Friday, April 08, 2011

Western culture being the superior one ...

Western civilization and the ideas that underscore it, things like personal freedom, equality, democracy, responsible government, the rule of law, human rights, science and technology, R&D, religious tolerance (which in itself can be attributed to Christianity) and self-determination suggests that the western experience, has been prodigiously fruitful.

Not surprisingly then I found the following more than merely interesting.

Many people strongly disagree with the belief that a culture can be considered better than others. They do so because they view a culture’s level of development as a product of race. As a result, they view any claim of cultural superiority as a claim of racial superiority—and, accordingly, condemn the idea of cultural superiority as racist. However, as we have seen, a culture’s level of development is not a product of race.
People also object to the idea of cultural supremacy because they do not believe that culture can be judged objectively. This, too, is incorrect. The proper standard for objectively evaluating a culture is by the degree to which its core values are for or against human life. A pro-human life culture recognizes the requirements of proper human survival, namely the values of reason, individualism, happiness, rights and capitalism.
In other words, pro-human life culture is Western culture. And the extent to which a nation embraces Western culture is the extent to which it is free, prosperous, modern and peaceful—that is, supportive of human life. One need only look at life expectancies around the world to see that this is true.

Life expectancy in nations where Western culture dominates (abbreviated list)

Australia 81
United States 78
Japan 81
Israel 79
Italy 80

Life expectancy in nations where nonwestern culture dominates but Western culture still has modest presence (abbreviated list)

Philippines 70
Russia 67
Honduras 69
Pakistan 63
Senegal 59

Life expectancy in nations where nonwestern culture overwhelmingly dominates and Western culture has little or no presence (abbreviated list)

Liberia 40
Nigeria 47
Angola 39
Zimbabwe 40
Laos 55

Source: CIA World Factbook 2006

Objectively judging cultures is not only legitimate and possible; it is ultimately a life and death issue. And when cultures are judged, it is clear that Western culture, with its life-giving and life-sustaining magnificence, is the greatest culture—deserving universal admiration and praise.
Western culture and all that it implies remains as contentious as ever, but nobody can deny its success; it is worth defending and even fighting for.

Niall Ferguson asks, why did the West rise to such prominence. He refers to six “Killer Applications”, Competition, Science, Democracy, Medicine, Consumerism and the Work Ethic. Presenting Pt 1 for your enjoyment...