Temporal Relativism

Just been explaining cultural (and temporal) relativism to our eldest daughter. She’s (rightly) been learning about naughty imperial practices in Britain’s past.

I just wanted her to know that history can always be viewed from several perspectives. Judging past behaviour by today’s values is dangerous and fails to consider the values of the time.

Also, while Britain did some terrible things in India, it left the country with the largest democracy in the world and a rail network which has been instrumental in the country’s development.

A mere 70 years ago we were intentionally targeting civilian targets by blanket-bombing whole German cities; something which would be inconceivable now.

Values change, and it’s important that history is also considered in the context of the time it was made.

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