1700s British colonialists: I genuinely believe black people are inferior so I’m entitled to take their land, resources, have sex with the ones I find hot whenever I like, and use them for slave labour so I don’t have to do hard work.

1700s British anti-colonialists: What a spectacularly convenient, spectacularly profitable thing to “genuinely” believe.

hmm, that seems to imply that colonialists secretly deep down believed in the equality of all mankind?

I mean, IME it’s usually that people find ways to convince themselves of a thing being true because they want it to be.

Right, but if you push that too far you end up believing that anti-colonialists just had no financial incentive to be assholes, and that everyone behaves exactly as reprehensibly as necessary to maximize their personal profit. Not to get into debates about free will, but buying into that framework sort of lets people off the hook of moral judgement, if everyone is doing it.

Only if the purpose of moral judgement is the judgement. If you’re doing it to incentivize behavior, things still work out fine.

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