Saturday, October 22, 2005

The Trap Of Culture

Culture is basically a construct. Other than artifacts and artwork that a culture may , It exists only in the human mind. And much of culture is both arbitrary and often oppressive.
It is only by questioning the norms of one’s culture that freedom can ultimately be gained. For a culture to be eroded or changed opens the door to new opportunities for freedom and evolution.
As the old saying goes "a blind consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds". And the littlest minds never question or challenge anything.
To be sure, culture can give a person a sense of identity and some components of a culture can help assure survival. But, it also become a stifling trap.
The United States has come closest to creating a kind of "anti-culture." America, indeed, was founded on the premise of breaking free from the blind traditions of the past.
This has allowed for great degree of freedom and personal autonomy.
In many traditional societies, every aspect of life is dictated by cultural norms and beliefs. Everything to what is eaten or not, sexual practices, who you can and can’t marry is determined not by the individual but by the "elders" and the rules established over many generations.
To be sure, some of the rules and taboos are in fact nessicary for the well being of society. Unfortunately, many pointless rules are often mixed in with the needed ones.


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