“Different cultures have different truths”, “truth is that which can be accepted universally”. What are the implications for knowledge of agreeing with these opposing statements? Throughout my time lived I was taught by my parents, teachers and relatives that our universe consisted of nine planets. Was this true? At that time, it was a universal truth because in those days astrologers, specialized people who study the movements and location of celestial bodies, had the supportive information gotten after a lot of studies showing this as a veracity.
But some years ago, this universal truth was no longer true. With advanced technology, astrologers found out that Pluto (the ninth planet) should no longer be considered a planet due that it needed to have “cleared the neighborhood” of its orbit, characteristic that it did not have. If this was not true, then was is true and where can we find it? People can find some truth in the society, in the cultures and in their perceptions towards things. The difference between the truths some people find in these places and the universal truth is that these truths are relative.
In Africa, they practice the mutilation of female genitals because for them, woman should not experience pleasure when having coitus. This is the truth, a truth not shared with other cultures because in other cultures their intimate parts are respected and men and women are equal. Here we can see how this true is valid for Africans, which supports the idea that “different cultures have different truths”. But also there are universal truths that are accepted by almost every culture in the world.
Even though these two statements are opposite, they both are certain but the question why? “Different cultures have different truths” is referring more to cultural relativism which states, the principle that an individual human’s beliefs and activities should be understood in terms of his or her own culture . Cultural truths are what really shape the way of how people see the world and it’s surrounding. The culture helps you acquire knowledge through personal experience, society, ideals and, religion.
This means that culture is what gives you throughout time lived the truth that you accept of your own. By inferring the implications of knowledge by agreeing with this two opposite statements and referring to cultural truths, this are truths the ones that shape our way of being; what makes us unique. It doesn’t matter if they are not accepted universally. In fact imagine that we were only surrounded by universal truths, then we will all be the same and life would be boring. There are many cultural truths that we don’t share but that doesn’t mean they are not true.
But what is truth? Truth iis defined in the Theory of Knowledge as the difference between knowledge from belief and its independent of what anyone happens to believe is true. Which means that a culture can define a truth but not a person because believing in something doesn’t mean that it’s true. In cultures, the truth becomes relative. It becomes relative because emotion and perception, which plays an important role in culture, are involved in this process that might affect their judgment meaning that they don’t have one absolute truth but different ones.
Lets take an example for you to visualize this statement. There are different truths in every culture referring to woman. In India, married woman should were, between their eyes, a red circle which represents that’s she’s married meaning that she’s already taken and that she’s no longer available. Muslims women should were a black burka (a garment which covers their entire body) when out of household because believe that women should be seen by one men, their husband. While in Latin America, woman are part of the society, it means that they have a voice and vote and are free to wear whatever they want.
We can perceive in here the different truths in these cultures, and how the differentiate from one to another. The statement “truth is that which can be accepted universally” talks about the truth being one and only one. This means that truth cannot vary nor change, its absolute and its independent of what people believe or not. It clearly states that the truth will be accepted by the humans, not partially accepted but accepted as a whole. The universal truth will always be present even though it is not accepted due to cultural beliefs and people’s perception of truth.
Some people will not accept the universals truths because of their culture but it doesn’t mean that it is not a truth. What happens is, that they are afraid to opening towards a change making them ignorant and unable to see what is actually lying there. This was shown when earth was supposed to be flat. People believed this theory until 1490, when Christopher Columbus discovered the Americas because he prove that navigating in straight line will connect him to the Indians. This shows how for many years people believed in something that was not true back was believed to be a universal truth back then.
This demonstrates that some universal truths might change after times passes and many advanced studies are performed. There are other universal truths that have changed along time such as when people thought that Earth was the center of the universe and that the Sun rotated around it. In the year 1543, Nicolas Copernicus came up with a revolutionary scientific investigation that the Sun was the center of the universe and that Earth and other celestial bodies rotated around it. On the other hand we have universal truths that cant be changed for example, math. In math, 2 + 2 will always be 4, no matter what.