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Old February 16th, 2012, 03:58 AM   #1

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Your morals if you lived in the past


Hi, I think this is the first thread I have started here..... I hope it doesn't go down like a lead balloon!!!

I was reading the KKK threads and was considering those horrible poster images of hanging people etc and I got to wondering: If I was raised in the South in those days as a white person, or in Germany during the Nazi era, or any other time in history where evil happened, would I have gone along with it? Or would I have been able to see right from wrong no matter what the environment was in which I was raised?

For yourself if you were raised in the South would you have shared your communities hatred of Black people (assuming the community is that kind). Would the local culture take the lead in shaping the views of a merely ordinary person like you or me (assuming you are ordinary like me )?

I worry that in a different age I might have been capable of doing bad things or having bad views that would make me sick in todays world (simply due to the way I may have been raised).

What do you think from your own point of view? Would you be the product of your environment, or rise above it?

Sorry if this was posted in the wrong section!!
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Old February 16th, 2012, 04:08 AM   #2

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I remember when I was a kid and thinking that the killing (slaughter) of farm animals was terribly cruel. As I grew up I began to realize that it is a reality of the world I live in.
My guess is that people in the past who grew up in a world of slavery and cruelty may simply have grown hardened to that world and learned to accept it as it is (warts'n'all) It dosen't follow that they all accepted or approved of that cruelty. They just acclimatized themselves to it.
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Old February 16th, 2012, 04:14 AM   #3
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The changes are high that like your surroundings you also take over the general point of view. So if you were born in 1860 South Carolina the change exist that you may have approved Slavery also or when you were born in 1933 Nazi-Germany (as ethnic non-jewish German) you may have jeered for Hitler, but as history has shown as also a large part of the population also resisted slavery in the south and Hitler barely got half of the votes in Germany. So it's hard to so, but if we look at the percentage then the change is more prominent that you support the general point of view, because in most cases the majority did.
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Old February 16th, 2012, 04:40 AM   #4

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To imagine one's behavior in a context is a matter, to live in that context to realize which is you own behavior ... well, it's a different matter.

I can think to the German's Knights. As for I know, many of them served in the Wermacht as officers until nazis requested to swear loyalty to nazism in '38 [being Knights they refused and they were invited to leave the country]. A part the final decision and gesture, they served under nazism for years. It's a matter of fact [and some of them kept on serving, about the 10% of the Knights].

So, for those Knights, who informed their life on the base of Knighthood, it was acceptable to serve in the army of an authoritative government [theoretically in the years 33-38 nazi government wasn't a dictatorship ... but practically it was that ...] until they hadn't to renounce to Knighthood.

An other example of "dominating context" is related to present Pope Ratzinger who had the occasion to wear the nazi uniform for some months in '45 when he was a young teen [if I remember well, he was around 16].

So, in my opinion, educational first and social context then, influence the basic behavioral decisions of the individual.

The level of this influence is connected with the interior moral force of the single person. The 90% of the Knights said "no" to nazism, but anyway a good 10% accepted it [with no respect for Knighthood in its intimate nature].

If you reason about how a Knight's ego is strong and how deep is the moral luggage of a Knight ... if they "surrendered" in the order of the 10%, think in which order of percentage surrendered common people [even after years of nazi government which had to suggest something about the real nature of that regime].
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Old February 16th, 2012, 04:42 AM   #5

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Quote:
Originally Posted by RusEvo View Post
Hi, I think this is the first thread I have started here..... I hope it doesn't go down like a lead balloon!!!

I was reading the KKK threads and was considering those horrible poster images of hanging people etc and I got to wondering: If I was raised in the South in those days as a white person, or in Germany during the Nazi era, or any other time in history where evil happened, would I have gone along with it? Or would I have been able to see right from wrong no matter what the environment was in which I was raised?

For yourself if you were raised in the South would you have shared your communities hatred of Black people (assuming the community is that kind). Would the local culture take the lead in shaping the views of a merely ordinary person like you or me (assuming you are ordinary like me )?

I worry that in a different age I might have been capable of doing bad things or having bad views that would make me sick in todays world (simply due to the way I may have been raised).

What do you think from your own point of view? Would you be the product of your environment, or rise above it?

Sorry if this was posted in the wrong section!!
If I had grown up in the antebellum United States, I almost certainly would have been a racist like just about everyone else in the U.S., North and South. That was just the belief back then. If I had grown up in the South, I might have also believed that slavery was acceptable (or perhaps a necessary evil), because that's what I would have been taught. However, I do not believe I would have participated in the hateful acts performed by the KKK, since that is not the kind of person I am, nor was it the kind of person that the vast majority of Southerners were back then.
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Old February 16th, 2012, 05:27 AM   #6

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I grew up in the north. The street we lived on had a few blacks living there too. At age 5, I played with Celia (black) and Sandy (white). In my house, I never heard my parents say anything negative toward blacks, or anyone for that matter. One day, Sandy (who was 1 yr older) announced she could no longer play with me. I asked why, and she responded it was because I played with Celia, and her mother had told her she couldn't play with black children.

I remember my thoughts, just as though it happened yesterday. I was confused, I couldn't understand the logic of it, in my little world black skin meant nothing. So I decided I didn't care what Sandy said, and I liked Celia a lot, so I just went on playing with Celia.

I'm convinced children have to be taught prejudice.
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Old February 16th, 2012, 05:46 AM   #7
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There is no doubt about it, our parents influence us a lot, school and the surroundings of our societies also have huge influence on us, and or course, the social norms of the time period.

However, there have been instances all through out history of the people that stood against these social norms, spoke out against the things they did not believe in, so it is entirely possible that you could live in those time era's and not be a nasty person, or have a different view.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rongo View Post
If I had grown up in the antebellum United States, I almost certainly would have been a racist like just about everyone else in the U.S., North and South. That was just the belief back then. If I had grown up in the South, I might have also believed that slavery was acceptable (or perhaps a necessary evil), because that's what I would have been taught. However, I do not believe I would have participated in the hateful acts performed by the KKK, since that is not the kind of person I am, nor was it the kind of person that the vast majority of Southerners were back then.
Indeed.

A person may have had the mindset of pro slavery, but whether that person became a violent and abusive human is down to direct surroundings and influences.

Quote:
Originally Posted by d'artanian View Post
I grew up in the north. The street we lived on had a few blacks living there too. At age 5, I played with Celia (black) and Sandy (white). In my house, I never heard my parents say anything negative toward blacks, or anyone for that matter. One day, Sandy (who was 1 yr older) announced she could no longer play with me. I asked why, and she responded it was because I played with Celia, and her mother had told her she couldn't play with black children.

I remember my thoughts, just as though it happened yesterday. I was confused, I couldn't understand the logic of it, in my little world black skin meant nothing. So I decided I didn't care what Sandy said, and I liked Celia a lot, so I just went on playing with Celia.

I'm convinced children have to be taught prejudice.
I agree, but not only from parents, schools, friends, the whole society is what moulds a child, unfortunate if your parents are good and society is not, and unforunate if your parents are bad and society is good.

There are so many influences that can have an effect, it is sometimes hard to pin point the worst one.
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Old February 16th, 2012, 06:34 AM   #8

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Going with your idea:
If I were in the times you spoke of, I can see myself going along with the times and
worrying more about myself & family.
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Old February 16th, 2012, 07:09 AM   #9

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This thread slightly restores my faith in humanity lols. I definitely seem to have different thought patterns than most people I meet, so I hope I would have done the right thing in the old days......... actually on second thought, I hope I am doing the right thing right now and not just following the crowd!!
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Old February 16th, 2012, 07:12 AM   #10

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You've only had six replies, give it more time for a larger sampling.
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