The definiton of civilized

Essay by Brian RamosCollege, UndergraduateA+, February 1996

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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.