ISF Logo   IS Forum
Forum Index Register Members List Events Mark Forums Read Help

Go Back   International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » Social Issues & Current Events
 


Welcome to the International Skeptics Forum, where we discuss skepticism, critical thinking, the paranormal and science in a friendly but lively way. You are currently viewing the forum as a guest, which means you are missing out on discussing matters that are of interest to you. Please consider registering so you can gain full use of the forum features and interact with other Members. Registration is simple, fast and free! Click here to register today.
Reply
Old 11th July 2017, 04:26 PM   #521
bruto
Penultimate Amazing
 
bruto's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Way way north of Diddy Wah Diddy
Posts: 24,282
Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
I give a flying leap because I think it is some of the most interesting questions about what they did
I think it's interesting in one sense, as an exercise in understanding human nature, but irrelevant in another sense to history or to how we should treat their enterprise in retrospect. It's always of some interest to try to understand how people come to the ideas they come to and why they do what they do. But at the same time, from the point of view of how we, today, should view their motivations, including their delusions and errors, I don't think we need to base our actions on that. This thread is, after all, about how a monument to the Confederacy should be handled in the Union of today - a public monument to the Confederate cause and not a private one to the complexity of individuals' nature. It's clear that many Southerners were convinced of the rightness of their cause, just as it's clear that many thought that God loved the way they flayed and raped their human property, and while that makes an interesting byway of sociology and psychology, when it comes to history, it's just over. If they're our great great grandparents, we can love or hate them, understand their complexities and contradictions, learn from them even. But if they're the South as an entity, the South did wrong and lost. The monuments can be packed in a cellar.
__________________
I love this world, but not for its answers. (Mary Oliver)

Quand il dit "cuic" le moineau croit tout dire. (When he's tweeted the sparrow thinks he's said it all. (Jules Renard)
bruto is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 11th July 2017, 04:27 PM   #522
quadraginta
Becoming Beth
 
quadraginta's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Central Vale of Humility
Posts: 23,766
Originally Posted by Border Reiver View Post
<snip>

As for the idea that the American Revolution could be looked at as a civil war, it was for the most part by both Americans and by the British - hence the large numbers of refugees post conflict that left for parts British, and the rather poor treatment often meted out to those who couldn't or wouldn't leave. It was also one of the reasons why the dispatching of German mercenaries to fight in the Americas was seen very negatively - your own soldiers might balk at going against their fellow Englishmen, but foreigners, they might be asked to do anything and without the commonality of blood, whose to say they won't do it.

It bears noting that out of the roughly 30,000 German mercenaries employed by the British in the Revolutionary War, almost a third of the survivors chose to stay. They comprised the new country's first large wave of immigrants to be prejudiced against.
__________________
"A great deal of intelligence can be invested in ignorance when the need for illusion is deep."

"Ninety percent of the politicians give the other ten percent a bad reputation."
quadraginta is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 11th July 2017, 06:25 PM   #523
Roboramma
Penultimate Amazing
 
Roboramma's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Shanghai
Posts: 12,642
Originally Posted by CaptainHowdy View Post
There's a world of difference between the institution of racial slavery during peacetime and the type of slavery practiced by the Nazis, and the Allies, during World War 2. The 20th century enslavement of the local population by an invading army during wartime cannot be used to predict what would have happened to slavery in the United States absent the Civil War.
It's a little strange to use WWII to explain the Gulag, which started in 1930.
__________________
"... when people thought the Earth was flat, they were wrong. When people thought the Earth was spherical they were wrong. But if you think that thinking the Earth is spherical is just as wrong as thinking the Earth is flat, then your view is wronger than both of them put together."
Isaac Asimov
Roboramma is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 12th July 2017, 05:10 AM   #524
kookbreaker
Evil Fokker
 
kookbreaker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 12,155
Originally Posted by quadraginta View Post
It bears noting that out of the roughly 30,000 German mercenaries employed by the British in the Revolutionary War, almost a third of the survivors chose to stay. They comprised the new country's first large wave of immigrants to be prejudiced against.
Germans had been coming to America for decades by this point. The Quakers had made it a point to invite them to fill in empty lands in Pennsylvania.

The number of German soldiers that remained is actually around 6,000, and a number of them went to Canada.
__________________
www.spectrum-scientifics.com <- My store of science toys, instruments and general fun!

Thanks for helping me win Best Toys in Philly Voter in 2011,2012, and 2014! We won' be discussing the disappointment that was 2013.
kookbreaker is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 12th July 2017, 05:28 AM   #525
Craig B
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 22,648
Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
It's a little strange to use WWII to explain the Gulag, which started in 1930.
Thr link refers to Labour by German prisoners of war, during and after WW2. In what way this is relevant to Southern chattel slavery is unclear to me.
Craig B is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 12th July 2017, 05:48 AM   #526
Upchurch
Papa Funkosophy
 
Upchurch's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: St. Louis, MO
Posts: 31,609
Originally Posted by Craig B View Post
Thr link refers to Labour by German prisoners of war, during and after WW2. In what way this is relevant to Southern chattel slavery is unclear to me.
Only relevant in that it was labor without pay. The analogy breaks down in every other possible respect.
__________________
"There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact." -- Sherlock Holmes.
"Itís easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled." -- Mark Twain, maybe.
Upchurch is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 12th July 2017, 06:50 AM   #527
quadraginta
Becoming Beth
 
quadraginta's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Central Vale of Humility
Posts: 23,766
Originally Posted by kookbreaker View Post
Germans had been coming to America for decades by this point. The Quakers had made it a point to invite them to fill in empty lands in Pennsylvania.

The number of German soldiers that remained is actually around 6,000, and a number of them went to Canada.

And that was around a third of the ones who survived the war. As I said.

Yes. There had already been Germans settling, but not thousands all at once.

And not as ex-POWs.
__________________
"A great deal of intelligence can be invested in ignorance when the need for illusion is deep."

"Ninety percent of the politicians give the other ten percent a bad reputation."
quadraginta is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 12th July 2017, 07:50 AM   #528
luchog
Neo-Post-Retro-Revivalist
 
luchog's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: The Emerald City
Posts: 15,736
Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
It's a little strange to use WWII to explain the Gulag, which started in 1930.

The Gulags were effectively a replacement for the oppressive feudal system that the Bolsheviks had replaced mere decades earlier. While technically the serfdom system had been eliminated more than a half-century earlier, the lot of the peasants was little changed, and the majority existed a state somewhere between serf and indentured servant. Their lives were not notably improved, which provided the impetus for the 1905 and 1917 revolutions.

The Gulags were force-labour camps staffed primarily with political prisoners, read: anyone who opposed the communist regime in any way. Their use expanded rapidly to effectively encompass a sort of new serfdom.
__________________
"All opinions are not equal. Some are a very great deal more robust, sophisticated and well supported in logic and argument than others." -- Douglas Adams
"The absence of evidence might indeed not be evidence of absence, but it's a pretty good start." -- PhantomWolf
"Let's see the buggers figure that one out." - John Lennon

Last edited by luchog; 12th July 2017 at 07:52 AM.
luchog is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 12th July 2017, 11:39 AM   #529
Upchurch
Papa Funkosophy
 
Upchurch's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: St. Louis, MO
Posts: 31,609
Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
I give a flying leap because I think it is some of the most interesting questions about what they did
Who? The colonies during the Revolutionary War or the South during the Civil War?

If the Revolutionary War, okay. Great. Start a new thread about that.

If the Civil War, there have been several primary source documents already presented in this thread describing exactly why they did what they did.
__________________
"There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact." -- Sherlock Holmes.
"Itís easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled." -- Mark Twain, maybe.
Upchurch is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 12th July 2017, 11:53 AM   #530
Craig B
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 22,648
Originally Posted by luchog View Post
The Gulags were force-labour camps staffed primarily with political prisoners ...
In fact that's not true. Most inmates were non politicals who had infringed one or other of the many repressive laws regulating employment, like punishment for arriving late at work; or involved people who had fallen foul of the complex residency and identity document rules. See GulagWP. Incarceration affected many ordinary people with no political interests or involvements at all.
Most Gulag inmates were not political prisoners, although significant numbers of political prisoners could be found in the camps at any one time.
Craig B is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 12th July 2017, 05:17 PM   #531
Emily's Cat
Rarely prone to hissy-fits
 
Emily's Cat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Pacific Northwet
Posts: 10,090
Originally Posted by Upchurch View Post
Baloney. There were plenty of people who viewed it as unethical and unacceptable then, too. Before then, as well.

While I agree that there are few, if any, moral absolutes, we cannot dismiss every morally heinous act by people as them merely being automatons guided by the society of the time. It especially falls down when the particular aspect of society isn't monolithic. It isn't like the idea of not treating people like sub-human property was completely alien to the people of the time.
What constitutes a morally heinous act changes over time. For a very long time, homosexuality was viewed as morally heinous. Things that you and I see as morally heinous now were not universally viewed as morally heinous in the past. Morality is defined by society, and as society changes, so does morality.

It is no longer taboo for a woman to show her ankles. It is now taboo for a husband to force his wife to have sex with him. It is now taboo to treat women as possessions.

The early 1800s were a time of change. The view of morality was changing. It hadn't fully taken hold - just as current views around abortion aren't solidified and are still a topic of significant moral debate.

If the anti-abortionist were to ultimately win out, would it make sense to look back at you and I and decry how heinous our morality is, simply because we do not believe that a fetus merits the status and rights of a viable human? History is written by the winners, and those winners enforce their view of morality on the narrative. Your view of morality, as well as mine, is formed by what we've been told and how we've been taught. Of course we think we're right and righteous - that is what we have been taught our whole lives. That is what our society in our time has deemed as acceptable moral behavior. That doesn't make the actions of another person in another time immoral by the standards of that time... it is only unquestionably immoral when viewed through the lens of the winner's story.
__________________
I am me. I am just me. I'm a little like other cats... but mostly I am just me.
Emily's Cat is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 12th July 2017, 05:21 PM   #532
Emily's Cat
Rarely prone to hissy-fits
 
Emily's Cat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Pacific Northwet
Posts: 10,090
Originally Posted by quadraginta View Post
That you can make that assertion reveals some serious gaps in your knowledge of the history of other slave owning countries of the time.

The demise of the plantation systems based on chattel slavery caused huge upheavals and strife in every country where it was practiced.

It could be argued that some of them are still recovering.
This seems to be supporting my argument.
__________________
I am me. I am just me. I'm a little like other cats... but mostly I am just me.
Emily's Cat is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 12th July 2017, 05:43 PM   #533
Craig B
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 22,648
Originally Posted by Emily's Cat View Post
Your view of morality, as well as mine, is formed by what we've been told and how we've been taught. Of course we think we're right and righteous - that is what we have been taught our whole lives. That is what our society in our time has deemed as acceptable moral behavior. That doesn't make the actions of another person in another time immoral by the standards of that time... it is only unquestionably immoral when viewed through the lens of the winner's story.
I can't imagine that you're telling us that slavery would have been morally justified if the South had won, and that only the Northern victory made it immoral. As you are well aware, the institution of slavery was under severe moral attack by 1860, and the response of the South was to defend it with all its might. Plenty of people were by that time morally opposed to slavery. Were they right or wrong? Is the treatment of people as commodities only immoral because the winners said so?

Then if Hitler had won the war, genocide would have been morally justified, but alas for him the Allies were victorious, and only because we see the issue through the lens of the winners' story can we say that the Holocaust was unquestionably immoral? Does that make sense to you?
Craig B is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 12th July 2017, 05:57 PM   #534
JoeMorgue
Self Employed
Remittance Man
 
JoeMorgue's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Florida
Posts: 19,425
And again I ask if slavery "wasn't seen as a big deal" why did the South take such extreme measures to protect it?

Maybe I'm me but I don't see forming a new country, committing treason, and fighting one of the bloodiest wars in history against a far superior foe over something I only thought there was a chance would go away.

And this whole moral relativism "It's only bad because we decided its bad" thing still rings hollow and sort of icky to me.

So what if the South had won the war and enshrined slavery as a more concrete social idea? Would that make it good?

Cultural views have a huge influence on what is considered moral but somethings are just provably harmful and bad for a society. Not everything can be shrugged away with a "Well that was just the opinion at the time" thought terminating cliche.

And as noted can we stop it with this B.S revisionist mythology that slavery was still widely accepted in the 1850s? It was accepted in the American south, sorta of tolerated in America in general and... that's about it. It was gone or one its way out pretty much everywhere else and all of those other countries managed that without splitting in two and fighting a war over it.

The idea that "slavery was a bad thing" wasn't some crazy newfangled idea.
__________________
- "Ernest Hemingway once wrote that the world is a fine place and worth fighting for. I agree with the second part." - Detective Sommerset
- "Stupidity does not cancel out stupidity to yield genius. It breeds like a bucket-full of coked out hamsters." - The Oatmeal
- "To the best of my knowledge the only thing philosophy has ever proven is that Descartes could think." - SMBC

Last edited by JoeMorgue; 12th July 2017 at 06:01 PM.
JoeMorgue is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 12th July 2017, 06:02 PM   #535
quadraginta
Becoming Beth
 
quadraginta's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Central Vale of Humility
Posts: 23,766
Originally Posted by Emily's Cat View Post
This seems to be supporting my argument.

Not sure how you came up with that.

How many impossible things can you believe before breakfast?
__________________
"A great deal of intelligence can be invested in ignorance when the need for illusion is deep."

"Ninety percent of the politicians give the other ten percent a bad reputation."
quadraginta is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 12th July 2017, 06:42 PM   #536
Upchurch
Papa Funkosophy
 
Upchurch's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: St. Louis, MO
Posts: 31,609
Originally Posted by Emily's Cat View Post
What constitutes a morally heinous act changes over time.

[Snip]
What is it with people not addressing what I post? Was I being too obsecure with the talk of automatons and non-monolithic societies?
__________________
"There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact." -- Sherlock Holmes.
"Itís easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled." -- Mark Twain, maybe.
Upchurch is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 12th July 2017, 08:16 PM   #537
bruto
Penultimate Amazing
 
bruto's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Way way north of Diddy Wah Diddy
Posts: 24,282
I must say it seems tiresome after a while to hear the old clichť that the winners write the history. It's not actually the case. Often the losers do, and we would not be pages into this thread if that were not the case.

But what's under discussion here is, as I recall, not history but monuments. The losers get to write their own version of history, but what they don't get to do is adorn our public spaces with it. The winners get to choose the monuments.

Maybe the winners also determine the morality of the day, but there it is. It's one of the other privileges of winning. How else would one have it? There would have been no war if there had not already been a moral controversy over slavery. The abolition of slavery is not just a postwar invention. It's a victory.
__________________
I love this world, but not for its answers. (Mary Oliver)

Quand il dit "cuic" le moineau croit tout dire. (When he's tweeted the sparrow thinks he's said it all. (Jules Renard)
bruto is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 12th July 2017, 11:53 PM   #538
Roboramma
Penultimate Amazing
 
Roboramma's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Shanghai
Posts: 12,642
Originally Posted by Emily's Cat View Post
What constitutes a morally heinous act changes over time.
No. What people recognize as a morally heinous act changes over time, but the act itself is wrong whether people recognise it as such or not. Did the slaves not suffer because their masters thought they were right to enslave them?

Quote:
Morality is defined by society, and as society changes, so does morality.
If morality is defined by society then there is no reason why I should care about it one way or the other. If the difference between right and wrong is just "people say you should do this and not that" and nothing inherent in the acts themselves, then I'm sorry but I don't care about what society believes is right and wrong.

Moreover according to your view there can be no discussion about morality: once society has a particular moral viewpoint, how can it change? The question of whether or not slavery is wrong isn't (according to you) anything about slavery, but rather about the views of the people in society. If people think it's okay, then it is, and any argument suggesting that it's wrong requires only the reply "society has decided that it's right, therefore it's right".

I don't think this is how your or anyone actually views morality.
__________________
"... when people thought the Earth was flat, they were wrong. When people thought the Earth was spherical they were wrong. But if you think that thinking the Earth is spherical is just as wrong as thinking the Earth is flat, then your view is wronger than both of them put together."
Isaac Asimov
Roboramma is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 13th July 2017, 03:11 AM   #539
ponderingturtle
Orthogonal Vector
 
ponderingturtle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 47,132
Originally Posted by JoeBentley View Post
And again I ask if slavery "wasn't seen as a big deal" why did the South take such extreme measures to protect it?

Maybe I'm me but I don't see forming a new country, committing treason, and fighting one of the bloodiest wars in history against a far superior foe over something I only thought there was a chance would go away.

And this whole moral relativism "It's only bad because we decided its bad" thing still rings hollow and sort of icky to me.

So what if the South had won the war and enshrined slavery as a more concrete social idea? Would that make it good?
Of course that is clear, just read all the primary sources that knew that slavery was a positive good. I mean just look at Robert E Lee. He knew it was a very necessary process to civilize the blacks. As such it was a fundamental moral good.
__________________
Sufficiently advanced Woo is indistinguishable from Parody
"There shall be no *poofing* in science" Paul C. Anagnostopoulos
Force ***** on reasons back" Ben Franklin
ponderingturtle is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 13th July 2017, 03:28 AM   #540
Ian Osborne
JREF Kid
Tagger
 
Ian Osborne's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 7,946
Originally Posted by ponderingturtle View Post
As such it was a fundamental moral good.
He also wrote, "slavery as an institution, is a moral and political evil in any country." The tide was turning, even in the south, but it was taking longer due to their economy being more reliant on slavery.
__________________
"Faith without doubt leads to moral arrogance, the eternal pratfall of the religiously convinced" - Joe Klein, Time magazine

"The fact that some geniuses were laughed at does not imply that all who are laughed at are geniuses. They laughed at Columbus, they laughed at Fulton, they laughed at the Wright brothers. But they also laughed at Bozo the Clown." - Carl Sagan
Ian Osborne is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 13th July 2017, 03:31 AM   #541
Upchurch
Papa Funkosophy
 
Upchurch's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: St. Louis, MO
Posts: 31,609
Originally Posted by Ian Osborne View Post
He also wrote, "slavery as an institution, is a moral and political evil in any country." The tide was turning, even in the south, but it was taking longer due to their economy being more reliant on slavery.
Source?
__________________
"There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact." -- Sherlock Holmes.
"Itís easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled." -- Mark Twain, maybe.
Upchurch is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 13th July 2017, 03:41 AM   #542
ponderingturtle
Orthogonal Vector
 
ponderingturtle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 47,132
Originally Posted by Ian Osborne View Post
He also wrote, "slavery as an institution, is a moral and political evil in any country." The tide was turning, even in the south, but it was taking longer due to their economy being more reliant on slavery.
That was in the same letter he praised it as necessary to civilize the blacks.

See the full quote.

" that slavery as an institution, is a moral & political evil in any Country. It is useless to expatiate on its disadvantages. I think it however a greater evil to the white man than to the black race, & while my feelings are strongly enlisted in behalf of the latter, my sympathies are more strong for the former. The blacks are immeasurably better off here than in Africa, morally, socially & physically. The painful discipline they are undergoing, is necessary for their instruction as a race, & I hope will prepare & lead them to better things."

So calling it evil is rather like saying that killing someone in self defense is evil. Killing someone is always an evil act but in the context it is a nessacary evil for the greater moral good.

No one ever puts that quote in context.

http://fair-use.org/robert-e-lee/let...ife-on-slavery

Also see https://www.theatlantic.com/national...itution/61428/

All in all he seems to have taken a much sterner and harsher hand with his slaves than was traditional in the Custis-Washington household.
__________________
Sufficiently advanced Woo is indistinguishable from Parody
"There shall be no *poofing* in science" Paul C. Anagnostopoulos
Force ***** on reasons back" Ben Franklin
ponderingturtle is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 13th July 2017, 03:55 AM   #543
Ian Osborne
JREF Kid
Tagger
 
Ian Osborne's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 7,946
Originally Posted by Upchurch View Post
Source?
The quote in the letter I referred to for starters. There's a little more here.
__________________
"Faith without doubt leads to moral arrogance, the eternal pratfall of the religiously convinced" - Joe Klein, Time magazine

"The fact that some geniuses were laughed at does not imply that all who are laughed at are geniuses. They laughed at Columbus, they laughed at Fulton, they laughed at the Wright brothers. But they also laughed at Bozo the Clown." - Carl Sagan
Ian Osborne is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 13th July 2017, 05:10 AM   #544
ponderingturtle
Orthogonal Vector
 
ponderingturtle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 47,132
Originally Posted by Ian Osborne View Post
The quote in the letter I referred to for starters. There's a little more here.
The letter doesn't say what you think it does. See my link to the actual letter to put that quote in context. People have spent 150 years trying to whitewash Lee's view of slavery.
__________________
Sufficiently advanced Woo is indistinguishable from Parody
"There shall be no *poofing* in science" Paul C. Anagnostopoulos
Force ***** on reasons back" Ben Franklin
ponderingturtle is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 13th July 2017, 07:06 AM   #545
Ian Osborne
JREF Kid
Tagger
 
Ian Osborne's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 7,946
Originally Posted by ponderingturtle View Post
The letter doesn't say what you think it does. See my link to the actual letter to put that quote in context. People have spent 150 years trying to whitewash Lee's view of slavery.
I've read the letter, and I'm aware that Lee thought (in common with far too many of his era) that slavery was a necessary step in civilising the Africans. The point is he also considered "slavery as an institution, is a moral and political evil in any country", and regarded it as a temporary situation.
__________________
"Faith without doubt leads to moral arrogance, the eternal pratfall of the religiously convinced" - Joe Klein, Time magazine

"The fact that some geniuses were laughed at does not imply that all who are laughed at are geniuses. They laughed at Columbus, they laughed at Fulton, they laughed at the Wright brothers. But they also laughed at Bozo the Clown." - Carl Sagan
Ian Osborne is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 13th July 2017, 07:09 AM   #546
ponderingturtle
Orthogonal Vector
 
ponderingturtle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 47,132
Originally Posted by Ian Osborne View Post
I've read the letter, and I'm aware that Lee thought (in common with far too many of his era) that slavery was a necessary step in civilising the Africans. The point is he also considered "slavery as an institution, is a moral and political evil in any country", and regarded it as a temporary situation.
And that white people were the true victims of slavery. He still was fine with making sure his slaves got a serious whipping when they tried to run away.

Of course blacks would need many generations more slavery to civilize them. That is why it was imperative to preserve the institution of slavery for many more generations.
__________________
Sufficiently advanced Woo is indistinguishable from Parody
"There shall be no *poofing* in science" Paul C. Anagnostopoulos
Force ***** on reasons back" Ben Franklin
ponderingturtle is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 13th July 2017, 07:26 AM   #547
Giordano
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 15,676
"It's for your own good! And it will probably require keeping you, your children, and your grandchildren as slaves until you all are properly civilized- like us. And there is nothing more civilizing than back-breaking work, rape, and selling off of family members. So what is the problem?"
Giordano is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 13th July 2017, 08:59 AM   #548
quadraginta
Becoming Beth
 
quadraginta's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Central Vale of Humility
Posts: 23,766
Originally Posted by ponderingturtle View Post
And that white people were the true victims of slavery. He still was fine with making sure his slaves got a serious whipping when they tried to run away.

Of course blacks would need many generations more slavery to civilize them. That is why it was imperative to preserve the institution of slavery for many more generations.

Not to mention that breeding more slaves was also a pretty respectable source of income for the large plantation owners.

The number of blacks held in chattel slavery went up at a faster rate after it became illegal to ship them over from Africa than it did before they stopped.

It was an agricultural enterprise all of its own. Like raising cattle. Only more profitable.
__________________
"A great deal of intelligence can be invested in ignorance when the need for illusion is deep."

"Ninety percent of the politicians give the other ten percent a bad reputation."
quadraginta is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 13th July 2017, 09:16 AM   #549
pgwenthold
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Posts: 18,177
Originally Posted by Ian Osborne View Post
I've read the letter, and I'm aware that Lee thought (in common with far too many of his era) that slavery was a necessary step in civilising the Africans. The point is he also considered "slavery as an institution, is a moral and political evil in any country", and regarded it as a temporary situation.
It sounds to me more like the child abuser, "This hurts me more than it hurts you! It's for your own good!"

And just to be clear, I don't accept that **** from child abusers, either.
__________________
"As your friend, I have to be honest with you: I don't care about you or your problems" - Chloe, Secret Life of Pets
pgwenthold is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 13th July 2017, 10:09 AM   #550
CaptainHowdy
Graduate Poster
 
CaptainHowdy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 1,272
Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
It's a little strange to use WWII to explain the Gulag, which started in 1930.
Or slavery in the Americas during the 1860s.
CaptainHowdy is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 13th July 2017, 10:18 AM   #551
kookbreaker
Evil Fokker
 
kookbreaker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 12,155
Originally Posted by pgwenthold View Post
It sounds to me more like the child abuser, "This hurts me more than it hurts you! It's for your own good!"

And just to be clear, I don't accept that **** from child abusers, either.
If you really want to hear infuriating self-pity, the diaries of slave ship captains and other workers fromt he 17th & 18th centuries are a real prize.

They constantly bemoan their fate as part of the slave trade, beggin for pity in their journals and articles, all while being the very spear-tip of the evil of human chattel.

So yeah, not much sympathy from me there.
__________________
www.spectrum-scientifics.com <- My store of science toys, instruments and general fun!

Thanks for helping me win Best Toys in Philly Voter in 2011,2012, and 2014! We won' be discussing the disappointment that was 2013.
kookbreaker is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 13th July 2017, 12:34 PM   #552
Upchurch
Papa Funkosophy
 
Upchurch's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: St. Louis, MO
Posts: 31,609
Originally Posted by CaptainHowdy View Post
Or slavery in the Americas during the 1860s.
The Gulag pre-existed WWII. It is logically impossible to say that WWII had a causal relationship for the Gulag.

Slavery in the Americas pre-existed 1860 by a lot. It is not logically impossible to say that slavery had a causal relationship for the Civil War.
__________________
"There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact." -- Sherlock Holmes.
"Itís easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled." -- Mark Twain, maybe.
Upchurch is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 13th July 2017, 03:11 PM   #553
Craig B
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 22,648
Originally Posted by Upchurch View Post
The Gulag pre-existed WWII. It is logically impossible to say that WWII had a causal relationship for the Gulag.

Slavery in the Americas pre-existed 1860 by a lot. It is not logically impossible to say that slavery had a causal relationship for the Civil War.
True enough. Hitler did not go to war with the USSR because he objected in principle to the existence of Labour camps.
Craig B is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 13th July 2017, 03:27 PM   #554
TragicMonkey
Poisoned Waffles
 
TragicMonkey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Monkey
Posts: 50,198
Originally Posted by Upchurch View Post
The Gulag pre-existed WWII. It is logically impossible to say that WWII had a causal relationship for the Gulag.
You're behind the times. Literally! Didn't you hear about retrocausality? Apparently some physicists just did a paper suggesting that the reason quantum mechanics works is because future events can cause effects in the past. I'm not even making that up.
__________________
You added nothing to that conversation, Barbara.
TragicMonkey is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 13th July 2017, 03:55 PM   #555
Emily's Cat
Rarely prone to hissy-fits
 
Emily's Cat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Pacific Northwet
Posts: 10,090
Originally Posted by Craig B View Post
I can't imagine that you're telling us that slavery would have been morally justified if the South had won, and that only the Northern victory made it immoral. As you are well aware, the institution of slavery was under severe moral attack by 1860, and the response of the South was to defend it with all its might. Plenty of people were by that time morally opposed to slavery. Were they right or wrong? Is the treatment of people as commodities only immoral because the winners said so?

Then if Hitler had won the war, genocide would have been morally justified, but alas for him the Allies were victorious, and only because we see the issue through the lens of the winners' story can we say that the Holocaust was unquestionably immoral? Does that make sense to you?
Unless you ascribe to the idea of an objective morality, then yes. That is what I'm saying.

Morality is defined by the society of the time. There may be disagreement between societies across the globe, but morality is still socially defined.
__________________
I am me. I am just me. I'm a little like other cats... but mostly I am just me.
Emily's Cat is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 13th July 2017, 04:02 PM   #556
Emily's Cat
Rarely prone to hissy-fits
 
Emily's Cat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Pacific Northwet
Posts: 10,090
Originally Posted by quadraginta View Post
Not sure how you came up with that.

How many impossible things can you believe before breakfast?
Originally Posted by Emily's Cat View Post
Most of the other countries that had slavery during that era weren't dependent on slavery. Slavery, and slave trading, weren't integral elements of their economy. So getting rid of slavery didn't have as much impact. It's fairly straightforward to acknowledge the essential humanity of the darker-skinned person across from you when doing so doesn't threaten you with poverty. When that admission will result in your economy, your income, and your financial security all being at severe risk... it's a little bit harder to address.

At heart we're all tribal. We're great about giving lip-service to how all humans are equal, and how all lives are equal... until it comes right down to it. I like you guys, but you're random people on the internet. I can guarantee that if there's ever a forced choice between you and my family or close friends, I'll let you die every time. I won't go out of my way to kill you... but if I have to choose between saving my spouse and killing you, well I hope you believe in an afterlife.
For most of the other countries that had slavery at that era, the country at that time didn't depend on plantation slavery. England didn't depend on the plantation slavery of it's Caribbean colonies. Those colonies depended on it, but they weren't independent. Same goes for France and a handful of others (Denmark?).

The areas that abolished slavery quickest were exactly those that didn't economically depend on slavery - they did not have plantation systems in place. Those that abolished slavery last were those with plantation systems, and yes - they were bloody and economically disastrous. And yes, those areas are still recovering - as is the south of the US.

So it seems to me that your statement supports the point I was making:
Originally Posted by quadraginta View Post
The demise of the plantation systems based on chattel slavery caused huge upheavals and strife in every country where it was practiced.
__________________
I am me. I am just me. I'm a little like other cats... but mostly I am just me.
Emily's Cat is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 13th July 2017, 04:13 PM   #557
Emily's Cat
Rarely prone to hissy-fits
 
Emily's Cat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Pacific Northwet
Posts: 10,090
Originally Posted by Upchurch View Post
What is it with people not addressing what I post? Was I being too obsecure with the talk of automatons and non-monolithic societies?
I dunno - what is it with you not reading the part of my post that references exactly that? Was it just too long a WoT for you to make it through?

Originally Posted by Emily's Cat View Post
The early 1800s were a time of change. The view of morality was changing. It hadn't fully taken hold - just as current views around abortion aren't solidified and are still a topic of significant moral debate.
__________________
I am me. I am just me. I'm a little like other cats... but mostly I am just me.
Emily's Cat is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 13th July 2017, 04:14 PM   #558
Emily's Cat
Rarely prone to hissy-fits
 
Emily's Cat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Pacific Northwet
Posts: 10,090
Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
No. What people recognize as a morally heinous act changes over time, but the act itself is wrong whether people recognise it as such or not. Did the slaves not suffer because their masters thought they were right to enslave them?

If morality is defined by society then there is no reason why I should care about it one way or the other. If the difference between right and wrong is just "people say you should do this and not that" and nothing inherent in the acts themselves, then I'm sorry but I don't care about what society believes is right and wrong.

Moreover according to your view there can be no discussion about morality: once society has a particular moral viewpoint, how can it change? The question of whether or not slavery is wrong isn't (according to you) anything about slavery, but rather about the views of the people in society. If people think it's okay, then it is, and any argument suggesting that it's wrong requires only the reply "society has decided that it's right, therefore it's right".

I don't think this is how your or anyone actually views morality.
Unless you believe in an external and objective arbiter of morality, then yes - that's exactly how morality works.
__________________
I am me. I am just me. I'm a little like other cats... but mostly I am just me.
Emily's Cat is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 13th July 2017, 04:26 PM   #559
Upchurch
Papa Funkosophy
 
Upchurch's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: St. Louis, MO
Posts: 31,609
Originally Posted by Emily's Cat View Post
I dunno - what is it with you not reading the part of my post that references exactly that? Was it just too long a WoT for you to make it through?
No, see, the post you were (not) responding to acknowledged moral relativism right off the bat and then proceeded to explain how that doesn't fly. But, you ignored what I said and plowed on with the moral relativism argument.

So ...yeah
__________________
"There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact." -- Sherlock Holmes.
"Itís easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled." -- Mark Twain, maybe.
Upchurch is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 13th July 2017, 08:18 PM   #560
Roboramma
Penultimate Amazing
 
Roboramma's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Shanghai
Posts: 12,642
Originally Posted by Emily's Cat View Post
Unless you believe in an external and objective arbiter of morality, then yes - that's exactly how morality works.
So why do you care about it?
__________________
"... when people thought the Earth was flat, they were wrong. When people thought the Earth was spherical they were wrong. But if you think that thinking the Earth is spherical is just as wrong as thinking the Earth is flat, then your view is wronger than both of them put together."
Isaac Asimov
Roboramma is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Reply

International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » Social Issues & Current Events

Bookmarks

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 11:25 AM.
Powered by vBulletin. Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

This forum began as part of the James Randi Education Foundation (JREF). However, the forum now exists as
an independent entity with no affiliation with or endorsement by the JREF, including the section in reference to "JREF" topics.

Disclaimer: Messages posted in the Forum are solely the opinion of their authors.