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No culture is superior to another

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/26/2016 Category: Society
Updated: 2 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 447 times Debate No: 94992
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (11)
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(I apologize for this beforehand as some words may lack spaces between them because that's how it formats it)

Its often seen as the western style of government - individualistic and capitalistic -with large technological advances are seen as superior to other countries or styles of management of the world. I mean; wouldn't the average (western) human being scoff tribes around the world as inferior to the superior might and supposed intellectual, moralistic and technological staple the USA or the UK are? Its always been widely believed that tribes are uncivilized and savages inferior to the West . Even Charles Darwin believed that Europeans were superior 'because of morals' compared to 'Savages' who don't even understand the idea of morals I am promoting a different view towards this, supporting that no country can be inherently better then the other meaning that the USA/UK is not superior to an anarchy. North Korea or any country with significantly less progress then the West. This also means the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) is completely wrong because its imposing its beliefs on other countries which do not hold the same beliefs. Any supposed beliefs stemming from perceived superiority, morality or intellectual is just perceived as being more important which does not necessarily mean its true. For example the UDHR tries to get rights for children in every single country often trying to prevent child soilders. However this is wrong due to childhood being a social construction - and every society having different ways of raising their children meaning a society can't impose their views on the other because every society has different ways of raising their children; it is completely relative thus neither is superior and any perception otherwise is indeed perceived.
Sources in support:

Sources for against:
This also argues against my arguement for a more biological approach:


My opponent failed to demonstrate a criteria for one culture being superior to another. Therefore, I will provide one. Also, since it is unfair for me to hit a moving target, I propose that neither one of us change the target.

A culture can be deemed superior or inferior based solely upon morals. You might live in a rich neighborhood, with adequate military protection, technology, and knowledge, yet if everyone is immoral fools it will be Hell.

The best way to judge the morals of a society is how it treats the weakest, animals.

"A society will be judged on the basis of how it treats its weakest members"

~Pope John Paul II

Morals are paramount to all other characteristics of a society. Therefore, some cultures are obviously more moral than others. From the below website we can see how various countries rate in animal welfare. [0] As you can see there is rating from G the worst to A the best.

United Kingdom and Austria have the best protections for animals with an A rating. Belarus and Iran have the worst a G rating. To me it is crystal clear that the United Kingdom and Austria are superior to Belarus and Iran. Thanks for debating.

Debate Round No. 1


I gave quite a few examples of eurocentrism and western beliefs of superiority because of morals and technological advances. But still my definition of superiority is the "the belief that you are better than other people"(or society in this context) but yes we will stick you your target. I will also define moral because its very relevant "Concerned with or derived from the code of behaviour that is considered right or acceptable in a particular society"

As for your arguement you assume there's one set of objective morals which are universalistic and objective. However I will dispute this it is well known that the west have massively different moral norms to other countries or tribes. This difference means that there is no one objective universal moral because it varies universally as shown in here in other words morals are subjective.

Also even if there is a God (to which I doubt) and he gave us an objective moral system. However so did the devil or other human beings and who's morals to believe is subjective - no opinion is inherently more right or wrong then the other. So thus it is subjective.

This also leads to the latter part of your argument since morals aren't universal or objective you're judging it from a western standpoint and thus from a bias standpoint so your view is less valid (someone from the east would view their culture as superior). This all means that morals don't make society inherently more important then the other because they vary. You disagree with me because you've been socialised into western morals thus you would believe them to be very important and objective but its different realistically and universally thus just because you perceive its more superior doesn't make it so. I will give an example of this: someone in the UK were raised with morals attached to the west and someone else in North Korea are socialised into the morals of the culture. Neither is superior to each other even if the North Korean believed it or vice versa as it all perception.


I detest the morals are subjective argument. People use this to rationalize all sorts of animal cruelty. Tribe A has different morals than tribe B, therefore morals are subjective and we can do whatever we want to the weak. Some people even go so far as to say that it is okay to arbitrarily light people and animals on fire since morals are subjective. I disagree, morals are objective, regardless of the tribe you happened to grow up in.

The reality of it is morals are objective. Sure, there are a few powerful and morally devoid people who think forcing people into slavery is moral. Yet, human trafficking is universally accepted as illegal and immoral, except for a few. [1] [2]

People may not universally agree on what flavor of tea is best, but certain issues like homicide and slavery seem universally accepted as immoral. As I perceive the situation, people who think morals are subjective, either have not put much thought into the issue or are morally devoid their-selves. There are many issues that seem like a good idea at the time, but then when you think it through falls apart.

Thanks for debating.

Debate Round No. 2


That's exactly like saying 'I've grown up in the UK so I know everything and my morals are superior to yours'. Its this western culture that has granted the arrogance of imposing our own socialised beliefs on other people. Everyone has been socialised into their own morals which vary universal there is no objective standpoint.

Again the Human Rights Declaration or the United Nations which you linked to was made by western society and is often used to impose values on to other societies. Just because there's been efforts to establish morals across all societies does not make that an objective moral it will, and always will be subjective. You're also solely looking into the modern world which is entirely different and has massively changed from historical times. Slavery is not universally immoral it has been done in a ton of societies in these societies it has been deemed morally acceptable. I can also list tons and tons of societies which homicides have included a central part of their society. E.g. China(mainly trying to emulate European success with the industrial revolution), Russia (Stalin), Great Britain (the empire) , a few African countries etc.

Okay I'm going to take a step back. I will make a list and you can argue against this list trying to disapprove and affirming your own ideas. And voters can vote based on who they think won the argument.
- Objective morality stems from well-being as you said so your self there shouldn't be slavery. Yet who dictates this well being we do! What is the perfect well-being tends to be judged from interpretation and emotions and thus subjective.
- Lets take a more overview of it there are probably billions and billions and billions of species and intelligent life around the universe. Humans are one of the species and the objective morality is central around human welfare. And since this the objective morality, it must apply to every single species if they do not follow this moral code then they're immoral... you can see how incorrect this is and indeed moral is bound to be different for each alien species.
- There's no single universal moral found across every society or culture even murder was deemed socially acceptable in the peak of the Soviet Union (Stalin was very paranoid), tons of subcultures and cannibalistic tribes you can also perhaps even make the stretch to Aztecs and also read Broken April by Ismail Kadare. It's about the blood feuds between clans in Albania in the 1920s-30s. The murder of men from one clan by those of another is not only legal but expected and even glorified. Also murder is found to be outlawed in so many tribes because its logical, the tribes that do allow murder have probably gone extinct. And we have established that slavery and homicides are quite common actually even ants do it. (Yes ants do slavery which is pretty cool actually). For more information: (not on how ants do slavery you have to search that I'm afraid :( )
- Also I'm going to make a loop back to how people say God made the objective moral code. Even if God was real so did Satan and other human being each making a moral code. Who's to believe? The answer is subjective none is more Important then the others.
- It is undeniable that every society has a different way of socialising their children. X has a different way from Y thus X's morals are not superior to Y because they have completely different beliefs and any perceived importance over the other is just perceived and is subjective. Any other belief is mainly from arrogance of their opinion and morals thinking they're superior to other cultures (mainly stemming from religion).
All this eventual points to that morality is indeed subjective and no culture is superior to another

For a good read that supports my argument but its a fascinating read nonetheless is

Thank you for debating :D.
It has been fun and interesting talking to you.


My opponent seems to blur the line between law and morals. Just because in society x,y,and z it was legal to enslave humans or kill humans due to their religion and/or race doesn't mean this activity is moral. In fact, I think that since most people see these actions as highly immoral despite being legal, proves that at least some morals are objective.

For example, many primitive tribes legally allowed for human sacrifices, yet this is considered highly immoral by most people in the world. What this shows is that people sometimes are so worried about meeting their basic needs that they set aside their morals for a bit. Yet, as we move away from day to day survival we can pull the lens back and get a better idea of what is moral and what is not.

Just because some megalomaniac degrees that action z is moral, doesn't mean it is. As for other species, we have a pretty good idea of what their needs are. It would be unfair to hold up a coyote to human's standards. Nevertheless we shouldn't allow for arbitrary cruelty towards the coyote from humans.

As for aliens, we will cross that bridge when we get there. We have no idea if humans will blow themselves up before meeting aliens or not. For all we know the aliens could be practically identical to humans.

Nations are built upon the past. Social change is slow. I think we know the difference between right and wrong, we just have not found the time and effort to match our nations values and laws with morality. There will always be a vested interest trying to hold back social justice.

Just because we haven't defeated this vested interest, don't mean morals are subjective, we just need more people protesting factory farms.

As for war, we make compromises between morals and survival. I think on some level they knew war was wrong, but a necessary evil. To compensate for warriors feeling queasy about killing they glorified war. Think about it, if they thought war was moral, they would not need to glorify war.

In fact, I think that's what most social justice issues come down to. Survival and inconvenience versus morals. "I don't' want to lose my job, go factory farming." Therefore, the issue isn't about morality but the factory worker not wanting to lose his/her job.

Thanks for the debate.
Debate Round No. 3
11 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by FrostyCold 2 months ago
Sorry misread on that but just read the debate.
Posted by FrostyCold 2 months ago
Million of Americans sneak into Mexico? That's a new one...

Read the debates its all a matter of perception you're socialised into western values you think they're superior but its entirely subjective. Its relative to each society.
Posted by TheBenC 2 months ago
If western culture is not superior to other cultures, why are there not millions of Americans trying to sneak into Mexico or millions of Frenchmen trying to sneak into Iran?

I can tell you why...It is because America is far superior to Mexico and France is far superior to Iran. How can you deny it? Just look at immigration. People want better lives. They want to go to the culture that provides a better life. They go to westernized countries because they have better cultures.

Stop trying to pretend that American culture is equal to Pakistani culture. That is absurd. It is not a matter of perspective. What about the women in Pakistan who are all basically slaves to men. Ask them what they think of their culture. Ask them if they would choose to be slaves or choose to be equals.

Yes, western morality is better than third world morality, some of which says it is OK to behead your daughter if she does not marry the man you want her to marry. Some moralities are just plain garbage.
Posted by FrostyCold 2 months ago
Basically everything is judged from perception.
Posted by FrostyCold 2 months ago
But you're judging this from your morals. This is the morals that you were brought up with. Yet these aren't objective. People from all over the world have different morals judging events differently. UK/USA morals aren't superior in anyway to these other countries. Meaning that it is subjective to that there is no universal moral and everyone has different opinions. Its like everyone has a different opinion of coffee yet just because you like it doesn't mean everyone else should like it.
Posted by TheBenC 2 months ago
This ended fast but...

Surely some cultures are better. In Mexico it is common for girls to be touched by their uncles. It is seen as nothing at all. They also have a big drug lord problem. Some cultures, specifically Muslim countries, have women as second class citizens. In India they have "untouchables" that are so low the normal person should never even go close to them.

Yeah, some cultures are worse than others.
Posted by FrostyCold 2 months ago
Nice and patronizing and I gave a definition even though the target moved on.
Posted by Throwback 2 months ago
FrostyCold, not very bright, but you say you're 17, so you are excused.
Posted by NathanDuclos 2 months ago
can you define your use of superior. . .
Posted by FrostyCold 2 months ago
This is offtopic? My assertion was that no culture is superior to another not if they conflict with themselves. Also you 'see' it and thus it is your perception. ^^
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