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    (Original post by Bornblue)
    The point being that there's no such concrete thing as 'British values' as much as people pretend there is.
    Values form part of culture, which is constantly shifting and changing. There is no concrete set of values that last time immoral, but there are values that we hold at any one time. These help glue society together.
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    (Original post by Aj12)
    Values form part of culture, which is constantly shifting and changing. There is no concrete set of values that last time immoral, but there are values that we hold at any one time. These help glue society together.
    Perhaps. But I don't see any defined even temporary set of 'British values'. It's such an ambiguous term, We all have different values. Even in a broad sense, as a collective, I don't see 'British values' being particularly different from 'values' of other European countries or even the west.

    It just seems to me to be a phrase adopted by certain people on the right to justify their ideologies/ proposals by claiming it somehow fits in with 'British values' without ever telling us what such values are. They do the same when opposing left wing ish proposals, telling us that they are contrary to British values, again without telling us what they actually are.

    I think multiculturalism could count as a 'British value', however many others would say it is contrary to such. It's such a vague and ambiguous and now meaningless term.
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    (Original post by Bornblue)
    Perhaps. But I don't see any defined even temporary set of 'British values'. It's such an ambiguous term, We all have different values. Even in a broad sense, as a collective, I don't see 'British values' being particularly different from 'values' of other European countries or even the west.

    It just seems to me to be a phrase adopted by certain people on the right to justify their ideologies/ proposals by claiming it somehow fits in with 'British values' without ever telling us what such values are. They do the same when opposing left wing ish proposals, telling us that they are contrary to British values, again without telling us what they actually are.

    I think multiculturalism could count as a 'British value', however many others would say it is contrary to such. It's such a vague and ambiguous and now meaningless term.
    This circular argument is a trap. It is really a trick of deflection away from the actual issue being addressed. Defining an identity or culture in concrete terms is impossible, but defining a counterculture is not. There are certain values, beliefs, and behaviors that the majority collective consider incompatible with their own. The logical argument progresses to a declaration that "these things are not our values." Opponents will then debate that, " there is no such thing as our values." For the sake of this argument "values" is not about defining who we are, it is about rejecting something we refuse to become.


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    (Original post by ckingalt)
    This circular argument is a trap. It is really a trick of deflection away from the actual issue being addressed. Defining an identity or culture in concrete terms is impossible, but defining a counterculture is not. There are certain values, beliefs, and behaviors that the majority collective consider incompatible with their own. The logical argument progresses to a declaration that "these things are not our values." Opponents will then debate that, " there is no such thing as our values." For the sake of this argument "values" is not about defining who we are, it is about rejecting something we refuse to become.


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    I agree.
    Time and time again i've seen people refer to something fitting in with/ being contrary to 'British values' but whenever I have asked that person to define what they are, I get a hopelessly ambiguous answer. If you support or oppose something, fine, but don't pretend it's because of 'British values'.
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    (Original post by Bornblue)
    I agree.
    Time and time again i've seen people refer to something fitting in with/ being contrary to 'British values' but whenever I have asked that person to define what they are, I get a hopelessly ambiguous answer. If you support or oppose something, fine, but don't pretend it's because of 'British values'.
    British values are surely the value which the majority of people have that belong to that group?

    Such as in the UK, we believe in the right to free speech, we believe and value human beings so we do not own slaves and lead the world in abolishing the slave trade in western nations, we believe in Democracy and that people have autonomy over themselves, we believe in the rights of women to have equal treatment in law and society.

    I would easily take a bet and say the majority of the British population believe in these things and important value these things.
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    (Original post by TheNote)
    British values are surely the value which the majority of people have that belong to that group?

    Such as in the UK, we believe in the right to free speech, we believe and value human beings so we do not own slaves and lead the world in abolishing the slave trade in western nations, we believe in Democracy and that people have autonomy over themselves, we believe in the rights of women to have equal treatment in law and society.

    I would easily take a bet and say the majority of the British population believe in these things and important value these things.
    They are also ambigous and not exactly 'British', western if anything.
    We believe in democracy? So do most countries in the world in some vein and that's a qualified principle. Is it really that democratic when you can get 18% of the vote and just one seat?
    Same with right to free speech, do we have the right to say whatever we want without repercussions?
    We may have abolished the slave trade, yet we also started it...

    All those listed are ambiguous. I don't believe there are such things as 'British values'. Is lying about the reasons for going to war a British value?
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    (Original post by Bornblue)
    But British values could equally be colonialism, invading a country, slaughtering the current inhabitants, setting up concentration camps there and then starting off and playing a huge role in the slave trade.
    I'm not entirely sure where this delusion comes from. What were these countries where inhabitants were 'slaughtered'? I can only imagine you mean the inhabitants of pre-Columbian America and Aboriginal Australia, who were mostly wiped out due to their lack of resistance against Old World diseases. In any case, those people are now the descendants of a small percentage of the American and Australian people.

    British citizens at home didn't kill anyone, build any concentration camps or own slaves. When slavery was abolished only 3000 people owned slaves, mostly aristocrats. (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-21601374)

    (Original post by ServantOfMorgoth)
    Britain also had a part in the colonization and destruction of many countries economies today. Are British people proud about that too? Because that goes along with your nationalist patriotism!
    Every country, every group, every tribe, every organism expands and spreads naturally.

    The 'native' Americans? Descendants of Mongolians who crossed the Bering Strait as recently as 10,000 years ago.

    The 'native' Australians? Arrived from Africa 40,000 years ago.

    'Native' Austronesians and Polynesians? Thought to be a mix of people who hail from Taiwan and Madagascar and arrived 7,000 years ago.

    The formation of every incarnation of China - colonisation.
    Formation of Russia - colonisation
    Turkey - colonisation

    Every multi-ethnic country is the arbitrary product of imperialism by one group of people over another, and every homogeneous country like China with its Han population is the product of colonisation and potential expulsion or eradication of previous ethnic groups. It doesn't matter if it occurred in 10,000BC or 1275, every single country that has ever existed has practised this natural process.

    At what point is 'colonisation' wrong? There is evidence in many of these situations that these 'indigenous' groups even displaced the former pre-historic populations of the regions to which they moved.

    The fact remains that places like Australia would be completely unchanged had it had no contact with the rest of the world. The Australian Aboriginals hadn't even developed farming and agriculture practices and essentially remained hunter gatherers.

    Whether you like it or not, it is British and later Australian culture and values that had led to the creation of the paradise nation that Australia is today, with a strong HDI and large GDP per capita. What successful former French or Spanish or Portuguese or Dutch colony has maintained democracy and high living standards since their inceptions?

    It's no surprise that the most developed and wealthy African nations (excluding petrostates) are the countries that had been under British control for the longest. It's a stretch to call anything that existed outside of Eurasia a 'country' before colonisation.

    Regardless, no country or people are innocent of colonisation. Latin American countries continued to expand after independence and decimate their 'native' populations. Upon achieving independence India annexed Portuguese territory, Indonesia invaded West Papua and East Timor (the latter temporarily).

    However, out of all the empires of the World, Britain has undoubtedly been one of the most benign. Much in the way we remember the Romans for building the first British roads and infrastructure, the world should remember British contributions. The only thing preventing this recognition is the blind, unguided nationalism of people like Kenyans, who only have things to celebrate like brutal, violent uprising and murders and mutilations carried out by terrorist groups.

    On the topic of America, which this thread is supposed to be about. America is just as bad if not worse than the countries its citizens often criticise because of their histories of imperialism. This cartoon from 1899 even shows how the Americans idealised the British Empire as an example for them to follow in regards to governing their own colonies.
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    It's not always be the right thing to do to celebrate these practises, but the Vikings were equally evil and we still have TV shows and games and books celebrating and proliferating their warrior culture and Norse Mythology.
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    (Original post by Bornblue)
    They are also ambigous and not exactly 'British', western if anything.
    We believe in democracy? So do most countries in the world in some vein and that's a qualified principle. Is it really that democratic when you can get 18% of the vote and just one seat?
    Same with right to free speech, do we have the right to say whatever we want without repercussions?
    We may have abolished the slave trade, yet we also started it...

    All those listed are ambiguous. I don't believe there are such things as 'British values'. Is lying about the reasons for going to war a British value?
    Neither Britain or the rest of Europe started the Slave Trade. It had been going on for centuries before the discovery of the Americas and was ran by African Kings and the merchants of the Ottoman Empire.

    Democracy IS a Western product (Ancient Greece), and modern democracy was spread throughout the world by the UK. You can't deny these things.
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    (Original post by Roofas)
    I'm not entirely sure where this delusion comes from. What were these countries where inhabitants were 'slaughtered'? I can only imagine you mean the inhabitants of pre-Columbian America and Aboriginal Australia, who were mostly wiped out due to their lack of resistance against Old World diseases. In any case, those people are now the descendants of a small percentage of the American and Australian people.

    British citizens at home didn't kill anyone, build any concentration camps or own slaves. When slavery was abolished only 3000 people owned slaves, mostly aristocrats. (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-21601374)


    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk...-a6821756.html


    There are no such thing as distinct 'British values'. It's a nonsense slogan used to distract people from the crux of the real argument.
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    (Original post by Roofas)
    Neither Britain or the rest of Europe started the Slave Trade. It had been going on for centuries before the discovery of the Americas and was ran by African Kings and the merchants of the Ottoman Empire.

    Democracy IS a Western product (Ancient Greece), and modern democracy was spread throughout the world by the UK. You can't deny these things.
    Britain participated heavily in the slave trade. Does that make slavery a british value?
    Yes democracy started in the west, but if anything that makes it a western, not a 'british' value. I'd say nearly every country has at least some form of 'democracy', even if token, nowadays anyway.
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    (Original post by Bornblue)
    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk...-a6821756.html

    There are no such thing as distinct 'British values'. It's a nonsense slogan used to distract people from the crux of the real argument.
    (Original post by Bornblue)
    Britain participated heavily in the slave trade. Does that make slavery a british value?
    Yes democracy started in the west, but if anything that makes it a western, not a 'british' value. I'd say nearly every country has at least some form of 'democracy', even if token, nowadays anyway.
    I really don't think we should hijack this thread by going over and over with this, in any case:

    The Nazis executed 12 million people during the Holocaust alone, 6m of them Jews. Thousands of mentally disabled people were sterilised or 'euthanised' during their Reich.

    Does that mean that Germans value any of the above? No, we know what they value and what they have valued since the days of The Kingdom of Prussia. Hard work. There is a reason Germany exports so much, there is a reason Germans work so many hours, there is a reason the German economy always bounces back after disasters like the First and Second World Wars. Germans are a naturally industrious people and have a fundamentally different national set of values and characteristics that make them different to say, Italians or Greeks.The same is true of most countries, including the UK.

    I really don't see how you can think that centuries of vastly different culture doesn't form a deeply ingrained national character and set of values. England still has that besieged island characteristic that stems from the days of the Spanish Armada that has been reinforced again and again by the Napoleonic Wars and the Second World War and now the European Union.

    What are these real matters that the powers that be are trying to keep us distracted from? Fluoridated water and chemtrails?
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    (Original post by Zargabaath)
    America has this idea ingrained into their culture that their country and way of life is the best in the world. It's been like this for generations. They have to dominate everything. That slogan is just pandering to the idiocy of so many American people for easy votes.

    It's insane how crappy the American state is to it's people, yet how patriotic they still tend to be. It's like Stockholm Syndrome or something.
    This is really irrelevant but when I first looked at your profile picture it looked like the lizard-thing was poking himself in the face with glass.
    Don't know why I felt the need to tell you that.
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    Trump is the president America deserves
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    (Original post by Bornblue)
    They are also ambigous and not exactly 'British', western if anything.
    We believe in democracy? So do most countries in the world in some vein and that's a qualified principle. Is it really that democratic when you can get 18% of the vote and just one seat?
    Same with right to free speech, do we have the right to say whatever we want without repercussions?
    We may have abolished the slave trade, yet we also started it...

    All those listed are ambiguous. I don't believe there are such things as 'British values'. Is lying about the reasons for going to war a British value?
    Just because British values are the same as western values doesn't change the fact people in Britain have those values and thus are British values. British values do not have to be unique to Britiain...

    We do believe in Democracy, if knew anything about politics there are debates at all times which type of voting system is best, but we all mostly agree that democracy is the best.

    You have freedom of speech as long as you don't go ahead and incite violence, which is sensible. If you want to talk about social repercussions you'll have to take that up with the individuals you think are opposed to freedom of speech.

    We did NOT start the slave trade, we continued the slave trade already occurring in Africa, also lets not forget that it was Portugal who actually started the African colonies and the European African slave trade. Are you also saying that us being the first to abolish slave trade has nothing to say about the beliefs and laws that help us achieve the equality in our society we see today.
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    (Original post by Bornblue)
    Britain participated heavily in the slave trade. Does that make slavery a british value?
    Yes democracy started in the west, but if anything that makes it a western, not a 'british' value. I'd say nearly every country has at least some form of 'democracy', even if token, nowadays anyway.
    alright boy, stop memeing, just because a value is not exclusive to Britain doesn't mean it's not a British value....
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    (Original post by TheNote)
    alright boy, stop memeing, just because a value is not exclusive to Britain doesn't mean it's not a British value....
    There are no such things as 'British values'. We all have our own values, our own viewpoints. The idea that there is a defined set of values that we all subscribe to, or even a majority subscribe to is quite simply a fabrication.

    Whenever I ask what British values are, the answers seem to be hopelessly ambiguous at best. 'Democracy', 'Freedom'? Seem to be two of the most common. But almost every country on earth bar limited exceptions would 'value' both those two in some way.

    There's nothing distinctive 'British' about those. We live in a society of huge disagreement. Do the millions who vote and support UKIP share the same values as Green voters? Do the hard right of the tory party share the same values as the Corbynites? Do CEO's and the 1% have the same values as the homeless and poverty stricken?

    Quite simply, no.

    I don't believe there is any set of unifying values, and zooming out to the extent that we use ultra ambiguous, non-specific slogans like 'democracy' and 'freedom' somewhat proves that.

    My main gripe is the way some people use an argument to say that the left hate 'British values' and that leftish proposals are contrary to British values. The aim being to shift the discourse from the proposal at hand, by arguing that it is contrary to 'British values' without ever giving u a definition of what such values are.
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    (Original post by Bornblue)
    There are no such things as 'British values'. We all have our own values, our own viewpoints. The idea that there is a defined set of values that we all subscribe to, or even a majority subscribe to is quite simply a fabrication.

    Whenever I ask what British values are, the answers seem to be hopelessly ambiguous at best. 'Democracy', 'Freedom'? Seem to be two of the most common. But almost every country on earth bar limited exceptions would 'value' both those two in some way.

    There's nothing distinctive 'British' about those. We live in a society of huge disagreement. Do the millions who vote and support UKIP share the same values as Green voters? Do the hard right of the tory party share the same values as the Corbynites? Do CEO's and the 1% have the same values as the homeless and poverty stricken?

    Quite simply, no.

    I don't believe there is any set of unifying values, and zooming out to the extent that we use ultra ambiguous, non-specific slogans like 'democracy' and 'freedom' somewhat proves that.

    My main gripe is the way some people use an argument to say that the left hate 'British values' and that leftish proposals are contrary to British values. The aim being to shift the discourse from the proposal at hand, by arguing that it is contrary to 'British values' without ever giving u a definition of what such values are.
    Again you seem to think that just because our values aren't limited to just us they are somehow invalid? this is a terrible argument.

    Of course not everyone believes the exact same thing, but most people in Britain hold certain values, it doesn't matter if they are vague they are still values.

    Lets look at your example of UKIP and the Greens, both parties want to help the poor but want to go about it in a completely different way. Here the value shared between them would be that they want to help the poor.

    You are completely misunderstanding the difference between values and opinions on how to achieve those values.

    Nobody is saying "British people all believe the exact same thing" what they are saying "British people tend to want to achieve said thing".


    as for the last part of your post that I agree, there are people who seem to think that opinion on how to solve something = a value and that is completely incorrect
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    (Original post by TheNote)
    Again you seem to think that just because our values aren't limited to just us they are somehow invalid? this is a terrible argument.

    Of course not everyone believes the exact same thing, but most people in Britain hold certain values, it doesn't matter if they are vague they are still values.

    Lets look at your example of UKIP and the Greens, both parties want to help the poor but want to go about it in a completely different way. Here the value shared between them would be that they want to help the poor.

    You are completely misunderstanding the difference between values and opinions on how to achieve those values.

    Nobody is saying "British people all believe the exact same thing" what they are saying "British people tend to want to achieve said thing".


    as for the last part of your post that I agree, there are people who seem to think that opinion on how to solve something = a value and that is completely incorrect
    But values can't just be as vague as 'democracy' or 'freedom'. They need to be more defined. To zoom out so much shows there are no real unifying values.

    There are no such thing as british values. We all have our own set of values.


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    (Original post by Bornblue)
    But values can't just be as vague as 'democracy' or 'freedom'. They need to be more defined. To zoom out so much shows there are no real unifying values.

    There are no such thing as british values. We all have our own set of values.


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    Yes they can. They do not need to be more defined, the more defined you make values the less you get out of them and the more you silence good and new ideas.

    While I am an individualist and believe everyone has their own thoughts and beliefs I do still think that a vast majority of people who are British hold certain values, those values are what i would consider British values, it doesn't matter how vague they are since they aren't meant to strictly dictate how you run your life but more to give guidance on how to solve issues.

    As you get more strict on what values are you change what group you are talking about eg.

    Western>European>British>New labour>Social Democrats>Socialists>Marxists>In dividuals

    As you go down this group the list of common values becomes larger and more specific but the group of people who hold those values becomes lower and lower until you reach individuals.

    If you try to restrict British values or make them more specific you get to the point where you are restricting peoples ideas.

    If i were to define a British value I'd say:
    a) it has to have some kind of historical precedent, for example free speech has been seen in laws in Britain for hundreds of years.
    b) the majority of people who are British believe in it

    A good example would be gay marriage, if you oppose gay marriage then while it does have a historical precedent the majority of British people believe there should be gay marriage, if you support gay marriage then swap the two around, majority of support, but no historical precedent as of yet.
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    (Original post by TheNote)
    Yes they can. They do not need to be more defined, the more defined you make values the less you get out of them and the more you silence good and new ideas.
    No, they can't. 'Values' is such an inherently ambiguous term. I want to see a society with more equality between the top and bottom, many on the right do not. Some on the left want to see total equality. All of them are different values.
    I guess you could say 'ah but if we zoom out then we all want to help poor people' but then that negates the whole thing. If we have to zoom out so much that 'values' are so generic that 99% of people on Earth would agree to some point then how are they British and what's the point? 'British values' implies something inherently and distinctly British about them.

    We all have our own set of values.
    I want a more community based society, others want a more individualistic society - different values.

    While I am an individualist and believe everyone has their own thoughts and beliefs I do still think that a vast majority of people who are British hold certain values, those values are what i would consider British values, it doesn't matter how vague they are since they aren't meant to strictly dictate how you run your life but more to give guidance on how to solve issues.
    But they don't give any guidance if they are so hopelessly ambiguous that we can't get anything useful from them.


    Western>European>British>New labour>Social Democrats>Socialists>Marxists>In dividuals

    If you try to restrict British values or make them more specific you get to the point where you are restricting peoples ideas.
    I'm not restricting ideas, i'm just saying there are not an underlying set of values common to all or most British people, we all have very different values which are often not compatible with each other.

    If i were to define a British value I'd say:
    a) it has to have some kind of historical precedent, for example free speech has been seen in laws in Britain for hundreds of years.
    b) the majority of people who are British believe in it

    A good example would be gay marriage, if you oppose gay marriage then while it does have a historical precedent the majority of British people believe there should be gay marriage, if you support gay marriage then swap the two around, majority of support, but no historical precedent as of yet.
    But is Gay marriage a 'British value'? Given only a few decades ago it was a crime to engage in homosexual acts? It's not a British value, it's a basic humanitarian value, a natural law philosophical value, but not a 'British value'.


    There does need to be a certain amount of 'Britishness' for something to be a 'British value', otherwise they are just universal values so why call them British?
 
 
 
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