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To Understand Something You Need to Rely on Your Own Experience and Culture. Does That Mean That We Are Trapped in Our Own Cultures and Paradigms, and Can Never See an Objective Truth?

Essay by   •  February 5, 2011  •  Essay  •  784 Words (4 Pages)  •  1,893 Views

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People have been arguing whether our own culture and experience are barriers that keep us from not seeing the objective truth. To clearly discuss this argument, a few definitions and views need to be considered.

First of all, the objective truth comes from an understanding. To understand something, we need to have knowledge on it. Knowledge is defined as true justified belief. Therefore, to obtain knowledge for a better understanding, we need to rely on our own experiences and cultures. As people have different backgrounds from each other, this often means one’s perspective can be slightly different from others’. Therefore, people may have numerous understandings of the same object.

In the real world, there are many examples that we can refer to:

Experience is a major factor of views on things. Before Columbia successfully finished his journey of discovery, nearly everyone thought the earth has a square shape. In fact, even after his discovery of the theory that the earth is round, people still doubted his statement. This was not because of distrust. It is simply due to the undeveloped technology of that period of time. People justify things based on their own knowledge. Since not everyone has experienced the journey that Columbia have and the technology was not yet satisfactory to prove this to the world, it is difficult for most people to understand the fact that the earth is round.

Another vital factor is culture. Over the past centuries, many contrasts have been recognised between the Eastern and Western culture. For example, when choosing medicine to cure illness, Chinese people tend to believe that Chinese medicine is more effective rather than Western medicine, whereas Australians would seldom use Chinese medicine. The main reason for this to occur is that people were brought up in different cultures; their perspectives will then be different. Generally speaking, there is no right or wrong to making this choice, both type of medicines will definitely have curative effects on our bodies. So in this case, the choice that we make will not have serious harms on ourselves. The difference is therefore only the process, not the outcome.

However, looking back at the past events that had happened, we must say that the factors experience and culture are usually not negligible. Children brought up in Less Developed Countries and those brought up in Developed Countries must have dissimilar views on the world that we live on. One that has travelled around the world would most likely have boarder knowledge on various cultures compared to one that hasn’t travelled before. These situations cannot be changed by our own desires.

There are several opinions related to the effects of culture and paradigms on people. When people cannot see every specific detail of something, they cannot make an absolute

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