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How will we be judged by the future?

Discussion in 'Issues Around the World' started by -Ken, Dec 21, 2002.

  1. -Ken

    -Ken Guest

    From a historical perspective, we can now look back on a couple of thousand years of mankind's history and laugh at some of the ignorant things humans have done. Well-intentioned, intelligent people believing they were doing the right thing instituted most of these actions.

    These pillars of the community could point to the best scientific studies available at the time or maybe religious doctrine to support the actions they endorsed.

    In the 1600's the Pilgrims landed here and settled. We are taught they came seeking freedom to practice their religion without persecution and that they were a peaceful people who made friends with the native people. We are told they celebrated their friendship in a holiday we still celebrate today.

    Actually, they were murderous animals who massacred women and children without remorse. Even our Thanksgiving is a celebration of a massacre (but we leave that part of the fantasy out). You can read about these warm and wonderful people here.

    It wasn't long afterward before we took to killing people because they were witches. Surely those people needed to be put to death.

    Skipping ahead a couple of hundred years, we come to the 1900s. Now there was a time of modern enlightenment. Women who had a taste for sex could be brought to a doctor to have that problem surgically corrected.

    A little later the scientific doctrine of Eugenics was used to sterilize people, remove their children and adopt them out to "good Christian families" where they could be raised correctly.

    Throughout this period, blacks could be lynched in the South with no fear of any legal repercussions, in fact, this became a family style entertainment with the entire town turning out to watch.

    Today, we are much more civilized. We never lynch anybody (at least officially) and the only people we put to death really deserve it.

    But do they?

    What if we find out (sometime in the future) that a chemical imbalance caused by the introduction of Fluorine in our drinking water or maybe from radio waves caused a small portion of people to commit murders? What if a bacterial infection caused infected adults to commit pedophilia?

    To the historians looking back on our ignorance, will we be as guilty as the judges in Salem? Will we be guilty of murder? Should we be held accountable for our crimes? Will we pay for it in our afterlife? And what should be the penalty?

    The more we advance in our knowledge, the more we realize how ignorant we really are. But are we also guilty of heinous crimes? While the scales of Justice are slow, they do turn. If you believe in Karma, you might want to re-evaluate your position on some of these subjects. Maybe the dead can't avenge the wrongs we have committed against them but their children can. We are living longer, advancing faster and we will probably look like fools for some of the decisions we make today.

    Perhaps God can forgive us, the people we have grievously harmed probably won't, unless they are more forgiving than I.

    Something to think about when you're casting the first stone.
  2. jamming

    jamming Banned

    Sorry Ken but that Thanksgiving Story is based upon pure 100% bunk, that Thanksgiving was just a day of celebration after a war. A war that had Indian Allies of the Settlers and was started when Alexander and his younger brother King Phillip had decided that the land could no longer be shared. Yes the War was horrible but there were Indian Massacres amongst the people who lived in remote homes, which was the opening of hostilities of Alexanders & King Phillips War.

    The earlier Pequot War was after a family was killed and massacred without warning, Puritans wanted to go to war, but it didn't happen until other tribes in the area decided that the warlike Pequot could finally be gotten rid of by these new white guys, so they allied with the whites to go to war. The Puritans conducted the warfare the same way that they killed and were killed in Europe by Catholics in earlier Wars.

    Here in Jacksonville, in the 1560's, was settled by a group of French Huegenots (protestants) they were to land here and make a claim and then sale against St. Augustine (Spanish Catholics). Landing went OK and then the Fleet sailed south and was blown down toward modern Daytona Beach where the Hurricane blew them on shore. They started to march north to either attack St. Augustine or move inland and bypass it back to the fort. They fought the Spanish and surrendered, as they were being brought back to St. Augustine they were slaughtered and murdered by the Spanish, the reason they didn't have the supplies to feed them.

    Thanksgiving the Holiday was instituted by Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War as a Day of Thanksgiving for the North's Victory (tie) at the Battle of "?(can't remember at the moment)". The Puritan angle was added after the Civil War, by the Descendant Group of the Mayflower Landings. People don't seem to realize that there were good decent people and bad people on both sides of what happened in the Native Americans and the Europeans. It was a clash of cultures and the culture that was able to survive that was the one which won.

    It is not anything more than a conflict of two different point of views played out to the same extremes as today. Similar situation is being played out in Islam verses Western Culture. There are good people on each side (Omar & Ethics) and bad people (Osama & Swaggert), but the clash is of ideas that can either be settled peacefully or by war "to the tooth and claw". We have to decided are we going to be any different than the Puritans and Native Americans of the 1600's today.

    As to your, Witch Trials, you realized no one was killed at the Salem Witch Trial? In fact the Government on the day is what put a stop to them, by a decree of the Colony Governor.

    Eugenics was supported by Martha Sanger the founder of Planned Parenthood, she didn't hold with the extreme kind of Eugenics but she did support the principles, which is where some right to life groups go overboard with trying to tie her to the extremes.

    Lynchings are not justifiable in any extent, but there was vigilante justice going on in a lot of places during that time. The whole issue of that is about revenge mindedness of certain southerner's that held hatred for the North to such and extreme that they used it to regain the loss of their feelings of southern manhood. It is a complex issue that includes racial hatred, southern loss of manhood, and a number of other things that combined to make lynchings possible. However, I repeat none of these things excuse what happened, lynchings are just more complex than blaming racial hatred.

    What bothers me is that the most recent historical scholarship is not getting the news that older scholarship. The historical views that we are getting now in the mainstream has been focused by a generation of historians out of the late 1960's. They went deeper than the common accepted history of what was taught, but after disproving that they really didn't go into the greater complexities that is real history, they settled for simple stories of their own. Puritans Good becomes Puritans Bad, rather than Puritans complex with both good and bad. But realize when anyone speaks in historical absolutes there is usually another side to the story. I guess if your trying to sell the story for political purposes or money then simple is better.

    If we have to wait on perfection to hand out justice, then there will be no justice and no protection. That said, there are crimes which are deserving of execution, like Ted Bundy's. But it would be easy to require the testing of DNA evidence in all Capital Cases where evidence of DNA was preserved or possible. I personally have no problem with that before putting someone to death.

    The answer my friend is doing the best possible with the knowledge and insight you have at the time. If the CIA knew what Osamsa would do on 9-11 when they were working with Afghan Rebels against the Soviets, they would of been happy to take him out. Hindsight is not 20-20 in the historical sense, but it is better than foresight is in most cases.
  3. -Ken

    -Ken Guest

    Thank you Jamming for the well thought out response.
    The question remains, even in the case of Ted Bundy, if we indirectly are the cause of Bundy's illness and we put him to death, are we complicit in murder?

    As a side note 19 were "executed" in Salem under lawful order. One more person died under torture. These facts can be reviewed here.

    I have to agree foresight is not as good as hindsight.
    Perhaps that is why I am so "conservative" about killing people.

    I thought your quote "There are good people on each side (Omar & Ethics) and bad people (Osama & Swaggert), but the clash is of ideas that can either be settled peacefully or by war "to the tooth and claw"." was beautiful and to the point.

    And I agree with you on the heinous nature of lynchings even though the justification of the motivations for these actions makes little difference to the victims (or their families).

    The one point you raised which I though needed to be said (and was omitted by me) is that there is always two sides to any issue. I am trying to present the side we never discuss.
  4. jamming

    jamming Banned

    Not to be picky but that site doesn't lead anywhere, most of the liks from the resource page lead to 404's or Pages Removed.

    You are correct about the 19 as I found it here at a better site, I wonder where that recollection came from must have been some other trial I was thinking of.
  5. bruzzes

    bruzzes Truthslayer

    Excellent post Ken!

    It is indeed thought provoking.
    I still remember that it was not a very long time ago when epileptics were put into a sanatorium and locked up.

    Schizophrenics also have medications now that lets them lead normal lives. Too bad my history of personal contact with many of them find that many stop using that medication over long periods of time.

    Anti-depressants, and anxiety medications also treat those who in the past might have been outcasts in our society.

    Yes, It is a thought provoking post indeed.
    Thank you for introducing it!
  6. ShinyTop

    ShinyTop I know what is right or wrong!

    As asked by -Ken, "The question remains, even in the case of Ted Bundy, if we indirectly are the cause of Bundy's illness and we put him to death, are we complicit in murder?"

    Hell, no. We are also not responsible for all the deaths in the 1800's of heart disease because we failed to discover Zocor in time. Each generation does the best it can with what it knows.

    But what I find the funniest is your theory that disease, a virus or microbe, causes people to kill. The ability to kill is part of us, part of self defense mechanisms, part of each being's survival code. Is is always applied correctly? Obviously not. And it will never be gone. Obviously the first country that wipes out that urge, or virus if you will, will be struck down by the countries surrounding it as they laugh. And should this microbe or virus or natural trait be wiped out. Again I say Hell no. We will move to the stars and/or be visited by people from the stars one day. I don't think pacifism is a survival trait or even one that would urge a people to be space faring. So, no, I would not want to be sitting here among a bunch of people chanting knit one, purl two while the death rays poured down from the heavens.

    Your discussion point may have a noble starting point but is illogical and impractical to the extreme. IMHO
  7. -Ken

    -Ken Guest


    I am not theorizing that violence is caused by any of these things but rather putting this forward for the sake of argument. I will take exception to your example of the late discovery of Zocor as we were not actively putting otherwise healthy people to death.

    All good points though.


    Thank you for the compliment. I am also aware that people stop taking their medication when they start to feel better. This is sometimes due to side effects but also is due (I think) to the stigma associated with being mentally ill.

    People make the same mistake with antibiotics after a couple of days thinking they are cured. We know this is not the case but for some reason people still do it.
  8. jamming

    jamming Banned

    Actually Ken, some Maniac Depressives or Bi-Polars refuse to take there medications because the love the Mania side. So their medication actual makes them feel not better to them. Weird Huh?
  9. ShinyTop

    ShinyTop I know what is right or wrong!

    -Ken, the death of people because of something we did not know is my point. I will not assume guilt for doing the best with what we know.
  10. -Ken

    -Ken Guest


    The judges in the Salem witch trials believed they were doing the correct thing. So didn't the supporters of Hitler. Many criminals believe they are doing the right thing. How do we differentiate between these types of people?

    My (admittedly simplistic) answer is we do no harm other than what need to be done for the protection of society as a whole.

    I will feel as though I have blood on my hands for every single execution should we ever find out it was a "medical problem" which we could have treated. If we don't kill these people and we do discover a cure in two years, we will not have made irreversible mistakes.

    To me, this is an issue of what is right. It is wrong to kill people and I see nowhere it can be justified to kill an unarmed person who is not a threat. I will agree to disagree with you on this because there is no one right answer as best I can see.
  11. ditch

    ditch Downunder Member

    This is an interesting subject I agree, Ken.

    If it were possible to go through life without making a mistake we never would have reason to feel guilty. With our decisions made on our current level of knowledge on any subject it always going to be the case that today's decisions are, in the future, seen as silly in some ways and absurd in others. The decisions based on moral judgements though are more likely to be open to criticisim and be derided in the future than those based on the level of scientific knowledge available at the time where we do what we can with the best intentions, in most cases.

    A case in point is the treatment of Australian aboriginies in the first half of this century where children were separated from their parents at an early age to be raised with whites. While this now is seen as wrong the intention at the time was honourable with the idea of helping indigenous youth to assimilate easily. The situation now is where those aboriginies affected are seeking compensation and a national apology from the govt. "How can this have ever been seen as the right thing to do" is the cry.
    Well hindsight is a wonderful thing. Where do you buy it is the question.

    There are though issues whose legitimacy is hotly debated in any age. Issues or behaviours that while accepted in society, are seen by an increasing number of citizens, due to the public deabte in the media and in public forums, such as this, as wrong. Last century the changes to the acceptance of slavery and the resulting laws in banning it, is an obvious example. Voting rights of women and blacks and equal pay for equal work are others.
    Change is such a difficult thing to swallow. The kneejerk reaction is to not change and reject those planting the seeds. Most referendums in this country get the no vote, even the most recent on Aust. becoming a Republic. We'll have another and it will eventually make it I'm sure. We'll grow up one day and cut the apron strings to Mother England, if we don't there'll be a call to arms and......
  12. ShinyTop

    ShinyTop I know what is right or wrong!

    Damn, -Ken, how do you do better than the best you know how unless you just stop doing anything? I think you are missing some important definitions. Like that of the world best. I will not sit here and wear the hair shirt over every decision we make. Murderers know what the penalty is for their action. I will not cry as they die. I am much more likely to cry as I read of their victims. And I cheer as I realize their execution accomplishes at least one thing, they will not do it again. Since you can guarantee me no other program that guarantees this I will accept it.
  13. -Ken

    -Ken Guest


    I know you better than to think you are saying because we are the best at something we should stop there. We may be doing things better than everybody else (and I don't necessarily think that is true) but that does not mean we can't improve on what we are doing.

    I do not think killing someone in cold blood (isn't that what an executioner does?) is a method which makes any sense. Yes, I know murderers know what the penalty is but we all know it isn't really any deterrent (as they keep doing it).

    Again, why don't we bring back public disemboweling or torture? Why? Because they are barbaric and they just don't work. Why we would need to learn that lesson again? You say we all understand that murder is a bad thing but apparently we don't.

    I really don't mind if you don't want to accept any responsibility for these deaths. We all need to do what we feel comfortable with. If there is a final judgment day, I will be able to face it knowing I have made mistakes but that condoning cold-blooded murder wasn't one of them. You may feel differently, but an execution is the deliberate, premeditated termination of a life. While it may be legal, it is still killing another human being that is unarmed and defenseless. You may rationalize it any way you wish but it is still murder and reprehensible in my eyes.

    Sorry but that's just the way I see it.
  14. Copzilla

    Copzilla dangerous animal Staff Member

    That's actually exactly true, jamming, but most people aren't aware of it.

    NOT taking the medication makes them feel powerful and strong, like a constant cocaine rush, and is why they resist the medication. My brother is a manic depressive, to the point of psychosis when he doesn't take his meds. This is exactly how his doctor described it to me.

    Stigma has much less to do with it than some want to believe. If it was stigma they were concerned about, they would be very careful to take their medication, because their mental illness becomes very evident when they don't.

    My brother said to me one time "You would be surprised how much that medicine makes you who you are". My response was "Bro, you would be surprised how much you're not who you are when you don't take it".
  15. -Ken

    -Ken Guest

    I am unable to comment on the reasons some Maniac Depressives or Bi-Polars go off of their medication. I would have to wonder if they are able to understand their motivation as they are impaired. To me, it is kind of like asking a drunk if they are too drunk to drive. Sometimes we see ourselves differently than others do. Having no personal experience with these disorders I am going to have to go on what I read.

    The topic of this thread is How will we be judged by the future? and I would like to ask how do we judge the people (good intentioned?) who performed lobotomies, caused diabetic shock (as an alternative treatment to electric shock therapy) and locked people in isolation for years at a time? What do we do with people who advocated all ranges of cruelty in the interest of science? Why is it these people escaped punishment for crimes which (in my opinion) were far more heinous than any drug pusher?

    While I realize these people <I>might</I> have had good intentions, they caused immeasurable pain and suffering
    in people who needed the help the most. In the early 1900s, if your wife was uncontrollable you could easily have her put into an institution. As divorce was frowned upon, this was sometimes done as a way of getting rid of the wife for greener pastures. Ah, the good old days (maybe they werent as good as we like to paint them!)

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