‘The most influential individuals in history are those who have caused the most harm.’ How far would you accept this view?

YES: The most influential individuals in history have often used their positions of power and privilege to cause great harm to society either deliberately or inadvertently. 

 

 

  1. Politically influential leaders have used the vast political and military resources at their disposal to launch acts of war and aggression that led to unjustifiable human and physical costs.

  2. Religious leaders of the past – or those with such influence have often used their positions to endorse and carry out morally reprehensible actions which resulted in the death and destruction of individuals, communities and even civilizations under the guise of spreading their faith.

  3. Some political leaders have committed great atrocities for the sake of maintaining their hold on power or in the furtherance of their ideological motives, disastrously setting back the progress of their nations.

 

NO:   The most influential individuals have often used their positions of power and privilege to effect irreplaceable positive changes and benefits to society rather than harming it.

  1. Politically influential leaders have used the vast political and military resources at their disposal to fight defensive wars which eventually led to peace, albeit at an inevitable high cost to human lives and society.

  2. Politically influential wartime leaders have also leveraged on their power to affect important postwar reconstruction projects which positively shaped the lives of postwar generations.

  3. Individuals with a religious background or beliefs have aligned their convictions to worthy ideologies and causes, mobilizing vast support to challenge or change systems of injustice in their nations or globally.

  4. Some political leaders have recanted ineffective ideologies in favor of more pragmatic ones, thereby initiating periods of peace, prosperity and progress for their own nations and the wider international community.