Cross-Cultural Ethics

Sheesh!  I read a LOT today because I had to do pretty much all of my reading for this week's class & write a small response for tonight.  Everything has been fascinating, though.

The class I'm working on right now is cross-cultural ethics and it is just mind-blowing.  Most of the case studies and examples have to do with being in a foreign culture, but we can run into those here, too.  And it's good to have a broader focus and be aware of issues that could arise.

One of the main things the books were talking about was being aware of the entire context of any proposal or anything.  For example, a people group who believes that spirits are responsible for good or bad crops won't buy into your agricultural technology just because you say it will give them a higher yield.  You have to understand their values and the narrative they have written for themselves in order to create change. 

Another example:  we had to write about whether or not we would donate money to prostitutes at a hotel who weren't making any money that week because a Christian organization had bought all the rooms in the hotel (in the context of a country with a lot of sex trafficking).  Our professor challenged us to think of the corrupt structures and sins, not just focus on these women.  They are likely trapped.  He also referred us to Luke 20, when the Pharisees tried to get Jesus to say that they shouldn't pay taxes, thereby, in the case of Israel's Roman occupation, amounting to supporting a corrupt, oppressive regime. 

It's all very interesting to think about.  No actions are performed or rise out of a vacuum and none are value-free.  There isn't really such a thing as complete neutrality.  Lots to chew on, and this is just week 1.