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Old May 8, 2013, 02:25 PM   #71
btmj
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 1, 2011
Location: Near St. Louis, Missouri
Posts: 713
Quote:
If your point is that these practices have ended, you're mistaken.
I can't speak to the current issues with Native Americans. If you were to take a position that the Government continues to oppress them, I would be inclined to believe you.

Quote:
If it's that the moral standards that led to their condemnation are a recent development, this is also incorrect. For example, the idea that slavery is abhorrent can be traced at least to the mid 1500's, when the first laws prohibiting it were issued.
I agree... I would even argue that nearly all of our understanding of Right and Wrong was quite well defined by philosophers and religeous leaders who lived thousands of years ago.

However, a couple of very significant changes in the evolution of morality happened in the 1800s, starting in Britain. The British middle class began to take a very dim view of the slave trade, and pressured parliment to end it. The Slave trade was a significant economic activity for the British and it generated a lot of wealth, so ending the trade was a real sacrifice. But the Royal Navy had the power to do it, and the people demanded it, and so it was done. In my opinion, it is the first time in human history that a powerful nation made a democratic decision to sacrifice economic gain and risk blood and treasure for the sole purpose of fighting evil. Following this, we seemed to have benefited from a slow flowering of ethical and moral courage among various western nations. The American Cival War for instance...

Democratic nations behaving in a moral way (most of the time, more or less) is a new phenomenon. It is not that our ancestors were bad people, but they did not have the institutions of good government, media, education etc that we have. It is not fair to say "why didn't my anscestors end slavery?", because they did not have the tools, they did not know how to go about it, and they did not have past examples to show them that it was even possible.

Jim
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