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All things are relative

All Things are Relative

The dictionary defines civilized as "advanced in social customs, art, and

science". The keyword here is social customs. A persons idea of what is

civilized is relative to his culture. Through out the history of man, one can

see many changes in customs, and customs is what defines our idea of what

is civilized. The word civilized is one of the most relative concepts.

Time and distance are what have shaped our customs for thousands of

years. If we look back throughout history we can see many customs that

may seem odd, or even barbaric, to us but were everyday events to these

ancient people. For example, the Aztec conducted sacrifices, to their Gods,

in which they torn out their victims heart with a knife, and their priests and

warriors proceeded to eat the victims flesh. Yet, the Aztec were considered

to be one of the most civilized group of Indians in the western hemisphere.

The Anasazi, commonly called cave-dwellers, who from birth, used wood

and bindings to elongate the head. Even today in Japan, tradition says that

women are supposed to walk ten feet behind their husbands. This may seem

like demeaning women to us but who are we to judge when the United

States has had a long history of racial and ethnic discrimination and only

now are we changing.

The society in Brave New World has not lost their values but has simple

changed their idea of what is right and wrong. After all, how much have we

changed in the past 600 years. Six-hundred years ago in England, we killed

people for conducting scientific experiments and believed this was against

the teachings of the church. The society in Brave New World is a mirror to

our own when we view the past. If a person from the present were to see

the sacrifices and eating of the human flesh by the Aztec Indians, that person

would see it as barbaric in contrast to his own culture. Isn't it true that what

we view as barbaric or uncivilized is always in comparison to own. Doesn't

it stand to reason that in a society without families, they would view

monogamy as uncivilized? This society has been shaped by hundreds of

years and will continue to change in the years to come.

Many of the civilized behaviors for the society of Brave New World are

very different from our own. The main concern was to keep everyone

happy. Two efforts to do this were to teach them to be selfish and take

soma. The reason for taking soma was to induce happiness through

euphoria in much the same way alcohol and marijuana behave. Also when

are people the happiest? When they're pleased, so this brings about the act

of being selfish with the thought that you must do what you have to in order

to be happy all the time. They also believed in not having families which

stemmed from the fact that the Hatchery Centre produced all the babies and

when you have no families, their is little reason to get married ;therefore,

sexual promiscuities come into play. Finally, they were also conditioned to

believe that you should never be alone, for being alone used up little

production and the use of little production has an effect on the factories that

could possible shut them down. If the factories in an area were to shut

down, a significant amount of jobs would be lost and people would not be

able to support themselves. This would cause homelessness and poverty

which were not allowed in this culture.

With time and distance people's cultures diverge. This has been true for

a millennia past and a millennia to come. It should be apparent, that when

comparing past civilizations with our own, that the word civilization is

relative.



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