African Americans Vs Las Casas Analysis

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In sixteenth century Spain, the first debate on human rights in relation to the newly discovered Americas was held between a Spanish scholar and priest. One Spanish scholar was Juan Ginès de Sepúlveda who believed that the Native Americans were inferior type of human to Spaniards and believed that Spain should invade the Americas and enslave the Indians. The priest that opposed him was Bartolomé de Las Casas, who believed that the Native Americans were human and should not be invaded by Spain. The debate that took place was because the two sides were using two different criteria to judge the Native Americans, Sepúlveda who compared the Indians to contemporary Spain of the sixteenth century while Las Casas compares the Native Americans to earlier…show more content…
He stated an example of this when he said “It was common for all men, on the day customarily set for human sacrifice, to sprinkle the altar with human blood.” Showing that sacrifices have been common throughout history. This familiarizes the act as a habit of ancient people who had not been introduced to Christianity. He stated more examples such as “The Carthaginians had the custom of offering human victims to Saturn and when they had been conquered by Aglothocles, the King of Sicily, they thought their god was angry with them and so that they might more diligently blot out their crime, they sacrificed two hundred noble children.” This large scale of sacrifice also diminishes the impact of the Native Americans own hefty ceremonies. Being that so many groups of people had practiced human sacrifice it must not make the Native Americans any worse than them. He stated that “ Because, then, human sacrifice to the gods has been customary among so many different peoples, surely the Indians, in sacrificing men for many centuries, are in probable error” with this he almost excuses them with the old everybody has done it
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