History Main / CultureJustifiesAnything

11th Mar '17 6:33:47 AM Giantleviathan
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This trope is about someone directly or indirectly using "culture" as a way of trying to get themselves or someone else off the hook for truly heinous acts or structures -- either justifying the crime with a reference to culture, or insisting that the case should not be properly investigated out of respect for the culture.

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This trope is about someone directly or indirectly using "culture" as a way of trying to get themselves or someone else off the hook for truly heinous acts or structures -- either justifying the crime with a reference to culture, or insisting that the case should not be properly investigated out of respect for the culture.
culture. Frequently, this is also a characteristic of the StrawNihilist. Their logic being: "Morality is nothing more than a fanciful lie our culture made up. So on what authority do we have to judge those who don't follow our "morality" nonsense?"
28th Feb '17 7:59:24 PM Give1Take2
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* Crops up ''all over the place'' in ''Franchise/DragonAge'', along with a hefty helping of DeliberateValuesDissonance and AppealToTradition. Many {{Fantasy Counterpart Culture}}s have blatantly amoral practices that victimize certain members of their community (elves, mages, castless, apostates, saarebas, slaves, etc); yet whenever someone from a different culture points this out, many characters' most common defense is that it's just part of their culture and/or this is how it's always been done.

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* Crops up ''all all over the place'' place in ''Franchise/DragonAge'', along with a hefty helping of DeliberateValuesDissonance and AppealToTradition. Many {{Fantasy Counterpart Culture}}s have blatantly amoral practices that victimize certain members of their community (elves, mages, castless, apostates, saarebas, slaves, etc); yet whenever someone from a different culture points this out, many characters' most common defense is that it's just part of their culture and/or this is how it's always been done.''Franchise/DragonAge''.



** Mages are treated with outright terror and hostility in nearly every culture outside [[TheMagocracy Tevinter]], since most mages have enough power to level a village, and even the weakest ones have "DEMONS, POSSESS HERE!" stamped on their foreheads. This fear and suspicion led to (among other measures) [[TheChurch The Chantry's]] [[MageTower Circle prison]] and [[AntiMagicalFaction Templar]] jailer system. Most characters will defend it as an accepted cultural practice, and/or claim the Circles and Templars protect mages from the common folk who're so terrified of mages they'll lynch them on sight. [[DeliberateValuesDissonance Few characters question the Chantry]] ''[[DeliberateValuesDissonance encouraging]]'' [[DeliberateValuesDissonance common citizens to fear mages, and then presenting themselves as saviors for imprisoning them.]]

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** Mages are treated with outright terror and hostility in nearly every culture outside [[TheMagocracy Tevinter]], since because of how powerful and susceptible to possession most mages have enough power to level a village, and even the weakest ones have "DEMONS, POSSESS HERE!" stamped on their foreheads. This fear and suspicion are. In Southern Thedas, this has led to (among other measures) [[TheChurch The Chantry's]] [[MageTower Circle prison]] and [[AntiMagicalFaction Templar]] jailer system. system, which allows many Templars to abuse their mage charges. Most characters will defend it as an accepted cultural practice, and/or claim the Circles and Templars protect are protecting mages from the common folk who're so terrified of mages they'll lynch them on sight. [[DeliberateValuesDissonance Few characters question the Chantry]] ''[[DeliberateValuesDissonance encouraging]]'' [[DeliberateValuesDissonance common citizens to fear mages, and then presenting themselves as saviors for imprisoning them.]]



** Orzammar dwarves treat their [[FantasticCasteSystem "castless"]] as worse than dirt, forbidding them from finding work or housing legally and then punishing them for the crimes their lot force them to commit. [[MentorOccupationalHazard Duncan]] and the PlayerCharacter can call them out on this in the first game, but the dwarves wouldn't expect a know-nothing surfacer (or casteless) like ''you'' to understand the ancient, intricate, honorable traditions that keep Orzammar society great.
** Tevinter has always had slaves; it's part of their history, society, and culture. And they tend not to take kindly to ignorant Southern Thedosian bumpkins like you, PlayerCharacter, telling them whether they can or cannot own slaves since that is between them and their slaves.

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** Orzammar dwarves treat their [[FantasticCasteSystem "castless"]] as worse than dirt, forbidding them from finding work or housing legally and then punishing them for the crimes their lot force them to commit. [[MentorOccupationalHazard Duncan]] and the PlayerCharacter can call them out on this in the first game, but the dwarves wouldn't expect a know-nothing surfacer (or casteless) like ''you'' to understand the ancient, intricate, honorable traditions that keep Orzammar society great.
strong.
** Tevinter has always had slaves; it's part of excuses their history, society, and culture. And they tend not to take kindly to ignorant Southern Thedosian bumpkins like you, PlayerCharacter, telling them whether they can or cannot own practice of keeping slaves since that is between them with this, even though most slaves they buy and their slaves.kidnap come from cultures without slavery.
28th Feb '17 7:07:34 PM Give1Take2
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* Elves are treated liked crap in the ''Franchise/DragonAge'' universe because, well, they're second-class citizens. It's okay to treat elves like second-class citizens because they're ''elves''! The player has the option of treating elves as actual people (or playing as one in the first game, changing the relevant dialogue options accordingly), but this doesn't really have a great effect on the game world.

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* Crops up ''all over the place'' in ''Franchise/DragonAge'', along with a hefty helping of DeliberateValuesDissonance and AppealToTradition. Many {{Fantasy Counterpart Culture}}s have blatantly amoral practices that victimize certain members of their community (elves, mages, castless, apostates, saarebas, slaves, etc); yet whenever someone from a different culture points this out, many characters' most common defense is that it's just part of their culture and/or this is how it's always been done.
**
Elves are treated liked crap in the ''Franchise/DragonAge'' universe all over Thedas because, well, they're second-class citizens. It's okay to treat elves like second-class citizens because they're ''elves''! The player has the option of treating elves as actual people (or playing as one in the first game, changing the relevant dialogue options accordingly), but this doesn't really have a great effect on the game world.



** Mages tend to be treated with outright terror and hostility in every culture outside [[TheMagocracy Tevinter]], since most mages have enough power to level a village, and even the weakest ones have "DEMONS, POSSESS HERE!" stamped on their foreheads. This fear and suspicion has caused many restrictive measures to crop up to defend muggles from mages, such as [[TheChurch The Chantry's]] [[MageTower Circle prison]] and [[AntiMagicalFaction Templar]] jailer system. Most characters will defend this system by saying it's just an accepted cultural practice, and/or the common folk are so terrified of mages they'll lynch them outright, so the Circles and Templars are ''needed'' for both the mages' and common folk's safety. [[DeliberateValuesDissonance Few characters question the Chantry]] ''[[DeliberateValuesDissonance encouraging]]'' [[DeliberateValuesDissonance common citizens to fear mages, and then presenting themselves as saviors for imprisoning them.]]
** This is the Qunari's catch-all excuse for every questionable practice of their society. Take children from their parents at birth and raise them communally to blindly follow the Qun? It's just part of Qunari culture. Cut out the tongues of mages, put 'em in shackles their whole lives, and kill them if they leave the sight of their handlers even once? It's a Demand of the Qun -- who are ''you'', as an outsider, to question the Qun?
* Batarians in ''Franchise/MassEffect'' practice slavery, which they view as a cultural right and an inextricable part of their caste system. Since slavery [[SlaveryIsASpecialKindOfEvil is condemned by nearly all Council races and illegal in Citadel space]], batarians have claimed prejudice and oppression, severed official ties with the Citadel, and adopted an isolationist government. As batarians regularly raid the colonies of ''other species and cultures'' for slaves, these claims are plainly absurd. Council races have developed a cool and watchful attitude towards batarians, and batarians in turn retain simmering hostility and aggression towards Council races and humanity in particular for snatching up promising colony worlds that would have otherwise been open to them.

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** Mages tend to be are treated with outright terror and hostility in nearly every culture outside [[TheMagocracy Tevinter]], since most mages have enough power to level a village, and even the weakest ones have "DEMONS, POSSESS HERE!" stamped on their foreheads. This fear and suspicion has caused many restrictive measures led to crop up to defend muggles from mages, such as (among other measures) [[TheChurch The Chantry's]] [[MageTower Circle prison]] and [[AntiMagicalFaction Templar]] jailer system. Most characters will defend this system by saying it's just it as an accepted cultural practice, and/or claim the Circles and Templars protect mages from the common folk are who're so terrified of mages they'll lynch them outright, so the Circles and Templars are ''needed'' for both the mages' and common folk's safety.on sight. [[DeliberateValuesDissonance Few characters question the Chantry]] ''[[DeliberateValuesDissonance encouraging]]'' [[DeliberateValuesDissonance common citizens to fear mages, and then presenting themselves as saviors for imprisoning them.]]
** This is the The Qunari's catch-all excuse for every questionable practice of their society. Take children from their parents at birth and raise them communally to blindly follow the Qun? It's just part of Qunari culture. Cut out the tongues of mages, put 'em in shackles their whole lives, and kill them if they leave the sight of their handlers even once? It's a Demand of the Qun -- who are ''you'', as an outsider, to question the Qun?
** Orzammar dwarves treat their [[FantasticCasteSystem "castless"]] as worse than dirt, forbidding them from finding work or housing legally and then punishing them for the crimes their lot force them to commit. [[MentorOccupationalHazard Duncan]] and the PlayerCharacter can call them out on this in the first game, but the dwarves wouldn't expect a know-nothing surfacer (or casteless) like ''you'' to understand the ancient, intricate, honorable traditions that keep Orzammar society great.
** Tevinter has always had slaves; it's part of their history, society, and culture. And they tend not to take kindly to ignorant Southern Thedosian bumpkins like you, PlayerCharacter, telling them whether they can or cannot own slaves since that is between them and their slaves.
* Like Tevinter, Batarians in ''Franchise/MassEffect'' practice slavery, which they view as a cultural right and an inextricable part of their caste system. Since slavery [[SlaveryIsASpecialKindOfEvil is condemned by nearly all Council races and illegal in Citadel space]], batarians have claimed prejudice and oppression, severed official ties with the Citadel, and adopted an isolationist government. As batarians regularly raid the colonies of ''other species and cultures'' for slaves, these claims are plainly absurd. Council races have developed a cool and watchful attitude towards batarians, and batarians in turn retain simmering hostility and aggression towards Council races and humanity in particular for snatching up promising colony worlds that would have otherwise been open to them.
28th Feb '17 10:15:30 AM Give1Take2
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** The Dalish elves try to pull this off themselves ("It's not magic, it's the Keeper's Art!"), but absolutely no-one goes for it. Even other elves find them [[ScrewYouElves extremely smug and annoying.]]

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** The Dalish elves try to pull this off themselves ("It's not magic, it's the Keeper's Art!"), but absolutely no-one goes for it. it only works within their own culture since most non-Dalish tend to vilify them as heathens and savages. Even other elves tend to find them [[ScrewYouElves extremely smug haughty and annoying.]]arrogant.]]
** Mages tend to be treated with outright terror and hostility in every culture outside [[TheMagocracy Tevinter]], since most mages have enough power to level a village, and even the weakest ones have "DEMONS, POSSESS HERE!" stamped on their foreheads. This fear and suspicion has caused many restrictive measures to crop up to defend muggles from mages, such as [[TheChurch The Chantry's]] [[MageTower Circle prison]] and [[AntiMagicalFaction Templar]] jailer system. Most characters will defend this system by saying it's just an accepted cultural practice, and/or the common folk are so terrified of mages they'll lynch them outright, so the Circles and Templars are ''needed'' for both the mages' and common folk's safety. [[DeliberateValuesDissonance Few characters question the Chantry]] ''[[DeliberateValuesDissonance encouraging]]'' [[DeliberateValuesDissonance common citizens to fear mages, and then presenting themselves as saviors for imprisoning them.]]
** This is the Qunari's catch-all excuse for every questionable practice of their society. Take children from their parents at birth and raise them communally to blindly follow the Qun? It's just part of Qunari culture. Cut out the tongues of mages, put 'em in shackles their whole lives, and kill them if they leave the sight of their handlers even once? It's a Demand of the Qun -- who are ''you'', as an outsider, to question the Qun?
25th Feb '17 12:26:02 AM AdamC
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** The Federation gets this quite often on the reverse side too, depending on the episode. It's not uncommon for a crew member to be arrested and face punishment for a crime they committed while visiting (often through ignorance). The cultures of these people seem to invariably justify inflicting these punishments on people who are not citizens of their society, forcing our heroes to find some way around it.
** This especially comes up a lot with Worf, who's both a Klingon warrior and a Starfleet officer (and implied to posses some sort of duel citizenship). Of particular note was the episode "Ethics", in which Worf becomes paralyzed and agrees to undertake a potentially-life-threatening procedure to restore use of his legs. The reason is that Klingon society demands a person commit ritual suicide upon becoming crippled, which Worf fully intends to do if he can't regain full functionality. The crew, understandably, responds to this with a sort of collective horror as suicide is unheard of in the Federation, with the ever-diplomatic Picard being the only person willing to play devil's advocate and reluctantly respect Worf's wishes in the matter.


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* Reaches an especially absurd point on ''WesternAnimation/KingOfTheHill'', where Bobby is attempting to learn more about Native American culture. It turns out that John Redcorn's tribe practiced cannibalism centuries ago, leading him to attempt to serve a fake head to guests at Thanksgiving in their memory (much to John Redcorn's embarrassment and horror). In an argument with Hank, Bobby refuses to admit that cannibalism is wrong, since it's part of John Redcorn's culture.
31st Jan '17 3:58:44 PM Rhodes7
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* The protagonists of ''Literature/{{Victoria}}'' are driven to preserve traditional, Judeo-Christian American culture, whatever it takes. No matter how many of their people they need to deport, execute, kidnap, torture, spy on, betray, nuke, or sell into slavery. One could almost question their commitment to American ideals, just not too loudly.
22nd Nov '16 5:27:45 PM WanderingBrowser
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* [[NebulousEvilOrganization Black Claw]] in ''Series/Grimm'' claim that they're Wessen traditions are being oppressed by humans, even though said traditions generally consist of brutally killing (and sometimes [[ImAHumanitarian eating]]) humans, not to mention other, weaker, Wessen.

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* [[NebulousEvilOrganization Black Claw]] in ''Series/Grimm'' ''Series/{{Grimm}}'' is a group of Wessen united behind their claim that they're what they consider to be important Wessen traditions are being oppressed by humans, even though said traditions generally consist of brutally dominating, killing (and sometimes [[ImAHumanitarian eating]]) humans, not to mention humans -- and also [[MonstrousCannibalism other, weaker, Wessen.Wessen]].



* ''WesternAnimation/StarWarsTheCloneWars'': [[ProudWarriorRaceGuy Pre Vizsla and the Death Watch]] justify their murderous, warmongering ways by claiming that to do otherwise would be to dishonor their Mandalorian heritage.

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* ''WesternAnimation/StarWarsTheCloneWars'': [[ProudWarriorRaceGuy Pre Vizsla and the Death Watch]] justify their murderous, warmongering ways by claiming that to do otherwise would be to dishonor their Mandalorian heritage. Uniquely deconstructed in that, initially, they're a fringe group, as most of their own society had ''actively ended'' those traditions due to deciding they no longer suited the galaxy they lived in. It takes a brilliant and long-running scheme involving political manipulation and strategically applied terrorism to discredit their peoples' ActualPacifist ruler to the point the other Mandalorians are willing to take them back.
29th Oct '16 5:31:38 AM Grudgeal
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* This trope, in a somewhat roundabout way, motivates the BigBad of ''VideoGame/PillarsOfEternity''. [[spoiler:The BigBad's culture, the Engwithans, created the FantasyPantheon of gods that the people of the world worship and the BigBad spearheaded the missionary efforts to bring these gods -- and thus Engwithan cultural mores that went into these gods -- to the rest of the world. Several hundred years later the BigBad -- who is immortal -- has caused innumerable atrocities to keep the peoples' faith in the Engwithan gods alive.]] While the BigBad never explicitly says the word 'culture', in light of this information and his opinion on [[spoiler:the 'native' gods his missionaries replaced]] it is hard not to see his ultimate motivation as this.

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* This trope, in a somewhat roundabout way, motivates the BigBad of ''VideoGame/PillarsOfEternity''. [[spoiler:The BigBad's culture, the Engwithans, created the FantasyPantheon of gods that the people of the world worship and the BigBad spearheaded the missionary efforts to bring these gods -- and thus Engwithan cultural mores that went into these gods -- to the rest of the world. Several hundred years later the BigBad -- who is immortal -- has caused innumerable atrocities to keep the peoples' faith in the Engwithan gods alive.]] While the BigBad never explicitly says the word 'culture', in light of this information and his opinion on [[spoiler:the 'native' gods his missionaries pantheon replaced]] it is hard not to see his ultimate motivation as this.
29th Oct '16 3:54:43 AM Grudgeal
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* This trope, in a somewhat roundabout way, motivates the BigBad of ''VideoGame/PillarsOfEternity''. [[spoilers:The BigBad's culture, the Engwithans, created the FantasyPantheon of gods that the people of the world worship and the BigBad spearheaded the missionary efforts to bring these gods -- and thus Engwithan cultural mores that went into these gods -- to the rest of the world. Several hundred years later the BigBad -- who is immortal -- has caused innumerable atrocities to keep the peoples' faith in the Engwithan gods alive.]] While the BigBad never explicitly says the word 'culture', in light of this information and his opinion on [[spoiler:the 'native' gods his missionaries replaced]] it is hard not to see his ultimate motivation as this.

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* This trope, in a somewhat roundabout way, motivates the BigBad of ''VideoGame/PillarsOfEternity''. [[spoilers:The [[spoiler:The BigBad's culture, the Engwithans, created the FantasyPantheon of gods that the people of the world worship and the BigBad spearheaded the missionary efforts to bring these gods -- and thus Engwithan cultural mores that went into these gods -- to the rest of the world. Several hundred years later the BigBad -- who is immortal -- has caused innumerable atrocities to keep the peoples' faith in the Engwithan gods alive.]] While the BigBad never explicitly says the word 'culture', in light of this information and his opinion on [[spoiler:the 'native' gods his missionaries replaced]] it is hard not to see his ultimate motivation as this.
29th Oct '16 3:54:24 AM Grudgeal
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Added DiffLines:

* This trope, in a somewhat roundabout way, motivates the BigBad of ''VideoGame/PillarsOfEternity''. [[spoilers:The BigBad's culture, the Engwithans, created the FantasyPantheon of gods that the people of the world worship and the BigBad spearheaded the missionary efforts to bring these gods -- and thus Engwithan cultural mores that went into these gods -- to the rest of the world. Several hundred years later the BigBad -- who is immortal -- has caused innumerable atrocities to keep the peoples' faith in the Engwithan gods alive.]] While the BigBad never explicitly says the word 'culture', in light of this information and his opinion on [[spoiler:the 'native' gods his missionaries replaced]] it is hard not to see his ultimate motivation as this.
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