Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Blaming people for their parents?

  1. Aug 12, 2004 #1
    A lot of public opinion and politics is heavily influenced by past events, even though those specific events did not effect the individual and the opinions and politics are plastered on people who themselves had nothing to do with said events. My question is if it is reasonable to judge a group of people and take action because of what happened generations ago?

    In the political forum there is a topic about Chinese fans expressing their hate for events in ww2 to the visiting Japanese team and it bugs me because that team, that entire generation had nothing to do with it. Yet this type of judgment happens All the time and by Everyone (pardon the generalization)
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 13, 2004 #2
    I think it is right to hold grudges against the governments that are responsible but not against the civilians of the country. Becaue even if the generations aren't responsible the government that was, still exist.
  4. Aug 13, 2004 #3


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Gold Member
    Dearly Missed

    Cultural memory of injustice is one of the big social problems in the world. A group feels that they were shat upon by another group and brings its children up to believe in revenge. And when they finally take their revenge, the other group repeats the cycle. It was bad enough when families did this (Montagues and Capulets, Hatfields and McCoys), but it is horrible when big populations do it (Serbs and Bosnians, Tusi and Hutus, Shi'a and Sunnis - and Kurds).
  5. Aug 13, 2004 #4
    Agreed. Losing trust is one thing but revenge is another. Obvious point I put out? heh ;)
  6. Aug 13, 2004 #5
    I hate to say it but this type of issue is very complicated from a metaphysical view point.

    as a matter of practicality, if we could learn to love and teach our children the value of love we would soon (2-4 generations) overcome most of the major world issues.

    i am always drawn to the problems in N. Ireland. two differnt christian sects hell bent on destroying their fellow countrymen. and we think the mid-east is confusing!

    the bottom line, for me, is that we start with self. if i can turn the other cheek, teach my children to do the same (boy, that's hard, because we do not want our children to think we are wimps) we might create a building wave of change.

    how do we keep the memory of past atrocities (so they don't happen again) without perpetuating the anger and hate??

    olde drunk
  7. Aug 13, 2004 #6


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    This may or may not be true depending upon the type of government. US government existed during slavery and still exists. But the US government cannot be held accountable TODAY because of what happened then due to the steps taken against slavery since then. Not only that, not one single human is alive today that was then and the country and/or government is made up of people.
  8. Aug 14, 2004 #7
    There will always be conflict between Mankind and Man.
  9. Aug 14, 2004 #8
    A study of South African tribal histories revealed a distinctive pattern. Every few hundred years all of the tribes would unite to attack one particularly vicious tribe, almost committing genocide. This was only done when that tribe reached a critical size that made them a serious threat to everyone else.

    The single largest factor appears to be the wealth of the local resources. Nomadic desert dwellers such as the !Kung and isolated tribes such as the Taseday often do not possess words such as war, greed, or even guilt. They simply have little or no need for such words, and often deliberately avoid adopting them because of the contention the very concepts themselves can breed. When all you own are rocks and sticks nobody cares to fight over them.

    Humanity is the most successful preditory pack hunting species ever to inhabit this planet. Whether right or wrong, this is our inheritance.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook