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I think the idea is that your culture can enslave you in an idea of who you want to be, which isn't really yours, but rather your culture's. The idea seems to be that this identity has been forced on you, and isn't really yours.

This brings up all kinds of nature-vs-nurture questions. It also has a nice recursive issue: Those who hold this view (that you should be free to choose your identity, without your culture imprinting one on you): Did their culture imprint that view on them? (Before you say "no", remember that "their culture" may be the university rather than the town they grew up in.)




"I think the idea is that your culture can enslave you in an idea of who you want to be, which isn't really yours, but rather your culture's. The idea seems to be that this identity has been forced on you, and isn't really yours."

Yeah, I agree, but I disagree with this notion. I mean, if you, even after hearing this argument, still think you made a free choice, then it seems to me that any attempt to subvert that is making you less free. Who should know better whether some decision is yours than you? It seems to me that this idea really rejects agency in other people, and that's why I find it disingenuous.

As a side note. The current idea of having 50/50 split in ratio of preferences between men and women as correct culturally bears some similarity to old idea that all left-handed people should be taught to be right-handed. Eventually, it was abandoned in favor of personal choice and the question whether it is cultural or biological is no longer relevant.


I agree with you. The "If you really were free, then you would decide the way we think you should" people need to think a bit more about what freedom actually means...


I think the idea is that your culture can enslave you in an idea of who you want to be, which isn't really yours, but rather your culture's. The idea seems to be that this identity has been forced on you, and isn't really yours.

But isn't this basically what much of life itself is about? To really figure out who you are? Because you are not born into a vacuum but into a number of overlapping human subcultures. And one of the main tasks in life is to figure out who the hell you really are and what you really want, and also how you change over the years. Only then you can find your vision of where you want to continue your life journey onwards.


yeah, for example 100+ years ago (or today in conservative environment) there were/are probably a lot of gay people who genuinely believe they are not and suffer their whole live, not even cause they are afraid to "come out" but cause they don't even accept themselves.


If you suffer, and think that under different circumstances you could make different choices, with which you would be more comfortable, then you don't really have the free choice.

But that's not what I am talking about. I am talking about society where people do have the free choice, and they are happy with it (or at least in correct proportions). Then these are their genuine preferences, and it shouldn't matter whether they come from the culture or biology.


I understand you and agree to a point. But people are not such simple machines. Having a society with toxic (to our perspective) mores can have really subtle and strange (but still negative) effects.

A gay man in Saudi Arabia who is deeply religious and conform to fundamentalist Islam cultural mores can genuinely believe he is not gay and that god is testing him, or that he is not attracted to his wife, or just not that sexual, while being unhappy and not thinking "if only I could I would have lived as a gay man!".

Culture goes really deep.




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