Appiah argues that people attach values to ideas that they believe to be true. By this I mean that people attach value to ideas (abstract or concrete) based on their cultural identity. To illustrate this cultural idea of value he uses witchcraft as an example. He first starts off explaining that “Asante beliefs about spirits and beliefs about witchcraft are extensive, complex, and interconnected”. His family has a belief that is peculiar to our culture, “Most of them believe in witchcraft”.
The majority of beliefs come from our family, our culture, and our upbringing. The Asante’s beliefs support the existence of witchcraft, whereas ours disagrees on this subject. Appiah then goes on to explain that both cultures would have a hard time seeing each other’s points of views because both of their cultures support their beliefs with what they believe is relevant information.
This value placed upon “witchcraft” is based on our own personal opinions on the subject (but is additionally swayed by the popular opinion of this subject in their own culture). The Asante place a high value upon witchcraft as it is what logically makes sense to them (i.e. if you make a sacrifice an ill person will get better as a result) based on their upbringing and culture. Americans however (even without absolute proof or knowledge on the subject) will insist on “viruses” as the cause of our illness. These two completely opposing theories are only similar in the means by which they were attained (through observation, and relevant information).