The Instigator
Elissar
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
DwarvinStorm
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

Western Culture Is Morally Superior

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/11/2018 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 767 times Debate No: 119445
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (4)
Votes (0)

 

Elissar

Pro

I argue that the morals of the Greco-Roman/Judaeo-christian culture known as "Western Culture" is morally superior to all other mainstream cultures of today.

My starting arguments will be developed in the next round but here are some of the points I will cover:
1. Western Culture is based on concrete ideas
2. Western Culture has a historical, Immutable basis for morals, Which also includes conclusive justice despite incomplete human justice.
3. Western Culture is merciful and just because it acknowledges the presence of good and evil and it recognizes that there is not always a good answer, And that people must choose what or who they are to be.

Con has free reign over how he/she wants to counter.

Thanks, And lets have a good argument!
DwarvinStorm

Con

My argument is that all forms of Culture have their own merits and none are superior to any other. Culture is basically different from fact, It's more a way of life. And there is no "right" or "wrong. " Here are my main 3 points.

1. Western Culture itself is not consistent.
2. Culture is not black and white, And current cultural environments allow for mixing.
3. Culture being about tradition cannot be judged with right and wrong in any case.

Western culture is based on a fleeting set of ideals, They shift between Nihilism, Existentialism and Chivalrous. Which shows not only is Culture fluid, But disproves your point of consistency.

The Silk Road is a great example of the shift of cultural Ideals, Ideas of Buddhism and Hinduism spread far and wide. And the Islamic Golden Age not only shifted things like Numerics into the West, But also the Ideas of Alaadin and One in a Thousand Nights.

Your first point is very unspecified, Oriental culture is based on the ideas of Justice, Inner Peace and Wisdom. And many other forms of Culture, Indian Sub-continent, Middle Eastern and African to name a few still have similar customs and values at least ones that are consistent.

Citation. You really don't prove why. Christianity? Well, That's easily fallible in consistency because of all of the sects. If not, Then what?

Your 3rd statement is oxymoronic. It "Recognizes good and evil" and "there is not always a good answer? " You can't have it both ways! If you are saying moderation, Then the whole model of good and evil is not specific to Western culture.

Thank you for this! Hope you have a good debate.
Debate Round No. 1
Elissar

Pro

Thank you for your argument:
Western Judeo-Christian Culture"s foundation is laid on a credo. This foundation may be diluted, But never fully washed away. When it is washed away, It can never again be confused with the culture called "Western Culture. "
The foundation is this: God set up laws on Earth, And all mankind has broken them. God"s son payed the painful price to offer peace to those who will serve him by glorifying him as God and taking on a similar quest to show this love to others, Until his perfect kingdom comes.
It is this foundational grace and proliferation of mercy that makes Western Culture so unique.
There is evidence in the west to show that this culture is alive and well. How else will you explain the obsession with lights and gifts and the harshness of winter and the endless displays of the manger scene and all of the Christmas songs? Western Culture celebrates a hope bigger than this world. I do not claim that Western Culture is "best forever, " but merely the best in the world over all of the cultures that we have to choose from at this time. I know that to some there is no difference, But to me, It is a wide gap.
From Western Culture we get all sorts of unique things. We get the idea of falling in love, Out of western culture has come socialism and feminism, We have declared ourselves guilty of hating blacks and enslaving them, And we have ended that, And made all in our country do so. We send out billions of dollars in aid to all sorts of countries in the world, Countries filled with people who both love us and hate us. We don"t have bribes in this country, Which is weird, Since most countries do. And why do all these people want to migrate over to our countries? Why is Europe flooded with immigrants? There are reasons why few Americans want to move anywhere else, Why no one wants to live in the Middle East, And few will move to china. Why is America looking at our southern border so hard? Why do we care about genocide in other countries?
Western culture values individuals and their prosperity and their right to choose their own destiny. For all of the rap it gets, Western Culture is surprisingly humble: we know that we are wrong most of the time. We know our system is bad. We know, But it could be worse, And our system is the best that we can imagine at the moment.
With freedom of speech and God endowed freedoms of life, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness at the fore we are the most humble and hopeful of all of the noble wretches. Not knowing or claiming to know what makes for the happiness of the individual, We face our greed and forgive and love.
I once asked a friend what a great nation would look like. The answer: A good nation would not have homeless people on the street. It would take care of its orphans and the elderly. Everyone who could work could find jobs and earn enough to live decently. The sick and disabled would be taken care of, And no one would have debt.
In order for all of this to happen, A nation would have to collectively decide to care for the burdens of people who are easily taken advantage of. This requires that the nation adhere to a system of extreme moral obligation to do good.
Where else in the world do we see a nation, Untouched by western values and culture that values individuals, Those who are poor, Women, Animals?
Do we practice Sati here? Do we have arranged marriages in western culture, Or do we favor love? Do we condone favoring boys over girls, Or girls over boys? Do we practice female genital mutilation? Do we curse our neighbors? Or do we generally hate all of these and beg those that do them to decide to choose a better way?
There are some weird ideas in the Hindu culture as well. Most places have this, The idea of caste that you were born into. These are decidedly not inherent to the western culture.
I appreciate the thought of a melting pot, And certainly, When other parties bring good ideas that are compatible with our culture into our culture, It is sometimes actually best to assimilate them. Let me say though, That a culture is made up of the generalizations and belief systems and habits underlying a specific group of people. These are, As you said, Generalizations. If you want to look at cultural melting pots, However, A good example of one would be missionaries. Cultural melting pots self-destruct or create completely new cultures. Missionary kids from the US to another culture are halfway between two cultures, And they can never return completely to one or the other. They are outsiders of both and actually have their own culture. Therefore going between the two is actually quite shocking, And they get culture shock both ways, Because the two cultures see the world differently from each other.
America "works" right now, Because we are founded on the same basic belief system. There are fractures starting to show now, Where the solid foundation of western civilization is being undermined, Here with Islamic doctrine and sharia law, There with postmodernism, And still other places with other ideas and doctrines brought largely by immigrants from other countries and by the massive cultural exchange afforded us by the internet.
Still, I believe that Western Culture is superior to all of these other options. There is no other culture which honors the individual more, And simultaneously is aware of humanity"s evil tendencies and guards against those. There is no other culture which has a greater hope for life and meaning.
If there is, Please name it.
Thank you for your time. I look forward to your response.
DwarvinStorm

Con

DwarvinStorm forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
Elissar

Pro

You know, I wanted a rebuttal, Because I wanted to know whether there was any assailable point, Or whether I have said something unfair or changed definitions, And if you still have misgivings where they are.

I left you a few places where you could take advantage of my speech, But does this mean that I have won you over?

Since I suggested that I wanted an example of a higher moral standard than what western society holds, I really did hope that you would pick one and show me something about another culture that I don't already know. I mean, The world is wide.

I also don't know much about Eastern society. If Christianity is a Western affair, But it is born in the East, Why did it leave there, Or has it? Why is there no equivocal culture if indeed as I suggest Christianity is the high point of morality, And therefore the reason why Western society is the best?

Strangely enough I have no evidence otherwise, So I have to continue to conclude that Western society is best.

Thank you for joining me for the debate.
DwarvinStorm

Con

You know, I apologize for my missing argument. I was on vacation into Idaho to help my Cousin move and did not have time to formulate my arguments. If you would like, I would like to continue this debate in the comments to compensate for our missing time and arguments (1 each) if that is alright with you.

Falling in love is not unique, See Alaadin. And the ideas of Socialism and Feminism are very subjectively Western. The Masaai of Africa had gender Equality, And so did the Tamil of India in a sense. Socialism itself or the idea of taxing the Rich can also be traced back to Feudal society in many different countries.

They migrate for a better life, Mostly they do not abandon their culture. Europe is flooded with Immigrants due to war. Nobody wants to move to China or the Middle East due to familiarity with ones own conditions. A good nation as your friend stated is not uniquely a Western Ideal, See Singapore and Tokyo. Western culture especially Medieval originated Caste ideas with Serfs and Kings.

Your argument for Christianity is non unique, May I remind you that things as the Crusades have happened. No culture is perfect or superior. If you are saying that Western culture is best at this time, Then it is in your world of judgement very unfair. You have not given even a thought to the other cultures, Saying that Western culture does this therefore Eastern ones are worse. You have not stated anything that Non-Western Cultures really believe in other than Indian caste.

Even in that example, The ideas of class growth have been recently fostered in India after Nationalist movements have swept the nation. Based on their own traditions and culture. I would disagree, The Japanese culture is based on Honor while the Buddhist is based off of self discovery. Focus on the individual in Western culture focuses on Pleasing one's self. And affirming the beliefs. And the Idea that we understand "The Evils, " That is also not true with the rise of Superhero movies we have shown our tendencies for "Easy Evil. " Things to label as bad.

You have not answered my points, And my 3 points still stand. You basically had a Rant, That did add to your arguments but not in a way to refute much of anything on my end. Thank you for your time and I hope to amend my absence.
Debate Round No. 3
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by missmedic 3 years ago
missmedic
"merciful and just" is a contradiction. Morality based in secularism is superior. Christian morality is based in authoritarianism, Which is not moral but simple obedience.
Posted by Thoht 3 years ago
Thoht
Happy to start another one with you after this one. If you'd like you can challenge me directly.

In general, I would say "believe in god and follow the 10 commandments" is not something you're going to see be part of the constitution of any state. In fact, It is more along the lines of theocracies in the middle east. The best example you could point to is vatican city, Perhaps. That's hardly a prime example of 'western values. '

Western Culture for me is post enlightenment and the US constitution in particular. The US constitution mentions religion only to say the government should stay out of it, And many if not most of the commandments don't exist in it. We have no punishments for half of them, Because we are not a theocracy.

So my point would stand. US culture and the culture of other 'western' nations are successful despite religious values, Not because of them.
Posted by Elissar 3 years ago
Elissar
Sure, A secular humanist could oppose. It will be a little interesting because secular humanism is something that seems to have come as a rebuttal to western values (ie Christianity), But it is a separate idea.

Strict Judaeo-christian values that I would apply are this: God is just and good, Therefore I love God, And I show love to all people out of respect for his love to us. There was actually a debate about this around the same time, Or right before Jesus's timeline, And that is the summary of the law according to a really well renowned Jewish teacher, And Jesus affirmed it, So that is what I am going with. It sounds really flimsy until you start thinking about what kind of world you hope for - and of course while we are going to disagree on some things, People are a bunch of weirdos and we won't ever have the same perspective, That doesn't mean that if you specialize in taking care of children and focus on making sure there are jobs available that we aren't both doing good things. If we can't agree on something being wrong, We can at least see whether something needs improvement, And we will eventually come to a similar conclusion. The 10 commandments are "nots" but Judaeo-Christianity is based on a promise and a hope for blessing "Your seed will be blessed. . . And the world will be blessed through your seed. . . " Gen 12ish. That's what the good news "gospel" is all about is hope in a better kingdom.

But I digress, A lot, And incompletely.

I shall do my best to answer secular humanism and the dissolution of the west as best I can and I would be honored to debate you. Please accept
Posted by Thoht 3 years ago
Thoht
Would you want a secular humanist to oppose this?

Also, I find it unlikely that you will be able to define "judeo-christian values" to me. I have asked many to supply a strict list of values and no one has been able to thus far, Much less prove that our civilizations were based on judeo-christian values.

So if I took this, I would question you as to which societies you're specifically speaking of, And how those societies are based on 'judeo-christian values' rather than secular humanist values. You would need to define judeo-christian values, Something no one has managed for me thus far, And show how they, And not secular humanist values, Are the reasons western civilizations are superior to others.

My claim would be that the civilizations you point out aren't succeeding due to arbitrary "judeo-christian values, " but in spite of religions. Any overlap between the two is not something you can claim to be 'judeo-christian values' because they don't belong to you. For example: murder. I can point to many things in constitutions of civilizations that don't follow any sort of judeo-christian belief which is what I attribute the success of them to. Any overlap between constitutions and judeo christian values is coincidental, Not causal.

Let me know if you'd like me to accept.
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