Claim: Can we have knowledge independent of our culture? Counterclaim: All knowledge is based on our culture, without culture there is no knowledge. Culture is the characteristics of a particular group of people, defined by everything from language, religion, cuisine, social habits, music and arts. Since we come into the world, we become part of a culture. Our parents and guardians slowly push us into it, they teach us about values, traditions, religion and everything else that can be called culture.
We first attain culture by our guardians as we are too young to understand anything when we are born and our development as human beings can be determined by culture. However, it is not known whether our opinions are driven by our culture or we are responsible for them. Culture can affect how we see migration. Depending on the culture in which we are brought up, we can have different views on migration.
For example, taking the Australian Aborigines which have a nomadic culture, a nomadic culture is when a tribe migrates from place to place, without settling permanently. This is one of the ways in which culture has an effect on our knowledge, through emotion comes culture as you need to care about the culture to practice it, even more when someone has had that lifestyle since birth. On the other hand, culture does not fully depend on migration, as most of the time migration happens because of social factors.
Taking El Salvador as an example, El Salvador, an LEDC that has a main export of coffee, has a net migration of -8. 78, this means that 8. 78 people per thousands per year are leaving the country with different destinations. El Salvador’s emigration had been decreasing in the last decade until 2009 where the minimum emigration peaked, after this year, when everything seemed to be in the increase, a significant gap took place, taking a -3. 27 from 2009 to a -9. 13, the lowest value recorded for emigration, and then slowly recovering.
El Salvador has many traditions and habits but it does not have a nomadic culture, which makes the counterclaim conditional, this meaning both hypothesis are true and can be supported by significant empirical evidence. The issue with migration is it does not depend on culture but mostly on personal background, social status, family background and other social factors. So it is not really possible to tell whether culture has a role in migration or if it is just personal and nothing can be deducted from it.
We can have views on migration independent of our culture, but we can also have a view centered by our culture, like in Australia. Gay marriage is one of the most controversial topics today, whether two individuals from the same gender can get married has raised conflict and awareness globally and has raised issues of knowledge as it has progressed. Some people may say it is acceptable for two people from the same gender get married but almost the same number of people would say it is unacceptable and morally wrong.
This topic raises an issue of knowledge, and that is religion. For many people, marriage is the sacred bond between a male and a female, like the bible states. This issue of knowledge accounts for approximately 43% of people who think it is wrong. The rest of the people say it is wrong as they believe that raising a child with two dads or two moms is incorrect as it can make the child grow insecure and confuse as they claim. People who are in favour of the motion say gender is not an excuse to determine people’s happiness and that love is what counts at the end of the day.
Depending on the culture in which we are raised then we can have an opinion on gay marriage, for example, El Salvador is a country full of traditions and alive with culture, since we are born, most of us are introduced into religion, newborns get baptized without any awareness, parents take the decision and when children are slightly older, they are forced to go to church on Sundays with family. The debate on legalizing gay marriage is still ongoing in El Salvador and this is one of the cases where culture can influence your opinion on a topic religion, a part of culture is a determinating factor on the decision.
The opposite to this would support the claim, by saying that knowledge can be independent of culture and this can be proven by all the people who support gay marriage. Ideology is the way in which people think about several factors, and ideology is key to understanding the claim, as it makes us think on how people raised in the same culture and country and social background can have such different views about the world. Like the students in a school, the ABC has nearly 4,000 students from lower primary to secondary.
People in 11th and 12th grade are making decisions on where to go study, if they stay in El Salvador or they leave. Everyone shares a common thing, the wish to succeed, and we students take different paths to succeed. We share the same thing but one thing no one is similar to anyone, and that is ideology. How can it be that people raised in the same country, culture, following the same traditions and coming from the same or similar social background and having gone through the school their entire lives can have such different opinions about different things is still a mystery.
However it is a crucial point for the claim, where our knowledge, our emotions, our reasoning, our logic and everything else does not depend on culture. Everyone has a point of view, if they didn’t there wouldn’t be any diversity and the point of view would cease to exist, everyone has a different opinion, some are alike but there can never be two individuals with the exact same ideology. It is part of reasoning, for example, people at the age of 17-18 are said to reason without logic, by rational reasoning.
For example when you do badly in a test and as response you think, “Well, I studied all night and it didn’t work so the teacher gave us the wrong topic” instead of being objective and admitting no one can study the night before the test and get a good grade. Another example happens in sports when a team loses and the natural response is to blame everyone but yourself, by saying the referee was unfair or the goalkeeper wasn’t playing good enough. Everyone has their own way of reasoning, even when they are raised in the same context and culture, so ideology is independent of culture, as stated by the claim.
Knowledge is something every human being possesses, it does not matter where they come from, or how old, knowledge starts since we can reason. Culture is a great part of a person’s identity and personality, in their way of thinking and how they view others. We cannot say all knowledge comes from our culture, nor can we say that culture has no influence on the opinion of people. And as shown with the examples, we can have knowledge that can both, base itself on culture and be determined by social factors.