View Poll Results: How should Christopher Columbus be judged?

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  • He should be judged strictly by today's standards and mores.

    6 9.84%
  • Somewhere in the middle. (Please elaborate)

    9 14.75%
  • He should be judged by the standards and more of the time in which he lived.

    37 60.66%
  • Other

    9 14.75%
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Thread: How should Christopher Columbus be judged?

  1. #1
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    How should Christopher Columbus be judged?

    How should Christopher Columbus be judged?

    Being that day is Columbus Day, I read something this morning that included something to the effect of, "If judged by today's standards...", then went off to detail all his atrocities, and so on.

    Is that fair? Should he be judged by today's standards and mores, or should he be judged according to the era in which he lived?

    Note: This question is NOT about whether or not he should have a holiday named after him.
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    Re: How should Christopher Columbus be judged?

    Quote Originally Posted by radcen View Post
    How should Christopher Columbus be judged?

    Being that day is Columbus Day, I read something this morning that included something to the effect of, "If judged by today's standards...", then went off to detail all his atrocities, and so on.

    Is that fair? Should he be judged by today's standards and mores, or should he be judged according to the era in which he lived?

    Note: This question is NOT about whether or not he should have a holiday named after him.
    People should never be judged by a generations standards they did not live. It doesn't make sense. Columbus should be judged by the standards of the world he lived in.
    “I'm for truth, no matter who tells it. I'm for justice, no matter who it is for or against. I'm a human being, first and foremost, and as such I'm for whoever and whatever benefits humanity as a whole.”


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    Re: How should Christopher Columbus be judged?

    How can you possibly judge someone by standards that weren't in effect during their life?
    Don't be a grammar nazi - Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, Book 1 #7

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    Re: How should Christopher Columbus be judged?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kreton View Post
    People should never be judged by a generations standards they did not live. It doesn't make sense. Columbus should be judged by the standards of the world he lived in.
    Quote Originally Posted by Gaius46 View Post
    How can you possibly judge someone by standards that weren't in effect during their life?
    I agree, but many people do just that.
    Roy L. Fuchs: I'll tell you something. This country is going to the dogs.
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    Re: How should Christopher Columbus be judged?

    Something I read today suggested that he was out of line even by the standards of his time.

    But he had lots of gold and so was able to bribe the people who would have held a poorer man accountable.

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    Re: How should Christopher Columbus be judged?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kreton View Post
    People should never be judged by a generations standards they did not live. It doesn't make sense. Columbus should be judged by the standards of the world he lived in.
    It makes some amount of sense. If you think we don't judge by the standards of our generation, you would be wrong. We do so all the time and historians, since the beginning of the craft, have done so, even if they tried not to. You just should balance it out and not forget how the past operated.
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    Re: How should Christopher Columbus be judged?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gaius46 View Post
    How can you possibly judge someone by standards that weren't in effect during their life?
    That's simple. We have seen things which they did not. Each generation experiences this. It's the nature of the past. Many times we have people during the time which saw something unique about their time, even if it was out-of-step with the majoritarian viewpoint of the time. Other times we tease this stuff out, with the benefit of additional time to consider the past and additional awareness not necessarily afforded to our predecessors.
    A message to both the Left and the Right. Ari Ne'eman-"People with disabilities deserve better than to be used as props in the country’s ongoing — and so far stalemated — arguments over gun control." https://www.vox.com/the-big-idea/201...-obama-liberty

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    Re: How should Christopher Columbus be judged?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fiddytree View Post
    That's simple. We have seen things which they did not. Each generation experiences this. It's the nature of the past.
    If you want to judge a person's behavior you have to look at their decision making based on the knowledge they had at the time and the prevailing ethical system. You can't ascribe evil intent to someone for doing something we consider evil today that was an
    accepted practice at the time they lived.
    Don't be a grammar nazi - Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, Book 1 #7

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    Re: How should Christopher Columbus be judged?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gaius46 View Post
    If you want to judge a person's behavior you have to look at their decision making based on the knowledge they had at the time and the prevailing ethical system. You can't ascribe evil intent to someone for doing something we consider evil today that was an
    accepted practice at the time they lived.
    You do so, but historicism and relativism doesn't effectively remove the desirability, nor the perfectly healthy ability of each successive generation to conclude some things were more moral than others. This enables us, to for instance, consider why negative eugenics and their proponents were especially repulsive to our sensibilities. We contemporary explorers of the past have, as a result of our time and place, a much greater appreciation for those with disabilities, minority racial statuses, those who were impoverished, came from other countries to settle in the United States, and so on. This inherently is reflected in not only how society views these issues, but also how historians have approached the subject.
    A message to both the Left and the Right. Ari Ne'eman-"People with disabilities deserve better than to be used as props in the country’s ongoing — and so far stalemated — arguments over gun control." https://www.vox.com/the-big-idea/201...-obama-liberty

  10. #10
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    Re: How should Christopher Columbus be judged?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fiddytree View Post
    That's simple. We have seen things which they did not. Each generation experiences this. It's the nature of the past. Many times we have people during the time which saw something unique about their time, even if it was out-of-step with the majoritarian viewpoint of the time. Other times we tease this stuff out, with the benefit of additional time to consider the past and additional awareness not necessarily afforded to our predecessors.
    This presumes current thought is indeed correct thought. Maybe, maybe not. Maybe 200 years from now people will look back and declare us idiots.

    Generic comment, not Columbus-specific.
    Roy L. Fuchs: I'll tell you something. This country is going to the dogs.
    You know, it used to be when you bought a politician, that son of a bitch stayed bought.

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