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Oneness of Cultures

Hassan Ajami
hassanajami25@yahoo.com
2015 / 2 / 17

Oneness of Cultures


Hassan Ajami

The thesis of the oneness of cultures holds that all cultures are one. There are many plausible arguments which successfully show that this thesis is true. These arguments are based on reliable disciplines such as biology, physics and mathematics in addition to humanism.

Cultures, Biology and Physics

The argument from biology, which supports the position that all cultures are just one culture, could be presented in the following way: all human beings share the same biological genes. Therefore, all humans are one. And since all humans are one, and cultures are products of human beings and reflect the nature of humans, it follows that all cultures are one. Now, every fact has different levels of reality. For instance, there are different existing objects such as tables and trees. This is so at one level of de-script-ion. But at a deeper level of de-script-ion, all things are one because they consist of atoms and/or dancing strings. Similarly, at one level of de-script-ion, there are different cultures such as the Western and the Arab-Islamic culture. Yet, at a deeper level, all cultures are in fact one.

Both biology and physics provide a strong base for arguing for the oneness of humanity and the oneness of cultures. According to modern biology, all humans share the same genes, which are sets of information. And, from the perspective of modern physics, and at the deepest scientific level of analysis, everything in the universe is a sequence of information and exchange of information. Therefore, it is natural that humans and cultures are one. The oneness of the universe, whose content is that all things are one, is the foundation of the oneness of cultures and the oneness of humanity.

There are apparent differences among cultures. Yet ultimately the different cultures are one because they share the same essence. For example, in the Western culture, one s space is private, while in the Arab-Islamic culture, one s space is public in the sense that one s space is always occupied by others contrary to what goes on in the West. But still the Western culture and the Arab-Islamic culture are one because they are products of humans, and reflect the nature of humans, who possess the same basic properties, such as the same biological genes. Sharing the same genes amounts to sharing the same essential ways of thinking and behaving because our genes determine how we think and behave. And sharing the same basic ways of thinking and behaving amounts to sharing the same culture because cultures are defined in terms of how we think and behave.

Cultures and the Equation of the Universe

According to mathematicians and physicists, if the geometry of the universe changes , then the laws of nature will change. Thus, different geometries lead to distinct universes. This shows that the world is formed in light of its geometry. But geometrical structures are abstract. Hence, the world is ultimately an abstract entity´-or-an abstract set of abstract entities. On the other hand, we know from modern physics that the universe consists of particles such as electrons and photons. And these particles are considered to be material and concrete. Thus, from the perspective of science, the universe is also concrete. All of this shows that the world is both abstract and concrete. This conclusion could be philosophically expressed in the following way: the world is equal to the abstract multiplied by the concrete. This philosophical equation doesn t only control the formation of the world, but it also dominates how the human mind thinks and reasons. We think about the world either as being abstract and formed from abstract entities´-or-as being concrete and formed from concrete entities. There is no other way to think about the world. Yet this same philosophical equation leads to the emergence of apparently different cultures. This is so because some cultures are abstract-oriented, while others are concrete-oriented.

Now, since the world is equal to the abstract multiplied by the concrete, it mathematically follows that the abstract is equal to the world divided by the concrete, and the concrete is equal to the world divided by the abstract. The Arab-Islamic culture is constructed in light of the equation that the abstract is equal to the world divided by the concrete, while the Western culture is built in accordance with the equation that the concrete is equal to the world divided by the abstract. But we have seen that both equations follow from the same universal equation, whose content is that the world is equal to the abstract multiplied by the concrete. This shows that both cultures, i.e. the Arab-Islamic culture and the Western culture, are controlled and formed by the same universal formula which is: the world is equal to the abstract multiplied by the concrete. And thus, both cultures are in fact one.

Although the Arab-Islamic culture differs from the Western culture because the former is built in light of the formula that the abstract is equal to the world divided by the concrete, while the latter is built in accordance with the formula that the concrete is equal to the world divided by the abstract, both cultures are still one culture due to the fact that the two previous formulas´-or-equations are derived from the same universal formula which is: the world is equal to the abstract multiplied by the concrete. At one level of de-script-ion, both cultures are different from each other because they are controlled by different formulas. Yet, at a deeper level of de-script-ion, both cultures are one, given that both of them had emerged from, and are formed by, the same universal formula.

The idea that the Arab-Islamic culture is formed in light of the equation that the abstract is equal to the world divided by the concrete amounts to the fact that the Arab-Islamic mind conceives the world as being abstract, and thus the Arab-Islamic culture is abstract-oriented. And the idea that the Western culture is built in accordance with the equation that the concrete is equal to the world divided by the abstract amounts to the fact that the Western mind perceives the world as being concrete, and hence the Western culture is concrete-oriented. There are many examples which show that the Arab-Islamic culture is abstract-oriented, and thus prove that the Arab-Islamic culture is formed by the equation that the abstract is equal to the world divided by the concrete. And there are other genuine examples which show that the Western culture is concrete-oriented, and hence prove that the Western culture is constructed in accordance with the equation that the concrete is equal to the world divided by the abstract.

For instance, if we look at the world map, we will not see an Islamic nation whose citizens are all of the Muslims. But Muslims believe in the existence of a unique and a single Islamic nation, and they believe that they belong to it. This shows that the Islamic nation is an abstract mental construction in the minds of the Muslims. Yet nations in the West are concrete entities recognizable on the world map and possessing concrete borders. Another example is that the identity of the Arabs resides in Arabic language, which is an abstract entity as all languages are. What we utter and write is a representation of abstract languages existing in our minds´-or-genes. Hence, the identity of the Arabs is abstract. But the identity of a Westerner is determined by concrete documents such as one s birth certificate´-or-passport. The differences between these two cultures are just apparent differences because, as we have seen, both cultures are one at a deeper analysis.

Humanism and Aliens

The theory of the oneness of cultures is an essential component of humanism. Humanism could be defined in the following way: all human beings are one, and thus all humans should be perceived and treated as one. This is the thesis of the oneness of humanity. And since all humans are one, it follows that all human beings should possess the same rights, such as the right to be free, and should be treated equally. This implies that the doctrine of humanism also consists of the principle that every human possesses all of the human rights in virtue of being human as well as the principle that all humans are equal. In addition, humanism holds that one s true identity resides in being human, rather than in belonging to a certain community, culture´-or-religion. In this sense, all humans are one in virtue of possessing the same identity. And since the basic belief in humanism is that all humans are one, it follows that all cultures are one. This is so because all cultures are products of human beings and reflect the nature of humans. All of this shows that one basic principle of humanism is that all cultures are one.

If an alien from outer space visits our Earth, he´-or-she will see only one culture which all humans belong to. And this alien will realize that what we call cultures are just diverse manifestations of one civilization which is the human civilization. It seems that this possible alien is more humanistic and humane than we humans are. If we believe in humanism, we will perceive and treat each other as humans and as being one, instead of being different in light of the apparent differences in our cultures, religions´-or-color. This will eradicate any possibility of conflict, and establish global democracy. But if we keep on believing that we are different, then there will always be conflicts and wars. And hence, we will not be able to achieve true democracies in which all of us are free and treated equally. Therefore, the only way to maintain peace and true democracy is through believing in humanism and the oneness of cultures.




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