Sunday, December 18, 2011

Against Gandhi

If Bnonn is right in this essay, Gandhi is not the saint he was cracked up to be.

I suppose few "great" people are quite what they have been cracked up to be.

14 comments:

Victor Reppert said...

Do not feed the trolls.

finney said...

There's a ton of conjecture here. Gandhi referred to Hitler as his friend, but he also would refer to british musketeers who might have slaughtered him as his friends.

Ryan Anderson said...

I suppose few "great" people are quite what they have been cracked up to be.

Like Jesus? Is that what you meant by not feeding the trolls?

IlĂ­on said...

I was going to post a link to "The Gandhi Nobody Knows" from 1983, but the link I have is broken.

In any event, Gandhi seems like a thoroughly disgusting little individual to me.

Anonymous said...

See also: Mother Teresa.

Victor Reppert said...

It does seem that moral greatness is sometimes combined with things about the person that make you say "How could he have done (or said) that. This is especially so if there is a cultural difference. Jefferson comes to mind right off the top. Further, moral greatness is compatible with enormous moral flaws. Martin Luther King possessed moral greatness in spite of his failure in the area of marital fidelity.

Victor Reppert said...

My comment about trolls had nothing to do with Jesus.

Anonymous said...

There are no sources listed, are there? Who are we to trust that he said some of those things, or made that girl go do those things? I had heard of his sleeping with a bunch of naked girls before, but I also heard it was to test and defeat sexual desire or something. Not to mention, that last homosexual thing kind of contradicts the other part.

David B Marshall said...

Gandhi had his flaws, no doubt, as did King, Churchill, and, yes, perhaps even Herman Cain. I often wonder if King's good work in civil rights outweighs the tragic example he set for black men, and whatever effect it might have had on the destruction of the American family. In some ways, I admire Malcolm X more.

Maybe earlier Indian leaders like Ram Mohan Roy and Keshab Chandra Sen should get more press in the West. Of course that might have the unfortunate side-effect (from some perspectives) of casting light on how deep the Christian influence on the Indian Renaissance was.

Anyway, I still respect Gandhi as a heroic person, and think it would be mean to do otherwise.

Anonymous said...

"
It does seem that moral greatness is sometimes combined with things about the person that make you say "How could he have done (or said) that. This is especially so if there is a cultural difference.
"

Jacob's methods of getting his children comes to mind :)

BenYachov said...

Ghandi wasn't perfect.

No surprise here.

B. Prokop said...

Perfect or not, the world's a better place for his having been here. India/Pakistan would have been infinitely better off had both sides followed his advice, and learned how to live together in a single Subcontinent state.

But just imagine the alternative to his leadership of the Indian independence movement - a bloody, protracted war against Britain, poisoning the relationships between the two countries for generations. Much better the way it actually happened.

Sometimes (as in this case) the Myth is actually True. Whatever personal foibles he may (or may not) have had are ultimately irrelevant to his legacy, which is massively Good.

parb said...

It is irresponsible to post that without references and such, factchecking. To just post it.

I could post something about Jesus being a pedophile without references, post it to a Hindu or Muslim audience, and you would probably get all pissed.

Victor would probably delete such a comment from his thread if it was about Jesus. [ahem, Victor]

Standards are very low at this blog, but I guess it isn't a surprise since Lewis was so sloppy and this place attracts Lewis sycophants who don't understand, who seemingly just cannot or will not understand, the difference between atheism and vulgar materialism. With Iliotroy it isn't a surprise, but Victor and others? You guys are just awful.

Done here, it's been a fun month.

Victor Reppert said...

I must say I don't know how much of this is accurate. What I was getting at was something rather different. I am interested in the problem of moral greatness, and how personal flaws, if they exist, are consistent or not with moral greatness.