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The first general feature is the tendency for each side to misunderstand the words and actions of the other.People from incommensurate traditions may have trouble communicating because they rely on different systems of meaning, norms of communication, and behavioral expectations.Thus, indicators of aggression may vary. In the Middle East, for example, a direct refusal is considered a hostile gesture.
For example, sometimes people distinguish between moral orders built on rights and those built on virtues. Each one is associated with particular forms of society and ways of being human.
While a rights-based approach is associated with the Enlightenment and modernity, a virtues-based approach emerges from traditional society.
They often have different conceptions of moral authority, truth, and the nature of community. For example, some cultures place great moral emphasis on the family, while others stress the importance of individual autonomy.
These cultural differences become even more problematic when groups have radically different expectations about what is virtuous, what is right, and how to deal with moral conflicts. Thus, culture wars are often driven by moral conflict.
When modernists carry out acts regarded as obligatory or good within their own moral order, "these very acts offend traditionalists." Inter-racial or inter-religious marriages, for example, are seen by many as one outgrowth of inclusivity and tolerance.
The freedom to marry anyone is a "right." Traditionalists, however, would see it as evil -- harming their race or religion.
People from the same culture have more or less equivalent realities and mindsets.
Their values, assumptions, and procedures become part of "common sense" for them.
That is, the parties not only disagree about substantive moral issues, but also approach moral questions in a fundamentally different way.
For this reason, the abortion debate is a prime example of a moral conflict.