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Thus, indicators of aggression may vary. In the Middle East, for example, a direct refusal is considered a hostile gesture.But in other cultures, raising an objection is customary and well accepted.
One possibility is that the participants use the same vocabulary but define and use these key terms differently.
For example, the word "honor" might mean martial excellence to one party and economic success to the other. But it is also possible that the groups simply rely on radically different vocabularies that stress the importance of different values.
Protracted conflict sometimes results from a clash between differing world-views.
One group's most fundamental and cherished assumptions about the best way to live may differ radically from the values held by another group. Parties may have different standards of rightness and goodness and give fundamentally different answers to serious moral questions. When groups have different ideas about the good life, they often stress the importance of different things, and may develop radically different or incompatible goals. Because values and morals tend to be quite stable, people are often unwilling to negotiate or compromise with respect to these topics.
In many cases, culture has a powerful influence on the moral order.
Because systems of meaning and ways of thinking differ from one culture to another, people from different cultures typically develop different ideas about morality and the best way to live.For example, the terms "conflict," "aggression," "peace," "time," and "negotiation" are not value-free.They carry judgments with them and may be used differently in different cultures. Aggression, usually defined as intentionally hurting another person, is a reflection of norms of conduct, and what hurts in one society may not be what hurts in another society.Social reality also dictates what counts as appropriate action and sets boundaries on what people are able to do. It even affects the way in which emotions are labeled, understood, and acted upon.Thus, an individual's beliefs, sayings, and actions must be understood within the context of a particular social world.If one party regards the key terms used by the other as unimportant, communication between them will be quite strained.All of this contributes to misunderstanding and makes it very difficult for participants to "articulate the logic of the other sides' social world in ways that the other side will accept." Further misunderstanding and erroneous perceptions may arise because groups often perceive, define, and deal with conflict in different ways. Because of differing cultural frames, many of the words used to describe appropriate behavior during conflict do not reflect the same content from one culture to another.For this reason, moral conflicts tend to be quite harmful and intractable.To further understand moral conflict and deal with it effectively, it is helpful to be aware of its common features.In some cases, one group may come to view the beliefs and actions of another group as fundamentally evil and morally intolerable.This often results in hostility and violence and severely damages the relationship between the two groups.