Moral Dilemmas: Summary: Delete Parentheticals And Slavery

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Delete parentheticals and replace with endnotes

Paragraph on morality: The institution of slavery created a materialistic value system in which the pursuit of material wealth is and always should be the foremost goal, regardless of moral consequence. This idea of the individual chasing profit no matter the costs is a fundamental tenet of capitalism, where self-gains are held above all else. To illustrate that the common belief was that slavery was just another industry and not an immoral act of forced enslavement of human beings, historian Eric Williams found that the majority of the English population approved of slavery in the late 18th century solely due to the fact that its economic advantages outweighed any small moral qualms. Rather
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This sudden growth was due to a positive feedback cycle that was created between a necessity for guns and an abundance of slaves. The reason why guns were so important to the slave trade and therefore benefitted enormously was because guns were the primary good exchanged to African slave traders for African slaves. Guns, a modern technology at the time, were so highly sought after by African slave traders that guns and gunpowder could be traded for more slaves than any other good. Whatley of Stanford quantifies that it would only cost around 3.5 to 4.5 pounds sterling worth of gunpowder to purchase a slave, while on the other hand, it would take nearly 40 pounds sterling to buy a slave using any other good. Therefore, it made economic sense to just use guns to purchase slaves, as the profit margin would be greatly higher than alternatives. However, unknown to the British traders who gave guns to African traders, these transactions would create a positive feedback loop between slaves and guns which would allow for the gun industry to rapidly grow. When a British slave merchant gives a gun to an African slave trader, this African trader now has a brand new military technology that is more effective than any military weapon they had before. With these new weapons, African slave traders, who were mostly kings and leaders of their respective kingdoms, would wage wars against their enemies, knowing that they had the upper hand. Thus, supplying guns to African kings directly led to more civil wars and conflicts in Africa which led to an increase number of captives from these wars, or, as known to the British traders, slaves. In his analysis, Whatley finds that trading 100 pounds of gunpowder to an African slave trader resulted in almost an additional 3 slaves available for trade, since more conflicts were instigated. Therefore, providing gunpowder

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