One of the main things that I’ve been thinking about during our class discussions of Columbus is about each person’s morals in life. Columbus is sometimes thought of as a great explorer and sometimes he is thought of as a cruel person who was driven by greed. I think that there is no black and white answer to what is good and bad, rather everything depends on situations, who is being affected by actions and if something is for the “greater good”.
^A little intro video to spark your interest on my topic, which is about why different people have different morals.
It would be great if the right and wrong decisions in life were obvious and that everything was black and white, but that is not the case. For instance, most people would say that killing someone is a terrible thing to do, but if you kill someone in self defense, is it really that bad? Or people may say that stealing is bad, but what if you were stealing food in order to feed your starving family? Would that change things?
Morals are defined as “A person’s standards of behavior or beliefs concerning what is and is not acceptable for them to do”. I believe that everyone has different morals due to where and how they grew up, their personal experiences and what they believe in.
So how does this all have to do with what we’ve been discussing in class? Well, let’s bring this back to Columbus. In order for Columbus to get gold, “discover” America and help this land become what it is today, he committed genocide of the Arawak people. Columbus viewed this for the greater good, that is was necessary. But was it? Looking back on it, some people argue that Columbus was evil for killing people in their own land. Others say it was inevitable and that it was worth it. These different views reflect peoples morals about subjects like killing and greed.
Every decision causes controversy because everyone disagrees on what is right and what is wrong. In every situation you can find ways to justify your actions, and overall your actions reflect your morals. So knowing that, how would you describe what Columbus did? Brave? Heartless? Cruel? Necessary? Racist?
And what does your answer reflect about you?