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Thread: School's Nation of Islam handout paints Founding Fathers as racists [W:293]

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    re: School's Nation of Islam handout paints Founding Fathers as racists [W:293]

    Quote Originally Posted by Fiddytree View Post
    Oh God....I get into these arguments all the time with Left-wingers and Right-wingers whenever they want to keep their heroes. It's absolutely ridiculous.
    Exactly, its absurd. Either there is an absolute moral law that applies to all people, at all times, in all cultures, or you accept that morality is relative. If you believe in absolute moral law that you have to call the founders racists, many of whom engaged and profited from one of the most deplorable systems man has ever conceived. In fact, if morality is absolute (as conservatives always claim), then the founders were almost all unconscionable men guilty of crimes against humanity. Otherwise, you believe morality is relative.
    "You're the only person that decides how far you'll go and what you're capable of." - Ben Saunders (Explorer and Endurance Athlete)

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    re: School's Nation of Islam handout paints Founding Fathers as racists [W:293]

    Quote Originally Posted by SouthernDemocrat View Post
    Exactly, its absurd. Either there is an absolute moral law that applies to all people, at all times, in all cultures, or you accept that morality is relative. If you believe in absolute moral law that you have to call the founders racists, many of whom engaged and profited from one of the most deplorable systems man has ever conceived. In fact, if morality is absolute (as conservatives always claim), then the founders were almost all unconscionable men guilty of crimes against humanity. Otherwise, you believe morality is relative.
    Furthermore, If you're going to condemn someone who the opposition values on the grounds that it is seen as bad now, you have put late 20th and 21st century values onto the past.
    Michael J Petrilli-"Is School Choice Enough?"-A response to the recent timidity of American conservatives toward education reform. https://nationalaffairs.com/publicat...-choice-enough

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    re: School's Nation of Islam handout paints Founding Fathers as racists [W:293]

    Quote Originally Posted by SouthernDemocrat View Post
    Exactly, its absurd. Either there is an absolute moral law that applies to all people, at all times, in all cultures, or you accept that morality is relative. If you believe in absolute moral law that you have to call the founders racists, many of whom engaged and profited from one of the most deplorable systems man has ever conceived. In fact, if morality is absolute (as conservatives always claim), then the founders were almost all unconscionable men guilty of crimes against humanity. Otherwise, you believe morality is relative.
    Morality can be relative and objective (nothing is absolute). There is historical (relative) and modern (objective) context for any evaluation of morality.

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    re: School's Nation of Islam handout paints Founding Fathers as racists [W:293]

    Quote Originally Posted by ecofarm View Post
    Whether morality is relative or not, they were racists bigtime. Why would racism be defined according to relative morality. 'Relative racism' is nonsense.
    I am just making a larger point. Of course they were racists. The only way we could not consider them racists would be if the entire notion of racial equality was simply unknown to man at the time. There was an abolitionist movement long before the founding of our country and obviously the founders all were aware of it and the arguments presented by abolitionists. Thus they were racists.

    I brought up moral relativism because conservatives rail against moral relativism on the left. Yet by claiming you cannot judge the founders by today's morality, you are engaging in moral relativism. Although its a flawed argument even for moral relativism as evidenced by the paragraph above.
    "You're the only person that decides how far you'll go and what you're capable of." - Ben Saunders (Explorer and Endurance Athlete)

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    re: School's Nation of Islam handout paints Founding Fathers as racists [W:293]

    Quote Originally Posted by SouthernDemocrat View Post
    I brought up moral relativism because conservatives rail against moral relativism on the left. Yet by claiming you cannot judge the founders by today's morality, you are engaging in moral relativism. Although its a flawed argument even for moral relativism as evidenced by the paragraph above.
    I don't accept the relative vs. absolute paradigm. If we accept nothing is absolute, then the question is relative (historical) vs. objective (modern) as complimentary perspectives. Framing the concept of moral context in a false dichotomy (let alone including absolutism) is stupid.

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    re: School's Nation of Islam handout paints Founding Fathers as racists [W:293]

    Quote Originally Posted by ecofarm View Post
    Sure one can, and one should. At the same time, one must be aware of historical context.

    It's not an "either/or" thing. One can, and really should, view historical figures in both a modern and historical context. It's not that difficult and failing to be capable of such is hardly something I can fix.
    To judge actions? Perhaps. To judge people? Certainly not. How can you ever hope to judge what kind of person an historical figure was by using a yardstick that was not in use at the time of his life and hope to get anything like an accurate read on the man?
    Don't be a grammar nazi - Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, Book 1 #7

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    re: School's Nation of Islam handout paints Founding Fathers as racists [W:293]

    Quote Originally Posted by Gaius46 View Post
    To judge actions? Perhaps. To judge people? Certainly not. How can you ever hope to judge what kind of person an historical figure was by using a yardstick that was not in use at the time of his life and hope to get anything like an accurate read on the man?
    It's not the only measure.

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    School's Nation of Islam handout paints Founding Fathers as racists

    Quote Originally Posted by Gaius46 View Post
    To judge actions? Perhaps. To judge people? Certainly not. How can you ever hope to judge what kind of person an historical figure was by using a yardstick that was not in use at the time of his life and hope to get anything like an accurate read on the man?
    First, again, what about blacks? They wrote or spoke quite frequently about the abomination of slavery and their desire to be treated better by whites. Is that a yardstick?

    Furthermore, we do this all the time. I have yet to see an incredibly sympathetic take with colonial loyalism or reluctant separatists in this country. We push the wrongness of the loyalists all the time, because we are so used to this country *being here* and it obviously being right, that we so casually dismiss the concerns of these men and women.

    People are full of crap when they say they want people to be judged by the standards of the time. At best they are plebeians who heard what German-trained historians said 120 years ago, barely understand it and apply it inconsistently. At worst, they are using it for political convenience.
    Last edited by Fiddytree; 10-28-14 at 10:58 PM.
    Michael J Petrilli-"Is School Choice Enough?"-A response to the recent timidity of American conservatives toward education reform. https://nationalaffairs.com/publicat...-choice-enough

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    re: School's Nation of Islam handout paints Founding Fathers as racists [W:293]

    Quote Originally Posted by ecofarm View Post
    I don't accept the relative vs. absolute paradigm. If we accept nothing is absolute, then the question is relative (historical) vs. objective (modern) as complimentary perspectives. Framing the concept of moral context in a false dichotomy (let alone including absolutism) is stupid.
    What you just wrote is in no way at all inconsistent with moral relativism though. For example, if I called 17th century men all ignorant creationists, then I would be making an unfair judgement of them as evolution was not published as a theory until nearly a hundred years later. So while evolution certainly existed before man arrived at the theory, we cannot judge men who were ignorant of it at a time when all men were ignorant of it.

    Similarly, racism is wrong. Racism is immoral. It always has been. However, we could not fairly judge individuals in a society where no one recognized it was wrong yet. However that doesn't apply to the founders as there were plenty of people even then that knew racism was wrong and they were part of the public discourse at the time.
    "You're the only person that decides how far you'll go and what you're capable of." - Ben Saunders (Explorer and Endurance Athlete)

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    re: School's Nation of Islam handout paints Founding Fathers as racists [W:293]

    Quote Originally Posted by SouthernDemocrat View Post
    What you just wrote is in no way at all inconsistent with moral relativism though.
    Of course it's not. I'm saying relative (historical) context must be weighed with objective (modern) context. It's not an either/or thing and, of course, absolutism is right out.

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