Cultural Values Are Defined By Society’s Capabilities and It’s Religious Views

The Ingle-Welzel Cultural Map of the World (see map) provides an excellent graphic depiction of what shapes cultural values (See World Values Survey Site for more information on the Ingle-Welzel Cultural Map). Cultural values are principles, standards, or qualities considered worthwhile or desirable to a given society. The depicted cultural map defines all cultures on a two-dimensional scale: how religious the society and the capability of the society to fulfill individual needs.

Inglehart-Welzel Cultural Map

The Inglehart-Welzel Cultural Map

Cultural Values Defined by the Capability To Fulfill Individual Needs.

The horizontal scale of the cultural map defines the basic capability of a given society to provide for itself in terms of meeting individual survival needs to meeting individual self-expression needs. If the culture experiences frequent Government upheavals and has limited means, cultural values are focused on values such as security, stability, and strong work ethic. If the society is wealthy, then cultural values are focused on values that promote social needs and self-expression. This can include clubs, organized religion, competitive activities, and creative activities such as art or even things like video games.

Cultural Values Defined by How Religious Is the Society.

The vertical scale of the cultural map defines how religious is a given society. Is the society rooted in traditional, religious values or is it focused on secular values? If a society is rooted in religious values, it is focused more on spiritual things such as love, truth, goodness, and righteousness. If the society’s cultural values are focused on secular values, then it is more focused on material things such as wealth, individual rights, consumption, individual pleasures, and self-love.

Our Relationship With God Shapes Our Values.

From a Christian perspective, it is a significant conclusion that many cultural values are influenced by the degree that a society is religious and their belief in God (or lack of belief in God). Our values and beliefs are either with Him (obedient) or against Him (disobedient). If we are with Him, He gives us the ability to aspire to Godly values such as love, truth, goodness, and righteousness. If we walk the way of the world and are influenced by powers that are not of God, we focus on material things and our souls are far from God. Ephesians 2:2 advises us of how walking the course of the world leads us far from God.

Ephesians 2:2, “Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:”

More on How Cultural Values are Defined By Society’s Capabilities and It’s Religious Views: AMERICAN VALUES ARE NOT NECESSARILY CHRISTIAN VALUES