I definitely believe we are responsible for the actions of our ancestors. If we view ourselves as a universal family of love and understanding, and trying to figure this thing called life out. I don't think there's any other way to look at it if ALL involved were to be happy. Think about it this way. If every class, race, religion, etc of people looked at themselves as brothers in the true sense, it would be impossible for humans to be happy if a brother is hurting by past events in history that he still carries the pains for today. We certainly wouldn't want to minimize our brother's pain just because we might not appreciate it, becuase we're in the advantageous group. It may sound corny and unrealistic but the most powerful tool in the world and one most often ignored and looked upon as weak is LOVE. For most, it's not even a consideration to employ.
I laugh because even though humans constantly profess the wonders of evolution and higher learning, we have not yet been able to grow and appreciate this quality of love and emphathy that would make all people happy, but most of us choose to live a selfish existence because it benefits only our advantaged group. Human beings are in this thing together, not in selfish groups that refuse to think out the box and leave their comfort zone. Be honest, if we really thought about our brothers needs first and tried our best to satisfy them, wouldn't that make all happy?
I know that the new generation today are not the same people from the past, however if every one thinks this, than after 50 years, or less, the nation who caused something terrible would be like, "I don't need to show that I'm sorry, because I am not the person who did." Eventually, the govenor of the nation would be careless, and forget what happened completely. The other nations who still might be repairing, can get angry, that will only cause more chaos.
I hate that people treat each other like shit because their ancestors were mean to their ancestors. If my grandfather was a serial killer, that doesn't mean I should also be held responsible for his action. If it's not acceptable in the micro level, then it shouldn't be acceptable in the macro level either.
This would start a legal precedent that I like to call "peccata patris" (sins of the father). Lets move away from a macro application involving nations and apply it on a smaller, more personal scale. Imagine two men both with infant sons. One of the men kills the other and ends up tried, convicted, and sent to prison. Fast forward 20 years, the convicted murderer has died in prison while his son and his victim's son have both grown. With peccata patris in place, the victim's son could sue the murderer's son for damages, claiming emotionial trauma and a decreased socioeconomic status due to the loss of his father despite the murderer's son not being responsible for the criminal act since he was a infant at the time. Is this right? Unequivocally no!
Why should i be held responsible for the actions of my ancestors? It's absolutely ludicrous that just because of the colour of my skin, I need to be sorry for my ancestors' wrongdoings! Not every white person is racist, please wake up sheeple. Too much time is spent saying sorry when we should be focusing on moving forward and making the world a better place.
Is every German a Nazi? Is every white person an oppressive colonizer? Should we calculate the percentage of how much we are to blame by how much English or French or Japanese or Turkish etc blood we have in us? Is it okay for people to lump together all white people into one category and to label them as the "invader", even in their country of birth?
Japanese, Germans, Turks, Italians, French, English, Spanish, Chinese, Russians, Portuguese, Cambodians, Arabs, and the countless tribal peoples of Africa-These are just a few examples of peoples once involved in slavery or genocide. If we try to punish everyone whose ancestors were involved in bad deeds we would have to punish everyone. Yet, even if everyone was "punished", history would remain the same. The idea that every white person owes every black person something because, in 1860, 5% of white in the US owned slaves is ridiculous.
Feeling guilty for the actions of your ancestors is very much nonsensical. If we're ever to embrace personal responsibility, that includes shedding the idea that "the sins of the father carry to the son" and other such nonsense that says, for instance, that since our great grandparents might have owned slaves, therefore we must pay for the damage done. I do truly feel for people who have been wronged, but punishing those who were not responsible isn't the way to fix it.
Societies and people need to realize that we can not change history no matter how hard we try. We need to accept that it happened, learn from it, and move on. It's unfair that people on both sides have to still go through it just because of what their ancestors did. If everyone would drop it and quit judging each other based on their color, things would go more smoothly in life.
Societies and people as a whole can only be responsible for what THEY do, not what others did long before them. How can they be? They weren't alive or even thought of yet, they couldn't control anything that went on back then even if they wanted to! This idea is just as bad as original sin is. If you were not alive at the time of the acts, you cannot be responsible for any of what happened or did not happened, bottom line.
Holding a current society responsible for the transgressions of a preceding society is not viable, even if there has been no change in the societal mores. If a society has not evolved from the actions of preceding generations then it is still only guilty of current wrongs. Societies develop or evolve from learned knowledge; if there is no interceding from outside forces then society has no need to change and past transgressions are not viewed as wrong. Most societies do change and it is not right to hold them responsible for their predecessors actions - especially if they no longer partake in those actions. On a small scale, to blame a modern society for a past societies actions would be no different than arresting an honest hard worker, today, for his grandfathers thieving ways.
Blaming current generations for the mistakes of their ancestors is wrong, but it is morally sensible for societies to attempt to make up for the mistakes of their ancestors. They should not be held responsible, but should rather feel responsible for anything wrong done. It makes more sense for us to develop a culture this way.