I don’t see anything wrong with it.
Yes, in order to grasp history, we MUST consider the values people had in the olden days. I mean, how can you unravel a society if you know nothing about their values?
But, I don’t see how understanding their values means we should refrain from judging them.
Who cares if they were products of their time? Who cares if they were progressive for their time? If they had problematic thoughts and behaviours, then I have the right to condemn them. Wait, no. I have the obligation to condemn them. Understanding why people think and behave atrociously does not mean we should make excuses for them.
You don’t see criminal profilers make excuses for criminals. So, why should you make some for historical figures with long-lastingly devastating legacies?
I don’t know about you. But, growing up, I was taught to have my own moral standard.
You may claim that having one is too PC as it supposedly will compel you to sugarcoat everything. But, I argue it is the exact opposite.
Believe it or not, life is not black and white. With that in mind, I don’t know how anyone can understand history if they romanticise the past and simplistically think it is all about good versus evil?
I don’t know exactly why some are reluctant to condemn certain historical figures. But, if I have to guess, they are those annoying relativists whose moral flexibility knows no bound.
Either that or they fear the nuances in the discourse would compel them to reflect, potentially exposing an ugly side of themselves.
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