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Debates Forum

Debates Forum

  1. 23 Jul '10 20:35
    You are allowed the chance to change history by removing one single person from the time stream. That person will never have been born, and history will go on as it would have done in his or her absence. Your choice is meant to make the most beneficial possible intervention in the history of the human race. Who would you remove?

    (To pre-empt a flood of replies removing Hitler or Stalin, I'd suggest a little lateral thinking. For instance, remove the Emperor Franz Josef from history and you'd stop the First World War, in which case Hitler would never have come to power. Remove Marx from history and it's the same for Stalin. So you might want to look at the root causes of destructive events rather than the perpetrators.)
  2. 23 Jul '10 20:51
    Noel Gallagher.
  3. 23 Jul '10 20:53 / 1 edit
    you'd waste your vote on Emperor Franz Josef?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Powder_keg_of_europe

    The "Powder keg of Europe", sometimes alternately known as the "Balkan Powder Keg", refers to the Balkans in the early part of the Twentieth century. In this time period there were a number of overlapping claims to territories and spheres of influence between the major European powers such as Russia, the Ottoman Empire, and Austria-Hungary and, to a lesser degree, Imperial Germany, Great Britain, and Italy. In addition to the imperialistic ambitions and interests in this region, there was a growth in nationalism with the indigenous peoples of this region leading to the formation of the independent states of Greece, Serbia, Montenegro, Bulgaria and Albania.

    ....

    All these factors, and many others, conspired to bring about the First World War. As is insinuated by the name "the powder keg of Europe," the Balkans were not the major issue at stake in the war, but were merely the catalyst that led to the conflagration. The Chancellor of Germany in the late nineteenth century, Otto von Bismarck, correctly predicted it would be the source of major conflict in Europe.

    ...
  4. 23 Jul '10 20:54 / 1 edit
    did you mean Archduke Franz Ferdinand?

    he was just the match!
  5. 23 Jul '10 20:57
    kill one psycho, another would step from anonymity to take his place.

    these guys all rode the crests of waves that preceded them.
  6. 23 Jul '10 20:58
    Jesus
  7. 23 Jul '10 21:05 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by zeeblebot
    you'd waste your vote on Emperor Franz Josef?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Powder_keg_of_europe

    The "Powder keg of Europe", sometimes alternately known as the "Balkan Powder Keg", refers to the Balkans in the early part of the Twentieth century. In this time period there were a number of overlapping claims to territories and spheres of influence betw Bismarck, correctly predicted it would be the source of major conflict in Europe.

    ...
    things might have played out much differently had Germany been run by someone besides Kaiser Wilhelm II in the decades preceding the war.
  8. Subscriber Sleepyguy
    Reepy Rastardly Guy
    23 Jul '10 21:05
    Mohammed
  9. 23 Jul '10 21:17
    Originally posted by zeeblebot
    did you mean Archduke Franz Ferdinand?

    he was just the match!
    No - I meant Franz Josef, the reigning Emperor of Austria. He is probably the single individual most responsible for the outbreak of World War II (Franz Ferdinand, as you say, was just the match).

    However, I hadn't actually nominated Franz Josef - I just used him for the sake of argument.
  10. Standard member joneschr
    Some guy
    23 Jul '10 22:00
    Perhaps Oppenheimer, Fermi, or one of that crowd. Not that just one would stop the end result.
  11. 23 Jul '10 22:07
    Originally posted by Starrman
    Jesus
    Paul of Tarsus
  12. 23 Jul '10 22:14
    Mark David Chapman
  13. 23 Jul '10 22:15
    Originally posted by Starrman
    Jesus
    and what would the result have been, from your own point of view?
  14. Standard member finnegan
    GENS UNA SUMUS
    23 Jul '10 22:16
    Originally posted by Starrman
    Jesus
    Was that a suggestion or a comment?
  15. Standard member finnegan
    GENS UNA SUMUS
    23 Jul '10 22:25 / 1 edit
    Plato. His way of thinking caused immense damage set out well in The Open Society and its Enemies by Karl Popper, being the antecedent to modern ideological thinking. Through Plotinus (the Neo-Paltonist) Plato in turn supplied the philosophical underpinning for the birth of Christianity, in the absence of which it would have been a very different type of religion altogether, preferable in many ways.

    Without Plato we'd have gone from Sophocles to Aristotle, bringing a more empirical and earth bound approach to philosophy.