The morality of conquering territory for living space?

Jun 2012
7,418
Malaysia
#51
Different times call for different morality. We can't place our own on history, its just not supposed to happen that way. They should be judged by contemporary mores. We can learn lessons from them, based on our own morality. I guess that means don't invade other people's lands to take their land and drive them off.
Mores might change with the times. But morality should rightly be timeless.

Stealing or grabbing other people's land - by whatever means - have always been immoral.
 
Jul 2016
9,680
USA
#52
Mores might change with the times. But morality should rightly be timeless.

Stealing or grabbing other people's land - by whatever means - have always been immoral.
Morality isn't timeless. If that were true you'd share identical morality with Romans, Vikings, Mongols, and Zulu. Which I know you don't.

As a Viking, I could murder my neighbor for his property and as long as I didn't keep it a secret, I didn't commit a crime. Then on to raping and pillaging for fun...

As a Roman, I could murder my wife and children, or sell them into slavery, as was my right as patriarch. I could crucify my slave at a whim...

You get the picture hopefully.
 
#53
This is really a contentious issue.

How far do we take this idea, for example when it comes to a matter of survival?

Stealing is bad, but what if stealing that piece of bread is the difference between you starving to death or not?

As for instance Rome, who conquered not because they needed to but for power and wealth .......... well it certainly not a nice thing to do but if we're being grown up about it life is like this, if your too nice to do it, someone else will.

Its a matter of future prosperity for yourself and your family and we in our comfortable settings don't really feel the edge to even begin to comment imo.

Take a poor Colombian family who lives in a shanty, now he could be a shoe shiner and be dirt poor his whole life or he could sell coke and become half rich.
The mans not educated or has no decent work skills so that's not an option to put on him ....... what would you do?

For me morals in this discussion don't mean anything to me, its all about what your adversaries or contemporaries are capable of and what you need to do for yourself.

.............. however if someone decides to go down that route be prepared to make enemies, Rome made enemies and eventually they were sacked, drug dealers shoot each other etc.
 

Maki

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
3,413
Republika Srpska
#54
As a Viking, I could murder my neighbor for his property and as long as I didn't keep it a secret, I didn't commit a crime. Then on to raping and pillaging for fun...
Sources for this?

As a Roman, I could murder my wife and children
Hardly true. A husband could maybe kill his wife if they married cum manu, that is if the wife came under the legal control of the husband. However, these marriages became rather rare over time and we have no examples of men killing their wives or daughters for questionable behaviour, adultery for examples, during the classical Republic. Even Augustus' later, harsher laws, did not allow a husband to kill his cheating wife, only her lover if he was a slave or a male prostitute or a criminal. They were allowed to kill their adulterous daughters and their lovers, but who knows how much this was even exercised. Augustus for example merely exiled his daughter and a jurist Aemilius Papinianus claimed that it were the husbands who acted more hastily and more recklessly than fathers of adulterous women so it seems that fathers were not going left and right murdering their kids.

or sell them into slavery, as was my right as patriarch.
Yet Caracalla described the sale of your family into slavery as an "illicit and dishonest act".

And you could generally not mistreat your family. Papinianus noted a case in which emperor Trajan intervened to save a son abused by his father. He released the son from any obligations to the father and nullified any power a father had over the son.

I could crucify my slave at a whim...
Hardly true as well. At least by the time of Antonius Pius and certainly much earlier, the Roman state prohibited cruel treatment of slaves and enacted legal measures to prevent the masters from killing or beating their slaves as they pleased. In fact, it was either Hadrian or Antonius Pius who forbade the killings of slaves by their masters, at least unless masters had legitimate reasons to kill them, reasons recognized by the state. But you could not crucify your slave at a whim.
 
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