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Write an argument in 3 paragraphs defending or rejecting the statement "It is wrong to criticize other cultures."

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Julianne Hansen, M.A. eNotes educator | Certified Educator

briefcaseTeacher (K-12)

bookM.A. from Clemson University


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I think the wording of the question could be giving you a bit of trouble because of the idea of "defending" something labeled as "wrong." There is almost a double negative situation that is created semantically. So here's my clarification:

Begin with this idea:

Criticizing other cultures is wrong.

Do you agree? Then defend this statement by supporting it with three reasons.

Do you disagree? Then reject it by supplying three examples.

I hope that clarifies the assignment a bit. I find it personally crucial to be as inclusive of all types of people as humanly possible, but I do think that it's also important to preserve human rights around the globe, regardless of culture. I think there are some aspects of cultures that all people should be held accountable to, regardless of where they are located or what they believe. So my thesis might look like this:

While it is important to value the varying cultures around the globe, ultimately cultures should be judged if they violate core human rights standards.

Some issues to consider:

  • Do these cultures support the oppression or victimization of women? Using gender to exclude, assault, or penalize people should just be objectively wrong.
  • Do these cultures actively support practices that put children in harm's way? Do they use children as a labor force for dangerous jobs or lead them to conditions of slavery? Practices which endanger the most vulnerable people in a society should not be supported.
  • Do these cultures fail to protect those with mental or physical challenges? Are these people given resources and respect as human beings worthy of life and living—or are they shunned and even left to die? Not providing a safe society to those who are sometimes unable to voice their own needs should not be acceptable.
  • Does the culture actively support genocide or any other form of racial targeting? Some Americans are unaware that genocide didn't end with the Holocaust, and other groups around the world are still targeted. (I'm linking an article below with some information about this.) Killing people because of race or religion or culture is a dangerous mindset.

So while it's important to accept and appreciate cultural differences, I would argue that there are sometimes human rights violations within cultures that should be judged and addressed in order to create a safer world for everyone.

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