Well, personally I would say it hit the low around 500 years ago with the Aztecs. No matter what anyone says Cortez, though he is often portrayed as a monster, had every reason to wipe that particular civilization out. Their rituals made a habit of flaying people and running around in their skins, the families of warriors eating those enemies that the warrior had killed (though apparently the warrior was not allowed to do this), not to mention the blood sacrifices of thousands on their altars. I have heard it say that the conquistadors that followed him had no intention of killing the Aztecs, until they became sickened by the mounds of skulls at their temples. Probably the only thing that kept the Aztecs from attacking first was the great coincidence that Cortez not only looked a bit like Quetzalcotal, but also arrived on the very day predicted. I dare say we’re not as bad as the Aztecs yet.
Seriously man, you don’t call wiping out entire civilizations just to gain gold any less barbaric?
Yeah, less idiots wasting my oxygen. That is truly sad…but on the other hand, it’ll be funny to hear about them in the news in a few months or years, when the germs they thought didn’t do anything suddenly spring up into strange, mutating infections. :mwahaha:
But then, that movie “28 Days Later” comes to mind…
'Course not, it’s okay for gold! Gold’s not money!
I’d say there’s a difference too… bad enough they already killed their own people, but killing them all to make it stop is kinda… contra- productive
It’s like saying “OMG I have a virus so I’ll delete everything on my HDDs so that it can’t affect anything!”
And yeah, that article is kind of bad. Jeebus. Why didn’t they actually call it a project and pull through with it- not as a reality show, but as a competition of some kind? <.< Or how about we start broadcasting some japanese gameshows and accidently forget to perform security checks…?
It’s pretty obvious to me that we’re devolving…
Well, yes. Firstly, the Aztecs were pretty much a tyrant civilization for that region. They went around and fought other, much more peaceful, peoples, simply to capture people to kill in their sacrifices. I’m sure any of the neighboring civilizations were happy to finally be rid of the Aztecs. Secondly, whatever Cortezs objective might have been, he did not go on his famed killing spree until he saw the horror of their sacrifices. After all, if the Aztecs found out they were not the gods they had been awaiting, they would probably have been next to be sacrificed. The bottom line with the Aztecs is that they were a very demented society, transfixed on the slaughter of any and all people around them. What makes them far worse than the killing Cortez might have done is that Cortez didn’t rip their hearts out, didn’t eat them, and didn’t wear their flayed skin. But keep in mind I’m only applying this to Cortez and the Aztecs. The Incas, say, didn’t practice sacrifices and such, I don’t think; when Pizarro wiped them out, it was a different matter from Cortez and the Aztecs. What he did was driven purely by gold-lust and unexcusable. The Aztecs had their time anyway for a hundred years, and all civilizations fall eventually; some do so silently, like the Egyptians, others suddenly and violently like the Aztecs. But both have met the same end. But surely we should be more sad over the disappearance of the Egyptians. They were an immensely skilled people who did things 2000 years BC that the Aztecs likely wouldn’t have been able to accomplish even unto this very day. But all civilizations are destined to fall. That’s the way of things; and it’s a good way of things, in a strange way. Because it is that which purifies civilization. Whenever a society becomes too corrupt it becomes weak, and so is destroyed by a stronger civilization; what was yet good in that society is assimilated by the stronger, and what was bad is often left behind. It is history’s way of purifying itself, assuring that things never go to the absolute worst.
Quite easy, but it looks like Smiths and Agents, and with a Cowboy hat it looks like JR, and Yar doesn’t want to Type, Heh-heh-heh (2dtv’s Bush), all the time.
You talk too much.
The use of the word ‘tyranny’ to mean ‘an oppressive government’ is quite relative. You may deem the political system under which the Aztec Empire operated to be tyrannical and its practices to be inhumane by your ethics, but the inhabitants probably did not think of it in that way at all. Furthermore, it does not justify Cortes’ conquest and destruction of the Aztec Empire at all, which in itself was barbaric enough: common people were slain brutally and buildings and cultural heritage burnt down in flames. Cortes’ motive in this conquest was not to free neighbouring peoples of the Aztecs from them: it was rooted in greed, hatred and fear.
And that justifies Cortes how? Cortes did not fight in self-defence when he destoyed the Aztec Empire. And what evidence was there that he and his army would have been sacrificed when they first arrived?
Again, you are applying your ethics to a society whose world view was very different. What makes your ethics right in this situation? The Aztecs were just living in the culture which they had always known. Even if your ethics were right, how should they have known to follow them if they had no knowledge of them?
Your proof being what? Quite on the contrary, archaeological evidence suggests that the Aztecs knew a fair amount mathematics and science, by which they built monumental architecture, and also had a developed system of bureaucracy and politics. Furthermore, why is a civilisation worth more than another simply because it has higher technology?
And the last time I looked, there were still Egyptians in the world.
Your first statement is ridiculous and completely unsupported by any real evidence; the reality is there are plenty of civilisations which have not collapsed—and a good number of which one might call corrupt—and you cannot see the future. How does corruption directly cause weakness in civilisation? Moral weakness is a relative category, and I find no real evidence that it causes political weakness. For example, you might call the British, French or Japanese (the last being during World War II) ‘corrupt’ because their mistreatment of the peoples who lived under their rule in colonies, but those civilisations have not fallen. In fact, they are far from it. And what proof do you have that ‘history’ is some sort of moral entity which punishes ‘weak and corrupt’ civilisations by causing them to conquered for assimilated by stronger ones?
Also, how can civilisation be pure if all civilisations fall? Perhaps you ought to think more clearly about your arguments in the future, lest you fall in fallacy as you have done here.
Ouch i can feel the burn from here… wait thats just concentrated acid on my hands AHhhhhhhhhhhh faints
Quoting Daffy Duck, “Now that’s just plain old silly!”.Only a complete moron would volunteer for such a thing. The things people are willing to do just to get some loot and fame… -_-
In another note, the way the Spanish Conquistadores wiped out an entire culture was barbaric. It’s a case of greed and religious hypocrisy. Overall, they exploited the natives while claiming to be doing the work of God, spreading the word, yada yada yada, they plundered South America, slaughtered an insane amount of natives, and the diseases they carried from Europe also did a lot of damage to the local populations. As I said before, on the topic of religious divergence, using your beliefs and culture to make yourself look superior to others is wrong, and nothing gave the Spanish and other colonizing powers to do the things they did.
As for the blood sacrifices, cannibalistic practices and other unsightly things, I certainly disagree with them, and I think that no creature should be put through that, but you can’t just wipe out an entire civilization.
Now, does anyone else think this discussion has strayed far enough from its intended topic?
All reality shows suck. Period. Well, maybe not Survivor, since it was one of the firsts, but all the others just suck. I mean, 3/4’s of them are mainly ‘OMG LOLZ I CAN STAY LONGUR TAN U’
Is there really a point for all of it?
And YOU, Pierson, YOU’RE just as bad! I move that Pierson and D. Krispin be banned for trying to incite serious discussion!
It’s so absolutely amazing how we can turn a thread of a rather ridiculous and also funny article into a serious, philosophical debate over genocide and such. Where has all the humor gone? Long time passing…
By the way…reality TV sucks and always will. I’ll stick to the Simpsons, Aqua Teen Hunger Force, and Family Guy thank you.
Ah, that would be because I posted. It always seems to happen when I post. I only feel compelled to reply to something that strikes me deeply. It bothers and disturbs me immensely when the Christian religion is used as a scapegoat to blame certain atrocities on. True there were some that sought only to exploit the native populations, and excused their actions with religion; but there were those who genuinely cared for the native people and worried for their eternal salvation. Whatever might come of it, their intent was not evil, and it is a shame that they are cast in the same light as evil people. It is a trend I see more and more, and it is the most disturbing thing I see in society. The Europeans are always cast in such an evil light during the crusades with their religious wars. People seem to forget that the Muslims attacked and took Jerusalem first; the crusades were a counterattack. This ties in nicely with the conquistadors, for Spain itself had been in very real threat of being conquered by the Muslims a short time before; yet that is never looked on as evil it seems, because it was the Christian empire that was under assault. Why are there so few who see this? Why are Christians always portrayed as hypocrites? I assure you, they are not; some people have ill-concieved notions of how a Christian should be, and that they see themselves as perfect. However the true Christian response is that we are not; as the old hymn says, “chief of sinners though I be…”. Please do not rail so against Christians; while, yes, there are some wars and such, Christianity is a relatively peaceful religion. After all, I don’t think the non-religious such as Stalin and Hitler did much better. In their minds, I think, they felt that they could do what they wished because they were not accountable to any higher power. So much for the glory of the human race, eh? The bottom line: we all have our flaws, and I much dislike Christians being labled hypocrites simply because they engage in war or conquest, and that they are seen as the basis for much of the evil in society; remember that the principles of freedom and equality that we value so highly in our modern world only exist because of that selfsame religion.
As for the destruction of a civilization…what then do you do? What would you have done in the case of the Aztecs? Here you have a people who are likely the bloodiest that the world has ever seen, and that bloodlust is engrained in their religion and in the minds of ever person. You cannot simply change their ways. I truly think there might be some cases where even the destruction of a civilization is warranted, and the Aztecs were one of those. How many other civilizations fell to the Aztecs in the very same way, to be sacrificed on their bloody altars? It was ironic, because the Aztecs in the end were wiped out even as they had wiped out those around them; they were given a taste of their own medicine, so to say. The Incas, on the other hand, were an entirely different matter. Though I don’t think that there was ever a religious excuse to the matter.
The simple fact is that history is written red in the lifeblood of civilizations. It just happens, and is a reality in this world. The fact is that if you have the power, you can wipe out a civilization. Nothing stops you if you don’t answer to a higher power; nothing but religion could truly stop a genocide if a country had the power to do so. See Nazi Germany as a stark example of this. It has been a common thread throughout the history of this world that to expand ones power means to wipe out the lives of another. True the Europeans wiped out the natives; but let’s not forget that England and France had been in perpetual war for hundreds of years themselves, and that, moreover, the natives warred amongst themselves. I’m fully sure that by the time of the Europeans not a few tribes and peoples had been wiped out in such wars. Adapt or die is the harsh reality of civilization, and even as some believe it to be the driving force that refines and powers the development of biology (aka evolution), so too does the human race constantly evolve through a system that might well be termed survival of the fittest.
I seriously apologize if anyone despises my utter seriousness in these matters, but I’m not one to talking lightly about such grave matters. I can’t claim to know history all that well, but that which I do know has led me to the conclusions that precede. Though this may seem unrelated to the topic at hand, this human condition ties in very much with the idea of reality television. You see, humanity has not changed in these, oh, 5000 years of recorded history. Circumstances alter, but our minds and souls remain as they always were through each successive generation. Granted ideals and such may change, but as the article that began this thread shows with great clarity…we are just as depraved as the Romans were as they watched with bloodlust the gladiators duel each other or the captives of war be ripped to pieces by lions. We like to think ourselves purer and more noble, but that capaicity for evil ever lingers in us all, and is merely hidden behind a shroud of civilization. Take a child from our time and raise them amidst the Aztecs, and they will be as enthralled by the pracitices of blood as all the others are. When people audition so for Reality TV, I see those very same people who, hundreds of years ago, would have marched out on a bloody enterprise to win themselves gold, or would have watched in the Roman ampithetres with glee as men fought themselves to the death. I have no illusions over the goodness of humanity, and such things as this do not surprise me. It is but further proof in the utter corruption of mankind and our inablity to change ourselves permanently in any way. There is a heavy Curse that lies upon us, I think, and it turns our sincerest efforts against us. But there is hope, I suppose; war itself is that which refines civilizations, and even amidst all the evil and depravity that runs rampant throughout our race there are some good things that can be found, often in the aftermath of war or even evil. That is what the quote on my sig says, a verse from Tolkien’s Silmarillion. Even as the Noldorin Elves prepare to march into a hopeless war against all reason, enthralled by the fiery words of their headstrong King Feanor, word comes to the council of the Valar of this, and of the words of Feanor that even should they die the deeds they achieve in the war will be remembered in songs ever after, and to this Manwe the King of the Valar says “Thus even as Eru spoke to us in the beginning, beauty not before conceived shall be brought into Ea, and evil yet be good to have been.” An interesting philosophy that finds good even amidst war, written by a man that lived through one of the most terrible wars this world has ever seen; he wrote that even after having lost almost all his closest friends to the war. Evil runs rampant in our fallen world, and all we can do is our best to do what is right. We must rail against such things as the degradation of society. We must do our best, hopeless though it might seem. But even if our efforts come to naught in the end, we have to remember that even through war and turmoil things seem to continue on as they have always done, and even amidst the blackest of evil can some gem of beauty be found, if nothing else than in the will of those who strive against it and hold to what is right.
(Well, I hope that was, for the most part, a little nearer to the topic than my last post. I attempted to explore the reasoning behind these programs, and how they are not unusual in the eyes of history; I also attempted to tie it in with my earlier comments regarding the conquistadors and Aztecs, and how those mentalities then are not far removed from the foolish quests for fame that these contestants on these shows embark upon. Perhaps I was wholly unsuccessful, but I assure you an attempt was there. If I driften too much, please forgive me. And, moreover, I apologize to any and all who dislike my gravely serious tone and outlook upon the world that I put forward.)
Oh, in regards to Reality TV…I’ve only ever seen it…twice, I think. Once was the final episode of the first Survivor, to see what it was like. I wasn’t all that impressed. The second was I think one episode of Fear Factor. Again, it wasn’t all that spectacular to me. Then again, I watch absolutely no TV at all anymore…
Oh, finally, just a reply in particualar to a comment or two made on my first post (this is only in reply to Sir Percival). Yes, I can reply to these things clearly enough (and yes I have thought through them clearly enough; I merely seem harsh and unforgiving in my philosophy, a trait I have inhereted from my father.)
Firstly, we will never agree on the idea of ethics for the simple reason that I am an adamant subscriber to the idea of absolute morality. Sure, sacrifices might have seemed moral to them, but then so did the Holocaust to Hitler, did it not? By your rational, Hitler had every right to operate his concentration camps and mercilessly exterminate the Jews because it fit into his ethical scheme. What right did Britain or any other country have to interfere with his ethics? I challenge you to answer this, because in a matter of morality, if you claim there are no absolutes, then you must also say that Britain had no right to enforce their opinion upon the Nazis; after all, if it is right to them, does that not make it right? That is what the concept of relative morality preaches. What was WWII but the allied powers enforcing their world view, correct though it might have been, on Germany? In that sense, the armies of the allies were no different than the men that marched with Cortez. And if you want to speak civilian casualties, I recommend you remember the firebombing of Dresden; once one of the most beatiful cities in Germany, it was absolutely fire bombed by Britain, killing tens of thousands of civilians. Britain and Churchill were not all that good all the time, let me remind you. So take careful thought before you preach that particular concept of relative morality. I find that those that speak so highly of this relativism would not think twice about applying absolutes on the deeds of the Nazis; I would warn them to be cautious, for that borders on hypocrisy, does it not? Once again, I sincerely challenge you to answer this particular paragraph, for I cannot think of a way in which it might be countered.
In regards to the slaying of commoners in the destruction of the Aztecs…but that was my very point. The commoners themselves were involved in these practices, not only the priests.
In regards to their science…granted, they were somewhat skilled. Their capital was a massive city that housed a million people, I believe. But even so, they had yet to develop the wheel, you know. I doubt they would have come to the point of, say, ancient Greece by the year 2000 if they had been left untouched till now.
In regards to Egyptians, no, there are none left. They died out, or were rather assimilated into the Greeks and such, during the time of Ptolemy and Cleopatra (who were Greeks). Those who live in Egypt now bear no relation to the ancient people who built the pyramids, but are rather Islamic people, I believe.
My statement on the fall of civilizations is a perfect fact, actually. What civilization now lives that is over a thousand years old? Very few. The Holy Roman Empire collapsed a few hundred years ago; the Byzantinians before that. Where now is the glory of Rome? Carthage, perhaps? At its time it was a major power, but it was destroyed three times during the Punic wars with Rome. Egypt, gone. Gilgamesh’s beautiful walls of Uruk so praised in the first of human epics are now tracings in the sand. More recently Prussia and the German empire, such as it was, pretty well collapsed. So did a manifold number of others in the last few hundred years. Granted France and Britain still remain, but they are relatively newer. Their time might well come yet; actually, Britain’s power in the world has significantly decreased since WWII. I will grant you that since civilization now has become somewhat of a “world civilization”, it might be exceedingly hard to have it fall. But based on history, it should. In regards to corruption in society, what it does is weaken the social fabric that binds the people together. A united people are far harder to overcome than one that is not. Take Rome as an example of this, perhaps. And the proof for the punishing of weak civilizations is apparent in the pages of history itself. Weak civilizations invariably crumble to the stronger; where is this not apparent? Egypt to the Macedonians, they to the Romans, Rome to the less organized but stronger barbarian tribes. They, in turn, began to assimilate much of Roman culture (which they themselves had taken from the Greeks), and the influence of this in art can be seen even in the far North and in their religions. Finally I never said that civilizations were pure. I said that they are purified. There is a stark difference. Perhaps refined might have been a better word to use. Things decay, then are refined. It is a never ending cycle. Oh, and please, don’t condemn my arguments so and say that I have not thought about them clearly. I assure you I have, and if anything it is the briefness of the post that did not allow me to fully clarify myself.
And no one need say again that I write a lot. I know I do. I style myself a writer, after all, and not a one of brief words, at that. When an issue strikes me near I feel that I must reply or else stand as a coward. (It’s getting late; I’m lapsing into my more wordy style)
SHUT UP! WILL YOU SHUT UP! (Seriously, though, you post WAAAAAAY too much stuff that’s twenty times the length of the Gettysburg address.)
So WHAT? You post just as much as him, just in 20 different posts, 20 times crappier and with over 20% more annoying sprites! At least his posts have some value. There’s no such thing as making too many posts as long as they’re not spam; everybody has the right to speak their mind as long as it doesn’t offend the forum rules. Jeez.
But Krispin, I’d highly recommend you to use the wonderful return button a little more often, this great invention would make your posts a lot easier to read <<;
Paragraphs are usually about 8 sentences long… gah my eyes. My feeling is the longer a post is the less people will actually read it all the way through it. I do think Krispin as some interesting thoughts but it feels like i’m reading a 50 pound novel almost everytime.