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Challenge Match: PatrickGarrow17 vs Hefficide - "Was Columbus a positive or negative influence on t

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posted on Nov, 19 2012 @ 09:08 PM
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Was Columbus a positive or negative influence on the world?





Please allow me to begin by thanking my opponent, PatrickGarrow17, the members of ATS, and the staff and fighters of the Debate forum for providing us with both venue and audience. You are all always appreciated.

Taking my position in this debate does cause me a bit of personal pain. As some here may be aware, my father was a Native American. In fact my current place of residence, in Georgia, is quite literally my familial ancestrial home. These lands were stolen from my ancestors, by force and at gunpoint, by Europeans - in the most barbaric and uncivil of ways. In my veins flows the blood of people who were forced to walk the infamous and tragic Trail of Tears. The voices of those ancestors whisper within me, even as I write these words. They speak to me of the world that once was. The whispers from my European ancestors are also here, and have their opinions as well. These voices have Irish accents and they also speak to me of the world that was. Within me, voices speaking of an untainted paradise - others that speak of a Hellish world and the escape from that Hell by way of ocean voyage to the new world.

It is my hope that I, as a modern man, do all of my ancestors honor and justice in my arguments here.

Opening Statements



Today we will be discussing whether or not Christopher Columbus had a positive or a negative influence upon the world. With my opponents permission, I will consider Columbus to serve as a symbol for the plethora of European explorers who dared the Atlantic crossing and had varying levels of influence upon the world. It is that idea, I feel, that this debate must be focused upon. After all - prior to these men the notion of globalization could not exist, as the globe itself was still a mystery. That is, I believe, the meat of this issue... The age of discovery being the gateway to globalization.

It is my position, apt to be an upopular one one, given our conspiratorial environs here, that Columbus was, in fact, a positive influence upon the world. And for a variety of reasons.

The discovery of the Americas led to the circumnavigation of the world. This heralded a shift in human perception. Before Columbus there was a map, that had not changed much since the dawn of civilization. A map that had edges which said things like "Here there be dragons" or "The edge of the world". After the age of discovery there was a world - one with percpective. One where borders no longer led us into the abyss and unknown - but back, eventually to familiar lands. This simple reality cannot be minimized in its importance in the progression of human understanding. In circumnavigation of the globe and the defining of the shape of our world, the age of myth ended and the age of true reason was allowed to begin.



For the Europeans and denizens of the old world, the new world allowed for so much that had previously been lost in the after effects of feudalism and eons of war. There was now a new place - a virgin place. A land where title meant little, ones past meant nothing, and where Kings and Lords has little influence in the day to day lives of the common people. It was harsh land, but one that offered freedom. A type of freedom long since lost to the other half of the globe. A freedom that, eventually gave rise to the resurrection of the light that had once been Rome. Freedoms only whispered about in secret - from stories long since outlawed by Popes and Kings alike. The new world was a place where these stories could be told openly. The new world was the womb where the seed of freedom was, once again, allowed to grow and seek rebirth. The vast, wooded cradles of the new world was the nursery of the world we live in today - a world where Democracy exists and is no longer just a whispered story of what once was.

So, some came seeking adventure. Others a fresh start. Some came because to remain in Europe would have meant prison. Others, still, came because they wished to create a new home where their religious practices would not be judged or hindered.

And then there were those who came because they had heard the legends...



Many of those who came did so because of the stories they'd heard of cities of gold, tales of Quivira, Cibola, and El Dorado. Though fortunes of gold were found, those initial explorers seemed blind to the true fortune that the new world offered - resources such as timber and fertile land. It was these abundant treasures that had far more impact upon the world than any shipments of gold, silver, or precious stones. Today the Americas are sometimes referred to as the bread basket of the world - and rightly so as the bounty of this land enabled the entire world to have more than they had previously had access to. This bounty raised the quality of life in most of Europe and provided the means for a new renaissance of thought and advancement that has benefitted the entire world and all men who lived after the discovery and conquest of the new world.

All of this made possible because one man allegorically dared to push beyond the map - past the edge and into the places where serpents dwelled and the world ended. In doing so this man, and those like him, inadvertently opened up Pandoras box and allowed the modern world to escape. Had the Kings of Europe known then what we know now? They would have probably not only refused to finance expeditions to the new world. They might have even issued decrees making Atlantic travel a crime, punishable by death. In their quest for more lands, more subjects, more gold, and more power... In the quest for Empire - many of those Royal houses found their demise. They no longer hold sway over the world, as they once did.

This is why Columbus was a positive influence upon the world. Even at the cost of the Aboriginals who once were the sole inhabitants of the Americas. The voyages of Columbus and his fellow explorers altered the entire landscape of world politics and allowed for a shift from the stalemate that had plagued Europe for hundreds of years. Before Columbus there were nations - after Columbus there was a world. One defined and known... one where men could stop thinking in terrestrial and immediate terms and could really begin dreaming and thinking about greater things.

The name "Columbus", incidentally, is really irrelavent to the notion. Had a young Christopher Columbus decided to be a cobbler, rather than a sailor, we'd still be having the same conversation - but might be using the name Vespuci, Magellan, or De Leon instead. The fact of the matter is that the discovery and exploitation of the new world was an inevitable step in the progression of humanity as a species. It had to happen. For all of the tragedy that came of Columbus and his voyage of discovery - the benefits of that voyage, today, cannot be denied. On the decks of those ships, roughly five hundred years ago... the modern age of man was born. And all of humanity has benefited from the series of events which followed Columbus setting foot upon his ship that fateful day in 1492.

With that, I conclude my opening remarks. Thank you.

~Heff




posted on Nov, 19 2012 @ 10:23 PM
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In this debate, we will stray from focusing on the commonplace topics of ATS. We often discuss current events, modern conspiracies, and the paranormal. This comes at the expense of reflecting on deeper history, and the era from which our current world originates.

I thank ATS for providing the opportunity for this reflection, Hefficide for agreeing to the topic, and most of all everyone who chooses to read our discussion.

My opponent's opening frames this debate exactly as I would like it to be.

He started by sharing a connection to Native Americans, one which I was unaware of. We are clearly in agreement that the people indigenous to the land in the Western hemisphere were subjected in inexcusable crimes. This, of course will be a primary factor in my argument that Columbus had a negative impact on our world.

Also, I applaud Hefficide for expanding this discussion beyond Columbus as an individual. Columbus is the face of a broad movement of "exploration," and more significantly colonization and exploitation.




With my opponents permission, I will consider Columbus to serve as a symbol for the plethora of European explorers who dared the Atlantic crossing and had varying levels of influence upon the world. It is that idea, I feel, that this debate must be focused upon.


Permission granted. It is agreed that Columbus himself is not the only subject of the debate, but European expansion in general must be considered.

But before we delve into that, let's not forget the other side completely. Because now we are not just talking about the Taino's, and Native Americans that Columbus interacted with exclusively. We are considering the entire picture:

- Exact figures are uncertain, but Professor William Denevan estimates about 54 million indigenous lived in the Americas pre-Columbus. By 1650, there were less than 6 million. Genocide. link from UW

- Oppression against Native Americans continued overtly for a long time. Jackson instituted an Indian removal policy in 1830. The Wounded Knee massacre in 1893. Tribal land was seized continually. link.

- Still today, reservations are plagued by poverty. link.


Crimes of European activity in the New World do not end with Native genocide. There is also the issue of African slavery.

- It is estimated that about 12 million African slaves were brought to the New World. link

- Slavery existed in America until after the Civil War, overt discrimination until the mid 1960's at the earliest, and economic inequality continues to this day.


So, as these statistics outline, vast atrocities were committed in the process of European colonization. This started with Columbus.


They were well-built, with good bodies and handsome features.... They do not bear arms, and do not know them, for I showed them a sword, they took it by the edge and cut themselves out of ignorance. They have no iron. Their spears are made of cane... . They would make fine servants.... With fifty men we could subjugate them all and make them do whatever we want.
quote by Columbus

So, my opponent is admittedly left with an awkward and uncomfortable position. He must provide evidence that the benefits from colonization exceed the obvious crimes. It is a position that would make Machiavelli proud.

But let's not assume that these crimes were essential to the globalization process. I agree that an increase in global knowledge is good for humanity. International relationships and trade are good for humanity.

What I take issue with was the process that created these benefits, and a lingering mind state that we as a species have yet to shake. In 1492 Columbus left looking for a trade route, looking for riches. His attitude toward the Natives upon arriving shows that oppressive tactics were always a part of the plan.

To this day, our economic patterns show that many are willing to put profit before human rights. We have factories in developing nations that border on slave labor, entire wars waged for economic reasons, and exploitative advertising.

All of this comes from the precedents set by the era of colonization, and continuing with imperialism.

I don''t buy the notion that humans in 1500 knew no better. Ethical philosophy was there for any to follow.

I think the world could have been explored, and international relationships could have been set up more peacefully under more humanitarian leadership. I agree that a more globalized world is better, but qualify by reminding that our global society can be vastly improved and our problems are rooted in the sinister motivations of those like Columbus.



posted on Nov, 20 2012 @ 04:29 AM
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Here we find the crux of the debate... the heart of the issue. Had this debate been called "Was Columbus a positive or negative influence on the aboriginals of the Americas" - mine would be a lost cause, and rightfully so. The atrocities, deliberately and accidentally unleashed upon the inhabitants of the New World are staggering, shocking, and utterly indefensible. Even those who came with the potentially "pure" motives of spreading the word where really only seeking treasure of a different sort than the other parties who sailed across that great sea. The painful fact is that some men see gold as a shining stone, others see it as timber and water, and still others see it as seizing power over those who inhabit the lands and who can be used as slaves to extricate and process the more obvious forms of wealth. These things I cannot and will not seek to defend on any level. To do so would be an affront to morality, to what is right and correct, to my faith, and to my ancestors themselves.

Fortunately, this debate is not a conversation about whether or not Columbus was a positive or negative influence upon the Americas... it is about whether or not his journey was positive or negative for the world. A much larger world than just the Americas themselves. In that regard there can be no denying that this was, in the end, a positive thing for the world as we know it. The world that we inhabit today.

Incidentally, my opponent tables the issue of slavery, of the American Civil War, and of the Jim Crow culture that survived into the 1960's and, some would argue, still lives on today. I will not spend much space addressing this as I do not see it as an American issue in and of itself. The evils of slavery existed long before the discovery of the new world - and arrived on our shores an already standardized institution. While most are literate, to one degree or another, of the African slave trade - fewer know that many white Europeans arrived on these shores in a state of indentured servitude as well. Such was the world in those days. Sadly, America ended up being the most resistant nation towards changing this, and required an internal war to right that wrong. But the problem was never uniquely an American one.

Now we come to the most painful aspect of the Columbus event. Genocide. If we strip things down to their most base elements we are left with accidents of anthropology that seem to have made this event nearly inevitable. The human species, as best we currently know, began in the savannas of Africa and migrated from there. The middle east is commonly accepted as the cradle of civilization. Theory tells us that, at some point early on in the process, a group of early humans crossed the Siberian land bridge into North America and became the seed population for the American aboriginals. They did this at a time we would refer to as the stone age. Thus the advancements which took place in the old world were lost those who migrated here. Additionally Europeans were exposed to many diseases that those in the Americas were not and had gained a level of tolerance to them.

Steel, gunpowder, and smallpox. All accidents of migration, really... Advantages the Europeans possessed merely by virtue of how humanity had fanned out into the world. Still, even though history is written by the victors - those of the Americas put up a noble fight and any study of history proves this. They fought with honor and nobility. Despite the label of "savages" - history shows us that they treated their prisoners better than the Europeans tended to do. Most of the time at least.

The word genocide is appropriate, but not accurate. I, along with many others on ATS, are proof that aboriginals still walk this nation. We still enjoy the lands of our ancestors - if not in a much different manner. We remain. We remain and our children have gained much from the events that came to pass here. The old ways were replaced by new ways. Marvelous ways. Amazing things. Knowledge beyond comprehension. Potential to make the most incredible dreams into reality. To share our culture and our values with an entire world of men who need to hear those words. These are blessings born of the tragedies Columbus brought with him on his ships.

My opponent heralds Columbus as a beginning point for Empire. I disagree strongly. Empire existed long before the New World was discovered. As I stated in my opening, the New World served as a place where Empires lost their power even as they sought to further it. Here is the land where liberty and freedom were openly discussed, at last. Here is where revolutions were born.

Europeans would have come here eventually. If at a later date, they might have better known the risks and might have not allowed the freedoms which led to our modern world. It was their ignorance of the effect this land would have upon men that led most of us into freedom. Even the descendents of those who were here before Columbus.



posted on Nov, 20 2012 @ 05:37 PM
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It is extremely difficult for us to admit a wrong doing of the past when none of us would exist without it. Since Columbus' time, the quality of life has increased for many. For this reason, it becomes easy to tolerate a negative event and justify it based on what occurs now.

In America, we are indoctrinated with the image of Columbus as hero before an ability to think critically develops. We get a holiday to celebrate his accomplishments. Washington DC bears his name, as does an Ivy league university, the capitals of Ohio/South Carolina, a sportswear brand, and a S. American nation.

There may be no other name that is honored to this level in the Western world.

The result? An acceptance of atrocity on the path to prosperity, maybe as deep as the subconscious.

Some do overcome this, a poll from rasm ussen shows that 24% of Americans believe Columbus should no longer be honored with a holiday.

But for the most part, the legend of Christopher Columbus continues to haunt our morality.

My opponent has now attempted to drive his argument with the idea that European immigration to the America's ushered a new level of liberty and freedom. At the same time, he would like to dismiss some of my arguments as too America-centric.

There is a contradiction to this thinking that we must consider. The economic growth that resulted from the transatlantic trade and colonization in the 17th and 18th centuries created a unique situation in Europe which allowed for the rise of the industrial revolution. Manufacturing led to the creation of a weaponization that would prove unstoppable in the rest of the world.

While some progress was made in terms of liberty in America, the squeeze on liberty world wide took hold.



Following the pillaging of the America's, the economic model of exploitation expanded worldwide until the vast majority of the world was controlled by a government with European origins.

Indeed, what started with Columbus did result in the expansion of empire.

But, let's also turn back the clock. My opponent is correct that the general paradigm of exploitation/oppression existed prior to Columbus. He is correct that slavery was a well established practice. I can not see, however, how these facts help his case.

These were negative actions when Jews were enslaved in Egypt, when Genghis Khan unleashed terror across Eurasia, and once again when Columbus assisted in expanding these practices to levels before unseen.

I refuse to accept that humans are incapable of interacting without a sinister ulterior motive. Columbus represents a continuation and expansion of an ethic that will remain negative until it is expunged from humankind. This loose morality has haunted us throughout the centuries, and continues to this day.

Our celebration of Columbus is detrimental to overcoming historical crimes and moving on to a society where any form of oppression is simply not tolerated, no matter what benefits may come as a result.

I rarely hear anyone giving the Nazis credit for providing a wealth of medical data.

And in the same manner, we should not give Columbus credit for any economic, scientific, or societal benefits that followed. His crimes are on par with the Nazi regime, and the way of business that he represents is guilty of all of the crimes that occurred after his death.

It is a vicious cycle, for sure. By allowing ourselves to see Columbus as a positive influence on the world, we are tolerating an "ends justify the means" mentality. This will never work because in the process of exploiting one group for the benefit of many, unforgivable memories become a cause for vengence.

Columbus himself was a victim of this, and could not overcome it because his society tolerated oppression.

During the time when Columbus was seeking funding for his journey, the Spanish Inquisition was established by the very regime that would pay for the voyage. King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella. Columbus came from an environment of extreme intolerance, and was in debt to the leaders of a slaughter.

Until negative actions like the ones associated with Columbus are unacceptable, the cycle of violence and exploitation will continue. Current crime and oppression can find roots well before Columbus, but none did more to expand their use and none are more celebrated for it.



-----
(Side topic for anyone interested:Luis de Santangel, a Jewish finance minister who convinced the Spanish crown to fund Columbus. He was granted immunity from the inquisition for service to the crown. Conspiracists believe that Columbus himself was a Jew, escaping European persecution.)



posted on Nov, 21 2012 @ 06:15 AM
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Closing



It's 6:30 in the morning, I am exhausted Most would say that this is a disadvantage. To them, I say that this makes the battle all the more fun.

I wish to thank my opponent, PatrickGarrow17 for a thought provoking and enjoyable debate. it is my belief that the speed of this debate is due to our passionate feelings on the subject, prior knowledge, and a sincere desire to for self expression. I commend my opponent on an honorable and worthy discussion.

Now, into the fray...



My opponent, in a very noble and honorable endeavor has shown us, quite effectively, the horrors that followed Columbus to the shores of the new world. In my rebuttals I have not addressed the reality that the new world was not quite the paradise that historians and Hollywood sometimes wish to make it appear. Warfare on these shores was brutal and merciless long before Europeans set foot upon any of our shores. In fact, since he tabled slavery as an issue, I will point out that the while they Europeans did bring slavery with them here, they arrived to find the practice already a staple of life among the aboriginals. It was already part of their custom and considered as part of the spoils of war in ancient American cultures.

All the Europeans really added to the mix was technology, religious dogma, and a variety of greed previously absent from these environs.

The saddest truth is that men will be men, regardless of creed. And my Aboriginal ancestors were not immune.

But these issues are not what we are here to address. Our topic is whether or not the completion of the globe was a positive or negative thing. Was the final stage of discovery a thing of progress or of evil. As we consider this question we must force ourselves to think of mankind as a whole and not as subsets. Obviously for the Algonquin European arrival was a bad thing. But for those across the ocean - even unto other mythical lands such as Asia - in the long run it was most certainly beneficial.

The raw materials from the new world alone enabled an economic boon the likes of which had not been seen since Rome. Even if that were the only factor we were discussing, this one factor would suffice to seal a win for me in this argument.

To discuss the unprecedented opportunity that an Atlanta voyage offered the old worlds downtrodden also would be enough to consider Columbus a positive influence upon the world.

But even that those things are not the true gifts to have come from the discovery of these lands.

The real and relevant gift that the ghost of Columbus has left us with is the very things that my opponent railed against in his most recent post. Globalization, the industrial age, The revival of that shining light which had been Rome. Europe held, for centuries, the dying embers of that great civilization and here, on these shores, that fire once again was given a place to rage and to grow. Ideas, the likes of which men had nearly forgotten even how to dream about, ignited back into life here. Ideas that have no defined our modern world. A world that would have left Columbus, himself, in awe of. A world with longer life expectancies, modern medicine, science... a world where many are literate and learning to become the next generation of dreamers. A world where hunger is the exception and not the rule. The very golden city that the ancients came looking for - they seemingly accidentally gave birth to. And all because a group of sailors were brave enough to prove just how small and fragile our world really is. They dared to sail off of the map and into history.

I truly do admire and respect my opponents idealism and his obvious wish that expansion into the new world could have been done with out the travesties and horrors that history tells us that happened. Sadly the nature of man rarely allows for such idealized meetings. It is always us vs them. Even if the Europeans had arrived here holding olive branches and speaking of true and honest peace - it would have been short lived. The cultural expanse was too great for these two nations to work as one. Just as the discovery of this land was inevitable - so was the fight that followed.

Final Thoughts



Look around you and at the wonders you behold. Even the screen you read these words upon is a gift that has sprung from a global society and the smaller world we now inhabit. Here once walked simple hunter gatherers and now stands the pillar of civilization - light renewed. It's not perfect yet and requires a lot of work - but it is the most influential nation to ever grace this planet.

I spoke earlier of the whispers I hear from my forefathers. they speak of the loss of their world. They even lament me for having to live in this one. But they also speak, in great pride, of what this land will one day be. This potential future is the gift Columbus gave us. One that will make all of our ancestors feel their sacrifices worthy and just.

Thanks



posted on Nov, 21 2012 @ 06:33 PM
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To begin my closing statement, I will summarize my opponents argument:

Columbus, and those like him, made significant contributions in building a better world. Our modern technology, comfort, increased knowledge, etc. are all directly related to these initial explorations. The way of life in the 21st century is an incredible improvement over that in the 15th. The atrocities committed on this path were a necessary evil, unavoidable, and ultimately overshadowed by the parallel advancements.

It will be up to the judges and readers to decide for themselves, if this is the proper interpretation. Before an opinion is formed, let's consider the opposing evidence.

First, the stance that conflict was unavoidable in the process of exploring and developing an accurate picture of the planet.

There was an explorer before Columbus, from China, that made an equally impressive journey without falling into the trap of exploitation and colonization. Zheng He. He did possess a military, but did not choose to take over foreign lands.

There is some evidence that the Chinese admiral even made it to America as early as the 1420's.



China, where guns and steel existed before Europe, chose not to colonize the world.

(Note: Not to say China is free of expansion crimes, just to point out that superior weapons and navy did not leave no other options but taking over the world.)

It is not unreasonable to think European explorers could have chosen to explore for purely scientific reasons, and set up peaceful trading partnerships. This type of policy would have certainly been more in line with the teaching of Jesus.

But, the fact is that economics is what primarily drove the age of exploration. Originally seeking Asian spices, then moving to land, crops, gold, slaves. Any virtuous intent was secondary.

And this is what I'd like us to focus on. Why was Columbus doing what he was doing? Why did these people leave their home shores on ships?

Because there was a chance they would get rich.

Get rich, they did. The entire Western World did. And in fact, my opponent is correct that the globalizing effect is a positive legacy of Columbus.

This debate is inevitably not one that comes down to facts, but values and ethic. So much is hypothetical. What if Columbus hadn't made the trip? What if all Europeans stayed home? Where would the world be now?

I can not answer these questions concretely. I can propose that humanity could have found itself in a state of similar material wealth and quality of life without the legacy of oppression, but I can offer no proof for this.

What we have is really the ultimate ethical debate. This age of exploration gave us so much of the good things that we know today, but it was accomplished by a mindset that plagues us with many of our problems.

By my thinking, though, this debate can be solved. The things gained by Columbus are little compared to what we sacrifice. Materials can only get us so far in life. We now have all of this stuff, but we are still left slacking in the truly important.

The driving force of our economic expansion is greed. To this day, we see a society rank with an insatiable lust to have more stuff, the best stuff, and show it off. It doesn't matter if others lose in the process of becoming wealthy, "I'm gonna get mine."

A disproportionate focus on hoarding wealth haunted Columbus and those that financed him. People became commodities and consumers to the wealthy class. A sentiment which continues to linger.

To anyone seeking a higher virtue, it is a simple debate. Material wealth brings little happiness when compared to the mental wealth of a high ethic. Lasting happiness comes as the result of a clear conscious and a satisfied self. Only temporary happiness can be found in a plate of delicious meat at a mansion.

Happiness is a state of mind, not a state of action. Until we choose to accept a more virtuous ethic our desires can not be fulfilled.


A reason I wanted to take on this debate was to try and explain that the negative influence of Columbus is not only measured in dead bodies or stolen acres, but in the loose morality involved in accepting uncountable crimes in exchange for better stuff.

Globalization is positive for the world in some ways, but until we start interacting with a common respect for each other and holding oppressors accountable, I'm afraid we will be left in the same predicament of a largely unjust world.


Paying off the American debt would be positive in itself. But would we be willing to invade Mexico, kill a few million, and claim all of their resources to do it?



Thank you to Hefficide and everyone who took the time to read our discussion.



posted on Nov, 24 2012 @ 03:04 AM
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Its been a very interesting debate that was, not surprisingly, a tie. The tie had to be broken by bringing in a third judge.

____________________________________________________

Judge 1

This was a very close debate. Both opponents presented their positions well, and reinforced them throughout the discussion. Truly, both members deserved a win, simply for the fact that they both took an interesting debate topic, wove it into a believable position, and followed through from first post to last post. Content wise, it's a tie.

So I'm left to look at other factors by which to decide a winner. I'll break down each post to discover them.

Hefficide:

The age of discovery being the gateway to globalization.


the New World served as a place where Empires lost their power even as they sought to further it.


The raw materials from the new world alone enabled an economic boon the likes of which had not been seen since Rome.


PatrickGarrow17:

vast atrocities were committed in the process of European colonization.


the economic model of exploitation expanded worldwide until the vast majority of the world was controlled by a government with European origins.


Because there was a chance they would get rich. The driving force of our economic expansion is greed.


Overall, Hefficide was able to point out positive influences, and PatrickGarrow17, the negative ones. It's still a tie IMHO. It's rare to see such a balanced debate, and I'll commend both debaters on such an outstanding job.

In the end, I'll give the win to PatrickGarrow17 for the one outstanding point he made, with his reference to Zheng He. There was another culture that was capable of the same sort of greed, the same atrocities, but they declined to colonize. He was able to provide contrast to the "greedy Europeans", and in effect, was able to steal the debate away at the last moment, a clever move that was really the only unmatched point in such an evenly balanced match.

I am sincerely impressed with the caliber of this debate, and it was a pleasure reading. This style of debate should be the standard by which others follow.

Judge 2

Hefficide took this debate. It was an extremely difficult one to judge and in the end it came down to one simple thing. PatrickGarrow using a known bit of fraud as proof that a country could explore without conquering and/or exploiting.

There is much written about Gavin's conclusions and his methodology, and he never once pointed out that the Asian and Native Americans were the same race due to the land bridge etc, but I digress.

IN the end Heff stuck to his guns and took the prize...

Judge 3

The debate over the nature of Columbus' influence on the world was a complex one, but one which can be judged by the criteria that the participants laid out for the topic. Essentially, it boiled down to whether the good in the world today exists as a result of the boldness of 15th Century European expansion, and whether the price paid by those steamrolled over by said expansion was worth it.

On a purely moralistic basis, it is difficult to say that the ends justify the means, but in this case, we have the additional factor of resource utilization. Whether the Native Americans could lay claim to the Americas or not (since their claim was simply one of "they were here first",) if they weren't utilizing those resources to their full potential, it is more reasonable that a more efficient utilization is, in the end, better for the world?

These are the arguments made -- that the good in the world that we see is largely a result of European expansion and domination in the last 500 years, countered by the argument that said progress was made at too high of a cost. In the end, I think that, while both debaters make reasoned, sensible and logically sound points, the need to evaluate whether the world today is "good" or "bad" results in a decision in Hefficide's favour.

In my opinion, Hefficide wins a very close debate.

_____________________________________________________

Hefficide is the winner of this Debate.

PatrickGarrow loses by a very small margin.
edit on 24-11-2012 by Skyfloating because: (no reason given)





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