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I think we are all a product of our own culture. We see everything through a veil of conditioning, this veil is worn by us from a very early age, and it is worn unwittingly by most of us. All of our learned ideas, consisting of everything we have absorbed from our surroundings, history, parents, taught religion (as we all tend to be more informed about a particular religion, than religion as a whole) media and peers, have been absorbed through this cultural veil, and these new absorbtions, over time, can add to the veil and define the way we see the world through its holes more. It may also be the case that we reject some ideas as we live, thereby retaining the veils shape. But we still wear it. As an example, and it is a mild example... In the UK it is polite to finish your food when dining as a guest in someones house, to have seconds is to show you enjoy the meal. It can often, and commonly is considered rude to leave a substantial amount of food on your plate. In Nepal, in the same scenario, to...

You are right that we approach all questions, whether of manners, morality or science, with a lot of presuppositions. We cannot help doing this, but more important, it would not be a good thing to shed all our presuppositions -- we wouldn't know how to go about assessing a claim's truth without any presuppositions, nor could we design a science experiment without them. When you use the metaphor of a "veil" to descibe these presuppositions, it suggests that they are distorting, and that they hinder us from seeing things as they really are. That's certainly true for some of them: think of the history of sexist and racist ideas and how these were unquestioned for so long. But it is not true for all of them, nor does it follow that just because we absorb something through a process of cultural conditioning it has to be distorting. (Very early on, we all absorb some ethical views about how bad it is to needlessly hurt others, but I reckon these views are true, rather than distorting.) As a result of thinking...