The Instigator
Plato85
Pro (for)
The Contender
Hiu
Con (against)

Different cultures can never be equal

Do you like this debate?NoYes+0
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Debate Round Forfeited
Hiu has forfeited round #4.
Our system has not yet updated this debate. Please check back in a few minutes for more options.
Time Remaining
00days00hours00minutes00seconds
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/24/2016 Category: Society
Updated: 5 days ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 94 times Debate No: 97313
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (0)
Votes (0)

 

Plato85

Pro

The answer is in the question, they're different.

I can accept that they can and should be equal under the law.

I will argue that different cultures have different vices, virtues, and customs. We are all biased towards our own culture and therefore different cultures will never treat each other as equals. Also because different vices and virtues create different kinds of workers there will always be a wage gap.
Hiu

Con

I firmly believe different cultures can be equal. My argument will entail that despite cultural differences at least on the human level, all human beings despite having different cultural backgrounds can be equal and that having a different background does not necessitate inequality.
Debate Round No. 1
Plato85

Pro

1. First we should agree on what we mean by equality. I'm talking about money, power, and influence. Is that what you're talking about?

2. Do you think cultures are are equal now? If not, how can they become equal?

3. We need to describe some cultures so we can discuss how they interact, and how equal they can be.

I'll start with two:

Yahoos - This is a group of people with a primitive culture. They are savages who live without grace or hygiene. They sleep in holes in the ground. Their families quarrel every day. They treat their women like property.

Houyhnhnms - This is another primitive culture of horse people, but they are graceful noble, and moral. They live to help each other out, and they spend their leisure time discussing the meaning of life. and how to live a good life.

Can these two cultures find equality unless the Houyhnhnms encourage the Yahoos assimilate?
Hiu

Con

Given the new response by my opponent he forgot to define some things: 1) What is culture in conjunction with the debate (e.g. culture could be anything whether it is student culture, impoverished culture etc) 2) Equality in conjunction with the discussion (although late) but nevertheless I will respond according to my opponent's response.

My opponent said:

"First we should agree on what we mean by equality. I'm talking about money, power, and influence. Is that what you're talking about?"

When I'm referencing equality I'm talking about the fundamental basis that all human "ought to have" such as rights, status and opportunities. However this is not my debate to which I started so I defined it solely based on the presumed premise that I've always known. However I do believe fundamentally all humans ought to be equal under the idea that we are of the same species but then again we humans live in different systems of government. If equality is on the sole basis of money, power and influence I would argue that those presumptive three, transcend culture.

My opponent further states:

". Do you think cultures are are equal now? If not, how can they become equal?"

Again you must define culture. There are many cultures as I've indicated in the above, there is student culture, impoverished culture, middle class culture, etcetera. You are tasked to define what you mean by culture and we can go on from there. Alas, culture means:

"The arts and other manifestations of human intellectual achievement regarded collectively."

However you may perceive culture differently than I therefore you must define what you mean by culture in this debate.

My opponent gives the following example:

"Yahoos - This is a group of people with a primitive culture. They are savages who live without grace or hygiene. They sleep in holes in the ground. Their families quarrel every day. They treat their women like property.

Houyhnhnms - This is another primitive culture of horse people, but they are graceful noble, and moral. They live to help each other out, and they spend their leisure time discussing the meaning of life. and how to live a good life.

Can these two cultures find equality unless the Houyhnhnms encourage the Yahoos assimilate?

1) You called both cultures primitive so I assume their technological advancement is not equitable by today's standards so in this they have that relationship.

2) I question how both are primitive yet the "Houyhnhnms" have an ability to reason about the meaning of life yet remain stagnant in their primitive nature. Nevertheless depending on their geography and the time they have both lived, one culture may not relate to the other in the sense of commonality.

the fact that you added "grace" "quarrel" etc leads me to believe that you are adding things to suit your idea of inequality. A warring tribe of course is not going to have a peace treaty with someone who is a complete opposite but their primitive nature may bind them together. You need to be more clear in your analogy.
Debate Round No. 2
Plato85

Pro

We're going to have to discuss some definitions further. I think we agree, but we're using different words.

1) I agree that everyone should have the same rights under the law. What do you mean by equal status and opportunities, (given that we agree on equal rights)? When you say status, do you mean money, power, and influence?

Say one culture is obsessed with social status. For that reason they're hard workers, and bigger risk takers. They're willing to take a risk by changing companies, or starting up a new company, or borrowing money and putting it on the stock exchange. Because they're risk takers, many of them will be poor, but their culture will end up owning and controlling more and larger companies than other cultures. We could say that culture has more money power and influence than other cultures, and therefore a higher status. Other cultures have equal opportunity to do the same, but they're not risk takers, and they're more likely to stick to one job for longer.

Can't we say that there is probably something about the middle class culture that makes them wealthy compared with the impoverished class, who's culture makes them impoverished?

2) Let's say everything is a culture as you say. Should student culture be the same stutus as teacher culture? Teachers have more life experience, and they have influence over the students. The students are somewhat dependent on their teachers.

Impoverished culture - Some people are poor because they're unlucky. A lot of the poor have made bad choices, for instance they might take drugs, they try to pay off credit cards with credit cards. Why should we treat the impoverished with the same status as the wealthy rather than encourage them to be more like the wealthy? Should we treat drug culture equally with other cultures?

3) OK I didn't articulate the Houyhnhnms vs Yahoos well.

What if an advanced culture is living along side a primitive culture? The advanced culture has all the right attitudes to organise an industrial society, invent new technology, paint masterpieces, and compose symphonies. The primitive culture are nomads who've never had civilisation. They wander around starting fires so that they can catch the wild life that run from it. When the primitive culture comes into contact with the advanced culture, they don't deal well with it. They all start drinking heavily, hooning around in their cars. most of the men are dead by 25. Should we help the primitive culture assimilate? or should we let them continue their culture?
Hiu

Con

After reading your response I think it would've been best if you've started your debate in defining "culture" because as I've indicated in my last response, there are various cultures. I am confused as to whether you are referring to ethnic cultures, or sub-cultures within our society. Nonetheless, I'll respond. In response to your beginning sentence I will continue to state that no, we do not agree. I believe all cultures are equal on the basis of humanity. Let me again state that all cultures regardless of their variance, are equal in that their variety is the result of human migration and settlement, and that our human ancestors did what they had to do to survive and out of that, they have developed a culture in relation to their geographical status whether it is religion, ethnic foods, ethnic garments they wore etc.....What binds all these cultures together as one is the human element. On the basis of "equality" one cannot judge which culture is better than the other because we cannot measure cultures based on our perspective because it will not become fact because we are a part of the outgroup of that particular culture. With that being said I'll answer the following:

My opponent said:

"I agree that everyone should have the same rights under the law. What do you mean by equal status and opportunities, (given that we agree on equal rights)? When you say status, do you mean money, power, and influence?"

I mean that on the day a human being is born, they ought to have the same rights and opportunities as everyone else. Regardless of financial status, nobody deserves to NOT have a chance at making a better life for themselves. Unfortunately in the United States people do not live in a meritocracy therefore it is incumbent upon those that wish to obtain a better life to know someone who can help them. This is symptomatic to capitalism, and unfortunately those who are able to perform tasks and have the credentials in relation to the job cannot get an opportunity due to favoritism. However, all human beings regardless of status (money, power, influence) are equal and regardless of whatever culture they belong to, ought to have a chance to realize their full potential.

My opponent stated:

"Say one culture is obsessed with social status. For that reason they're hard workers, and bigger risk takers. They're willing to take a risk by changing companies, or starting up a new company, or borrowing money and putting it on the stock exchange. Because they're risk takers, many of them will be poor, but their culture will end up owning and controlling more and larger companies than other cultures. We could say that culture has more money power and influence than other cultures, and therefore a higher status. Other cultures have equal opportunity to do the same, but they're not risk takers, and they're more likely to stick to one job for longer."

The above really has nothing to do with culture per se and more having to do with the person's intellectual capacity to make risk assessments on valuable stocks, if we are going to use your stock broker analogy. You must remember people of the same culture do not typically conduct in groupthink so just because people of the same group perform the same job functions does not necessitate that they will think the same even if they're of the same culture. When it comes to stock brokers some may take risk and some may not. I serious think you needed to rethink your idea of culture and perhaps defining culture would've been best if you've began your debate in defining what culture is to you. Because alas your analogy has little to do with culture and more regarding risk-benefit analysis. Because you are associating people who perform the same job functions as if they are going to think the same and I repeat just because you perform the same job functions does not mean you will think the same.

My opponent said:

"Can't we say that there is probably something about the middle class culture that makes them wealthy compared with the impoverished class, who's culture makes them impoverished?"

Again a healthy definition of culture would've been beneficial since now you are going all over the place. Being in the middle class is not necessarily a "culture" it is your financial status with respect to your assets not necessarily the group to which you belong. Being in a middle class category is fluid. by fluid I mean some people's net worth grows, some don't. What "makes people impoverished" can be a multitude of things.

My opponent said:

"Let's say everything is a culture as you say"

But I did not say everything is a culture....

My opponent said:

"Should student culture be the same stutus as teacher culture?"

Again you are going all over the place and this is the result of you (the debate starter) not clearly defining culture in this debate. So the result is you going all over the place using the same argument. But to answer your question in terms of knowledge no, "student culture" is not the same as "teacher culture" because one has attained more power granted by the school than the other. by power I'm referring to the ability of one to dictate to the other information that is taught. But in terms of professionalism they are equal because the student abides by classroom rules and goes to class and learns the subject matter and the teacher, provides that subject matter to the student. Although we agree on this matter, the teacher-student relationship is fluid because although students depend on teachers, teachers depend on students.

My opponent stated:

"Some people are poor because they're unlucky. A lot of the poor have made bad choices, for instance they might take drugs, they try to pay off credit cards with credit cards. Why should we treat the impoverished with the same status as the wealthy rather than encourage them to be more like the wealthy? Should we treat drug culture equally with other cultures?"

Making bad choices does not mean we should dehumanize the person nor should we withhold from them opportunities to allow themselves to get themselves out of debt. Some people mismanage money due to the fact that they haven't been taught to manage money. This in it of itself, is not a culture, it is a behavior that many people do. Just like someone who is addicted to gambling. It is not a culture because you are addicted to gambling, it is what it is, an addiction one that needs behavioral treatment and modification. With respect to the polar opposite, some people are wealthy for a variety of reasons. Some come into wealth through inheritance. Some come into wealth because they sold drugs. Some come into wealth by luck via scratchers or playing the lotto. Some come into wealth by playing sports, or stockbroking. Regardless of who comes into their circumstance, we should not treat one or the other different. Although this is not a religious subject, a theologist would say in the eyes of God himself, the rich and the impoverished are the same. The notion behind that is because the very basic nature of the two is the same, and that nature is humanity.

With respect to my opponents analogy in the last paragraph I say this.....When an advanced culture that has reached the zenith of its achievements and notices a culture that has not acquired a better living situation it would be assumed not just by me but even by that advanced culture to morally help the other. If that advanced culture sees another culture being destructive I think it is obligatory for any culture to assist in providing knowledge and resources to help. An advanced culture helping does not necessitate assimilation it just means that, that advance culture is providing resources to assist in cultural growth.
Debate Round No. 3
Plato85

Pro

After reading your response I think it would've been best if you've started your debate in defining "culture" because as I've indicated in my last response, there are various cultures. I am confused as to whether you are referring to ethnic cultures, or sub-cultures within our society.

I’m not trying to confuse you con. I have been talking about both ethnic cultures and subcultures. Perhaps a better definition of culture is 'what everyone has in common', and a subculture is another group with another set of things in common. A migrant group may have a subculture, but an individual of any ethnic group will not necessarily be part of that subculture. He may have more in common with everyone else in the nation than with other people with his ethnic background.

A culture is a set of ideas, customs, traditions, and art. We are born into a family (hopefully) and we learn a lifestyle, we learn ways to react to different situations, we learn morals and values. We also learn culture at school, work, church, books, and other media.

What we are arguing about is whether we are all more equal, if there is more equality in society, if we all have the same culture, or if we all are split up into subcultures.

I think we impoverish the overarching culture by encouraging subcultures and ethnic cultures, and people have less in common with each other.

Nonetheless, I'll respond. In response to your beginning sentence I will continue to state that no, we do not agree. I believe all cultures are equal on the basis of humanity. Let me again state that all cultures regardless of their variance, are equal in that their variety is the result of human migration and settlement, and that our human ancestors did what they had to do to survive and out of that, they have developed a culture in relation to their geographical status whether it is religion, ethnic foods, ethnic garments they wore etc.... What binds all these cultures together as one is the human element. On the basis of "equality" one cannot judge which culture is better than the other because we cannot measure cultures based on our perspective because it will not become fact because we are a part of the outgroup of that particular culture.

We can make a judgement based on our own perspective. What you are saying is we can’t stand up for what is right and wrong, smart or stupid.

ISIS are going around razing cities, raping women, taking sex slaves, and slaughtering people. I’m going to make a judgment call here and say that this is a bad culture. We all have to stand up for right and wrong. Otherwise who will? Don't leave it to the experts to tell you.


I mean that on the day a human being is born, they ought to have the same rights and opportunities as everyone else. Regardless of financial status, nobody deserves to NOT have a chance at making a better life for themselves.

This is confused idealism. The word ought, ought to give it away. When you say that everyone ought to have the same opportunities, and that they deserve a chance at making their lives better for themselves regardless of financial status – Everyone has the opportunity to accumulate wealth and knowledge and pass it down the generations. If you wanted everyone to have the same opportunities you’d remove everyone from their parents and give them the exact same upbringing in a boarding school, but then you’re not helping anyone reach their full potential.

Unfortunately in the United States people do not live in a meritocracy therefore it is incumbent upon those that wish to obtain a better life to know someone who can help them. This is symptomatic to capitalism, and unfortunately those who are able to perform tasks and have the credentials in relation to the job cannot get an opportunity due to favoritism. However, all human beings regardless of status (money, power, influence) are equal and regardless of whatever culture they belong to, ought to have a chance to realize their full potential.

I told you we would agree. My opening statement was “I will argue that different cultures have different vices, virtues, and customs. We are all biased towards our own culture and therefore different cultures will never treat each other as equals.” I don’t think ‘favouritism’ is symptomatic to capitalism, you’ll find it in every kind of society. Capitalistic society probably most closely resembles a meritocracy than any other kind of society.


My opponent stated:

"Say one culture is obsessed with social status. For that reason they're hard workers, and bigger risk takers. They're willing to take a risk by changing companies, or starting up a new company, or borrowing money and putting it on the stock exchange. Because they're risk takers, many of them will be poor, but their culture will end up owning and controlling more and larger companies than other cultures. We could say that culture has more money power and influence than other cultures, and therefore a higher status. Other cultures have equal opportunity to do the same, but they're not risk takers, and they're more likely to stick to one job for longer."

The above really has nothing to do with culture per se and more having to do with the person's intellectual capacity to make risk assessments on valuable stocks, if we are going to use your stock broker analogy. You must remember people of the same culture do not typically conduct in groupthink so just because people of the same group perform the same job functions does not necessitate that they will think the same even if they're of the same culture. When it comes to stock brokers some may take risk and some may not. I serious think you needed to rethink your idea of culture and perhaps defining culture would've been best if you've began your debate in defining what culture is to you. Because alas your analogy has little to do with culture and more regarding risk-benefit analysis. Because you are associating people who perform the same job functions as if they are going to think the same and I repeat just because you perform the same job functions does not mean you will think the same.

I don’t agree. Different cultures are brought up with different values and ideas, so it’s not just about group think (although there is an awful lot of it about which is part of the story), it’s about coming up with similar conclusions based on similar ideas and values. It’s more about your mindset not just intelligence.


This round has not been posted yet.
Debate Round No. 4
This round has not been posted yet.
This round has not been posted yet.
Debate Round No. 5
No comments have been posted on this debate.
This debate has 2 more rounds before the voting begins. If you want to receive email updates for this debate, click the Add to My Favorites link at the top of the page.