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Most Overrated

A place to debate issues or to rant about what's on your mind. In addition to discussions about historical fiction, books, the publishing industry, and history, discussions about current political, social, and religious issues and other topics are allowed, so those who are easily offended by certain topics may want to avoid such threads. Members are expected to keep the discussions friendly and polite and to avoid personal attacks on other members. The moderators reserve the right to shut down a thread without warning if they believe it necessary.
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Rowan
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Post by Rowan » Mon January 23rd, 2012, 8:57 pm

This is what is said about William Wilberforce, an argument which I find very weak:

William Wilberforce has been the subject of popular biographies and Hollywood blockbusters (2007's Amazing Grace).

Doubtless Wilberforce was the most prominent and influential British advocate of the abolition of the slave trade. However, many of the recent depictions and commemorations of his life obscure the less appealing aspects of his character. Wilberforce was a social and moral conservative who supported Christian missionary activity in India in order to combat the "ignorance and degradation" of Hinduism and who opposed significant democratic reform of the British political system at the same time as he campaigned tirelessly for the emancipation of slaves.

In respect of these beliefs, Wilberforce was like many men of his class who engaged in philanthropic activity at the same time as preaching up socio-economic inequality as divinely ordained. This doesn't make Wilberforce a historically insignificant figure but it does make him less than a saint.

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MLE (Emily Cotton)
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Post by MLE (Emily Cotton) » Mon January 23rd, 2012, 10:39 pm

Oh, I see. They disagree with Wilberforce's religious principles, so the things he accomplished are therefore 'overrated'. Well, that probably also applies to Jesus Christ, so at least Wilberforce is in his preferred company. :D
Last edited by MLE (Emily Cotton) on Mon January 23rd, 2012, 10:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Brenna
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Post by Brenna » Mon January 23rd, 2012, 11:14 pm

[quote=""Nefret""]Checking out what new books are out? :D [/quote]

Hehe well, I do that on here now! But one never has enough books right?
Brenna

SGM
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Post by SGM » Tue January 24th, 2012, 8:27 pm

[quote=""MLE""]Oh, I see. They disagree with Wilberforce's religious principles, so the things he accomplished are therefore 'overrated'. Well, that probably also applies to Jesus Christ, so at least Wilberforce is in his preferred company. :D [/quote]

Search YouTube for BBC4's History of Racism -- for some reason you seem to be able to find a whole programme (or at least it was when I watched it) and you will get a whole different view of the English evangelical abolitionists. it is deeply disturbing, particularly the part about Tasmania.

On an opposite note, try the current edition of History Today which attempts a re-evaluation of King John.
Last edited by SGM on Tue January 24th, 2012, 8:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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EC2
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Post by EC2 » Wed January 25th, 2012, 10:37 am

I honestly thing these sort of lists are irritating and worthless. They're just one person's opinion and not a consensus. And why for goodness sake go for a negative? Society of late seems to have been getting a lot meaner and this seems like just another platform to bitch from, even if it does cause debate. :(
Les proz e les vassals
Souvent entre piez de chevals
Kar ja li coard n’I chasront

'The Brave and the valiant
Are always to be found between the hooves of horses
For never will cowards fall down there.'

Histoire de Guillaume le Mareschal

www.elizabethchadwick.com

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Alisha Marie Klapheke
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Post by Alisha Marie Klapheke » Wed January 25th, 2012, 2:12 pm

Yeah, I'm with the above comment. What is the point of a list such as this? The term overrated is vague at best and doesn't direct any positive conversations. I guess we could see it as humorous. I mean, really, Winston Churchill is overrated? What does that even mean? He received 5 stars from the general public, but those in the know only give him 3 and a half? Ha. Laughable.

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Justin Swanton
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Post by Justin Swanton » Thu February 9th, 2012, 9:32 am

[quote=""EC2""]I honestly thing these sort of lists are irritating and worthless. They're just one person's opinion and not a consensus. And why for goodness sake go for a negative? Society of late seems to have been getting a lot meaner and this seems like just another platform to bitch from, even if it does cause debate. :( [/quote]

Futile in the end too - making a movie about a largely unknown historical persona will increase public awareness and appreciation of him, but a panel of 13 wise men and women who give him a thumbs down aren't going to change anything.

I loved the movie and - my head on a block - I do not like the philosophical worldview of Hinduism/Bhuddism. It created the caste system. :eek:

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Post by Ash » Thu February 9th, 2012, 11:45 am

Hinduism did; Buddha rejected that, if I recall correctly. They both believe in reincarnation however; that bothers some, but it makes sense to me. (wait, are you quoting from something from that list?)
Im curious as to what exactly is meant by "overrated"? Do they mean overrated in terms of their impact upon their times? Or overrated on their impact on history? Or do they just mean who was not as good as we make them out to be?
Exactly. I don't get that kind of list either. Some lists lead to interesting discussions - I cant really discuss over rated unless the term is defined. Without that, the list is pointless
Last edited by Ash on Thu February 9th, 2012, 11:50 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Rowan
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Post by Rowan » Thu February 9th, 2012, 1:58 pm

I started this thread because I thought it would be an interesting discussion. Obviously it's caused more harm than good.

In the future I will more closely evaluate the necessity of any threads I think to bring to this forum.

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Ludmilla
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Post by Ludmilla » Thu February 9th, 2012, 2:24 pm

I don't think it has caused more harm than good. People always get a little heated over lists like these and as long as it's civil that's okay.

I think you have to take these lists in the spirit they are intended, and since we're missing the context that goes with it, it's rather like overhearing part of a conversation you weren't invited to. Yet you see these lists being copied and sent to friends all over the internet, and oftentimes they start out as discussion among friends, colleagues, etc., that get turned into something more formalized through socialization than was ever intended. I merely look at them as watercooler discussions. Fun to debate, but don't take them as definitive.

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