The main aim of the essay is to find out if we have beliefs or rather knowledge which are independent of our culture. To do my investigation, I am going to follow different areas of beliefs and culture that I need. Culture is roughly perhaps a range of activities which are cultivated as a pattern of behaviour in a group of humans over time, and the manifest fruits of that behaviour. This would presumably include manifestations like the arts as well as structural behaviours such as organisational ethics. The next thing to do is to look at the word, independent.
Relationship Between Beliefs and Culture
These days, it implies separation or lack of relation between two entities. It can also mean that there is no clear relationship and hence we can imagine the two entities in this case to be culture and beliefs/knowledge to have little to do with each other. Belief is faith, trust or theory that doesnt need corroboration or evidence. Also, a belief is a system of thought that is compromised of the information we have accumulated and stored in our brains. Collectively this provides a worldview and mechanism by which we interpret new information and assess how our experience in the world should be managed.
What is important to understand is that such a belief does not have any intrinsic validity beyond the fact that it is the way in which data has been organized within our brains and it appears to provide us, individually, with a model against which we interpret the world around us. Beliefs can be religious or societal. Furthermore, Knowledge according to my definition is the means by which facts can be gathered to reinforce, or refute, different aspects of the information contained within our belief system.
Often, it is asserted that something is true or factual, but neither of these are actually relevant since the only consequence of knowledge that we are interested in is accuracy. However, even in the interest of accuracy we are often forced to generalize because a fact simply isnt accurate as a general statement or description. Asserting that a particular fact is true is simply a mechanism we use to argue that we are presenting it as being free of deception. Factual information is, by definition, true. What should be questioned is its accuracy or applicability to any particular circumstance.
As it turns out the fundamental problem is in interpreting the knowledge we possess against the belief system we hold. If we believe that the world is subject to being understood by query, then we will tend to hold a more scientific view of things. If we believe that the world is full of mysteries that can never be understood, then we will tend to be more inclined to accept that external agencies are at work. I want to be clear that Im not arguing that religion and science are incompatible with one another, because there are clearly many people that can comfortably bridge that gap within their respective belief systems.
The difficulty comes from the extrapolation of knowledge into unknown areas. To me the obvious argument is this: culture is a pattern or the results of such a pattern formed from human intellectual activity. Human intellectual activity tends to be based on beliefs or knowledge, which in turn are developed from information constructed out of data. Or you might say human intellectual activity constructs beliefs/knowledge from information constructed from data. This data is obtained from sensory perception and the interactions of various organs such as the brain and various chemical factories like the adrenal glands.
My argument on this topic is that we can indeed have beliefs or knowledge which are independent of our culture. Firstly, I am going to justify my argument with some theory of my own knowledge. Some people such as Christians believe in God and that he created everything in the world let alone the world itself. For this reason, those people who believe in God have a belief that, to overcome every obstacle in life one has to pray to God to seek for help so as to overcome the obstacles. For example that person of that kind is Father Desmond Tutu who is a true believer and a Christian from South Africa. So all this is Religion not culture.
This is probably not dependent on our culture. Belief deals with different aspects of life. We mostly need belief in areas such as religion, science, law, mathematics, ethics and arts. Over many years technology has improved a lot and this has all been due to discoveries. To acquire the knowledge of improving technology over that many years, culture was not needed or required. This is where Im heading (indeed we have beliefs or knowledge which are independent of our culture). The fact that ethical belief showed a similar pattern of activation to mathematical belief suggests the physiological difference between belief and culture.
In claim, 1+1=2; we know this is true because we are accustomed to answer to symbolic language and we are forced to believe in it until we find proof that its wrong, or if there is another way to arrive to the same answer. Therefore, we have beliefs that are independent to our culture because of new ways that we can prove things without following the rituals and practices from our culture. Few people are the ones that take the decision of having independent beliefs, since others are either scared or confused if by disobeying the culture? s ideas are not correct.
This is an essential reason for why we belief in what we are taught since we were born. Natural Scientists have built up our belief that there is such thing as force of gravity which its work is to attract things towards the Earth and cause them to fall to the ground. From the knowledge that we attained from the natural sciences, we know that when one throws an object (any object) upwards into the air, there is a time when it is going to decelerate and stop at an instant of time then makes its way down back to the ground being pulled down by the force of gravity.
All this is from the perspective of the scientists on what makes objects to fall back when thrown into the air but not their knowledge from their culture and this justifies my argument. Moreover, there are some followers of a movement called legio maria in Palestine. These people have a belief that there is a black messiah called Melko Simeo Ondentto who will come back after nearly two decades to collect his followers and go with them to heaven. All this is not from their culture but it is from their knowledge and belief.
In conclusion, even though we have beliefs or knowledge which are independent of our culture, there are some beliefs and knowledge which are dependent of our culture. in our culture, children were not allowed to eat certain foods because it was believed that it would make them grow quickly and lead them to adulterous activities. Nowadays, effects of taking in everything are alarming in terms of adultery. Seeing a teenager pregnant nowadays is a norm and it is evident that what our forefathers believed is happening.
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