Morality From Culture To Culture

When I search for humanity in literature, it usually comes with broad perspectives about the products like truth, honesty, empathy, selflessness, sincerity, and all other things related to these. Although these are not wrong perceptions about humanity, but we need a clear and concise concept about each of it in this complex era. For example, for truth, it must be clear what to say in a particular circumstance, whom to say truth, how to deliver it, when to deliver it and other related precise details. Sometimes, one single truth may take a  person’s life and alternatively that truth may also save someone’s life. The same is true with other phenomena. We are for many times not sure about the reality of our morality or we are not trained in that sense that is why we miss many expressions of it.

We simply apply the morality, what we think morality is. In some cultures, respect is something related to standing up in front of others (like in Pakistan) while in others respect is something related to doing what is required (like in China). Similarly, in some cultures, asking for help is not respectable (in some parts of India) while in others it is the most convenient way to live (in UK). Nevertheless, in some places, one should take care of others’ likes and dislikes with the exchange of highly valuable gifts (like in Pakistan) while in others one must give someone (as a gift) what he /she likes for him/her self (sender)  plus it could be anything from a feather to a house (like Arab countries). There are a thousand examples to quote in this regard that prove that we address morality according to our own cultural, religious and personal needs.

Similarly, there are certain things in one culture that are thought as normal while in others are simply rude. For example, in one culture guests may be refused politely if you are busy (like in the UK), while in another one, guests simply cannot be refused or we will become rude. Like in Pakistan and India, guest cannot be refused at any time, for any cause. It is not polite to refuse them. Likewise, in some cultures, one must not enter others personal space while in others this is being proud, antisocial, and unfriendly. When we compare the rights and duties of women and men in different cultures of the world, we will find huge differences of different kinds. In short, whatever is your culture, you will feel that way and judge others accordingly.

When we define our morality according to our needs, we must respect others moral values as they are too according to their needs. However, there is a very delicate line between what is a cultural thing and a criminal thing. For example, in one culture, marriages are more about businesses whereas in others a marriage is a sacred entity and is more about religion. In some cultures, women are not treated equally like men and they need to know more about morality than men. In such cultures, girls have no right to ask about their status or should not expect the same status like boys. Their moral values vary for each section of the society and morality means total slavery of the poor class to the rich class/bosses/owners. From these examples, one must think what kind of cultures are these? Are they carrying up some values or criminal acts in the name of cultural beauties?

Thus, to take care of someone’s culture when you know it is not worth taking care, is more about harming him/her than benefiting. Whenever we encounter something dangerous, alarming, negative, in the name of morality, we must not obey, irrespective of its origin or root cause. We must obey the moral rules that are in the interest of humanity overall. If there is any rule that is neither harming anyone nor benefiting, then it is up to us to follow it or not to follow. We, being the best judge, can set a moral guideline for us and others that proves best or we can choose to adapt (already set world criteria of being human) otherwise.

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