Different Cultures Have Different Beliefs Essay

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Aakanksha Ardhapurkar
January 14, 2012
TOK

Different Cultures Have Different Truths

In today’s world, truth is a word that has multiple meanings, but the traditional meaning is ‘conformity to truth or actuality.’ However, the statement ‘different cultures have different truths’ implies that culture affects the truth; so different cultures believe in different truths.
If we believe that different cultures do have different truths, then it means that every person has had a different upbringing, in turn meaning that they have had different experiences that define their values for them. This belief, which is also known as cultural relativism, implies that when a person belongs to a different culture, that person has had a completely different upbringing, and experiences, due to which their truths differ from yours. The existence of different cultures means that a person has a different set of values, and can believe in a statement to a different extent than someone else, because of that person’s experiences and knowledge filters are different. An example of cultural relativism is that Hindus think of cows as being sacred and do not eat beef. On the other hand, people from all other religions are allowed to eat beef. This difference in values comes from the culture in which we grow up and to what extent we allow it to influence us.
The word ‘truths’ has been used vaguely in this sentence; ‘beliefs’ would have been a rather apt word instead. Also, when we use the word ‘truth’ we believe that truth has to be objective. But in this case, since it is our culture that is influencing our thoughts and actions, the truth is being subjective. Another example is of the education differences between the East and West. Most Asian countries believe that students need a strong academic base to succeed in life. The West however, believes that the personality as a whole needs to develop completely. In other cases, it is seen that one culture tries to dominate other...

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