Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Judging People of the Past by Modern Morals

I have read many judgemental criticisms of people of the past, including writers and their characters, such as fantasy writers Robert E. Howard, Fritz Leiber, and Jack Vance. If we judge people (and characters) of the past from our self-righteous 21st Century moral stance, we have to give up just about all heroes, including Gilgamesh, Lancelot, most of Shakespeare's heroes, Buddha (who left his wife and responsibilities), and even Jesus (who left is responsibilities and hung out with whores and traitors). No one can stand up to those standards if a light is shined upon every aspect of our lives. A hero is not someone who is flawless. A hero is someone who does great, courageous, or honorable things despite their flaws.

Judging people from the past (or even in the present) is a false way to make ourselves feel superior to others. A more honest action would be to ask ourselves: what have WE done, and what are WE doing with our lives?

No comments:

Post a Comment