Columbus reconsiderd

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rosconey
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Postby rosconey » Tue Oct 09, 2012 8:38 am

you cant put 1492 in todays perspective- just cant-
luckily man evolves his society for the better-

just think-it could all still be the same just with todays technology -thats scarey

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Sequimite
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Postby Sequimite » Tue Oct 09, 2012 9:20 am

The Deacon wrote:I suspect that, if we're celebrating at all, most Americans are celebrating the deed, not the man, so what he did before and after are of little import to us.

As for the rest, are you saying we should change the name of the holiday to something more touchy-feely and politically correct like "Discovery Day" or drop it altogether? If the latter, is because it offends your personal sensibilities that Columbus was a miserable bastard? Or is it, as some of your comments suggest, because you harbor anti-Catholic sentiments and dislike the idea that making the anniversary of his landing in the new world a holiday in the US was promoted by Catholics and that passing the law was most likely done to curry favor with Catholic voters?
Rather than answer the actual questions I posed you go off into a speculative fantasy land. No to all the above.

On the other thread I was simply musing that it seemed an unlikely holiday, since Columbus never landed on North American soil and denied to the end of his life that he had done anything other than find a new route to India; as well as being a convicted mass murderer.

In this thread I am asking why people took such personal offense to my post on that thread.
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Sequimite
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Postby Sequimite » Tue Oct 09, 2012 9:28 am

rosconey wrote:you cant put 1492 in todays perspective- just cant-
luckily man evolves his society for the better-

just think-it could all still be the same just with todays technology -thats scarey
Those who made this point might want to reread my post. I did not judge him by today's standards, although I don't think that is necessarily a bad approach; evil is evil whenever it occurs. Instead I pointed out that Columbus was imprisoned for widespread torture and murder. He was judged according to the moral/legal code of his own day. I then reminded the reader that, a decade into the Spanish Inquisition, the fact that Columbus' acts were seen as extreme and heinous speaks for itself.

Similarly all the talk of deaths during battle and conquest are irrelevant. Hispaniola was being governed with a compliant population when these crimes took place.
Our reason is quite satisfied, in 999 cases out of every 1000 of us, if we can find a few arguments that will do to recite in case our credulity is criticized by someone else. Our faith is faith in someone else's faith, and in the greatest matters this is most the case.
- William James, from The Will to Believe, a guest lecture at Yale University in 1897

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Sequimite
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Postby Sequimite » Tue Oct 09, 2012 10:09 am

I must respond to the comment of Paul's that comes closest to an accusation:
Or is it, as some of your comments suggest, because you harbor anti-Catholic sentiments
Many of you know that I am Jewish and the history of Catholic Jewish relations has not always been a happy one. Never-the-less I have never had a negative attitude towards the RCC, critical on specific issues but never dismissive. Two of my sisters married Catholic men and my beloved nieces and nephews were brought up in the church. I have had endless and marvelous discussions about Western History with my two Catholic brothers-in-law who are hard core history buffs. The last time I regularly attended a church it was a Catholic church. I got a call from an old friend that they needed a drummer for their contemporary mass and during the months I played I also thoroughly enjoyed the sermons.

I hope that I have stayed on the right side of forum rules in my shallow delving into a religious topic. I found Paul's statement so troubling that I felt I must respond.
Our reason is quite satisfied, in 999 cases out of every 1000 of us, if we can find a few arguments that will do to recite in case our credulity is criticized by someone else. Our faith is faith in someone else's faith, and in the greatest matters this is most the case.
- William James, from The Will to Believe, a guest lecture at Yale University in 1897

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Postby Blerv » Tue Oct 09, 2012 10:58 am

Dear Sequimite,

Please stop while you are so far behind. Politics and now religion? Really, have a little respect for the forums and at the least the spirit of the law.

It seems to me the only person who has a bone to pick with the topic is you, at least to the point to raising a stink in a thread of celebration for our northern neighbors. History is muddy, bloody and always skewed to who is writing the books at the time (we ALL know that).

Taking the stance that, "he was a horrible person, you don't understand!" seems a bit assumptive. Yes, what happened to the native people was outrageous. Yes, religious causes have caused countless events of suffering (and I'm a Christian) because when you give a zealot a mission from a god-source crap gets serious and fast! The past is the past though and we have to deal with the present (like this thread).

Here's my spin on federal holidays:
1. I still work but don't get extra pay
2. I can't use the bank
3. Google usually a fun little doodle
4. People make annoying threads

The government hasn't emailed me asking to approve or remove any though so they keep getting celebrated each year. :mad:

This topic obviously offends you. Bringing it up for some reason offends other people. We all have our sensibilities. Who has the right to demand these reasons from anyone?

In a mature fashion I believe ANYTHING can be discussed but this is not a history forum or a college philosophy class; it's a group of people who love knives first and foremost. If we engage in volatile pedantic squabbling it's usually about blade steels, flashlights, and other topics of that nature.

Anything remotely personal (even choice of beer) should be tread lightly upon. Call it being respectful. Call it patronizing. I call it "not turning away potential Spyderco buyers".
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SolidState
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Postby SolidState » Tue Oct 09, 2012 11:04 am

Dear Sequimite,

People take offense any time you offer a narrative that conflicts with the one they were brought up with. Chances are a southerner would be offended by bringing up the whitewashing of the tragic history of conquest and slavery, as conquest and slavery are a proud part of southern history and the conventional white narrative of such things is substantially different from your own.

Does this answer your question?
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Postby Blerv » Tue Oct 09, 2012 11:11 am

The most troubling thing about this thread is the audacity of demanding people explain their reasons for being offended. I would ask if you are a paid therapist but it's fairly obvious there isn't intent to help.

I had a very long-winded response. It would have fit in nicely to this pedantic squabble. Then I realized...

1. These aren't my forums

2. Refuting points of a thread in violation of forum rules is like critiquing a bank robbery

3. If my hot-headed response turned away one single Spyderco customer I would feel horrible (and should).

Now that we have politics and religion woven into a seething mess do me a favor: Fix the spelling of the thread title. Every time I read it I stop to imagine someone so pissed off they couldn't bother smashing another "e" before posting.
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Postby Chipped Karambit » Tue Oct 09, 2012 11:23 am

As a descendant of the Totoro tribe of Colombia (yes.....the one the japanese ripped off the religion of and made a cartoon out of) I just don't celebrate it. Just a monday. No one likes mondays.

Also, on a side note, this thread should be locked or abandoned. just saying. It got very political and awkward instead of the light hearted feeling we are used to on this forum.

Agreed?

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Postby The Deacon » Tue Oct 09, 2012 11:34 am

Sequimite wrote:Rather than answer the actual questions I posed you go off into a speculative fantasy land. No to all the above.

On the other thread I was simply musing that it seemed an unlikely holiday, since Columbus never landed on North American soil and denied to the end of his life that he had done anything other than find a new route to India; as well as being a convicted mass murderer.

In this thread I am asking why people took such personal offense to my post on that thread.
Which question?

Whether it's too late to change it to Leif Erickson (or more properly Leif Ericson) Day? - Yes, it probably is.

Why some folks considered your original posting to be political? - Can't speak for them, and wouldn't even attempt to guess their logic. My post was simply an attempt to point out why your question might be seen as political, religious, or both since, just like Columbus' misdeeds, the origins of the US holiday are documented,

EDITED TO ADD: One further observation. IMHO, any holiday that's celebrated on a convenient Monday, rather than it's actual date has lost whatever meaning it originally had and been turned into nothing more than a good excuse for a three day weekend.

Beyond that, you can call me a cynic, but I suspect that most folks see any holiday, first and foremost, as a day off from work, a chance to earn double time and half, an excuse to party, or just something that delays delivery of the knife they're waiting for by a day. I know when I was working I'd have taken Benedict Arnold's or Judas Iscariot's Birthday off if I was getting paid to do so.

EDITED TO ADD: One additional observation. In my opinion, any holiday which is celebrated on a Monday "close" to its actual date has lost whatever significance, if any, it originally had and become nothing more than a good excuse for a three day weekend.
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Postby jzmtl » Tue Oct 09, 2012 2:22 pm

You can't judge any historical figure with today's standard, too much has changed in our value, in his day pillage and murder in the name of king and country is perfectly honorable. If you do every one of them can be made out to be some sort of sociopath/psychopath. 200 years from now people will probably look at the wars US made in the past 10 years same way you look at Columbus today.

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Postby Blerv » Tue Oct 09, 2012 2:50 pm

jzmtl wrote:You can't judge any historical figure with today's standard, too much has changed in our value, in his day pillage and murder in the name of king and country is perfectly honorable. If you do every one of them can be made out to be some sort of sociopath/psychopath. 200 years from now people will probably look at the wars US made in the past 10 years same way you look at Columbus today.
Good point. Look at the last 50 years alone in the USA (and some others) in regards to human rights pertaining to gender, race, sexual orientation, etc. Likewise some countries currently have leaders and citizens performing cruelty at least on par.

100 years from not, not even 500 years, we will probably be chagrin at the thought people drove carbon emitting vehicles and raised cattle for consumption.
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Postby Dr. Snubnose » Tue Oct 09, 2012 4:19 pm

I have no dogs in this fight, but if my wife were here she would have something to say....Her ancestor was ship physician on the Columbus Voyages. First off I don't see why people would get all bent out of shape with a topic like this one...personally I find it interesting...secondly things get screwed up real easy over time. Did Columbus discover America? Prob not....was he Italian (definitely not) he was a Spanish Jew, as was his whole crew. Should he have a holiday...why not, Ben Franklin, accused and imprisoned child molester who died of Syphilis adorns his big face on our hundred dollar bill. Does he deserve it?
Point is Columbus, George Washington, Ben Franklin, the Beatles, Bruce Lee and the list goes on and on were all imagoes. It is very difficult to compete on any level with an imago.....even in the good vs evil category.......Doc :)
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Postby Sequimite » Tue Oct 09, 2012 5:11 pm

Dr. Snubnose wrote:Ben Franklin, accused and imprisoned child molester who died of Syphilis
The syphilis claim is definitely false. Franklin died at 84 and had a number of health issues but did not exhibit the symptoms of syphilis. Adams spread many false rumors about Franklin supposedly being promiscuous in France when we was so ill with gout that he had trouble getting out of bed. Maybe Adams started that rumor too.

Give me a citation on the child molestation. I've read at least five Franklin biographies and have never heard that one.

The Revolutionary War would not have succeeded without Franklin. Congress never even reimbursed him for the money he spent in France out of his own pocket; The $100 is the least the US could do for him.
Our reason is quite satisfied, in 999 cases out of every 1000 of us, if we can find a few arguments that will do to recite in case our credulity is criticized by someone else. Our faith is faith in someone else's faith, and in the greatest matters this is most the case.
- William James, from The Will to Believe, a guest lecture at Yale University in 1897

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Postby angusW » Tue Oct 09, 2012 7:01 pm

Sequimite wrote:Canadian Thanksgiving and US Columbus Day being on the same day I made a comment about my preference for the Canadian holiday over the US one, writing that Columbus was a mass murderer, robber and slaver. gull wing wrote that he was offended by my "political" post.

I'd like to know why so I'm breaking this into a separate thread. I'll just note that during the time that the Spanish Inquisition was torturing and murdering Jews by the thousand, the torture and murders that Columbus was engaged in on the island of Hispaniola was thought to be so extreme that Spain put him in prison.

Columbus insisted to the end of his life that he had reached India. The fact that native Americans are called Indians is about the only influence that Columbus had on history. He increased interest in exploring and colonizing the Americas, but so did hundreds of other explorers. He seems like an unlikely person to have a federal holiday for.
It's been a while since I've read about Columbus, but from what I remember this pretty much sums up what he did. It's not political, just a small part of our Earth's history that is not pretty as is much of it but is not talked about in "polite" company. Many people cannot handle the truth no matter the evidence presented in front of them.
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Dr. Snubnose
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Postby Dr. Snubnose » Tue Oct 09, 2012 7:34 pm

I see you need to read more and I didn't know you were Ben's Physician....you need to chill man...not everyone here is trying to attack you....lighten up a bit...geesh.............Doc :)
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Sequimite
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Postby Sequimite » Tue Oct 09, 2012 9:28 pm

Dr. Snubnose wrote:I see you need to read more and I didn't know you were Ben's Physician....you need to chill man...not everyone here is trying to attack you....lighten up a bit...geesh.............Doc :)
There are records from different physicians of Franklin's health. The British had a team of spies dedicated to finding out everything there was to know about him and those records still exist. Because Franklin was one of the most famous persons of his time there are many records of his activities and medical problems. He did not have syphilis. If you have evidence to the contrary tell us what it is.

Why is asking for the reasoning or evidence behind a conclusion seen as offensive?
Our reason is quite satisfied, in 999 cases out of every 1000 of us, if we can find a few arguments that will do to recite in case our credulity is criticized by someone else. Our faith is faith in someone else's faith, and in the greatest matters this is most the case.
- William James, from The Will to Believe, a guest lecture at Yale University in 1897

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Dr. Snubnose
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Postby Dr. Snubnose » Wed Oct 10, 2012 12:01 am

Sequimite wrote:There are records from different physicians of Franklin's health. The British had a team of spies dedicated to finding out everything there was to know about him and those records still exist. Because Franklin was one of the most famous persons of his time there are many records of his activities and medical problems. He did not have syphilis. If you have evidence to the contrary tell us what it is.

Why is asking for the reasoning or evidence behind a conclusion seen as offensive?


Maybe it's the high and mighty condescending manner in which you ask... Maybe you didn't read all that I wrote and only have selective reading skills...Do you own research, Iv'e not the time for a thread that wreaks of attitude and well give me bad feelings to read cause you are having a slow night bored sitting around thinking how can I create some fever for political debate and politcal brainwashing. Of the sequimite variety...I've nothing more to say on this topic, but I woudn't be suprised if this thread is soon closed, mind you nothing I plan on doing......spyderco doesn't pay me to scoop the poop.....later...Doc :)
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Postby ASmitty » Wed Oct 10, 2012 9:20 am

The only thing that really matters to me about "Columbus Day" this year (the state of South Dakota actually recognizes it as Native American Day)? I'm a Software Developer for a bank. Last year we got Columbus Day off because it's a bank holiday and the Federal Reserve is closed. This year, our company decided we will only be closed if both the Federal Reserve and the Stock Market are closed. The stock market doesn't close for Columbus Day (or Veteran's Day for that matter) so now I have to work an extra day in October (and an extra day in November).
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Sequimite
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Postby Sequimite » Wed Oct 10, 2012 10:24 am

Dr. Snubnose wrote:[/B]

Maybe it's the high and mighty condescending manner in which you ask... Maybe you didn't read all that I wrote and only have selective reading skills...Do you own research, Iv'e not the time for a thread that wreaks of attitude and well give me bad feelings to read cause you are having a slow night bored sitting around thinking how can I create some fever for political debate and politcal brainwashing. Of the sequimite variety...I've nothing more to say on this topic, but I woudn't be suprised if this thread is soon closed, mind you nothing I plan on doing......spyderco doesn't pay me to scoop the poop.....later...Doc :)
So in your mind, my pointing out actual undisputed (other than the suggestion that Columbus' imprisonment might have had other motivations) historical facts about Columbus is political brainwashing while your unsupported slurs against Franklin, that he was imprisoned, a child molester and died of syphilis are reasoned debate? Certainly something as tangible as his imprisonment would have some shred of evidence to support it? But apparently asking for that evidence is condescending.

I don't get it.
Our reason is quite satisfied, in 999 cases out of every 1000 of us, if we can find a few arguments that will do to recite in case our credulity is criticized by someone else. Our faith is faith in someone else's faith, and in the greatest matters this is most the case.
- William James, from The Will to Believe, a guest lecture at Yale University in 1897

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Postby jabba359 » Wed Oct 10, 2012 2:05 pm

This is probably one of the most unfriendly threads I've read on this forum and a blight on the open mindedness and general respect that Spyderco eschews. I don't particularly agree with Sequimite and his stance, but he does have some facts right.

Ben Franklin was quite the womanizer, and likely fathered a large quantity of illegitimate children, but I can find no credible source saying he was a child molester. As for syphilis, I must defer to esteemed biographer Walter Isaacson, who wrote: "Franklin had the gout and kidney stones, and he died at 84 of a ruptured lung artery, but he never had a venereal disease." Other historians appear to draw the same conclusion; Ben Franklin never had syphilis. I could find no credible historical account claiming otherwise, despite what the internet would have you think.
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