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InvisibleDividedQuantumM
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On what grounds is civilization a better way of life than a state of nature? * 3
    #26791974 - 06/29/20 12:23 PM (1 month, 15 days ago)

I am not sure how we justify the unthinking meme that a state of civilization is far superior to a state of nature. Is there less suffering in civilization for the majority? Hell no, there’s more per capita, a lot more. Is the diet better? For over 99%, historically, the civilized diet has been less balanced than hunter-gatherer or nomad natural diets. And then we say, well, there is a lot more killing in nature than in civilization. How on Earth does anyone figure that? With wars and famines and poverty and back-breaking labor it seems the vast majority of humans are no safer this way, historically.

I think there is some sort of implicit belief that in civilization we are safer from dying than we are in a state of nature, and I just don’t get that. Every creature has to die. Civilization has not been able to change that! How ridiculous! Everyone dies, who really cares when or how. The only conclusion one can reach is that this is an artificial cultural meme that is not universal, and not really true. I think it is clear that this is the case, for a number of historical reasons.

I am interested in reactions to this. Seems an interesting question to me.


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Re: On what grounds is civilization a better way of life than a state of nature? [Re: DividedQuantum] * 1
    #26792046 - 06/29/20 01:01 PM (1 month, 15 days ago)

Air conditioning?


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Invisibleredgreenvines
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Re: On what grounds is civilization a better way of life than a state of nature? [Re: Rahz]
    #26792063 - 06/29/20 01:11 PM (1 month, 15 days ago)

what are you comparing to what?

Utopia to 2020 America?


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Re: On what grounds is civilization a better way of life than a state of nature? [Re: DividedQuantum]
    #26792074 - 06/29/20 01:19 PM (1 month, 15 days ago)

Quote:

DividedQuantum said:
I think there is some sort of implicit belief that in civilization we are safer from dying than we are in a state of nature



That's how I've seen it put, and what resonates with me as to why hunter gatherers could be convinced to switch to agriculture; nature has droughts, and times of famine inherent, and in those times the young and the old and the weak die off.

Agriculture (civilization) is able to mitigate and avoid those deaths. It provides a way to save people we love and care about.

I can see how that would have been an attractive prospect, at the start. Perhaps, had the people converted from that style of living to this one also been shown the eventuality of this path, they wouldn't have been so quick to switch.

Alas, the road to hell is paved with good intentions? Sure looks like we're on the highway to hell to me right now.


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InvisibleDividedQuantumM
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Re: On what grounds is civilization a better way of life than a state of nature? [Re: Jokeshopbeard] * 1
    #26792468 - 06/29/20 03:36 PM (1 month, 15 days ago)

Quote:

Jokeshopbeard said:
Quote:

DividedQuantum said:
I think there is some sort of implicit belief that in civilization we are safer from dying than we are in a state of nature




That's how I've seen it put, and what resonates with me as to why hunter gatherers could be convinced to switch to agriculture; nature has droughts, and times of famine inherent, and in those times the young and the old and the weak die off.

Agriculture (civilization) is able to mitigate and avoid those deaths. It provides a way to save people we love and care about.

I can see how that would have been an attractive prospect, at the start. Perhaps, had the people converted from that style of living to this one also been shown the eventuality of this path, they wouldn't have been so quick to switch.

Alas, the road to hell is paved with good intentions? Sure looks like we're on the highway to hell to me right now.





It's important to realize, though, that the switch to agriculture was not a decision so much as it was an evolution of various stages over a long period of time. Indeed, people living in the present in Mesopotamia in 5000 BC probably did not know what was really going on, as far as how their territory would become a dictatorship and then collapse a thousand years later. The unfolding of the evolution of culture takes many more than one lifetime, and is usually not the product of conscious decisions.

That said, nature definitely does have droughts and unstable conditions, natural disasters, what have you. Agriculture can stand up to a lot as far as that goes. But then, war didn't really exist until agriculture did (and there was an awful lot of that), and the work was much harder and longer for less food of poorer quality, prisons and slavery became a thing, one had to have permission for everything, etc. Not to mention the fact that something like over 95% of people who ever lived did so as peasants or servile laborers. So it seems agriculture wasn't perhaps that comfortable after all.

As you and I both pointed out, early agriculturalists could certainly never have imagined the global situation in 2020 AD, and if they could have they probably would have gone crazy. But the evolution of culture marches on despite hopes, intentions and wishes, and I just think it's too bad that most people don't care to contemplate the dynamics of these phenomena. Of course, the average citizen doesn't care to contemplate the dynamics of basic American civics, so we can't hope for too much.


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InvisibleDividedQuantumM
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Re: On what grounds is civilization a better way of life than a state of nature? [Re: Rahz]
    #26792474 - 06/29/20 03:37 PM (1 month, 15 days ago)

Quote:

Rahz said:
Air conditioning?





Dentistry?


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Re: On what grounds is civilization a better way of life than a state of nature? [Re: DividedQuantum]
    #26792866 - 06/29/20 06:17 PM (1 month, 15 days ago)

Hypothetically better.  If you like Chocolate ice cream cake then a relatively complex society is your bet.  But if you don’t like heart disease then maybe not.  I guess exercise goes both ways.  :shrug:

On second thought I suppose complexity itself is the hypothetical.  If you like complexity then we have the society for you with the good and the bad.  :cool:


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Re: On what grounds is civilization a better way of life than a state of nature? [Re: DividedQuantum] * 1
    #26792896 - 06/29/20 06:28 PM (1 month, 15 days ago)

I think civilization makes life better for a percentage of the population. For another percentage it makes life worse. The issue, in my opinion, is less so the state of nature and more the unchecked state of human nature.

I think human beings are adapted to exist as small bands of hunter-gatherers, socially bonded; but these intuitions break down in nation states like what we have today. If these states were to crumble, I’d expect chaos and perhaps annihilation.

A well-constructed civilization could be superior to the state of nature, just as a poorly constructed and starkly unequal one, extractive and exploitative in nature, would be worse.

I think we exist at a moment of opportunity in our current civilization but most of our leaders, commentariat and the world financial and political elites are largely short-sighted, self-serving dickheads. But could it have turned out any other way?


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Re: On what grounds is civilization a better way of life than a state of nature? [Re: Jokeshopbeard] * 1
    #26792996 - 06/29/20 07:23 PM (1 month, 15 days ago)

Quote:

Jokeshopbeard said:
Quote:

DividedQuantum said:
I think there is some sort of implicit belief that in civilization we are safer from dying than we are in a state of nature



That's how I've seen it put, and what resonates with me as to why hunter gatherers could be convinced to switch to agriculture; nature has droughts, and times of famine inherent, and in those times the young and the old and the weak die off.

Agriculture (civilization) is able to mitigate and avoid those deaths. It provides a way to save people we love and care about.

I can see how that would have been an attractive prospect, at the start. Perhaps, had the people converted from that style of living to this one also been shown the eventuality of this path, they wouldn't have been so quick to switch.

Alas, the road to hell is paved with good intentions? Sure looks like we're on the highway to hell to me right now.




Hunter gatherers were very careful to not allow their populations to swell above what the natural resources provided for...also allowing for fire flood and so on.
Their need for war and competition were far lower.

The food security and abundance that agriculture brought allowed populations to swell like never before.
This was great until the inevitable bad season came.
Now you have 3 times more mouths to feed and you know your neighbours just reaped their field...what happens?


I would argue that the safety was in staying closer to the natural order.

*I type this with false teeth in a temperature controlled room on a computer.


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Invisiblepineninja
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Re: On what grounds is civilization a better way of life than a state of nature? [Re: pineninja] * 1
    #26793003 - 06/29/20 07:25 PM (1 month, 15 days ago)

"On what grounds is civilization a better way of life than a state of nature?"


On who's terms are you measuring?

We are winning.....isn't it obvious.:yess:


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InvisibleDividedQuantumM
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Re: On what grounds is civilization a better way of life than a state of nature? [Re: pineninja] * 1
    #26793022 - 06/29/20 07:31 PM (1 month, 15 days ago)

Great points. :thumbup:

That's right -- as soon as you have crops that are stored, and administrators and all the rest, two things begin to happen: Imbalances form, leading to a lot of fighting, and population explodes. Imbalance, poverty, war and soaring populations have come down to us today, for about the last ten thousand years, pretty much unbroken. In the previous three hundred thousand years of homo sapiens, to our knowledge none of this was a factor.

So to pineninja's point, staying closer to the natural order would definitely have been safer. But questions of what was inevitable are very murky and essentially impossible to answer.


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Re: On what grounds is civilization a better way of life than a state of nature? [Re: pineninja] * 1
    #26793023 - 06/29/20 07:31 PM (1 month, 15 days ago)

50 seconds in...Relevant ...



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Re: On what grounds is civilization a better way of life than a state of nature? [Re: DividedQuantum]
    #26793038 - 06/29/20 07:37 PM (1 month, 15 days ago)

There been a big push here in recent years to "prove"  that aboriginals here had forms of agriculture.
Which is obtuse to the historical teaching that they were a wholly hunter gatherer society.

It is an agenda seemingly driven by a few indigenous peoples to show that they were "more advanced" than white man gives them credit for.

The very thought of balance is seen now as such an idiocy people are trying to erase, even the possibility that it happened.


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Re: On what grounds is civilization a better way of life than a state of nature? [Re: DividedQuantum] * 1
    #26793178 - 06/29/20 08:27 PM (1 month, 15 days ago)

Nature is red in tooth and claw. I think you're idealizing nature a bit. Natural is absolutely brutal, cruel, uncaring, unforgiving. It is worse in every way compared to modern civilization.

In a state of nature, whoever is bigger and stronger will take over and kill everyone who opposes him along with anyone he doesn't like. He will go around taking whatever he wants, killing whoever he wants, and raping whoever he wants. He will do whatever he wants to and no one will be able to stop him. You will live like a slave serving him while he kills the people you care about and rapes the women you love. Is that how you want to live?

There is less death from war now than there has been at any other time in human history. Same with disease. We live in a virtual utopia compared to people living in nature. Nature kills for no reason at all. A minor injury in nature can end your life, if you're lucky, but most death in nature is absolutely brutal. Being torn apart and eaten alive by some animal. Bears, for example, don't kill their prey before they eat it. Even if you live, you would be perpetually infested with parasites, regularly fighting off diseases, always starving, always too hot or too cold. Nature is awful. If you think civilization is bad, nature is 100x worse.

If it were up to me, we'd get rid of nature entirely except for some carefully preserved parks for hiking and camping and stuff like that. Civilization has stuff like modern medicine, education, plentiful food, AC, computers, music, fun things to do and places to go and things to see. Drugs. We live in a utopian playground compared to nature.


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Re: On what grounds is civilization a better way of life than a state of nature? [Re: nooneman] * 1
    #26793189 - 06/29/20 08:33 PM (1 month, 15 days ago)

Where you see total war I see symbiosis.

The cocophany of nature isn't bombs and gunshots.

We fear what we don't understand and especially that which we are no longer comparable with.


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InvisibleDividedQuantumM
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Re: On what grounds is civilization a better way of life than a state of nature? [Re: nooneman] * 1
    #26793214 - 06/29/20 08:43 PM (1 month, 15 days ago)

Quote:

nooneman said:
Nature is red in tooth and claw. I think you're idealizing nature a bit. Natural is absolutely brutal, cruel, uncaring, unforgiving. It is worse in every way compared to modern civilization.

In a state of nature, whoever is bigger and stronger will take over and kill everyone who opposes him along with anyone he doesn't like. He will go around taking whatever he wants, killing whoever he wants, and raping whoever he wants. He will do whatever he wants to and no one will be able to stop him. You will live like a slave serving him while he kills the people you care about and rapes the women you love. Is that how you want to live?

There is less death from war now than there has been at any other time in human history. Same with disease. We live in a virtual utopia compared to people living in nature. Nature kills for no reason at all. A minor injury in nature can end your life, if you're lucky, but most death in nature is absolutely brutal. Being torn apart and eaten alive by some animal. Bears, for example, don't kill their prey before they eat it. Even if you live, you would be perpetually infested with parasites, regularly fighting off diseases, always starving, always too hot or too cold. Nature is awful. If you think civilization is bad, nature is 100x worse.

If it were up to me, we'd get rid of nature entirely except for some carefully preserved parks for hiking and camping and stuff like that. Civilization has stuff like modern medicine, education, plentiful food, AC, computers, music, fun things to do and places to go and things to see. Drugs. We live in a utopian playground compared to nature.





That is the philosophical stance of Thomas Hobbes, and it has been debunked completely. I don't want to go off on a huge tangent, but most of your post is factually inaccurate. It would take too long and be OT to get into it. That said, our species lived naturally for hundreds of thousands of years before civilizations were founded, and by your logic we would all have been dead eons ago.


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Re: On what grounds is civilization a better way of life than a state of nature? [Re: DividedQuantum] * 1
    #26793727 - 06/30/20 05:17 AM (1 month, 15 days ago)

how does his post create that logic?

people seem to be writing without reading, and questions are not being answered, so my take is this is not a discussion.

what the hell is meant by "a state of nature"


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Re: On what grounds is civilization a better way of life than a state of nature? [Re: redgreenvines]
    #26794067 - 06/30/20 09:13 AM (1 month, 14 days ago)

Thomas Hobbes famously said that life in a state of nature is "nasty, brutish, and short." Archaeological evidence over the last fifty years has proven that this was not the case, very generally -- hunter-gatherers were quite well taken care of, and not in constant fear.

A "state of nature" just means any society that does not exist within the structures of civilization -- hunter-gatherers, nomads, small-scale agriculturalists would be examples. The Sioux were an example of people living in a state of nature. The pyramid-building Egyptian old kingdom was not.


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Re: On what grounds is civilization a better way of life than a state of nature? [Re: DividedQuantum]
    #26794260 - 06/30/20 10:48 AM (1 month, 14 days ago)



This was my camping spot at Lake Mead yesterday. Notice how I am living in harmony with my well-camouflaged reptile brethren.


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Re: On what grounds is civilization a better way of life than a state of nature? [Re: DividedQuantum]
    #26794295 - 06/30/20 11:02 AM (1 month, 14 days ago)

Quote:

DividedQuantum said:
Thomas Hobbes famously said that life in a state of nature is "nasty, brutish, and short." Archaeological evidence over the last fifty years has proven that this was not the case, very generally -- hunter-gatherers were quite well taken care of, and not in constant fear.

A "state of nature" just means any society that does not exist within the structures of civilization -- hunter-gatherers, nomads, small-scale agriculturalists would be examples. The Sioux were an example of people living in a state of nature. The pyramid-building Egyptian old kingdom was not.




I would love to read a novel series that really was up to date with all the findings from archaeology spun up into a realistic multigenerational saga, or maybe several sagas, since life was very different in the arctic and near the equator, in the mountains and at the sea.


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Re: On what grounds is civilization a better way of life than a state of nature? [Re: redgreenvines]
    #26794314 - 06/30/20 11:11 AM (1 month, 14 days ago)

Indeed, ecologies were different all over. But what people don't seem to realize is the major fault with the "nasty, brutish and short" logic: If life were so unbearable for a given tribe, it would have dissolved and ceased to exist. Given that there were thousands, some say tens of thousands, individual cultures living from pole to pole and mountains to sea during the Paleolithic and Neolithic, life must not have been that terrible.

If it was indeed such a hell, it's hard to understand how the supposedly poor reproductive success of early societies has led to 8 billion humans in 2020 AD. But that's only when you resort to logic.


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Re: On what grounds is civilization a better way of life than a state of nature? [Re: DividedQuantum] * 1
    #26794386 - 06/30/20 11:50 AM (1 month, 14 days ago)

My understanding from reading articles over the years is that whatever the circumstances may be, human population bumps along just under what the environment can support. Both pre and post agriculture this would be true so famine would have always been a factor, which would lead to war as an alternative to starvation.

Irrigation, food storage and domestication of animals were means of avoiding the effects of short term famine, but these mitigating factors increase population and expound the problem. In total numbers there are more people at risk of starvation today. As a percentage I will guess that technology has lessened the number of people who die of starvation or war.

But we don't really know enough about life before the written word to make educated guesses. Perhaps some tribes were strong enough and smart enough to ward other humans off land they didn't need, so that if famine arose there would be pristine hunting and foraging grounds to exploit. Such tactics are arguably no less homicidal in intent, but it could potentially reduce the number killed by both war and famine if humans were to use less than was available. Somehow I don't think it generally played out that way. I suspect we've never been much different that rabbits until the advent of contraception.


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Re: On what grounds is civilization a better way of life than a state of nature? [Re: Rahz] * 2
    #26794561 - 06/30/20 01:26 PM (1 month, 14 days ago)

Good points. Yes, carrying capacity was always such an important variable, until about 1830 or so when modern technology took off. The intensification that has occurred due to the Industrial Revolution, and developments in the twentieth century, make it so that, at least for now, we can feed a population of twelve billion people if we have to. The latest estimates I have seen indicate that the ballooning of population will top out at about ten billion or so, but I am not familiar with how they estimate this. Years ago it was thought to be twelve.

Now, eventually we might get to the point that there is no more starvation or malnutrition. However, in a world of ten billion people, if everyone is living the same way, the standard of living will be much poorer than it is for Americans today. Of course everyone is not living the same way, so we have comparatively rich populations, but if you go from say, here in the states, a thousand miles south to Guatemala, people are living very differently and with much more difficulty.

But when carrying capacity was a thing, hunter-gatherers are known to have been very careful about number of children to the point that infanticide was extremely common in most places. They knew how many people the tribe could support, and just didn't go above it. I would say that an end to infanticide, and many, many more things make civilization very attractive, but then, the way we are arbitrarily giving the environment steroids, with billions and billions of humans walking around, probably will not end too well.

If, for example, some weird ecological effect happened that rendered all of the soils worthless, civilization would collapse and billions would die. We feel like we're invincible, but we are certainly not. Clearly, looking at it from a perspective of sustainability, physical and psychological damage and overall suffering, civilization has an extremely poor track record. On the other hand, being a hunter-gatherer and needing a root canal cannot have been pleasant.

The point for those who haven't considered all this (as you obviously have, Rahz), is that it is not obvious, when you start looking into it a little, that being in a civilized society makes one healthier and happier than being in one without stratification. But this is pretty abstract for people.


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Re: On what grounds is civilization a better way of life than a state of nature? [Re: DividedQuantum] * 1
    #26794684 - 06/30/20 02:27 PM (1 month, 14 days ago)

Quote:

DividedQuantum said:
I am not sure how we justify the unthinking meme that a state of civilization is far superior to a state of nature. Is there less suffering in civilization for the majority? Hell no, there’s more per capita, a lot more. Is the diet better? For over 99%, historically, the civilized diet has been less balanced than hunter-gatherer or nomad natural diets. And then we say, well, there is a lot more killing in nature than in civilization. How on Earth does anyone figure that? With wars and famines and poverty and back-breaking labor it seems the vast majority of humans are no safer this way, historically.

I think there is some sort of implicit belief that in civilization we are safer from dying than we are in a state of nature, and I just don’t get that. Every creature has to die. Civilization has not been able to change that! How ridiculous! Everyone dies, who really cares when or how. The only conclusion one can reach is that this is an artificial cultural meme that is not universal, and not really true. I think it is clear that this is the case, for a number of historical reasons.

I am interested in reactions to this. Seems an interesting question to me.




We are stuck with what we've got. I wear glasses, I would not have survived pre civilization. I am just one example. Much of humanity is now myopic. Dozens of other examples. The reality is that most people on the planet are hooked, just like an addict.

Sure in an ideal world, when heady with the energy and bloom of youth, who wouldn't enjoy the fantasy, of being a plains indian galloping across the vast prairies, with the wind, blowing thru one's hair?

Or being a shaman in central america, taking plant medicine and becoming one with the jaguar.

But we humans have poisoned the world and we can't go back.

And Elon Musk is too clever, but has no wisdom - going to Mars will not be any sort of solution.
He is a symptom of what is wrong, not a solution for what is wrong.

As you know IMO we are stuck with what we've got, & as all empires fail, & this time around, all are globally interconnected, the only rational expectation is for a dystopian future.
However as in the movie "Titanic" we have a choice, we can be like the assholes shoving women and children out of life boats, or like the music band members who stayed on board, playing their music as the ship sank.
Death need not be an occasion for generating emotional panic.
Many die with a smile of relief at being finally able to let go, of everything.


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“A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.” or  “Science advances one funeral at a time.”
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Re: On what grounds is civilization a better way of life than a state of nature? [Re: laughingdog]
    #26794727 - 06/30/20 02:38 PM (1 month, 14 days ago)

Spoiled & poisoned, it would be hard to kick the scales from our eyes and live so very differently.


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Re: On what grounds is civilization a better way of life than a state of nature? [Re: DividedQuantum]
    #26794757 - 06/30/20 02:50 PM (1 month, 14 days ago)

i agree, the natural world is far more beautiful, healthy, happy and better in almost every way.
people like convenience though. they think they cant live without their phones and fast food. the more generations we get through the worse it gets. everything gets normalised and people cant image a world any different.

it is going to get much much worse before it gets any better. you can thank capitalism


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Re: On what grounds is civilization a better way of life than a state of nature? [Re: greenladel]
    #26794935 - 06/30/20 04:16 PM (1 month, 14 days ago)

The Borg are even more ruthless.
they assimilate rather than kill excessive population.

I don't like the reasonableness of either group.


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Re: On what grounds is civilization a better way of life than a state of nature? [Re: greenladel] * 1
    #26794960 - 06/30/20 04:24 PM (1 month, 14 days ago)

There is no one identifiable cause. All empires fail & fall. Who said it was meant to be any different?

Very few want to take even a few steps away from the norms they are used to. Pretty much only those who have serious health issues, are even willing to consider that processed foods may be harmful.
That is why I say, even those think about this issue, are almost guaranteed to be hooked on civilization themselves. Maybe they just like to read or use computers...hooked...or use a car...or take a hot shower....or....


--------------------
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Re: On what grounds is civilization a better way of life than a state of nature? [Re: DividedQuantum] * 2
    #26794962 - 06/30/20 04:25 PM (1 month, 14 days ago)

Good points. I think the "standard of living" has gone up, if not compared to pre-agricultural society, to pre-industrial society. Trade offs include pollution among others, but the salient point is that humans cause their own problems now, and happiness is still a transient state for most, as it probably always has been.

Thinking otherwise seems romantic to me. The value of such dreams perhaps is to stave off reality. I wrote a song when I was young that seems relevant to this self made condition. I'll provide the lyrics for those who don't care to listen through my attempt. It is clearly coming from the mind of someone who was acutely depressed, but I think minus the depression people still entertain fantasies and their corresponding doubts. And I say that because if the human mind wasn't what it is, we could have it made, relatively speaking... as close to utopia as possible... and yet the idea of such a condition does seem to be the fantasy, and the reality something that we don't easily or ever admit, depending on the person. So it becomes a yellow brick road. Perhaps some reach the end but for humanity as a whole it's a never ending road. The reference to Toto, a desire not to walk down that endless road... perhaps also a fantasy... or a way out?



Yellow-

You're growing up and you're growing old
You're looking back on your yellow brick road
You hide the shame and you hide the guilt
Living with the little bit of mind that you built

Nothing ever seems to turn out right
You spit on the ground at your oversight
You wallow in pity and you drown in despair
But you really don't mind cause you just don't care

We can clear it up with a fantasy
A picture in your head of who you want to be
On your yellow brick road

You say you're working hard and you try and relax
But the stress is still there you're avoiding the facts
You find some comfort in your misery
You revel in the catastrophe

Spend your time thinking about yesterday
Hoping that you'll find an easier way
You're walking around in a cynical hate
Then you wonder why you can't relate

You stand and stare like you gave up a long time ago
On your yellow brick road
Say hello to Toto for me


--------------------
rahz

comfort pleasure power love truth awareness peace


“Everyone's path is different, and that is fine. We either sit or walk.”


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Re: On what grounds is civilization a better way of life than a state of nature? [Re: Rahz] * 1
    #26795024 - 06/30/20 05:01 PM (1 month, 14 days ago)

.  What is in my face, day to day, is the romantic dream that getting married, educated, having a career, and then kids, will inevitably lead to happiness. This seems to be an almost world wide fantasy. I doubt the statistics support this notion.

.    However once a person is enmeshed in this dream, seeing the world into which they have brought their children, accurately, would seem to be something they would rather avoid if possible. A little wine after dinner, then a movie, then sex, then fall asleep, wake up, get the kids ready for school, go to work, come home, make dinner, put the kids to bed, a little wine after dinner, ... and ... repeat ... no time to think too much.

.  As a teenager, one may have a pause, before getting on the treadmill, which allows one a moment of freedom, and some perspective, to write a song, or make some art. Very few see the path of the renunciate as an escape, especially when puberty is raising its head at the same time.

.  So the human world, continues in a fairly predictable pattern, which a time machine might show, fast enough to see the vast cycles.

.  Seems the only difference this time around, is that the world population and degree of interconnectedness is so great that, when disintgration begins, all the dominoes may go at once.


--------------------
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― Max Planck

"The situation is hopeless, but not serious."

"Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend,
inside of a dog its too dark to read."


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Re: On what grounds is civilization a better way of life than a state of nature? [Re: Rahz] * 1
    #26795029 - 06/30/20 05:04 PM (1 month, 14 days ago)

I liked the song.:rockon:


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Re: On what grounds is civilization a better way of life than a state of nature? [Re: laughingdog] * 1
    #26795220 - 06/30/20 06:43 PM (1 month, 14 days ago)

Quote:

laughingdog said:
We are stuck with what we've got. I wear glasses, I would not have survived pre civilization. I am just one example. Much of humanity is now myopic. Dozens of other examples. The reality is that most people on the planet are hooked, just like an addict.

Sure in an ideal world, when heady with the energy and bloom of youth, who wouldn't enjoy the fantasy, of being a plains indian galloping across the vast prairies, with the wind, blowing thru one's hair?

Or being a shaman in central america, taking plant medicine and becoming one with the jaguar.

But we humans have poisoned the world and we can't go back.

And Elon Musk is too clever, but has no wisdom - going to Mars will not be any sort of solution.
He is a symptom of what is wrong, not a solution for what is wrong.

As you know IMO we are stuck with what we've got, & as all empires fail, & this time around, all are globally interconnected, the only rational expectation is for a dystopian future.
However as in the movie "Titanic" we have a choice, we can be like the assholes shoving women and children out of life boats, or like the music band members who stayed on board, playing their music as the ship sank.
Death need not be an occasion for generating emotional panic.
Many die with a smile of relief at being finally able to let go, of everything.





Oh, indeed. Our task, if we can take it seriously, is to do civilization as well as we can. There is no going back, there will be no radical change, and this is the system we've got and are going to have, irrespective of whatever cosmetic changes we institute. The only way we could "go back" to a less complex situation is if we depopulated the planet by about 7.5 billion people. Not a practical solution.

You mention addiction, and that is a perfect analogy, or maybe it's not even an analogy. Another way I like to think of it as being "spoiled." Hunter-gatherers were able to be so tough and live that way because they were not spoiled by alternative technologies and ways of life. Now we know that when civilization encroaches on areas where hunter-gatherers live, the lures of civilization can be very strong, they get spoiled and never go back.

Another element of this line of thinking is simply surviving outdoors. Even just two hundred years ago, many more people could survive outside with no special tools than nowadays. We are so dependent on what are really fragile technologies that we are spoiled and soft -- and addicted.

Elon Musk is a goonball. He is not a visionary, or a hero, or anything special at all. He's an eccentric billionaire, who is not happy, looking for a holy grail. And he won't find it on Mars. He is very much a symptom and not a solution.

As far as empires falling, yes it is a historical cyclical rule, and how. And now America is done. How long our dark age will last, and what we will transform into, is a mystery. But we are indeed transforming, and it isn't pretty. We are very much stuck with what we've got.


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Re: On what grounds is civilization a better way of life than a state of nature? [Re: laughingdog]
    #26796172 - 07/01/20 03:40 AM (1 month, 14 days ago)

Quote:

laughingdog said:
There is no one identifiable cause. All empires fail & fall. Who said it was meant to be any different?

Very few want to take even a few steps away from the norms they are used to. Pretty much only those who have serious health issues, are even willing to consider that processed foods may be harmful.
That is why I say, even those think about this issue, are almost guaranteed to be hooked on civilization themselves. Maybe they just like to read or use computers...hooked...or use a car...or take a hot shower....or....




yea i completely agree. i am a good example and i definitely can speak for myself haha. i love the idea of a raw and pure world, but yet i am here, using technology to converse with people around the world, and i LOVE that i can talk to people around the world, it has done a lot of good for humanity (as well as a lot of bad).
as much as i try to keep my life as 'corruption free' as possible i am still part of the problem and still directly responsible for the destruction of the planet. i am working on my ways, but it is difficult to break free from ways that you have never known to be different.


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Re: On what grounds is civilization a better way of life than a state of nature? [Re: laughingdog]
    #26798257 - 07/02/20 01:28 AM (1 month, 13 days ago)

Quote:

laughingdog said:

We are stuck with what we've got. I wear glasses, I would not have survived pre civilization. I am just one example. Much of humanity is now myopic. Dozens of other examples. The reality is that most people on the planet are hooked, just like an addict.




I think it's a big stretch to assume you would have died pre-civilization . . .

Are you trying to make the case you are addicted to eye glasses?!


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Re: On what grounds is civilization a better way of life than a state of nature? [Re: DividedQuantum] * 3
    #26808091 - 07/06/20 10:59 PM (1 month, 8 days ago)

Civilization has eliminated the natural (highly integrated) community. My town of 60,000 calls itself a "community", but it's not one, by social primate standards. Once every few months I run into someone I know at the grocery store. It's highly unnatural to live with 60,000 people you don't know. It has massive repercussions.   

For most of our history we lived in small groups, were everyone knew everyone, to some degree. Every birth was a celebration and every death was a time for people to bond and solidify trust and love. We are so far away from our natural way of living we can't imagine what it would be to live in a natural community, as social primates do. Social primates in small communities spend a huge amount of time grooming and playing and caring for one another.

Some primates spend their first 5 years attached in close contact with the mother. Attached as in clinging. This deep intimate contact cements trust and is critical for emotional childhood development. I read recently some primates spend upwards of 2 hours a day grooming each other. This type of behavior builds social bonds. It's critical for emotional health and developing the ability to form strong relationships. 

And we wonder why the #1 cause of misery is loneliness. In addition to depression, rage, and anxiety. And drug abuse. We are living like animals isolated in cages - like the animals in the zoo. It's exactly the same. It's one reason many people join mass movements - it feels like community.


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Re: On what grounds is civilization a better way of life than a state of nature? [Re: RJ Tubs 202]
    #26808115 - 07/06/20 11:47 PM (1 month, 8 days ago)

This is an interesting topic for sure. Whatever DQ means by state of nature, there are problems in both civilization in modern times and that period. Hunter gatherers had their own causes of death but their life must have been much simpler and structured too than what an individuals life can possibly be today. The differences in lives are so staggering that comparing these two periods in the lifetime of our species is almost insane, but we find these hunter gatherer tribes still in some places today. I too have thought about our modern lives compared to those sometimes and to me it seems that the less advanced technologically are happier. Indeed what RJ Tubs points out about alienation from community is a big problem in modern adulthood. Many if not most are also working much harder than simple hunter gatherer and basic agricultural communities.
I think the logical step for people to take is to take the best of both worlds. After experiencing our technology who really wants to discard it from their lives. A community of people would benefit from modern technology and knowledge even more than a single person.


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Re: On what grounds is civilization a better way of life than a state of nature? [Re: RJ Tubs 202]
    #26808206 - 07/07/20 02:02 AM (1 month, 8 days ago)

Quote:

RJ Tubs 202 said:
Civilization has eliminated the natural (highly integrated) community. My town of 60,000 calls itself a "community", but it's not one, by social primate standards. Once every few months I run into someone I know at the grocery store. It's highly unnatural to live with 60,000 people you don't know. It has massive repercussions.   

For most of our history we lived in small groups, were everyone knew everyone, to some degree. Every birth was a celebration and every death was a time for people to bond and solidify trust and love. We are so far away from our natural way of living we can't imagine what it would be to live in a natural community, as social primates do. Social primates in small communities spend a huge amount of time grooming and playing and caring for one another.

Some primates spend their first 5 years attached in close contact with the mother. Attached as in clinging. This deep intimate contact cements trust and is critical for emotional childhood development. I read recently some primates spend upwards of 2 hours a day grooming each other. This type of behavior builds social bonds. It's critical for emotional health and developing the ability to form strong relationships. 

And we wonder why the #1 cause of misery is loneliness. In addition to depression, rage, and anxiety. And drug abuse. We are living like animals isolated in cages - like the animals in the zoo. It's exactly the same. It's one reason many people join mass movements - it feels like community.




Thanks for that.
Made my evenings conversations interesting.


--------------------
Just a fool on the hill.


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Re: On what grounds is civilization a better way of life than a state of nature? [Re: RJ Tubs 202]
    #26808701 - 07/07/20 10:06 AM (1 month, 7 days ago)

Quote:

RJ Tubs 202 said:
Civilization has eliminated the natural (highly integrated) community. My town of 60,000 calls itself a "community", but it's not one, by social primate standards. Once every few months I run into someone I know at the grocery store. It's highly unnatural to live with 60,000 people you don't know. It has massive repercussions.   

For most of our history we lived in small groups, were everyone knew everyone, to some degree. Every birth was a celebration and every death was a time for people to bond and solidify trust and love. We are so far away from our natural way of living we can't imagine what it would be to live in a natural community, as social primates do. Social primates in small communities spend a huge amount of time grooming and playing and caring for one another.

Some primates spend their first 5 years attached in close contact with the mother. Attached as in clinging. This deep intimate contact cements trust and is critical for emotional childhood development. I read recently some primates spend upwards of 2 hours a day grooming each other. This type of behavior builds social bonds. It's critical for emotional health and developing the ability to form strong relationships. 

And we wonder why the #1 cause of misery is loneliness. In addition to depression, rage, and anxiety. And drug abuse. We are living like animals isolated in cages - like the animals in the zoo. It's exactly the same. It's one reason many people join mass movements - it feels like community.





Outstanding and completely accurate point. :thumbup:


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Re: On what grounds is civilization a better way of life than a state of nature? [Re: DividedQuantum]
    #26809771 - 07/07/20 07:35 PM (1 month, 7 days ago)

Quote:

DividedQuantum said:
I am not sure how we justify the unthinking meme that a state of civilization is far superior to a state of nature. Is there less suffering in civilization for the majority? Hell no, there’s more per capita, a lot more. Is the diet better? For over 99%, historically, the civilized diet has been less balanced than hunter-gatherer or nomad natural diets. And then we say, well, there is a lot more killing in nature than in civilization. How on Earth does anyone figure that? With wars and famines and poverty and back-breaking labor it seems the vast majority of humans are no safer this way, historically.

I think there is some sort of implicit belief that in civilization we are safer from dying than we are in a state of nature, and I just don’t get that. Every creature has to die. Civilization has not been able to change that! How ridiculous! Everyone dies, who really cares when or how. The only conclusion one can reach is that this is an artificial cultural meme that is not universal, and not really true. I think it is clear that this is the case, for a number of historical reasons.

I am interested in reactions to this. Seems an interesting question to me.




I think, people who don't have a lot of knowledge on some perspectives take their own beliefs and with that lack of insight try to paint their beliefs as more insightful than they are. I don't mean to be insulting, you're very intelligent OP, but I do believe your perspective is lacking some insight here. "How on Earth could we know that?" You asked. Well, by talking to people who knew no civilization until recently.



This documentary follows an Amazonian tribe after their first contact with modern civilization which happened only quite recently. Some others who spoke similar languages learned Portuguese and can translate and now researchers speak their language as well. They speak at length about the hardships of life before. It was a life of struggle and perpetual insecurity. The young man who is the leader of the tribe appears to be in his early 20's if not his late-teens as all of the other adults had died.

I think the case can be made that we have moved too far from nature, but the idea that civilization in and of itself is negative for humanity, I think is not a great argument.


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Re: On what grounds is civilization a better way of life than a state of nature? [Re: Darwin23]
    #26809846 - 07/07/20 08:17 PM (1 month, 7 days ago)

How would we post on the internet if there was no society.. no technology, no economy?


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Re: On what grounds is civilization a better way of life than a state of nature? [Re: Darwin23]
    #26809854 - 07/07/20 08:22 PM (1 month, 7 days ago)

I respect your point of view, but you're forgetting something that a lot of people forget -- the nature of indigenous life varied dramatically across the globe. Some indigenous people had a very hard time. Look up the Yanomamo. Some, more or less okay, not great, whatever. Some indigenous had a pretty good go of it. The Kung of the Kalahari and the Hadza of Tanzania work on average less than three hours per day.

I was merely trying to highlight the fact that civilization has brought much more killing and death into the equation than ever existed in indigenous societies. And that's true. That does not mean, nor was I trying to imply, that life in the wild is easy.

Remember there have been tens of thousands of distinct cultures since humans evolved. Honestly, using the example of one of them doesn't mean much.


Quote:

I think the case can be made that we have moved too far from nature, but the idea that civilization in and of itself is negative for humanity, I think is not a great argument.




Please remember that civilization goes back to about 8000 BC, and during all that time, roughly 95% of the population existed in a servile/pauper class. So I guess I would say, one Amazonian tribe is not representative of all indigenous groups, and middle-class American civilization is not representative of civilization.


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Re: On what grounds is civilization a better way of life than a state of nature? [Re: DividedQuantum]
    #26809902 - 07/07/20 08:50 PM (1 month, 7 days ago)

I don't think the question can be answered,  on the grounds that we only get to live one life, in one time & place(s). So we make do with novels and movies and biographies to try and get a feel, for what various other possibilities might have been, or be like. In fact we are so curious, we even explore science fiction & futuristic scenarios. I certainly enjoy such explorations part of the time, while at other times attempting to be more mindful in the present.

Another aspect is that as regards 'civilization', I expect it all to get much worse rather soon. Whether I or it deteriorates faster, is also unanswerable. So I think that for me there may be better questions to focus on, although the news is now so surreal that it seems hard to ignore it completely. Reminds one of the ancient Chinese curse: "May you live in interesting times".


--------------------
“A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.” or  “Science advances one funeral at a time.”
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Re: On what grounds is civilization a better way of life than a state of nature? [Re: laughingdog]
    #26810036 - 07/07/20 11:02 PM (1 month, 7 days ago)

The jungle is no place for humans. In less hostile environments primitive tribes can do quite well I think, but of course life with tech is much easier and safer.


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Re: On what grounds is civilization a better way of life than a state of nature? [Re: InnerWisdom]
    #26812392 - 07/09/20 09:03 AM (1 month, 5 days ago)

Seems to me the question is about: what might be ideal
or
what would be ideal
on these grounds alone, the question, has no answer --

As Buddhism stated 2500years ago - with teachings about "dukkha"
or: ideals can never be reality (for longer than the blink of an eye)
and by definition what might be  is not what is

And we only ever live in the present moment with what is
so if Reality is the mess, humans have turned the planet into, for themselves
Then that's exactly what Reality is, and all that Reality can be.

Perhaps all the pop science talk about multiverses, and long ago talk about reincarnation has confused folks.

They say often alcoholics only get better when they wake up in their own vomit, and realize there is both no one else to blame for their choices, and that their behavior is first and foremost hurting themselves.
In other words both denial and attempting to constantly escape, have both been terminated in one instant.


--------------------
“A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.” or  “Science advances one funeral at a time.”
― Max Planck

"The situation is hopeless, but not serious."

"Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend,
inside of a dog its too dark to read."


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Re: On what grounds is civilization a better way of life than a state of nature? [Re: laughingdog]
    #26812408 - 07/09/20 09:15 AM (1 month, 5 days ago)

so you are saying the questions are bad
what is a better question?


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Re: On what grounds is civilization a better way of life than a state of nature? [Re: redgreenvines]
    #26814278 - 07/10/20 04:30 AM (1 month, 5 days ago)

if I draw and behave orderly will that not be better?


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Re: On what grounds is civilization a better way of life than a state of nature? [Re: Ferdinando]
    #26814311 - 07/10/20 05:00 AM (1 month, 5 days ago)

I think the original post is confusing and borderline poppycock.  For one, civilization is part of nature - it’s taking place in nature - and we, we are of nature itself too, so how is it separate?  The line between what’s natural & what’s not is what needs to be checked here.  What exactly do you have in mind when asking on what grounds is Civ. better than a state of nature? Would it make sense to ask the same thing of Ants & their colonies?

Just because it’s harder to recognize that everything we have comes from nature, doesn’t mean it’s not of nature - it is.  Dismantle or mentally deconstruct any thing around you into it’s aggregates and it becomes more obvious that it can only come from nature - necessarily.

By some definitions you can’t even have something that is truly supernatural or unnatural or what have you because the definition of natural, or nature,  logically subsumes them.  So I think, at least on this point, you need to clarify.

Until you do I can only make assumptions as to what your true meaning is.

Also also. All life dies, yep.  But take away civilization and the safety net it provides and the dying part generally comes much faster & more easily.  Anyone who believes they won’t die because of our living situation is simply deluded, but make no mistake - civilization provides real protections to attenuate a plethora of problems for a significant amount of people.  How is that even questionable?



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Edited by The Blind Ass (07/10/20 05:08 AM)


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Re: On what grounds is civilization a better way of life than a state of nature? [Re: The Blind Ass]
    #26814644 - 07/10/20 08:59 AM (1 month, 4 days ago)

Quote:

The Blind Ass said:
I think the original post is confusing and borderline poppycock.  For one, civilization is part of nature - it’s taking place in nature - and we, we are of nature itself too, so how is it separate?  The line between what’s natural & what’s not is what needs to be checked here.  What exactly do you have in mind when asking on what grounds is Civ. better than a state of nature? Would it make sense to ask the same thing of Ants & their colonies?

Just because it’s harder to recognize that everything we have comes from nature, doesn’t mean it’s not of nature - it is.  Dismantle or mentally deconstruct any thing around you into it’s aggregates and it becomes more obvious that it can only come from nature - necessarily.

By some definitions you can’t even have something that is truly supernatural or unnatural or what have you because the definition of natural, or nature,  logically subsumes them.  So I think, at least on this point, you need to clarify.

Until you do I can only make assumptions as to what your true meaning is.

Also also. All life dies, yep.  But take away civilization and the safety net it provides and the dying part generally comes much faster & more easily.  Anyone who believes they won’t die because of our living situation is simply deluded, but make no mistake - civilization provides real protections to attenuate a plethora of problems for a significant amount of people.  How is that even questionable?







It's quite simple, really. It has nothing to do with what is "part of nature." I use the anthropological definition: an example of a human society in a "state of nature" would be hunter-gatherer tribes, which are typically egalitarian, have no wealth inequality or social hierarchy, share all economic returns, have only a very minor division of labor, have no authority figures, etc. Examples of this would be the Hadza, the Kung, the Mehinacu, the Mbuti, and various Native American tribes.

"Civilization" means hierarchy: wealth and social inequality, division of labor, specialization, stratification, sedentism, taxes, tribute, and vast and powerful authority structures. Examples would be ancient or modern China, ancient or modern Egypt, ancient or modern Rome, Renaissance Europe, and almost every modern country, certainly the developed ones.

I am not trying to say anything about what is natural or unnatural; I am merely referring to the anthropological dichotomy of economies with an immediate economic return vs. a delayed economic return, fundamentally.

Btw, regarding your last point, it was common, at least in the Hadza examples I have studied, for hunter-gatherers to live into their 80s. So this whole notion of quick death is kind of a biased meme.


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Re: On what grounds is civilization a better way of life than a state of nature? [Re: DividedQuantum]
    #26814688 - 07/10/20 09:31 AM (1 month, 4 days ago)

delayed return in economy is the concept of rationing, i.e. assessing need and supply and trimming demand to accommodate, while seeing balance.

rationing is part of basic homeostasis, however it requires insight and collaboration.


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Re: On what grounds is civilization a better way of life than a state of nature? [Re: DividedQuantum]
    #26814691 - 07/10/20 09:32 AM (1 month, 4 days ago)

Oh.  :cheers:

Just woke up from a great sleep.  Never make posts while sleep deprived!


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Re: On what grounds is civilization a better way of life than a state of nature? [Re: DividedQuantum]
    #26815752 - 07/10/20 06:12 PM (1 month, 4 days ago)

DividedQuantum said:

It's quite simple, really. It has nothing to do with what is "part of nature." I use the anthropological definition: an example of a human society in a "state of nature" would be hunter-gatherer tribes, which are typically egalitarian, have no wealth inequality or social hierarchy, share all economic returns, have only a very minor division of labor, have no authority figures, etc. Examples of this would be the Hadza, the Kung, the Mehinacu, the Mbuti, and various Native American tribes.

"Civilization" means hierarchy: wealth and social inequality, division of labor, specialization, stratification, sedentism, taxes, tribute, and vast and powerful authority structures. Examples would be ancient or modern China, ancient or modern Egypt, ancient or modern Rome, Renaissance Europe, and almost every modern country, certainly the developed ones.

I am not trying to say anything about what is natural or unnatural; I am merely referring to the anthropological dichotomy of economies with an immediate economic return vs. a delayed economic return, fundamentally. ....




.    Seems this clarification sort of answers the question, already.
.    Seems Huxley may have posed a similar question to himself before writing, a book to show us the values that are involved in attempting to answer it. That book of course is "Brave New World". He was of course himself a very civilized person, but even in 1931 (when it was written), it is clear that he feels civilization (if not already) eventually leads to something for which the price is exorbitant. In his story the excuse for the price is that there is no more war.
.    So partly his position is theoretical. Perhaps what is also suggested is that the attempt to control everything, is even in itself a wild card, that creates unexpected consequences. In the strange event that covid-19 & climate change are successfully dealt with, CRISPR may yet result in some changes similar to the cloning Huxley imagined about 90 years ago.


--------------------
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Re: On what grounds is civilization a better way of life than a state of nature? [Re: laughingdog]
    #26816127 - 07/10/20 09:31 PM (1 month, 4 days ago)

If we are not the highest form of evolution then what is?

Orders and branches of life over lesser forms of order..

I like the point that everything necessarily is natural..

But we as humans can abstract things which CAN lead to division/seperation..
^
So another question..

Are aliens superior to us? Are vampires?

Was Jesus higher than any alien that has had contact with Earth..?

I can say as a form of equilibrium that there are many animals that don't quite have the intelligence that is comparable to us Humans.. But if we met these animals without weapons.. we would get owned..

Claws.. sharp teeth..fast speed.. hugely more strength..

My final conjecture is that most animals are very rigid.. following instincts.

With enough practice of martial arts.. and a huge body and ultimate strength we could probably win facing an angry Bear..

I wonder if we could beat an Elephant..or a Shark perhaps..?

I think if we were in water we would most likely lose against a sea going predator.. but I have heard stories of Shark attacks and the person ending up pushing their eyes in and then the Shark swimming away in pain..


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Re: On what grounds is civilization a better way of life than a state of nature? [Re: BrendanFlock]
    #26816158 - 07/10/20 09:48 PM (1 month, 4 days ago)

We created the concept of top and bottom...where better to place ourselves other than first.


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Edited by pineninja (07/10/20 09:49 PM)


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Re: On what grounds is civilization a better way of life than a state of nature? [Re: pineninja]
    #26816205 - 07/10/20 10:29 PM (1 month, 4 days ago)

Well.. do ypu think humans can earn enough merit to actually be on top of the pyramid?

Atop the hierarchy of needs, wants, self actualization?

Atop the food cycle of life pyramid?

On top of the social hierarchy?

Alpha males on top with huge egos.. who have usually earned their spot because of their intelligence/wisdom?


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Re: On what grounds is civilization a better way of life than a state of nature? [Re: BrendanFlock] * 1
    #26816299 - 07/10/20 11:58 PM (1 month, 4 days ago)

There is not top without a middle and a base.
Separation of "merit" is a human abberation and shows our ignorance of the whole imo.



LUCKY not deluded.


What an amazing coincidence it is, that were always at the top.
In all that we do and say, plus never to stop.
Smart enough to build pyramids then place ourselves abreast.
With no end to evolution nil competitors to test.

For the underlings cannot build and progress towards the stars.
These insignificant birds and insects fly stupidly into our cars. 
The beasts seem blindly not to have purpose.
Least not till their dutifully performing tricks in our man made circus. 

The trees seem benign enough they're passive and separate, no real threat.
We can chop them down at will what's the worst that happen, have you seen my new longe set.
The soil and skies are things to exploit with the intellects and skilled.
When sitting atop its dominion this beast cares lest whos killed.

What a lucky roll of the dice it is that we were played.
When everything is beneath us with no understanding of being slayed.
Our creativity used to rule and manipulate with ease.
Our fragment controlling the the massive to do as we please.

Though Imagine if this game decided it was no longer our turn.
Imagine if our delusions of superiority, as if there were such a thing, cause us to burn.
When the cries of the last few importants are so pointlessly covered with moss.
Will the universe even notice the loss.


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Re: On what grounds is civilization a better way of life than a state of nature? [Re: BrendanFlock]
    #26816723 - 07/11/20 08:00 AM (1 month, 3 days ago)

Quote:

BrendanFlock said:
If we are not the highest form of evolution then what is?...




Apparently you haven't studied evolution or biology so you don't understand them yet.
Evolution is only about adaptation to a certain niche (place), at a certain time, in relation to other species, also occupying that place & time. There is no one top; or more accurately any top, as all species interact to maintain ecosystems.

In terms of both numbers (population) and millions of years a species has survived, humans are nothing even notable. Bacteria and insects have been, and are, far more successful. And of course plants and fungi.
Even the dinosaurs lasted between 165 and 177 million years, and we know what happened to them.

Most likely Humans are only another failed evolutionary experiment, with just enough brain to think they are more special than they are.

See for example: "Human Errors: A Panorama of Our Glitches, from Pointless Bones to Broken Genes  by Nathan H. Lents

available from Amazon:

"We humans like to think of ourselves as highly evolved creatures. But if we are supposedly evolution's greatest creation, why do we have such bad knees? Why do we catch head colds so often - 200 times more often than a dog does? How come our wrists have so many useless bones? Why is the vast majority of our genetic code pointless? And are we really supposed to swallow and breathe through the same narrow tube? Surely there's been some kind of mistake.

As professor of biology Nathan H. Lents explains in Human Errors, our evolutionary history is nothing if not a litany of mistakes, each more entertaining and enlightening than the last. The human body is one big pile of compromises. But that is also a testament to our greatness: as Lents shows, humans have so many design flaws precisely because we are very, very good at getting around them.

A rollicking, deeply informative tour of humans' four billion year-long evolutionary saga, Human Errors both celebrates our imperfections and offers an unconventional accounting of the cost of our success."


--------------------
“A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.” or  “Science advances one funeral at a time.”
― Max Planck

"The situation is hopeless, but not serious."

"Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend,
inside of a dog its too dark to read."


Edited by laughingdog (07/11/20 08:01 AM)


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Re: On what grounds is civilization a better way of life than a state of nature? [Re: laughingdog]
    #26817060 - 07/11/20 11:02 AM (1 month, 3 days ago)

pyramids are for mathematicians, the pharos used them to dominate mightily.
where are those pharos today?

prolly extinct.


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Re: On what grounds is civilization a better way of life than a state of nature? [Re: redgreenvines]
    #26818467 - 07/11/20 11:42 PM (1 month, 3 days ago)

Civilization like most things comes with pros and cons.

The pros of civilization are hard to give up once you have experienced them. For example I have dental problems. If I lived in a hunter gatherer society I probably would have died a long, slow and painful death due to my impacted wisdom teeth. That may have been accepted thousands of years ago but after living in a civilization where an oral surgeon can easily fix the problem I think it would be hard to go back.

Of course there are many miserable things about living in modern society. It seems misery is unavoidable. I know I don't like these modern times we live in but I am addicted to the comforts they provide.


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The path of the herbalist is to open ourselves to nature in an innocent and pure way. SHe in turn will open her bounty and reward us with many valuable secrets. May the earth bless you. - Michael Tierra


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Re: On what grounds is civilization a better way of life than a state of nature? [Re: Peyote Road]
    #26818577 - 07/12/20 01:18 AM (1 month, 3 days ago)

So as an if statement..

Humans think they are superior..

Humans are necsarily higher than other life forms..

Or human are deluded and their ideas of superiority are false and based on no evidence..

If evolution is true then how can we account on false hood?

Why would basic ideas of evolution be wrong?


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Re: On what grounds is civilization a better way of life than a state of nature? [Re: Peyote Road]
    #26818728 - 07/12/20 05:06 AM (1 month, 3 days ago)

Quote:

Peyote Road said:
Civilization like most things comes with pros and cons.

The pros of civilization are hard to give up once you have experienced them. For example I have dental problems. If I lived in a hunter gatherer society I probably would have died a long, slow and painful death due to my impacted wisdom teeth. That may have been accepted thousands of years ago but after living in a civilization where an oral surgeon can easily fix the problem I think it would be hard to go back.

Of course there are many miserable things about living in modern society. It seems misery is unavoidable. I know I don't like these modern times we live in but I am addicted to the comforts they provide.




Are you truly addicted or is it that you've never really been provided another valid option.

You were preyed upon in school and the dealers are unwitting teachers.


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Re: On what grounds is civilization a better way of life than a state of nature? [Re: BrendanFlock]
    #26818746 - 07/12/20 05:25 AM (1 month, 3 days ago)

yours would be, because "superior" is not a feature of evolution at all.

any competition in any niche can be won by the creature best adapted to that niche at some critical moment, but the succeeding competitor's adaptation is better only in the momentary context. A minute later or earlier the winner would lose, so luck has a lot to do with it as well, and the vagaries of history.


apex in this whole thing is about predation, not about overall fitness to survive.

the Greenland shark evolved millions of years ago and is known to live 300 years,

this creature evolved so long before man that it is uncanny.

I wonder if individuals of our species will ever live that long, and what will civilization look like with so many methuselahs.


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Re: On what grounds is civilization a better way of life than a state of nature? [Re: redgreenvines]
    #26820340 - 07/13/20 12:36 AM (1 month, 2 days ago)

So thoughts have no purpose at all.. evolution has made a mistake.. the idea of thoughts is perfectly nothing.. or useless in and of the atomic  structure and function of the everything..

The everyman is born.. he asks.. why we can't cone to terms with each..


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Re: On what grounds is civilization a better way of life than a state of nature? [Re: BrendanFlock]
    #26820452 - 07/13/20 04:23 AM (1 month, 2 days ago)

you are reacting to the fact that your dreams are not reality, your wishers are not fishes, and your wants still taunt you.

you want to be god and are convinced you are not - so you want to be at the top of some other pyramid.


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Re: On what grounds is civilization a better way of life than a state of nature? [Re: redgreenvines]
    #26821986 - 07/13/20 09:55 PM (1 month, 1 day ago)

Well.. the degree of power.. or apotheosis is always possible.. hence the title "God".. anyone with right perspective can attain this..

As for pyramids.. I love all good pyramids

But I might disagree with certain parts of the occult.. like homosexuality for example but I am still able to take the good parts of anything.

As far as dreams and reality..:

So, although the true sense of power or control in a dream is corrupted as awareness with confusing experiences the fact boils down to this..:

Dreams no matter how much they show your ignorance are STILL experiences..

And that makes them real..

Hmm, we need 8 hours of sleep per day.. and get tired regardless if we've spent energy at all..

So in conclusion..

Dreams may corrupt your notions of what life is and what it's meaning is..

But.. they are still experiences none the less.

Did you dream last night? Well of course you did... dreams exist as a hashing of internal files.. based on beliefs and potential!


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Re: On what grounds is civilization a better way of life than a state of nature? [Re: DividedQuantum]
    #26829451 - 07/17/20 05:14 PM (28 days, 14 hours ago)

see (or rather, read) Daniel Quinn's Ishmael, if you haven't


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Re: On what grounds is civilization a better way of life than a state of nature? [Re: Tulipslave]
    #26829474 - 07/17/20 05:31 PM (28 days, 14 hours ago)

I'd put money on it that he has.

Fucking great book, I'd recommend it to anyone.


--------------------
Let it be seen that you are nothing. And in knowing that you are nothing... there is nothing to lose, there is nothing to gain. What can happen to you? Something can happen to the body, but it will either heal or it won't. What's the big deal? Let life knock you to bits. Let life take you apart. Let life destroy you. It will only destroy what you are not.
--Jac O'keeffe


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Re: On what grounds is civilization a better way of life than a state of nature? [Re: Jokeshopbeard]
    #26829487 - 07/17/20 05:38 PM (28 days, 14 hours ago)

Quote:

Jokeshopbeard said:
I'd put money on it that he has.

Fucking great book, I'd recommend it to anyone.






i would, too, but this whole thread screams of that contents of that book.


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Re: On what grounds is civilization a better way of life than a state of nature? [Re: Tulipslave]
    #26829550 - 07/17/20 06:25 PM (28 days, 13 hours ago)

Yeah, I read it in the way-back. Quinn's ideas have stayed with me. But the thread was inspired more by watching nature documentaries lately.


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Re: On what grounds is civilization a better way of life than a state of nature? [Re: pineninja]
    #26830109 - 07/18/20 02:52 AM (28 days, 4 hours ago)

Actually there is evidence to show that hunter gatherers did not have the teeth problem we do, due to their better diet.
This is where I heard about this but it wasn't the first time:


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Re: On what grounds is civilization a better way of life than a state of nature? [Re: InnerWisdom]
    #26830119 - 07/18/20 03:07 AM (28 days, 4 hours ago)

So bringing this back to the original question; modern civilization appears to be less healthy for people on some areas, but more healthy in others: those areas where medical interventions save lives and improve health. But how many of the problems were caused by living in civilization in the first place? Bad diet, immobility and environmental toxins for example.
When or if civilization reaches its peak, the problems caused directly or indirectly by it before would also be solved. With knowledge and sufficient wealth people can live very healthy and happily today.


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Re: On what grounds is civilization a better way of life than a state of nature? [Re: InnerWisdom]
    #26830306 - 07/18/20 07:52 AM (27 days, 23 hours ago)

Quote:

InnerWisdom said:
But how many of the problems were caused by living in civilization in the first place? Bad diet, immobility and environmental toxins for example.



Lots, I think. Seems often to me like trying to make the most of a bad situation.


--------------------
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Re: On what grounds is civilization a better way of life than a state of nature? [Re: Jokeshopbeard]
    #26830626 - 07/18/20 11:43 AM (27 days, 20 hours ago)

caves are perfect but privacy is wonderful.
the compromise is fraught with situations that are not that hard to solve if you keep your expectations to a minimum.


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Re: On what grounds is civilization a better way of life than a state of nature? [Re: redgreenvines]
    #26837078 - 07/21/20 08:50 PM (24 days, 10 hours ago)

Re OPs question

.  There is no such thing as civilization. All nations consider them selves superior to outsiders, but if one bothers to think--
.    Would you want to be a woman in an Arab country? Would you want to be a muslim in China? A Buddhist in Tibet-whoops, I mean China? A 'black' person in the south in the USA? Would you want to be poor and seeking 'justice' in  the USA? Would you want to be a 'black' person and seeking 'justice' in  the USA? Would you want to be a woman and seeking equal pay for equal work in  the USA? ....One can go on and on with just a little imagination.
.    ..Only because our minds have turned into gated communities, and our lives have turned into a small number of routines is it even possible, to think for a moment that humans in groups ever behave in what might be called a 'civilized' (or compassionate, intelligent, mature, poised, graceful, tactful, discreet, etc.) manner for more than a rather short period,  unless they feel they are being watched.
.    The English are supposed to a norther european, less emotional people, than the 'hotter blooded' folks in the Southern Mediterranean Europe, and to be  r  a  t  h  e  r  dignified, but anyone who has seen any of the sessions of their government on TV, knows them to be in actuality quite childish and immature, even when they know they are being watched!
.    Without enlightenment we are all pretty much stuck in some sort of selfishness, more often than we would like. Civilization only exists as an external show of glitzy baubles, like gangsta rappers and pimps, with their bling, and as the condition of the human world and planet show the human heart has remained untouched, for uncountable millenia.


--------------------
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Re: On what grounds is civilization a better way of life than a state of nature? [Re: laughingdog]
    #26837508 - 07/22/20 04:11 AM (24 days, 3 hours ago)

We can increase ourselves through our technology?


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Re: On what grounds is civilization a better way of life than a state of nature? [Re: BrendanFlock]
    #26837521 - 07/22/20 04:29 AM (24 days, 3 hours ago)

Can we know ourselves better with the tools we create?


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Re: On what grounds is civilization a better way of life than a state of nature? [Re: BrendanFlock]
    #26838582 - 07/22/20 03:11 PM (23 days, 16 hours ago)

Re: BF

.    To both questions obviously not. 'Off the top of anyone's head', the quick answer is technology is used mainly (in terms of national budgets, by one measure) to make more lethal and larger weapons. And now smarter weapons, such as cyber war ( stuxnet, & nitro zeus etc.) and the next generation of robo-drones and spy satellite, and whatever the NSA & CIA, etc. are cooking up that we don't know about yet.

.    Apparently meditation helps some, to gain some more balance, insight, and equanimity than they had before, in their lives, if it is practiced consistently, and the guidelines are obeyed - but in spite of being available for probably about 2500-3000 years, it seems not to have had any great effect on our species as a whole.


--------------------
“A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.” or  “Science advances one funeral at a time.”
― Max Planck

"The situation is hopeless, but not serious."

"Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend,
inside of a dog its too dark to read."


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General Interest >> Philosophy, Sociology & Psychology

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