History Main / CultureJustifiesAnything

4th May '16 4:29:47 AM Morgenthaler
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1st May '16 10:06:04 PM VanHohenheimOfXerxes
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For good, neutral and neutralish forms of cultural relativism, see instead GoodVersusGood, BothSidesHaveAPoint and BlueAndOrangeMorality. Compare AgreeToDisagree, AppealToInherentNature. Contrast AgainstMyReligion, where someone uses religion to avoid taking a certain action. NobodyEverComplainedBefore is when apparently this has never caused a major disagreement that the culture remembers.

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For good, neutral and neutralish forms of cultural relativism, see instead GoodVersusGood, BothSidesHaveAPoint BothSidesHaveAPoint, and BlueAndOrangeMorality. Compare AgreeToDisagree, AppealToInherentNature.AppealToInherentNature, and MyCountryRightOrWrong. Contrast AgainstMyReligion, where someone uses religion to avoid taking a certain action. NobodyEverComplainedBefore is when this has apparently this has never caused a major disagreement that the culture remembers.
1st May '16 10:04:37 PM VanHohenheimOfXerxes
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* Referenced in Music/WeirdAlYankovic's song "Weasel Stomping Day," about [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin a holiday devoted to stomping weasels to death]]. One of the lines in the song is, ''It's tradition; that makes it okay!''

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* Referenced in Music/WeirdAlYankovic's song "Weasel Stomping Day," about [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin a holiday devoted to stomping weasels to death]]. One of the lines in the song is, ''It's death]]:
-->''It's
tradition; that makes it okay!''
27th Apr '16 2:54:49 PM margdean56
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* In ''ComicBook/TopTen'', after the alien porn star M'Rrgla Qualz is arrested for beheading several prostitutes to eat their pineal glands, her lawyer tries to use this as a defense, alleging that this is part of her species life-cycle and citing some alien laws. Captain Traynor remains unconvinced and says that, alien laws notwithstanding, eating people's brains is still a crime by Neopolis' laws. That said, she's been on Earth for at least 20 years, so she'd know that it was already illegal.

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* In ''ComicBook/TopTen'', after the alien porn star M'Rrgla Qualz is arrested for beheading several prostitutes to eat their pineal glands, her lawyer tries to use this as a defense, alleging that this is part of her species species' life-cycle and citing some alien laws. Captain Traynor remains unconvinced and says that, alien laws notwithstanding, eating people's brains is still a crime by Neopolis' laws. That said, she's been on Earth for at least 20 years, so she'd know that it was already illegal.



* In ''Literature/ABrothersPrice'' the idea of doing things different than they are done (for example, having one husband per woman), is brought up, and the main characters discuss it, but come to the conclusion that it is impossible to change such fundamental things about their culture. Likely used to lampshade the DeliberateValuesDissonance. However, the trope is averted by the heroic female characters, who think that men's GenderRarityValue (which is the reason why the culture evolved the way it did) does not justify using them for breeding like cattle.

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* In ''Literature/ABrothersPrice'' the idea of doing things different differently than they are done (for example, having one husband per woman), is brought up, and the main characters discuss it, but come to the conclusion that it is impossible to change such fundamental things about their culture. Likely used to lampshade the DeliberateValuesDissonance. However, the trope is averted by the heroic female characters, who think that men's GenderRarityValue (which is the reason why the culture evolved the way it did) does not justify using them for breeding like cattle.



* Fen in {{Literature/The Osmerian Conflict}} is of a race that is constantly seeking the best scientific outcome and self preservation. As a result in situations that are difficult to make based on emotions she frequently will point out that a statistical advantage is better and emotions are things that hinder or obstruct proper decision making to the point she willingly sacrifices people for the cause and when Sarah calls her out on it Fen simply replies that is simply how things are done in her world and no one is worse off because of it.
* ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'': [[CrapsackWorld Where do we even begin?]] Boiling down a ''lot'' of story, it becomes clear that while this ''[[SomeAnvilsNeedToBeDropped definitely isn't the case]]'', drawing the line can be very, very tricky. Forcibly intervening [[spoiler: as Danaerys found out]] is ''not'' going to help in the long run, especially when the victims are ConditionedToAcceptHorror, said horror is InherentInTheSystem, and that destabilizing said system will leave its people [[NiceJobBreakingItHero even worse off than they were when they were under it]]. Also, cultures [[HereWeGoAgain have a way of bouncing back from forceful extermination]].

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* Fen in {{Literature/The ''{{Literature/The Osmerian Conflict}} Conflict}}'' is of a race that is constantly seeking the best scientific outcome and self preservation. As a result result, in situations that are difficult to make a decision about based on emotions emotions, she frequently will point out that a statistical advantage is better better, and emotions are things that hinder or obstruct proper decision making decision-making. Fen takes this to the point where she willingly sacrifices people for the cause and cause; when Sarah calls her out on it it, Fen simply replies that is simply how things are done in her world and no one is worse off because of it.
* ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'': [[CrapsackWorld Where do we even begin?]] Boiling down a ''lot'' of story, it becomes clear that while this ''[[SomeAnvilsNeedToBeDropped definitely isn't the case]]'', drawing the line can be very, very tricky. Forcibly intervening [[spoiler: as Danaerys Daenerys found out]] is ''not'' going to help in the long run, especially when the victims are ConditionedToAcceptHorror, said horror is InherentInTheSystem, and that destabilizing said system will leave its people [[NiceJobBreakingItHero even worse off than they were when they were under it]]. Also, cultures [[HereWeGoAgain have a way of bouncing back from forceful extermination]].



* An episode of ''Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries'' featured the ''Enterprise'' crew running into a civilization of two planets that were locked in an eternal war. To limit the devastation and preserve their culture, both civilizations agreed to stop shooting real weapons and use giant, inter-linked computers to simulate shooting at each other. When the computers recorded "hits", it also listed who was "killed" by the "attack". Those "casualties" were then rounded up and sent to actual death chambers. The war rages, people die, but no actual damage to either world. At the episode's climax, the planet's top leader tries to trick the entire crew of the Enterprise into beaming off the ship because the computer recorded a "hit" on her. At the end of the episode, Kirk severs the radio link between the two planets, which brought down a threat of a war with real weapons and real destruction coming down on both worlds. Kirk leaves the planet saying that this could be the consequence, or they could negotiate a much needed peace.

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* An episode of ''Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries'' featured the ''Enterprise'' crew running into a civilization of two planets that were locked in an eternal war. To limit the devastation and preserve their culture, both civilizations agreed to stop shooting real weapons and use giant, inter-linked computers to simulate shooting at each other. When the computers recorded record "hits", it also listed who was "killed" by the "attack". Those "casualties" were are then rounded up and sent to actual death chambers. The war rages, people die, but no actual damage to either world. At the episode's climax, the planet's top leader tries to trick the entire crew of the Enterprise ''Enterprise'' into beaming off the ship because the computer recorded a "hit" on her. At the end of the episode, Kirk severs the radio link between the two planets, which brought down brings a threat of a war with real weapons and real destruction coming down on both worlds. Kirk leaves the planet saying that this could be the consequence, or they could negotiate a much needed peace.



* This is a thorny issue that frequently crops up throughout the entire Franchise/StarTrek universe, mainly because none of the writers ever precisely defined the Prime Directive and its tenets. In the broadest sense, it states that no society has the right to judge another society's values or interfere with their natural course. The room for interpretation is large enough to accommodate several small planets: DependingOnTheWriter, what constitutes "interference" varies greatly, as does which societies the Prime Directive applies to (sometimes it's just pre-warp civilizations, other times it extends to warp-capable civilizations that aren't Federation member states). The concept has been frequently Deconstructed in TNG and DS9, with characters often accusing the Federation of avoiding responsibility for the problems of the larger universe by refusing to even try to affect them.

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* This is a thorny issue that frequently crops up throughout the entire Franchise/StarTrek universe, mainly because none of the writers ever precisely defined the Prime Directive and its tenets. In the broadest sense, it states that no society has the right to judge another society's values or interfere with their natural course. The room for interpretation is large enough to accommodate several small planets: DependingOnTheWriter, what constitutes "interference" varies greatly, as does which societies the Prime Directive applies to (sometimes it's just pre-warp civilizations, other times it extends to warp-capable civilizations that aren't Federation member states). The concept has been frequently Deconstructed in TNG and DS9, [=DS9=], with characters often accusing the Federation of avoiding responsibility for the problems of the larger universe by refusing to even try to affect them.
27th Apr '16 2:39:50 PM margdean56
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Note that the claim that "Culture Justifies Anything" is usually done by a ''character'', not by the narrator. The character being portrayed as wrong is still a straight example, not a subversion. For this trope to come into effect, it must be clear that the setting or at least the author treat the act thus defended as morally questionable at best. Otherwise it's merely YourNormalIsOurTaboo. If the setting in general agrees with the objectionable act, this trope does not have to be used, since the act is simply considered normal and doesn't have to be defended by reference to culture. If the trope is used anyway, its purpose might be to [[LampshadeHanging highlight]] the DeliberateValuesDissonance. Keep in mind that culture has never been static or unchanging, not in any part of the world nor in any point of history, and when confronted by someone using culture as their justification, one must not make the assumption that these spokesman and their practises represent that culture on the whole.

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Note that the claim that "Culture Justifies Anything" is usually done by a ''character'', not by the narrator. The character being portrayed as wrong is still a straight example, not a subversion. For this trope to come into effect, it must be clear that the setting or at least the author treat the act thus defended as morally questionable at best. Otherwise it's merely YourNormalIsOurTaboo. If the setting in general agrees with the objectionable act, this trope does not have to be used, since the act is simply considered normal and doesn't have to be defended by reference to culture. If the trope is used anyway, its purpose might be to [[LampshadeHanging highlight]] the DeliberateValuesDissonance. Keep in mind that culture has never been static or unchanging, not in any part of the world nor in any point of history, and when confronted by someone using culture as their justification, one must not make the assumption that these spokesman and their practises practices represent that culture on the whole.
18th Jan '16 10:42:55 PM Argon2
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* Patroklos, of ''[[VideoGame/SoulSeries Soulcalibur V]]'', believes that his self-appointed title of 'holy warrior' ([[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_wars_of_religion in an era when such 'warriors' were commonplace]]) makes it okay for him to kill anybody he suspects (read: [[KnightTemplar assumes]]) of being [[DealWithTheDevil malfested]]. Notably, no one else in the game agrees, and several characters try to stop him from claiming more victims- even though murder is ''technically'' legal in their culture, that doesn't mean it's ''encouraged''. In fact, Patroklos himself eventually [[HeelRealization realizes]] [[spoiler:when one of his loved ones shows herself to be malfested]] that his beliefs weren't based on 'holiness' or 'righteousness' so much as arrogance and hypocrisy. [[spoiler:He's way less gung-ho about "holy" murder when someone ''he'' cares about could be a victim of it.]]

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* Patroklos, of ''[[VideoGame/SoulSeries Soulcalibur V]]'', believes that his self-appointed title of 'holy warrior' ([[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_wars_of_religion in an era when such 'warriors' were commonplace]]) makes it okay for him to kill anybody he suspects (read: [[KnightTemplar assumes]]) of being [[DealWithTheDevil malfested]]. Notably, no one else in the game agrees, and several heroic characters try to stop him from claiming more victims- even though murder is ''technically'' legal in their culture, that doesn't mean it's ''encouraged''. In fact, ''encouraged''[[note]]indeed, one of the reasons Pyrrha is despised so much is because Iira framed her for murder[[/note]]. Patroklos himself eventually [[HeelRealization realizes]] [[spoiler:when one of his loved ones shows herself to be malfested]] that his beliefs weren't based on 'holiness' or 'righteousness' so much as arrogance and hypocrisy. [[spoiler:He's way less gung-ho about "holy" murder when someone ''he'' cares about could be become a victim of it.]]
18th Jan '16 10:39:46 PM Argon2
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* Patroklos, of ''[[VideoGame/SoulSeries Soulcalibur V]]'', believes that his self-appointed title of 'holy warrior' ([[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_wars_of_religion in an era when such 'warriors' were commonplace]]) makes it okay for him to kill anybody he suspects (read: [[KnightTemplar assumes]]) of being [[DealWithTheDevil malfested]]. Notably, no one else in the game agrees, and several characters try to stop him from claiming more victims- even though murder is ''technically'' legal in their culture, that doesn't mean it's ''encouraged''. In fact, Patroklos himself eventually [[HeelRealization realizes]] [[spoiler:when one of his loved ones shows herself to be malfested]] that his beliefs weren't based on 'holiness' or 'righteousness' so much as arrogance and hypocrisy. [[spoiler:It was far easier to dismiss malfested as AlwaysChaoticEvil when he himself didn't care about one.]]

to:

* Patroklos, of ''[[VideoGame/SoulSeries Soulcalibur V]]'', believes that his self-appointed title of 'holy warrior' ([[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_wars_of_religion in an era when such 'warriors' were commonplace]]) makes it okay for him to kill anybody he suspects (read: [[KnightTemplar assumes]]) of being [[DealWithTheDevil malfested]]. Notably, no one else in the game agrees, and several characters try to stop him from claiming more victims- even though murder is ''technically'' legal in their culture, that doesn't mean it's ''encouraged''. In fact, Patroklos himself eventually [[HeelRealization realizes]] [[spoiler:when one of his loved ones shows herself to be malfested]] that his beliefs weren't based on 'holiness' or 'righteousness' so much as arrogance and hypocrisy. [[spoiler:It was far easier to dismiss malfested as AlwaysChaoticEvil when he himself didn't care [[spoiler:He's way less gung-ho about one.]]
"holy" murder when someone ''he'' cares about could be a victim of it.]]
18th Jan '16 9:15:13 PM Argon2
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* Patroklos, of ''[[VideoGame/SoulSeries Soulcalibur V]]'', believes that his self-appointed title of 'holy warrior' ([[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_wars_of_religion in an era when such 'warriors' were commonplace]]) makes it okay for him to kill anybody he suspects (read: [[KnightTemplar assumes]]) of being [[DealWithTheDevil malfested]]. Notably, no one else in the game agrees, and several characters try to stop him from claiming more victims- even though murder is ''technically'' legal in their culture, that doesn't mean it's ''encouraged''. In fact, Patroklos himself eventually [[HeelRealization realizes]] [[spoiler:when one of his loved ones shows herself to be malfested]] that his beliefs weren't based on 'holiness' or 'righteousness' so much as arrogance and hypocrisy. [[spoiler:It was far easier to dismiss malfested as AlwaysChaoticEvil when he himself didn't care about one.]]



* ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'' has [[ChaoticEvil Belkar]] [[SociopathicHero Bitterleaf]] defending his right to a cultural heritage of murder and evading the DetectEvil spell. Made funnier by the fact that the context make it quite obvious that he made up this "cultural heritage" on the spot.

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* ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'' has [[ChaoticEvil Belkar]] [[SociopathicHero Bitterleaf]] defending his right to a cultural heritage of murder and evading the DetectEvil spell. Made funnier by the fact that the context make makes it quite obvious that he made up this "cultural heritage" on the spot.
2nd Jan '16 7:09:39 PM Doug86
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* In the {{Twilight}} series, it's implied at several points that because it's considered normal for vampires to drain humans of blood (as opposed to drinking animal blood, which only has the drawback of being slightly less tasty than human blood), they shouldn't be thought badly of for doing so. In [[AllInTheManual some supplementary materials]], it's hinted that [[WordOfGod Stephenie Meyer]] agrees with this.

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* In the {{Twilight}} series, it's implied at several points that because it's considered normal for vampires to drain humans of blood (as opposed to drinking animal blood, which only has the drawback of being slightly less tasty than human blood), they shouldn't be thought badly of for doing so. In [[AllInTheManual [[AllThereInTheManual some supplementary materials]], it's hinted that [[WordOfGod Stephenie Meyer]] agrees with this.
21st Dec '15 2:57:03 AM JulianLapostat
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-> ''This raises the question - why is the authentic culture of [[Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire Slaver's Bay]] that of the masters and not of the slaves? Going back to [[UsefulNotes/TheAmericanCivilWar the American example]], and I'm going to do this a lot in this essay, there are plenty of people today who claim to be advocate for or aficionados of "Southern heritage" - but who choose to define that heritage as a celebration of the Confederacy and the antebellum South. But doesn't Southern heritage also belong to those who fought, resisted, and endured slavery, and who created wonderful music, food, and literature in spite of slavery? Why celebrate the former and not the latter?''

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-> ''This raises the question - why ''Why is the authentic culture of [[Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire Slaver's Bay]] culture...that of the masters and not of the slaves? Going back to [[UsefulNotes/TheAmericanCivilWar the American example]], and I'm going to do this a lot in this essay, there are plenty of people today who claim to be advocate for or aficionados of "Southern heritage" - but who choose to define that heritage as a celebration of the Confederacy and the antebellum South. But doesn't Southern heritage also belong to those who fought, resisted, and endured slavery, and who created wonderful music, food, and literature in spite of slavery? Why celebrate the former and not the latter?''slaves?''
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