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View Diary: Christopher Columbus & His Crimes Against Humanity (85 comments)

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  •  Not uncomfortable at all (0+ / 0-)

    Columbus was not, by our standards, a good guy. My original interest in the discussion was to point out that those whom he made miserable would have thought nothing of doing the same to their own underlings. Slavery, and all its attendant horrors, was a commonplace for both Europeans and natives of the Americas.

    Howard Zinn is about the last person I'd cite for anything like objective information, and this is a case in point. Because you (and Zinn) can't possibly reconcile Christianity and slavery, therefore religion can't possibly be Columbus' "true motivation," not even when confronted with his own words.

    Let me introduce a shocking notion—many "good" Christians have done and still do horrific things in the name of their faith. As do many religionists. Their very sincere motivation in doing these things is often, precisely, their faith (cf. Spanish Inquisition).

    •  Zinn wrote that passage, but he wasn't (0+ / 0-)

      the source of that information.  The sources of that information are Columbus' own writings and those of Bartolomé de las Casas.

      As for his religion, I ultimately don't care what his stated motivations were or those he carried deep in his heart - his actions and the consequences of those actions resulted in the wholesale destruction of an entire people, and he profited from it.

      I don't care how sincere his faith may have been.  His faith meant nothing to the Arawak people that he systematically enslaved, exploited, and exterminated.

      The play's the thing wherein I'll catch the conscience of the king.

      by KroneckerD on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 06:59:47 PM PDT

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      •  And my faith (0+ / 0-)

        in the 1st Amendment meant nothing to my girlfriend's father, a survivor of a Nazi prison camp, when the American Nazis marched through Skokie, IL, protected by that amendment. That still doesn't make my motivations simply irrelevant because he didn't like the result. And I daresay that the faith in gods of the Aztecs meant little to the priests' victims on the altars. It's simply not necessary that for Columbus to be bad, his victims have to be innocents.

        •  And there's your fully unveiled strawman. (0+ / 0-)

          It's simply not necessary that for Columbus to be bad, his victims have to be innocents.

          You're engaging in false equivalence here.  No one is claiming that the Indians were "innocents".  The Aztecs were warlike and practiced human sacrifice, but that's a far cry from depopulating half of a hemisphere of its native people.

          Also, congratulations for proving Godwin's law.

          The play's the thing wherein I'll catch the conscience of the king.

          by KroneckerD on Tue Oct 12, 2010 at 05:26:06 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

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