Western Culture

Topics: Europe, Western culture, Western world Pages: 7 (2300 words) Published: November 17, 2010
What is Western Culture?

Western culture is a body of knowledge derived from reason.

This foundation of reason has made possible a vast accumulation of understanding related to reality or nature, including human nature.

This understanding is represented in several core ideals and values, which include individualism, happiness, rights, capitalism, science and technology.

Western culture can also be referred to as advanced culture; this is because its ideas and values promote the development and sustainment of advanced civilization.

Brief History
Western culture began in Ancient Greece. There and in the Roman civilization it developed until the start of the Middle Ages when it largely vanished from Europe. During the Middle Ages, Western culture resided, instead, in the Arab / Persian world to a modest degree.

Then the rediscovery of Western culture in Europe in the Late Middle Ages prompted the Renaissance. Western culture’s continuing development then led to the Scientific Revolution, the Enlightenment, the American Revolution, the Industrial Revolution and to what is considered today as modern civilization.

Where Western Culture Is
Today, Western culture has at least some presence in nearly all nations of the world. It does not currently exist, however, anywhere in a perfect and complete form. Wherever Western culture exists, it is at least partially mixed—and often largely mixed—with non-Western culture.

Western culture currently dominates in many Western and Central European nations and several nations settled by Europeans and their descendants. Western culture also significantly exists in many Asian nations, such as Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Singapore, and it is increasingly influential in India and China.

It has only a modest presence in most of the rest of Asia as well as Latin America and Eastern Europe. In much of both Africa and the Middle East, Western culture currently has little meaningful presence.

Western Culture Transcends Geography and Race
Since Western culture is based on objective reality and universal human nature, it is open to everyone, transcending both geography and race.[1]

In other words, Western culture is humanity’s culture. Contrary to conventional belief, one does not need to be Caucasian or of European descent to admire Western culture or, indeed, even help to build it. Any individual or society on earth can adopt it and thereby become Westernized.[2]

Indeed, millions of people each year with no ancestral ties to Europe recognize the universal appeal of Western culture. They do so by immigrating to and immersing themselves in nations where Western culture has meaningful presence. Or they personally embrace and promote Western culture in the nations where they live.

These adopters of Western culture understand that truth is truth, ideals are ideals and values are values—and it does not matter from where such things come or who originally discovered or identified them. In other words, adopters of Western culture know, on some level, that culture is an intellectual matter, not an issue of geography or race—or, for that matter, an issue of ethnicity, language, class, national origin or gender.

Race and Culture… No Connection
The fact that Europeans or Caucasians largely developed Western or advanced culture does not mean that they are innately superior or only they are capable of creating it.

One needs simply to know that North African, Near Eastern and Middle Eastern individuals developed the first civilizations or civilized cultures. And while these cultures flourished, Europeans or Caucasians had generally not yet developed beyond savagery.

Further, significant elements of Western culture came from other parts of the world, including the first civilizations and Asia. Also, individuals of all races, ethnicities and many national origins have contributed to the development of Western culture over the centuries and continue to do so today....
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