaller scale.
Who the hell is it you try to impress?

All you have to do is learn to care less!
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Re: Cultural Differences

Postby Sabina » Wed May 26, 2010 3:57 pm

Metatron wrote:There's some massive logic behind this, Sabina. Sometimes I wonder if the two sides don't have secret tea parties where they agree on the next dirty move against the other.

I've heard of this approach and I agree, sometimes, mostly when considering politics, it is no wonder that this thought comes up.

Metatron wrote:This is mostly why I always say I am not Slovak, I am not Hungarian, I am Human.

"I am not an Athenian or a Greek, but a citizen of the world."
Socrates

=0)

    You know how in some cultures burping after a meal is a sign that you enjoyed your meal (which kind of makes sense), while in other cultures it is considered rude and inappropriate?
    In some cultures marriage is meant to be monogamous, and this is sometimes sealed by a law, while in other cultures marriage can be polygamous.
    Or take negotiating or bargaining. In some cultures it is seen as humiliating to even attempt to negotiate or lower the price, while in others (especially Arab countries), it is practically impolite if you don't attempt to do so.

Cultural differences should be taken into consideration, while making sure that we don't stereotype anyone based on the prior knowledge of these differences. After all, regardless of which culture we belong to, we are all individuals.

But what happens when we come across something that is considered completely normal in one culture, yet it goes against everything we, as an individual, believe to be right and just?
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Re: Cultural Differences

Postby ThePermster » Wed May 26, 2010 5:23 pm

Pardon the pedantry - though I think it an important semantic point - but I think the word "logic" would be better replaced with the word "paradigm" here.
Logic is a formal system born from reason so I think it's only an indicator of culture to the point of how far it's been used and conversely how much it's been bastardised. I think maybe a given culture would be better described in terms of its paradigms.

I'm not too big on cultural philosophy or human governing systems though so I hope people don't mind if that's my only two cents on the topic. =]
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Re: Cultural Differences

Postby Sabina » Wed May 26, 2010 5:50 pm

ThePermster,
The term logic wasn't so much in reference to any culture, but rather to the reasoning or argumentation (hence logic) of an individual in regards to other, foreign and unusual, cultures.
How can one way of reasoning, one way of argumentation, work, but then suddenly not apply anymore, to the same individual?

I'm not too big on cultural philosophy or human governing systems though so I hope people don't mind if that's my only two cents on the topic. =]

That's fine, sure. Although, I doubt anyone here is big on it. It can sometimes still be fun to explore a certain question even if, or especially if we haven't put much thought into it before, I think.
Just a thought.. =0)
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Re: Cultural Differences

Postby ThePermster » Thu May 27, 2010 12:46 pm

Sabina wrote:ThePermster,
The term logic wasn't so much in reference to any culture, but rather to the reasoning or argumentation (hence logic) of an individual in regards to other, foreign and unusual, cultures.
How can one way of reasoning, one way of argumentation, work, but then suddenly not apply anymore, to the same individual?


But logic is merely a formal system and inherent to its essence is that it is full-circle and absolute and not self-contradicting. And thus if it was ever the entire firmament of a culture or the perception of a culture it would only ever lead to one conclusion and not the diversity of culture and opinion of culture which is the subject of this topic.
That diversity could only be attained with logic being adopted not at all, or at a degree, and of course you would have to describe the quantity of that degree and what fills the remainder, that would possibly be best described as a whole by the word "paradigm".

When one changes the systems of practice which they live by you don't say they've undergone a "shift of logic", that wouldn't make much sense, instead you use the term "paradigm shift".

It's only a small semantic point and I do hope you don't mind the pedantry but such is the nature of dialectical practice.

Sabina wrote:That's fine, sure. Although, I doubt anyone here is big on it. It can sometimes still be fun to explore a certain question even if, or especially if we haven't put much thought into it before, I think.
Just a thought.. =0)


Granted, it's just - unfortunately - not a topic that interests me much personally. There's something about sociological and human governing systems which just doesn't pique my interest, which is unfortunate because some of them demand my activity, such as politics. =/
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Re: Cultural Differences

Postby Sabina » Thu May 27, 2010 6:24 pm

ThePermster wrote:But logic is merely a formal system and inherent to its essence is that it is full-circle and absolute and not self-contradicting. And thus if it was ever the entire firmament of a culture or the perception of a culture it would only ever lead to one conclusion and not the diversity of culture and opinion of culture which is the subject of this topic.
That diversity could only be attained with logic being adopted not at all, or at a degree, and of course you would have to describe the quantity of that degree and what fills the remainder, that would possibly be best described as a whole by the word "paradigm".

I don't mind the pedantry, it's just that logic is not merely that.

As per dictionary logic is a few things:

logic –noun
    1. the science that investigates the principles governing correct or reliable inference.
    2. a particular method of reasoning or argumentation: We were unable to follow his logic.
    3. the system or principles of reasoning applicable to any branch of knowledge or study.
    4. reason or sound judgment, as in utterances or actions: There wasn't much logic in her move.
    5. convincing forcefulness; inexorable truth or persuasiveness: the irresistible logic of the facts.
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Re: Cultural Differences

Postby ThePermster » Thu May 27, 2010 10:24 pm

Ah alas I neglected the more informal trappings of the word! I was very blindly considering logic as nothing more than a system of reasoning but upon a quick bit of research the word use is - like you say - far more diverse. Silly me!
Do pardon the needless interruption in your discussion. =]
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Re: Cultural Differences

Postby mirjana » Mon May 31, 2010 6:32 pm

Sabina wrote:I suppose we are all aware of the existence of cultural differences, while some of us may be more knowledgeable of the specifics than others. Most people accept and respect these differences. Personally, I am quite fascinated with pretty much all cultures and the various, sometimes strange (unusual), approaches that result from different view points.

Still, when it comes to certain things, the understanding and respect for these differences stop. When it comes to some, usually more extreme things (like mutilations, etc.), most people can't apply their own previous view point to respect the different approach of another culture in this particular case. Basically, they can't get themselves to be Ok with it.

Why is that?
What is it that makes us change our minds and use different logics?
Is the logic actually different at all?
Does it have anything to do with logic?
What are your thoughts?

Cultural differences form different collective beliefs and traditions and as a result there are quite different approaches to many aspects of life. And it works like that as long as we are exposed to that specific pattern of influence.
I think that logic is more personal trait that can be extremely different between two persons who belong to the same cultural influence.
It surprises me always when people consider logic as something which is definite. It is not. I think that logic is one of personality aspects which should be explained in order to be understood and not considered as something understood for itself as a common logic.
I have an example from my life. Long ago my husband had made an appointment with another couple on one of many corners in the biggest square in Vienna. When I asked him which one , he was surprised as, according to his logic, it could have been only one specific corner. The same scenario happened with another couple and my husband’s friend gave almost the same answer to his wife. Two of them considered their personal logic in their agreement about the meeting as something which doesn't need any explanation. It turned that their logic and understanding of that what the logical place for the meeting is were different. So we needed quite more time in order to find each other. Two of them belong to the same cultural influence but they still do not have the same logic, which had been proved in many situations.
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