Welcome back to another post! It’s AJ again, here to continue our explanations of the 4 C’s. Having already done posts on Craft Beverages and Community, today we’re looking at Culture. In truth, a lot of the things which I want to say about culture has a good deal of overlap with things I had said about community, but there is a significant difference in the target. If community can be thought of as how we communicate with, or engage, each other, then culture might be said to be how we engage the world around us as a whole.
Culture is, in the words of E.B. Tylor, “that complex whole which includes knowledge, belief, art, morals, law, custom and any other capabilities and habits acquired by man as a member of society.” The culture we live in has impacts on us that we often times don’t consider. It is almost an omnipresent thing. It affects us from innocuous things, things like fashion, sports, music, and movies, as well as incredibly important things like politics, economics, and religion.
So, this brings us back to community. We need to be talking, not arguing and fighting. In order for these discussions to happen, though, we need to be able to freely share our views without fear of unjust condemnation and vitriol. This doesn’t mean we can’t disagree, even passionately, so long as we can distinguish between the idea debated and the person debating.
What I’m not talking about is tolerance. I’m not necessarily against tolerance, in its proper place. I’m skeptical about it as it is commonly used in discussion, where it seems to mean that saying a person holds an idea I believe to be wrong is the same as saying that person is worthless.
Perhaps what I’m saying can be better highlighted by a clear example. I am a Catholic. I believe that Catholic Church teaches the truth. By extension, that must mean I think other religions are, in at least some of their beliefs, wrong. If I believe in God and you don’t, we clearly believe the other person is wrong. I don’t think an atheist is a bad person. I don’t distrust them. I don’t think they should be required to pray or go to church. I do, however, think that they are wrong about the existence of a divine being.
In our blogs, our podcasts, and our social media posts, we are going to discuss things that matter to us. These things will, absolutely, include debates about entertainment, politics, business practices, and religion. Sometimes, you’ll agree with us. Excellent! Tell us what points we missed that you think would strengthen the point. Other times, you’ll disagree. Fantastic! Tell us why you disagree, help us to see the things we failed to consider.
As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.
– Proverbs 27:17