Monday, 1 June 2015

Morality and imperialism

This week on my blog, I have decided to take a look into the question of morality. In general theists attribute their morality to a god, yet a rational look at some examples of dubious morality in our societies show that morality certainly does not come from an objective source like a god. It is through these examples that I hope to show morality truly does not come from God, and excitingly I will not be using slavery as an example.

Morality and Imperialism

Imperialism can be defined as follows: a policy or practice by which a country increases its power by gaining control over other areas of the world. Now, this is a very general definition and if you are not aware of imperialism I would point you towards the wikipedia article as well as a Google search about British Imperialism. There in fact has been finger pointing at America towards Cultural Imperialism, and while I can see this in terms of economy I am not convinced that this is Cultural Imperialism. I would rather say American Cultural Imperialism is a forceful business plan. However, I digress so lets get back on topic.

Imperialism is in many aspects a horrible idea as the British displayed so well in their conquests and subsequent subjugation of multiple countries around the world. We just need to think of the methods they employed in creating countries that hate each other like India and Pakistan when they finally removed themselves from power there. Or consider their penal colony Colony of Australia where all the criminals in the home country were deposited. Additionally, we can consider the mass slaughters of the Xhosa wars by the British in South Africa. But there is no need to pick on the British, as this list can carry on as we look at the morality of the Portuguese, Spanish, French etc. conquests as they expanded their empires.

The British Empire (Source)

So was imperialism bad? Well, yes and no. If it was not for imperialism, the country of the United States of America would not exist in its current form today. If it was not for imperialism we would not have learnt about the modern idea of passive resistance which was started by Ghandi in India. If it was not for imperialism Africa, the Americas etc. as continents would still be hundreds of years behind the rest of the world in terms of technology, medicine and quality of life. Regardless of what you think about these statement they are the hard truth as Europe and Asia were the only parts of the world that were jumping ahead with technology and innovation when these conquests started.

So is their morality in imperialism? The obvious answer is yes, unless you want to leave people to suffer without modern solutions to ancient problems. The answer most of us lean towards is no, and there are valid reasons for this as well. Yet without a doubt there is no way that god could have come to the right answer about imperialism, after all its not an absolute answer and gods like dealing in moral absolutes.