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Re^3: A Level Playing Field

by tilly (Archbishop)
on Nov 02, 2005 at 07:33 UTC ( #504850=note: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Re^2: A Level Playing Field
in thread A Level Playing Field

History is far too complex for such a facile summary of an institution that existed that long, in that many places.

It is true that they were fairer than most other legal systems of the day. But they were still incredibly brutal by current standards.

It is true that they helped shape many modern judicial systems. But the British justice system, and its various descendents in the English-speaking world, are not among that number.

It is true that the Inquisition didn't burn masses of people at the stake. But they knew what would happen when they turned their victims over to secular authorities, and also had a role in convincing secular authorities to use that punishment.

It is true that part of the reason that the Spanish Inquisition was singled out for so much criticism was due to Protestant politics. But it is also true that they earned a good part of that criticism, particularly for their actions in the New World, and for their actions until Napoleon intervened. (Read, for instance, this description.)

It is true that the Inquisition gave many life imprisonment instead of turning them over to be burned. But life imprisonment in the way that they did it could well have been a harsher punishment.

It is true that the Inquisition did not actually drive the Jews out of Spain. But it did push for that to happen.

It is true that most have an exaggerated view of how horrible the Inquisition was. But it was still pretty darned horrible. Furthermore when it comes to the appropriateness of having Grand Inquisitor as a title on this site, the perception of people who are likely to be offended matters more than the reality.

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