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Started by Valamir, September 23, 2004, 03:58:04 PM
QuoteI object to the worst elements of history being portrayed as moral,
Quote from: ValamirQuoteI object to the worst elements of history being portrayed as moral,There is no such thing as a moral or immoral historical event. Morality of a historical event can not be gauged at all outside of the context of its own time, and should not be gauged without reference to the context of the practitioners themselves.
QuoteMorality, like all of history, is defined as what the biggest ass kickers say it is. We all have ideas of what is moral and what is immoral, but those are nothing more than the sum total of historical precedent as interpreted by the current power base.
QuoteIn our own lifetimes we are witnessing a dramatic shift in morality. In prior times homosexuality was viewed as an abhorrant thing on par with any villainy you care to name. Today, we are in the midst of a transition that is in the process of negating it as social stigma all together.
QuoteDoes that make us more moral than prior generations? What happens when in 200 years morality shifts again to something else. Will that make them more moral than us? The concept is a catch 22. You can never define what morality is because morality has never been static.
QuoteYou can only define what particular groups at a particular time thought was moral relative to other groups of that time and judge them in that context...a context in which, like most of history...is written by the winner.
QuoteConsider a history where the Nazi's won WWII and the U.S. entered into an extended period of appeasement. Without the cold war it is unlikely that the anger of much of the Middle East would today be directed against us. It is equally likely that various groups of Americans would be engageing in various forms of armed resistance against the puppet government. When these resistance groups blow up Nazi federal buildings and drive car bombs into Gestapo headquarters are they terrorists or heroic freedom fighters?
QuoteDo you think the average American opinion on the acceptability of terror tactics as a way to deliver a political message would differ dramatically from the average American opinion today? Of course. Because the morality would be different...because the historical experience which morality is based on would be different. Is one more moral than the other? Rubbish.
QuoteTrying to apply current modern sensibilities to historical periods is IMO entirely futile and completely unnecessary and inappropriate.
QuoteIf morality exists, systematic slaughter of populations for the crime of existence is certainly contrary to it.
QuoteBut playing pre-modern thinkers in a pre-modern setting is difficult for people who live their lives in a modern or post-modern world. I see this in my classmates all the time, too -- Christianity is a pre-modern religion at its core, and few of even the radical orthodox thinkers can effectively take on the mindset -- argue from the mindset, yes; take on the mindset, no.
QuoteYes, well, actually I've never really bought the idea that there has been all that much of a shift. All you need to do, at base, is to identify some structure or set of ideas as known fact, worth defending to your utmost. And then you spread it out in a communal way, so that the whole society, or a big block of it, feels just the same way about the same things. Welcome to the pre-modern mindset. Ta-da!
Quote from: Mark D. EddyNope. Welcome to post-modern communalism. The pre-modern mindset starts with the community and it's ideas and structures. What is worth defending to your utmost is "us," the community. The whole society is the people who you have known either all your life or all theirs. There is Truth, and everyone knows that it's there, but most people don't really care. They've been trying to keep alive through substinance farming.