Anachronism: Victims and Pampered Children of History

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PG1995

Joined Apr 15, 2011
816
Hi :)

When I was a kid (and it wasn't many years ago!) I used to admire some personalities. That said, I still admire many individuals such as writers and my opinion hasn't changed about them. Particularly when it comes to political leaders I see all of them alike. They are all same to me. Circumstances just make some of them heroes and some of them villains. So, are we really justified to criticize the villains? I often imagine that what a particular popular historical figure would have done if he was switched with some presently derided figure. I understand that one nation's hero is another nation's villain. But I'm not looking at it through this lens. Some people (in the US, and I'm not from the US!) might think George Bush did things which damaged his country in certain ways. But if you ask me I won't blame him (at least my mind tells me so). Because in that time slot, circumstances, and prevalent opinion, anyone would have almost done the same.

The problem I'm facing also has secondary implications such as this leads me to believe there is no good and evil. Conditions, circumstances and time decide the degree of good and evil. If the destiny has it that you will do something which people would like and consider good, then you will do it.

I do not intend to make this discussion a political one. As a matter of fact I need your advice that how to judge a person.

Regards
PG
 
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Wendy

Joined Mar 24, 2008
22,138
Some of the most charismatic people I have met were pathological liars. Look at what the person actually does with their life, and try to see past what they say.

A very old expression comes to mind,

People believe what you do, not what you say.
 

Georacer

Joined Nov 25, 2009
5,182
This might sound over-simplifying things, but keep in the back of your mind that we 're nothing but a lump of atoms, bunched together by accident.

Don't give things more meaning than they deserve.
 

PatM

Joined Dec 31, 2010
86
Hi :)
<snip>
I do not intend to make this discussion a political one. As a matter of fact I need your advice that how to judge a person.

Regards
PG
I would judge a person by the way they treat others who may not be as prosperous or important as themselves.
Not trying to be political but Bush was well liked by Military and members of his security detail.
Some other politicians were only nice when they were on camera.
How you behave in private is more a more important way to judge a person than when they are in front of a microphone or TV camera.
 

JoeJester

Joined Apr 26, 2005
4,259
Martin Luther King Jr. had the right idea ... judging someone by the content of their character.

Judging someone superficially is never a good idea.
 

MrChips

Joined Oct 2, 2009
20,914
This is more a philosophical discussion rather than a political one. On the grand scale of things there is no right or wrong. However, we can still debate on whether some act is good or evil. In the animal kingdom, we make reference to “survival of the fittest”. With intelligent human life one would hope that we have transcended barbarism and would be guided by the Golden Rule. But intelligence is a relative thing. The intelligence level of a vast majority of the human population has not advanced sufficiently to the point where the human race can come anywhere close to being sustainable.

56 million years ago the Earth experienced a period of dramatic warming called the Paleocene–Eocene Thermal Maximum or PETM, triggered by the release of over 2500 gigatons of carbon into the atmosphere. Global temperatures rose by about 6°C (11°F) over a period of approximately 20,000 years. We are triggering the same thing today in a much shorter period of time. If over the past 200 years and the next 100 years we release the amount of carbon captured in oil fields and tar sands, it will be game over for present human civilization.
 

justtrying

Joined Mar 9, 2011
429
Integrity is defining one for me. Does the person have a set of beliefs and if so, what are they? Are they willing to support their core beliefs and have a discussion with people who disagree or not? If there is an opposing point of view but it is favorable to them, will they just flip flop (that is a politician)...things like that define a strong character and I respect anyone with a strong character. This definition brings about a point that they may do what I see as a wrong thing for what to them is a valid reason, but at least yo should be able to engage in a conversation. (there is a bit of a catch here, I do not see money as valid reason to do anything as money cannot be a moral conviction)...

There is ultimately no good or evil, we are hopefully born with a moral compass that will steer us to do right by our own species. This seems to have been erased by the structure of our society (just look at all the prisoner abuse and other power abuse cases). Similarly, we have gotten this far due to inherent altruism, and, while there seems to be a lot of it on this blog, where is it in the big world? It does not look like capitalism encopurages altruistic behavior very much.... And thats the end of my rant for now.
 

Georacer

Joined Nov 25, 2009
5,182
[...]
There is ultimately no good or evil, we are hopefully born with a moral compass that will steer us to do right by our own species. This seems to have been erased by the structure of our society (just look at all the prisoner abuse and other power abuse cases). [...]
I often hear that the past was more peaceful/righteous/just/healthy than modern times.

Where do you base this claim? Can you give an example of a past time period that you judge being better than now?
 

strantor

Joined Oct 3, 2010
5,226
PG I agree with you that "one nation's hero is another nation's villain" but I do not agree that "Circumstances just make some of them heroes and some of them villains". I think that the morals of the individual play a strong role. You wondered what would happen if you swapped historical figures; well, swap Ghandi and Adolph Hitler. Do you think Ghandi would have tried to sweep across the face of the earth exterminating races? Or even more hard to imagine, Hitler preaching of peace and tolerance? There are differences in the actual people, which does not lend to your theory. They would not do the same in eachother's shoes.
 

justtrying

Joined Mar 9, 2011
429
Rich (BB code):
I often hear that the past was more peaceful/righteous/just/healthy than modern times.
 
 Where do you base this claim? Can you give an example of a past time period that you judge being better than now?
Actually I did not say this... Modern society has been modern for past thousands of years, we haven't changed much. All that changed is our weapons. There is evidence that soldiers during WWI and WWII hesitated before attacking the enemy, do you think there is any hesitation now, when your enemy is a dot on a screen? There was no issues in shooting down a passenger jet since it was declared a military target, and no repercussions. I am sure you have seen the video of US military helicopter shooting down Reuters journalists and a few other unarmed people. So now, were those soldiers good or evil? I would like to what their convictions are...

If you look at evolutionary biology there is a lot of evidence to support the fact that species succeed when their members co-operate - there is evidence across all genera. Yes, even in alpha male species where competition is fierce, the lesser candidates support one another. There is usually competition for territory, but if you look what happens when there are droughts, there is actually "management" of resources - in a way, if gazelles do not drink, they die, then lions die (I know this is horribly simplified). People seem to have moved away from the idea of truce, sharing scarce resources because if I do not survive, nobody does. We used to have hunters, farmers, and tribes who would attack both. In general for this to be sustainable, the attackers would make sure that farmers had enough left to a)survive and b)have sustainable land to grow next crop otherwise no-one has food. Peaceful - no, more sustainable - yes. Just look at what we have done with agriculture in the last century. I will point you to a very movie - "Naked Prey" (mixed reviews, very interesting, and a book "Blue Nile" - Napoleon's attempts to conquer N. Africa)

People always fought, and will fight, mostly over women, no?

anyway, this is a bit incoherent... do not get much sleep these days... electronics is a tough subject to study but thanks for a break.
 

steveb

Joined Jul 3, 2008
2,436
I do not intend to make this discussion a political one. As a matter of fact I need your advice that how to judge a person.
Judging politcians is easy. They are all liers and opportunists.

Judging your real friends is easy too. They are the ones that show up and stick around in the hard times.

Judging everyone else is difficult, and you have to use your intelligence and intuition to figure out what kind of people they are, and which of them to trust. But, your judgements will be wrong some of the time. There is no getting around that fact.
 
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