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Old 11-18-2018, 11:59 AM
 
Location: Midwest
3,825 posts, read 6,774,829 times
Reputation: 5957

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Quote:
Originally Posted by maf763 View Post
Except they did no such thing, merely linked to an article about an historic figure. The OP apparently triggered a number of posters on this thread into a state of defensiveness, but did not take a moral stance on Einstein. Your response comes from you, not the initial post.
"Merely linked"? The OP controls the thread title. When you accuse someone from another era, who you don't understand and whose times you don't know much about, nor do you know much about the ones the target wrote of, then you have bought the accusation lock, stock, and barrel. You own it.

Again, my response comes from being quite sick and tired of the Holier-Than-Thou crowd, who have absolutely nothing to be proud of, wagging their fake moral fingers at others when they themselves are far worse sinners.

Quote:
Originally Posted by joe from dayton View Post
Which means that he was like just about every other white person of that time. Next.
You've spoken with them all, I presume? You really do get around, don't you joe?
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Old 11-18-2018, 01:40 PM
 
Location: N of citrus, S of decent corn
34,949 posts, read 43,099,679 times
Reputation: 57906
People are allowed to form prejudices according to their experience. To deny that we all do it would be a lie.

Now, we are more open to the differences in people than they were in Einstein’s day.
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Old 11-18-2018, 03:03 PM
 
Location: Pennsylvania
5,427 posts, read 9,609,943 times
Reputation: 8622
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dwatted Wabbit View Post
"Merely linked"? The OP controls the thread title. When you accuse someone from another era, who you don't understand and whose times you don't know much about, nor do you know much about the ones the target wrote of, then you have bought the accusation lock, stock, and barrel. You own it.

Again, my response comes from being quite sick and tired of the Holier-Than-Thou crowd, who have absolutely nothing to be proud of, wagging their fake moral fingers at others when they themselves are far worse sinners.
The thread title is the title of the article. I've formed no new opinions about Einstein, and I'm well aware that today's morals are a poor lens through which to assess history. But there's a simple solution if you would prefer not to read things that offend you - don't read the thread. Then you won't have to wave your own fake moral finger at people who found the topic interesting.
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Old 11-18-2018, 03:23 PM
 
4,108 posts, read 1,670,587 times
Reputation: 13012
Quote:
Originally Posted by LO28SWM View Post
I agree, continuing to view past figures with today's glasses on is a pointless endeavor. People live their lives and develop their own opinions that way. The man was brilliant and discovered through his travels and his life that people arent what you think they are and was an anti racism speaker. In the '20s he only knew what he saw up to that point and made observations accordingly.

But they do seem to be more travel observations that racist remarks. When I travel I observe people and remark on. Not necessarily as a judgement of an entire populace but as an observation of what I am seeing in front of me.

It is anachronistic to apply modern sensibilities to what people did or said a century ago. Actually it is idiotic.

I'll give you an excellent instance in today's news: Gay Marriage.

A scant 20 years ago, a very large majority of Americans thought that gay marriage shouldn't be allowed. As in 67%. Today, an equivalent percentage approve.

Now, knowing that, are you going to look at a historical figure fifty years ago and punish him because his views on gay marriage and homosexuality reflected his times?

Heck, my father was an architect in the late 50s and early 60s with extensive contacts in the black business community. In the South. Did business with black bankers and lawyers. Ate with them. Furthered the cause of blacks wanting become architects and draftsmen. And when the Supreme Court told a local barbecue joint that it couldn't bar blacks, my father took his clients there the next day to celebrate. Paid a professional price for it, too.

Back then in the South, that would have qualified him to be a wild-eyed radical. Yet some of his views would likely today, sixty years later, be considered paternalistic or even borderline racist. So should I measure my father against the yardstick of today?
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Old 11-18-2018, 04:09 PM
 
5,287 posts, read 3,059,355 times
Reputation: 18044
Quote:
Originally Posted by maf763 View Post
The thread title is the title of the article. I've formed no new opinions about Einstein,/
In case you haven't studied it yet - it's important, to be understood correctly, to put quotation marks around the title of an article. If you don't people will either accuse you of plagiarism or of stating your own views.
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Old 11-18-2018, 07:06 PM
 
Location: Eugene, Oregon
7,320 posts, read 2,294,295 times
Reputation: 10029
Quote:
Originally Posted by Exitus Acta Probat View Post
These alleged racist remarks consisted of nothing more than a couple of idle remarks he made as a young man, in a diary never meant to be read by anyone else. How many of us can truthfully say that in our young and more foolish days, we never uttered a single slur against those of other ethnicities?
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Old 11-18-2018, 10:15 PM
 
Location: Midwest
3,825 posts, read 6,774,829 times
Reputation: 5957
Quote:
Originally Posted by maf763 View Post
The thread title is the title of the article. I've formed no new opinions about Einstein, and I'm well aware that today's morals are a poor lens through which to assess history. But there's a simple solution if you would prefer not to read things that offend you - don't read the thread. Then you won't have to wave your own fake moral finger at people who found the topic interesting.
Thanks! Your advice and wisdom are most appreciated!
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Old 11-19-2018, 08:54 AM
 
Location: SWFL
21,634 posts, read 18,285,705 times
Reputation: 19021
Quote:
Originally Posted by gentlearts View Post
People are allowed to form prejudices according to their experience. To deny that we all do it would be a lie.

Now, we are more open to the differences in people than they were in Einstein’s day.
Absolutely correct. If a person has had bad experiences with members of another race, they will be biased against said race no matter how loud and long PCers scream and I doubt any of that PCness will change their minds.
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Old 11-19-2018, 09:49 AM
 
Location: New Mexico
5,238 posts, read 2,990,409 times
Reputation: 9635
Private diaries of almost anyone in that era or before would have things that the writer might be embarrassed by today. We should not be shocked that Einstein or some other celebrity of the day held ideas that were common at the time. Society is attempting to move beyond that but there are always folks who stand ready to criticize and point fingers when their own ancestors harbored the same prejudices.
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Old 11-19-2018, 09:58 AM
 
Location: Raleigh
7,123 posts, read 5,303,013 times
Reputation: 9692
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallybalt View Post
These are the quotes in the article:

"The diaries were written between October 1922 and March 1923. In one entry Einstein wrote that the “Chinese don’t sit on benches while eating but squat like Europeans do when they relieve themselves out in the leafy woods. All this occurs quietly and demurely. Even the children are spiritless and look obtuse.”

Speaking about the “abundance of offspring” and the “fecundity” of the Chinese, he continued: “It would be a pity if these Chinese supplant all other races. For the likes of us the mere thought is unspeakably dreary.”

Einstein also derided the people of Ceylon, which is now known as Sri Lanka. In Ceylon, he wrote, the locals “live in great filth and considerable stench at ground level,” before adding they “do little and need little. The simple economic cycle of life.”

Einstein also gave his thoughts on Japanese people, who he viewed in a more positive light, calling them “unostentatious, decent, altogether very appealing.” However, he also wrote the “intellectual needs of this nation seem to be weaker than their artistic ones – natural disposition?”

Most of them are simple observations of a traveller. And not too dissimilar to observations still made today. After all, just go to India. I don't particularly find them racist.
That's what I was thinking. It isn't racist so much as it is ignorant. Kind of like when the elderly relative makes a comment that makes the table cringe a bit.
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