• OK, it's on.
  • Please note that many, many Email Addresses used for spam, including GMAIL, are not accepted at registration. Select a respectable Free email.
  • BEFORE LOGGING IN: Destroy all cookies of this forum. Your passwords should be unaffected by this action, but if uncertain write down your password first.
  • Hi, please read https://www.intpforum.com/threads/incident-of-the-week-past.27135/ XenForo seems to have no force thread ability....

Where did humans go wrong?

Joined
Apr 11, 2014
Messages
1,077
#1
I read a book by Daniel Quinn called "Ishmael" some time before I first joined the forum. I decided to give it another read because I found it inspiring in my younger days, and I wanted to revisit his ideas.

In summary, it is stated that humans and animals lived a way of life that was harmonious for millions of years until the time of the fertile crescent. This many different ways of life before was not as much of a challenge for humans as it is purported by our modern culture, arguing that humans were the least likely creature to ever starve due to our level of adaptability to our environment.

It wasn't suggesting that our modern way of life was a problem on it's own (agriculture and consumerism, etc) , but the problem was in the way that our culture has deemed it the only way to live, and left to exponentially grow while killing off all other cultures. Also mentioned was our method of food production, which is the direct cause of our growing population.

Because I hitched into the idea, I was inspired to live a bit more sustainable (which I did a little) but more than action I've put more time in thought into it. I wondered what would a solution look like? Was it better not to look at it as a problem? What could I do to change anything? The only thing I came up with was different ways of looking at things.

I'm not meaning to advertise a book. I brought it up because I didn't want to throw all these ideas out as my own.

The title of this topic still holds, I would like to know how you perceive our culture going wrong, or if it is even wrong, or better or worse.
 
Joined
Jan 24, 2013
Messages
6,434
Location
A hut in the woods
#2
Humanity got it wrong, nay, they were destined to get it wrong due to our evolution. When we have all our needs met, some, but not all people become complacent. The ones that don't become complacent end up steering the complacent in a direction that is most beneficial to them.
 

Blarraun

straightedgy
Joined
Nov 21, 2013
Messages
4,124
Location
someplace windswept
#3
I don't get the point.

If he (author/op) argues that advances in agriculture led to population increase then he misses the obvious fact that people had lots of offspring solely to use them as aids in the fields. In fact; the less efficient the food production technology was; the greater the need for cheap labour and inequality that was built on top of that.

The reason for population increase isn't just food surplus, it's also in the whole developmental bracket of tech, education, goals, etc.

If you look at our own western growing population, you'll see it's leveled off and will go into decline or will stabilise. We see a growing population in underdeveloped countries that are less 'consumerist', more diverse and less 'polluted' by globalisation. (I mean I'm not a fan of globalisation but undeniably the spreading of technology brings stability at the very least)

It's projected that as other countries become more socially/technologically advanced the global population will peak and decline by this century.
 

nanook

a scream in a vortex
Joined
Aug 16, 2011
Messages
1,929
Location
germany
#4
Tony Wright (Left in the dark) suggests the evolution of our brains went wrong, when we stopped eating raw foods full of hormones (fruits are the sex organ of plants) and cooked most of everything to a dead mush. Our minds became too dissociative and as a result our sense of self is no longer carried by the holistic principles of the right brain but has become reduced to the smaller linear principles of the left brain - a separate sense of self that sees itself lost in attachment and aversion. He does not suggest that this old problem of evolution can be fixed in a lifetime via dietary change.

Ken Wilber suggests that nothing went wrong. That we became simply more efficient at being ass-hats. We also became less selfish, not more, in our abstract essence, but the efficiency of our selfish technology is not yet undone by our efforts to integrate ourselves with more and more of reality in sustainable manner. So we are in a natural process of alternating back and forth between expansion and integration, breaking out into new dualities of struggle first and integrating ourselves within that totality harmoniously, later. First we were monkey-ness, then we split that into the duality of me-monkey and other-monkey, then we integrated that into monkey-tribe, thereby splitting monkeys into my-tribe and other-tribe, then we integrated that into monkey-nation and it was my-nation vs your nation and so on ... more and more refinement of abstract thinking and abstract perception is setting up new boundaries and conflicts.

I think both perspectives are true.

We do have serious brain damage, that makes us narrow minded and keeps us in a fight and flight mode, where all of these conflicts are perceived as absolutely serious, so we are always willing to kill for them.

The problem has of course been recognized by all religions but not understood and they have no solution, apart from prayer and meditation, which is ineffective and drugs and ecstatic rituals, which are temporary.

On the other hand the conflicts are unavoidable and correlated with very good abilities and we just get better and better but life becomes more and more complicated, so if we can't chill anymore, because of brain damage, then complications are very anxiety or anger inducing and painful.

This problem has also been recognized by religions and not surprisingly they tried to solve it and so religion became a force of conflict resolution. Many gods of individual temper and crisis were united into tribal gods, tribal gods were united into one god to rule them all. But the killing goes on in the name of god.
 

Animekitty

World A.I. transfomantion is Near
Joined
Apr 4, 2010
Messages
5,120
Location
4D Archaeology computer grid
#5
Where did humans go wrong?
If humans haven't gone extinct yet then the haven't gone wrong yet. The reason humans started farming is because they became smart enough to understand plants and animals. If intelligence is a bad thing then humans when wrong when homo Erectus invented fire 2 million years ago. Intelligence is not the problem. What is the problem is the distribution of resources that keep us fighting each other all the time. Technology is a just a way to protect resources. People need certain things to survive. Parents raise their children to best survive. Culture is just when groups of humans are separated by geographical distance and evolves differently.

In the future, people will be unable to take advantage of each other because of Artificial Intelligence. A.I. will know everything and stop people from doing bad stuff. A.I. is jus another technology. A technology that will be global. Mostly people stop people in their community from doing bad stuff like cheating and killing. That is why we have police and government. The problem is that ass holes can corrupt the system a cheat and kill. In school, I learned allot about American history, such as the declaration of independence in 1776. Corruption is dealt with by the people. It is my thought that A.I. in the future will eliminate corruption because A.I. will create total transparency. The internet has created allot of transparency already.

People need meaning in their lives and they need resources to survive. Shcool is a good thing because reading and writing is important for humans to be able to do. Work is important because people get depressed and sad when the sit around and do nothing. The people who lived during the great depression were the ones who influenced the 60's culture. They saw what happened in the 30's and did not want that to happen again. So yes humans do fight kill and cheat each other because of resources and being in separate geographical regions. But they do so to survive. People need to work to have self-esteem. It feels good to be resourceful. The only problem is to keep society in line because of crime and corruption. War happens because different societies with different goals exist.

For people to get along in the future crime, corruption, war and poverty need to be solved. We cannot blame humans for having intelligence. We cannot blame homo Erectus for inventing fire 2 million years ago. The only solution to the problems humanity faces is a social and technological solution. People need a purpose that is why they work and play games, (in modern countries we play video games). People come to INTP forum because they need something to do. Learning stuff is fun also. A.I. will create total transparency and keep people in check. It will protect people so long as it is controlled by people who can be held accountable. The inability to hold people accountable is why people get away with such awful things in this world. And we can't solve humanity's problems by just fighting. Decisions need to be made on what is and is not acceptable. Our global future civilization will be based on that. Acceptable and unacceptable.
 

gilliatt

Active Member
Joined
Feb 8, 2011
Messages
286
Location
usa
#6
The point is Man won, then he fell lower than his savage beginning. The question I could not answer, why did this happen? What disaster took their reason away from Man? What whip put them on their knees in shame and submission? I know what it was. 'The worship of the word "WE". Men accepted that worship, then centuries collapsed around them, buildings fell on their lovely heads, wheels did not work. Those men who survived, those eager to obey, eager to live for one another, since they had nothing to vindicate them, those men could neither carry on, nor preserve what they had received. Like unto a group of savages that found a spaceship! Man has always lost what he did not create.
 

Rook

You know you want to
Joined
Aug 14, 2013
Messages
1,762
#7
Man kills mammoth big hairy animal in pre-history. "O how wonderful it would be to be one with nature once more" Cave bear devours man.

Man gives cow free food and protection from disease and other predators, then slaughters it. "Oh how savage man is for keeping an animal prisoner and then killing it." Man chokes on bone.


We have not biologically evolved much since the times when we bashed one another with stones, painted upon the walls of caves, ate fermented fruit from the ground and dug honey out of the hives of bees.

So what is wrong about humanity? Each person will say different things and so too each group.

Animal rights activist: "We should stop killing animals because they are like us and can feel pain."

Game ranger: "We should kill at least a 100 elephants otherwise they will monopolize food sources and cause the deforestation of our park, cuasing starvation among other browsers."

Farmer: "I hope the price of alfalfa/lucerne is low this year so that I can feed my cattle, slaughter them and sell the meat, then use the profit to pay my employees, support my family and maybe go on vacation."

Traditional Doctor: "I hope they can safely transport the rhino horn across the ocean so the order that my clients filled is complete, my daughter needs a car this year."

One human: "Nuclear weapons are the worst creation of the human mind for we can destroy our planet within a day."

Other human: "If it was not for countries having nuclear arsenals, humans would more readily go to war and perhaps millions of lives would have been lost if the USA and the USSR fought one another."

One human: "I need to apply make-up to look good for the club tonight."

Other human: "Humans who use make-up are psychopathic, don't they know that many of these products are tested on enslaved animals?"

And so on and on and on, ad infinitum. On topics ranging from gay sex to whether one can kill another or what religion is morally righteous, humans will always be divisive. We are different, one and all.

So were did humans go wrong, you ask? The Kitten of Anime is right in saying that we are still alive, we are superior to other animals(maybe not microbes, ants and other insects collectively, but on an individual basis, without a doubt), so from an evolutionary standpoint I would say that we have not gone wrong.

But if you want to measure 'wrongness' on moral grounds, well, prepare to be drowned in a quagmire of paradoxes as shown above. Every person will have things that they hate or support, the only time you can with authority say that humanity has gone morally wrong is if each and every one of us are clones with exactly the same conceptions of what is wrong and right. (Or majority-held concepts that are usually seen as wrong due to the biological basis for our moral systems, like "the holocaust was wrong", but still not all humans will agree)

Meanwhile, stay with what you feel is wrong or delve into the maddening labyrinths of moral relativity.
 

Cognisant

Condescending Bastard
Joined
Dec 12, 2009
Messages
7,578
#8
In summary, it is stated that humans and animals lived a way of life that was harmonious for millions of years until the time of the fertile crescent. This many different ways of life before was not as much of a challenge for humans as it is purported by our modern culture, arguing that humans were the least likely creature to ever starve due to our level of adaptability to our environment.
Eden argument, easy to say, hard to disprove.

There's plenty of crackpots that will tell you that in biblical times some people had superpowers (hence mythology) and that before modern medicine people were rarely sick, that life was simpler and easier back then, people lived longer and were smarter/faster/stronger/etc.

Complete and utter bullshit.

The title of this topic still holds, I would like to know how you perceive our culture going wrong, or if it is even wrong, or better or worse.
 

Architect

Professional INTP
Joined
Dec 25, 2010
Messages
6,692
#9
In summary, it is stated that humans and animals lived a way of life that was harmonious for millions of years until the time of the fertile crescent. This many different ways of life before was not as much of a challenge for humans as it is purported by our modern culture, arguing that humans were the least likely creature to ever starve due to our level of adaptability to our environment.
What's his evidence for that? And how does he define harmonious? In fact we have really good evidence that mankind wiped out the Woolly Mammoth, if not the Saber Toothed cat. This is harmonious living?

The premise is flawed. The only point on this planet is evolution, so going 'right' is winning the evolution arms race. Which interestingly we did with our brains instead of our brawn. Beyond that we invent our own ideas about right and wrong, but those originate with us, and don't come from nature. If anybody wants to judge how mankind is doing it must be from that basis, and not some silly back to nature idea, because all nature cares about is succeeding through breeding.

If you study up on these 'back to nature' philosophies they've been around since the enlightenment. Why? Because pre-enlightenment life was so brutish nobody wanted to go back to nature, that's why they invented the enlightenment and industrial revolution. Now that we're well fed and warm we can imagine a time when it must have been so much better, as we huddled, flea bitten, tick riddled and tape worm infested, in a cold, inhospitable and destructive world.
 
Joined
Oct 22, 2013
Messages
6
Location
Tehran, Iran
#10
You are speaking like there is a single culture shared by all people on earth... I'm not seeing that common culture that you are refering to... Also I'm not sure if I have understood your point about population growth either... As you may know, many of the developed countries have had negative population growth in recent decades... I think you should be more specific on what you mean by human culture and how it has gone wrong...

Sent from my D6633 using Tapatalk
 
Joined
Jul 26, 2017
Messages
50
#11
Humanity got it wrong, nay, they were destined to get it wrong due to our evolution. When we have all our needs met, some, but not all people become complacent. The ones that don't become complacent end up steering the complacent in a direction that is most beneficial to them.
well said
 

gilliatt

Active Member
Joined
Feb 8, 2011
Messages
286
Location
usa
#12
I believe not believing A is A. Two laws, Law of Identity & Law of Causality. Each piece is what it is like Chess: a queen is a queen, a bishop is a bishop & its actions each can perform are determined by its nature, straight or diagonal, a bishop cannot: a rook can move from one side of the board to the other, a pawn cannot etc. Their identities rules their movements, so the player can devise a complex, long range strategy; the game depends on the power of the players ingenuity.
Now what happens if one day someone changes the rules in the middle of the game? You have thought so hard about this game and someone, one day, made the rules opposite, a dialectic reality. Now Black is White, Black turned Gray. This is the living world.
 
Joined
Jul 30, 2017
Messages
1
#13
I don't think humans went wrong, to me that sounds definite like our fate is sealed. Humans are dual natured so it can be easy to believe we went wrong or failed. In essence being or feeling wrong/failure is a survival mechanism telling us to make things right or to learn so we can continue to survive and grow. Humans grow from the worst things imagineable, it's evolution testing us to make us stronger or to kill us off.
As tragic as it might be world war 3 could start soon and kill off 75% of the world's population, but the remaining 25% could come together to build a flourishing civilization, so is it a tragedy after all? In terms of evolution and nature its no tragedy, it just is. Evolution is unbiased and will kill off large amounts of life in order to make what has made it through the test stronger and more adaptable.
For the sake of your question though humans have gone wrong in the sense of living to much in a herd/group mentality. The problem with this is that when the group leaders tell you what to believe you're at the will of that leader's actions, whether reasonable or unreasonable. The fact that we have thousands of groups (religious, politics, jobs, sports, social, etc...) to be part of or identify with is what leads to mass confusion/chaos. This is why there so much tension in the world, because everyone believes their group beliefs are right. And every group has its own agenda that it protects by any means necessary. These groups are only fighting for position and superiorty and it's victims do not matter. It's funny because this is exactly how the animal kingdom works, we've just added an advanced form of communication compared to animals making our progress much more exponential.

I believe if everyone had the virtue of self reliance meaning taking ownership over personal actions, knowing what you want from life, having critical thought, and having basic morals we could thrive as a civilization.
It's interesting to think about where we will end up ( that's a whole other thread by itself) from all of our problems, but I do know nature will select who it wants to move forward.
 

Nebulous

ratz rule
Joined
Mar 11, 2016
Messages
867
Location
Just North of Normal
#14
Where didn't they
 
Joined
May 8, 2017
Messages
9
#16
What's his evidence for that? And how does he define harmonious? In fact we have really good evidence that mankind wiped out the Woolly Mammoth, if not the Saber Toothed cat. This is harmonious living?

The premise is flawed. The only point on this planet is evolution, so going 'right' is winning the evolution arms race. Which interestingly we did with our brains instead of our brawn. Beyond that we invent our own ideas about right and wrong, but those originate with us, and don't come from nature. If anybody wants to judge how mankind is doing it must be from that basis, and not some silly back to nature idea, because all nature cares about is succeeding through breeding.

If you study up on these 'back to nature' philosophies they've been around since the enlightenment. Why? Because pre-enlightenment life was so brutish nobody wanted to go back to nature, that's why they invented the enlightenment and industrial revolution. Now that we're well fed and warm we can imagine a time when it must have been so much better, as we huddled, flea bitten, tick riddled and tape worm infested, in a cold, inhospitable and destructive world.
There's more to nature than the living, though. These drives that we've inherited, and that we observe in other species, or organisms, which we theorize serve to increase the probability of survival (maintenance) and transference (genetic reproduction), are only applicable to organisms. Our species, also, are capable of consciously executing actions which inhibit those outcomes (e.g. suicide and chastity). So, (our) nature contains within it, that which promotes behaviors which lead to breeding, and vice versa.

If we exclude organisms from our conception of nature, then, that speaks for itself, and contradicts the idea of nature operating around the central purpose of survival or propagation.
 
Joined
May 8, 2017
Messages
9
#17
It seems that at a certain stage, where an entity loses self-sufficiency (i.e. it must forge for resources beyond itself in order to operate) harmony goes out the window and we're perpetually looking out for it lest we disintegrate.
 

Reluctantly

Resident disMember
Joined
Mar 14, 2010
Messages
3,092
#18
I think the fact that money is valued before everything else is a serious problem. Then add to the fact that we use and consume all our resources, while populating the planet at an alarming rate and you've got a planet full of people that have to fight and compete for everything. It's really stupid. I mean all the modern technology and conveniences and medicine is really great, but not the wasteful, over-competitive, and inherently stressful way of living in society. And why does it have to be a trade-off?

We could have modern conveniences, without competing for everything, wasting our resources, and destroying the environment, but collectively we aren't smart enough to make it happen. We can't seem to have drive, without competition; it's easier to destroy the environment than to take care of it (and more profitable); and we welcome the constant stress because it gets us what we want. Are humans really all that smart?
 
Joined
Sep 12, 2017
Messages
20
#20
we invent our own ideas about right and wrong, but those originate with us, and don't come from nature.
You mentioned evolution prior to the quoted bit, which is where you must look for our ideas of right and wrong, since we've accumulated just about everything we are, including (and most importantly) our emotive systems - the root of our sense of right and wrong. Its biologically driven, rather than purely, subjectively reasoned.

Aside from humans actually, literally being "nature" (leaving nature as the source of our notions of right and wrong by a sort of default), the history of evolution certainly qualifies as "nature", doesnt it?
 
Joined
Nov 13, 2015
Messages
1,144
#21
You can't have intelligence (as we know it) without animal husbandry and the agricultural revolution.

We hit our peak as a species. The last 5,000 years have been a blast. Things are getting easier, faster and by the time our generation is done humanity will be devoured in an existential crisis of sorts. We're already there to be accurate. With birth rates declining in the west and suicide rates skyrocketing for women.

We outgrew our shoes and now walk barefoot under the stars. Bloodied, lost and depressed we look for meaning in those stars but find nothing. No purpose anymore. No God to appease. No war to win (other than the war of meaning). All our daily chores replaced by robots. All our work goals quickly getting to the same place. Talk of robots being our nannies, our artists, our engineers and our caretakers.

People want a universal safety net. To what exactly? A life without goals? Without meaning? What's the point exactly? Get drunk all day, masturbate until you pass out? Meh.

I like to think that when our days were occupied with the hunt, foraging and raising children that our minds were occupied. However weaker we were intellectually we had immediate purpose and little time to dwell on useless thoughts.

The future is bleak for the human with nothing but time and no purpose to spend it on.