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Published:April 27th, 2012 12:09 EST
Culture Can't Always Lead the Way. . .

Culture Can't Always Lead the Way. . .

By Vincent Gonzalez


Justification for pretty much anything needs to be rooted in some time of logic. Often enough, as people we can`t help but want to join the crowd and allow culture to guide us in our way of thought.

The struggle we face is whether to accept what we`re being told or decipher the truth for ourselves and come to our own conclusions. Just because our culture accepts something as morally right, are we as an individual suppose to think the same; are we to validate their argument without first examining the evidence for ourselves?

Societies worldwide for the most part are influenced by a variety of notions of acceptance for things that their own culture deems valid or morally right. How the culture is even allowed to accept these vices overtime usually results from a combination of a cohesive strategy by their leaders in manipulating the public. This strategy usually takes time but if the leaders are persistent and patient in their approach, their labor usually pays off. 

Insufficiencies that affect cultural behavior usually stem from some underlying source, some hidden motivation that usually lingers on the fringes of our mind, taunting our psyches with illusions of perceptions that we perceive to be right. Culture influences decisions made on a daily bases, swaying people in charge and influencing their ability of keeping the public at bay. 

 Justifications for control usually lacks reason, but what they lack in reason they usually make up for with a charismatic ability to pressure dissent, to lull the masses in a false comfort of compliance, which over time morphs into some form or another of obedience; these unforeseen forces that conspire against us in an attempt to facilitate what they chose for us to comprehend. 

Being able to get an understanding of the motivations behind the actions of any government is a mission in of itself. We are only real able to understand what the government wants us to understand. The trick is not acknowledging everything that the government tells us fact for fact and realize that for the most part what they are telling us barely begins to touch the surface of the real issue that needs to be addressed. Through cognitive thinking people can see the truth for what it actually is, not disguised as it usually is under a pile of false claims and hollow truths.

Tendencies that people have about not going with the general opinion of their own culture usually coincide with a heighten awareness to what the culture itself is actually espousing. Even though it`s part of their culture and they accept it to be so doesn`t mean they have to embrace it. Your own code of convictions is for you to create yourself, and the morals you base them on can be influenced by anything, but there`s nothing more influential than the culture you were raised in, the traditions, practices and ideas that your culture uses to motivate your behavior.

Most of the time, people use their own principles and code of convictions to help them justify/rationalize moral judgments, but most of the time it`s our own biases that persuade us to think one way or another. This is a habit that I think most people won`t own up to confirming.

For the most part, every society is different, with their own different set of values, customs, traditions and beliefs. Soon as the leaders consciences` are clear of guilt; it`s easier for them to begin to push the buttons a little bit more, to stretch the limits of their control.

According to Ruth Benedict, "We recognize that morality differs in every society, and is a convenient term for socially approved habits. . .Each culture is a more or less elaborate working out of the potentialities of the segment it has chosen. In so far as a civilization is well integrated and consistent within itself, it will tend to carry farther and farther, according to its nature, its initial impulse toward a particular type of action, and from the point of view of any other culture those elaborations will include more and more extreme and aberrant traits."

Once it has begun, it builds up steam and the momentum behind it pushes them even further, leading leaders to fear even their own positions.  I think John Steinbeck got it right when he claimed, "Power does not corrupt, fear corrupts, perhaps the fear of a loss of power."   

Arguments against my claims might find fault with my thinking, but for the most part I feel like any arguments against my claims are going to be rooted in ones interpretation of what morality really is. Based on your own way of thinking you are going to produce your own idea of what morality really is, but who is to say your morals weren`t influence by some outside source? I`m pretty sure mine were.

From the moment we are born we are fed to live a life modeled after what the culture expects of us. No matter how hard we try we can`t help but be influence by these outside sources, though we attempt to combat them by discovering things out for ourselves it still doesn`t neglect the fact that we still have these prehistoric notions of morality floating around in our heads somewhere; ready to plague a judgment at a moment`s notice.

Once we begin to evaluate what dictates our own set of morals can we begin to examine the bigger picture at hand. It`s not always convenient for people to question their own thinking because it`s not always convenient for people to step back and enjoy the moment as it is for people to just trust what has guided them there in the first place. It`s easier to blame the source of your information than own up to your own mistake.

Overall, at the end of the day you`re left to decide for yourself what you believe to be good. You can stay safe and stick with the herd and vote alongside with the majority or chose to examine the issues for yourself, inspecting all relevant evidence as it relates to the problem at hand and make up your own mind as an individual. Society too often dictates the attitudes people have towards most things in general, taking the motive for people to even begin to wonder.

One of the most basic functions of humans that has allowed us to get to where we are in this world today is owed largely in part to human curiosity; our yearning to understand everything around us. I`m not trying to say that our interest in knowledge has been tampered with in any way, but rather dimmed through the passage of time, waning as its fuel begins to dry up. Often time enough though, as humans we fail to see what`s deep down inside and look at what boils up on the surface only.

We examine shells of thought, poking away at the inners to justify knowledge for ourselves. Culture is aware of this and uses this as a weapon to assimilate the masses, to define for us what they expect us to hold as truth, to guide us to our already chosen destination of thought. So for the most part, the thing that we are trying to get at is that cultures worldwide facilitate for themselves their own methods of influencing the general public, though not always with good results.

 In their tendencies to even maintain control leaders most often as not fail to secure their logic because what they espouse is to them at least rooted in some type of truth when to everyone else it seems to be rooted in some type of myth. As an individual it`s your job to examine the truth for yourself and produce your own ideas, ones that are spared from the inadequacies of public opinion. Culture can`t always lead the way in determining our futures, sometimes we got to figure things out for ourselves.