Friday, 27 April 2012


There is a general belief in western society that some cultures are predisposed to acting in certain ways. Is that true?

If that is true, we want to understand why. Why would certain cultures be predisposed to certain characteristics and are some cultures better than others? These are difficult questions to ask but it is necessary to ask them, not because we want to condemn certain cultures but because we want to understand how certain prejudices take hold in certain areas. 

Two areas of the world which seem to be extremely intolerant are Africa and the Middle East (we touched on this yesterday with women's rights). To be gay and to be a women in the majority of African and Middle Eastern countries is not advisable. These two groups specifically are treated very badly. In Uganda, a bill has been proposed which would see 'repeat offenders' of homosexuality to be given the death penalty. The question is why are these entire regions (in general) so intolerant towards gay people and women?

For us this is actually quite a simple issue. The areas that exhibit the strongest forms of prejudice are often those with the weakest education systems and often the strongest sense of religion (this isn't going to turn into an anti-religion rant, fear not). For example, the levels of homophobia in America are quite staggering and it seems to be due to the strength of Christianity and the levels of education regarding homosexuals and their 'lifestyle'.  America is an interesting example because it is often seen as a bastion of freedom and democracy, sadly the reality for millions of gay men and women is very different. Religion is often used, not as a replacement for education, but it used as the basis for education. Although religion has many positive attributes, it must be kept separate to the daily workings of society. Unfortunately, this is simply not the case for countries all over the world.

The power of education knows no bounds. Certain regions are particularly intolerant (and brutal with their intolerance) due to a a lack of education. It isn't that some regions are predisposed towards certain types of behaviour, it is just that the standard of education they receive, lead them down certain paths. For example, the reason that the openly anti-Semitic Jobbik party in Hungary gained 17% of the vote in the 2010 election, is because the population have not been educated properly. Now we aren't calling them stupid obviously but there is a lack of a specific type of education. 

This specific form of education is the discussions of what human beings are capable of and why we hurt each other. We also need to, from day one, teach people that every single person regardless of their gender, sexuality or religion is equal and deserving of respect and love. It is this type of education that the world needs. It is this type of education that is lacking in probably every single country in the world (not just the ones we have mentioned here). So, no, we would argue that no culture is better than others, it's just that standards of education are different. Every society must alter its education before people progress. We can't except societies to change over night but we must begin the process of change through education. 

We must not condemn future generations to repeat the mistakes of the past because we haven't provided them with the right kind of education. 

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