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1 Lord Baron Viscount Duke Earl Count Planckton  Sat, Nov 5, 2011 3:45:47pm

Does he really think all cultures are equal? Sigh. And did he compare Franklin to Robespierre? Otherwise, not a bad vid.

2 CuriousLurker  Sat, Nov 5, 2011 3:59:03pm

I think about this subject a lot because I see & hear this sense of national/cultural superiority all the time. I've often wondered why people aren't a little more humble since they have no control over where they are born. Mr. Hrab did a great job of articulating many things that I knew, but couldn't find a way to say.

3 CuriousLurker  Sat, Nov 5, 2011 4:11:00pm

re: #1 Sergey Romanov

Does he really think all cultures are equal? Sigh. And did he compare Franklin to Robespierre? Otherwise, not a bad vid.

What I took away from it was that the notion of "better" or "superior" can and does sometimes lead to stunted critical thinking skills, which can in turn lead to bigotry, racism, and worse. There's a sort of smug, self-congratulatory thinking that I see sometimes which worries me because it indicates complacency, and when a person or society becomes complacent, they run the risk of crippling their ability to continue evolving.

4 Lord Baron Viscount Duke Earl Count Planckton  Sat, Nov 5, 2011 4:16:20pm

re: #3 CuriousLurker

When it comes to countries or groups, maybe. Cultures can be unequal. It's OK to say so and think so. It's not an objective measure, sure, one doesn't argue about tastes. But I have no problem saying that the modern US culture is better than the modern Saudi Arabic culture.

5 CuriousLurker  Sat, Nov 5, 2011 4:28:08pm

re: #4 Sergey Romanov

When it come to countries or groups. Cultures can be unequal. It's OK to say so and think so. It's not an objective measure, sure, one doesn't argue about tastes. But I have no problem sayin that the modern US culture is better than the modern Saudi Arabic culture.

That middle part right there is the key. Most older Saudis I've met (and even some young ones) feel their culture is far superior to anything that exists in the West, and we think they're brutal and backwards. So instead of doing something productive, we just point at each other, scoff, and beat our chests like Tarzan.

6 Lord Baron Viscount Duke Earl Count Planckton  Sat, Nov 5, 2011 4:34:29pm

re: #5 CuriousLurker

Sure they do, the point is that it is perfectly legitimate to make an assertion that cultures are unequal, while the opposite is possible in principle, but a mighty weird position. I don't think my culture is equal to a culture of, say, a group that practices cannibalism, or FGM, or human sacrifice, or slavery. One may or may not choose to say it outloud. But in the end for example what the US does is spread democracy, and this is also an assertion of cultural superiority, in a way. Superiority of democratic cultures.

7 CuriousLurker  Sat, Nov 5, 2011 4:48:38pm

re: #6 Sergey Romanov

Sure they do, the point is that it is perfectly legitimate to make an assertion that cultures are unequal, while the opposite is possible in principle, but a mighty weird position.

Yeah, I guess the only way one could make "all cultures are equal" work is if one were talking about the subjective feeling that (I believe) most people have about their culture (or country, state, city, sports team, religion, etc.) being "the best" or at least "superior to x". Gawd, we human beings are a contentious lot.

8 Lord Baron Viscount Duke Earl Count Planckton  Sat, Nov 5, 2011 4:53:18pm

re: #7 CuriousLurker

Sorta, tho not exactly. The US culture is not mine. It is however largely a "modern, Enlightenment" culture. And I would say that I (personally) belong to a "modern, Enlightenment" culture. So I do think that "modern, Enlightenment" cultures tend to be superior to non-Enlightenment cultures. (With lots of "buts", but you get the picture.)

9 laZardo  Sat, Nov 5, 2011 11:10:47pm

re: #4 Sergey Romanov

When it comes to countries or groups, maybe. Cultures can be unequal. It's OK to say so and think so. It's not an objective measure, sure, one doesn't argue about tastes. But I have no problem saying that the modern US culture is better than the modern Saudi Arabic culture.

Considering the whole "bitches and hoes/Jersey Shore" aspect that developed specifically in modern US culture, I'm not so sure.

/partial

10 Randall Gross  Sun, Nov 6, 2011 3:29:48am

I don't think he was comparing Robespierre to Franklin. As a rational secular humanist he's more likely thinking Jefferson, Rousseau, the Marquis de Lafayette and others. Our Bill of Rights, and the French "Rights of Man" and later version in 1793 did not develop on their own, neither jumped full made out of a vacuum. A good treatise on the why and where for can be found here:

[Link: www.ushistory.org...]

Remember as well that our Bill of Rights wasn't adopted until 1789, the same year as "The Rights of Man & the Citizen"

11 Lord Baron Viscount Duke Earl Count Planckton  Sun, Nov 6, 2011 3:32:00am

re: #10 Thanos

> As a rational secular humanist he's more likely thinking Jefferson, Rousseau, the Marquis de Lafayette and others

Why then did he mention only Robespierre, along with Franklin?

12 Lord Baron Viscount Duke Earl Count Planckton  Sun, Nov 6, 2011 3:32:59am

re: #9 laZardo

Relative.

13 (I Stand By What I Said Whatever It Was)  Sun, Nov 6, 2011 4:40:10am

Nations are the constructs of nationalisms (and the latter are thus logically and historically prior to the former). Comparing nations without contextualizing the argument in the larger picture of competing nationalisms seems analogous to comparing iOS to Android without ever mentioning or making references to either Apple nor Google.


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