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Author Topic: Does modern civilization is currently progressing or declining?  (Read 371 times)
nick_bogdan
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May 24, 2018, 12:09:18 PM
 #1

Do you believe that in ancient times (like a thousand years ago) people had a better living, or were wiser, braver, or had any special knowledge?  Suffered less or more? Had better social order?  I am looking forward to hearing your opinion and arguments and strongly appreciate links to relevant academic articles and books you can advise.
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May 24, 2018, 04:16:36 PM
 #2

Not an academic article, but interesting video about how things changing in the world https://www.facebook.com/INSH/videos/1730633627019235/
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May 24, 2018, 04:49:09 PM
 #3

Even failure is a progress. Sometimes you need to try something and fail to learn from it.

I doubt there were many things better in the past than they are now. There were more diseases, more wars, more violence.
Life was more physically challenging for most people, since more jobs required physical labor.

These times might be more psychologically stressful now for some people, but worrying about basic needs in the past could be considered even more stressful.
Rarely do people worry about survival these days.
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May 24, 2018, 08:29:43 PM
Merited by suchmoon (5)
 #4

I think we are getting more intelligent as a race, but humans are devolving quickly getting weaker by the day. If you look at how easily offended and lazy people are becoming it is depressing, especially in the first world. (I know I am generalizing, ofc there are tons of strong hard workers left)

Life is becoming too easy imho in the good countries, at least looking at it as an outsider living in the third world.  You basically can just ride the welfare train and live a decent life sponging off your government. This is very detrimental to the world, once people who contribute nothing to their fellow man and national economy reaches critical mass then bad times lay ahead.

People should always be aware where money comes from, that it comes from hard work and nobody is simply entitled to it for no reason. Where the freedoms we enjoy today come from, that people in the past gave their lives fighting for it.

Samarkand
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May 25, 2018, 11:13:44 AM
Last edit: May 25, 2018, 11:35:02 AM by Samarkand
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 #5

...
Life is becoming too easy imho in the good countries, at least looking at it as an outsider living in the third world.  You basically can just ride the welfare train and live a decent life sponging off your government.
...

I think this problem is partly caused by the combination of wealth and democracy as a
form of government. Democracy works great in the first generation where everyone still
remembers the horrors of the tyranny or the dictatorship that preceded the democracy.

However, in the first world we are already past that stage where nearly all people, who still experienced
these horrors are either dead or too old. The other problem is related to the fact that the easiest
way to get people to like you and to actually vote for you, is to promise them free stuff and
government handouts. This leads to a bidding war between candidates where you can only win an election
if you promise to increase government spending / welfare. This leads to an expansion of the welfare
state, which in turn leads to an increasingly large number of people that live off the government.
After the percentage of these people gets too big in a society, the society is basically fucked.
E.g. in my rather rich European country only 14 % of the people are net taxpayers
(the other 86 % of the population either pay no taxes at all (children, unemployed...) or pay
less in taxes than they receive in other government transfers). This is obviously a huge problem
for the society and my society is not the only society that is experiencing this bad development.

Despite this unsustainable decline of society the system still hasn´t exploded, because of the reason
that I shortly touched upon at the start - the enormous wealth that has been built up
in the previous generations and the general technological progress.

Nonetheless, I completely agree with your post that these countries will experience very bad times
in the future.
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May 25, 2018, 12:42:30 PM
 #6

modern civilization has progressed and not declined because we have learnt and corrected the mistakes of years back, and with today's technology
that is improving every day I can confidently say we living in a much smarter and simplified environment!

There are so many practical examples we can give which could serve as evidence of progress...talk of travelling, people use to take months, days just to
get to their destinations but today its all done in a couple of minutes or hours to get to our destinations and another example all thanks to technology human health has improved all thanks to modern civilization.
nick_bogdan
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May 25, 2018, 01:55:09 PM
 #7

As for me, the modern world is the best place we have ever lived. The world of our past was seemingly a very cruel place, while all these romantic books and films make people delude themselves.
Many people blame the civilization and technologies for a high level of stress, depression as a norm of life, and a range of environmental problems that influent our health. However, I guess that having depression is much better than to die at meaningless war, or of plague. We have so many freedoms and opportunities today that it looks like a great ungratefulness not to appreciate it.

Regarding ecology - in true, it is an issue of great importance but I still believe that we will resolve it sooner or later using namely technologies - although they are considered as the main reason of bad ecology by so many people.
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May 25, 2018, 08:41:11 PM
 #8

It's hard to compare in that sense, I think.
In the short view, surely we must agree on that today's civilization is better for people.
We have better housing, easier access to many types of food, large variety of healthy food, human life is more valued, diseases that killed people in the past are nothing today.

But, in a longer view, what are the things we value in life?
I think today's society is too 'rigid'. The majority of people basically grow up, go to school, work 8-5, possibly take a loan and end up in a life of debt, buy a house, produce some kids, that's life.
To mix it up a little, people go on vacations to 'insert popular tourist place'.
Does the value of life only come from relations? And possibly, what one owns?

I think living in the past would be different.
I mean, surely the vast majority would still be slaves, or farmers, or the like in the relevant time we're discussing,
but I can't help but romanticize the past. In general, every day life surely seemed harsher, but also more of value.
If we somehow could keep the general quality of life, while moving back in time, I believe there would be more 'genuine' quality of life.
To reap what one sow, literally, seems great in a sense. How many people are stuck working in grocery stores, or filling in excel sheets, or doing phone support, or repairing cars, and so on?
I'd like to describe it as our society is just a layer on top of our old society, and each layer adds a new layer of meaningless-ness.
While it develops our society further, what's the point of having a super society, if we're just losing touch with the meaning of life, more and more?
One day we might have robots doing everything for us, what will we do then? Sit around? Will everyone become a scientist working on new stuff?

In the past, a general person's day was a work out by itself. Today, we pay to get the pleasure to lift some weights!

I know I generalize alot, sure there are many things people can do, some lives completely off grid, or go exploring the world all their life,
but in general - we're all just parts of the machinery.

A fun movie is 'Idiocracy' which basically shows how our society looks like in the future. Maybe we'll consider it a documentary some day Roll Eyes

In a sense, it seems like we're all just going further and further into this 'soft' life, it's all cushy and there are no problems, things just go on, day in and day out.
At some point, I fear that we'll lose meaning.
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May 26, 2018, 10:15:58 AM
 #9

Do you believe that in ancient times (like a thousand years ago) people had a better living, or were wiser, braver, or had any special knowledge?  Suffered less or more? Had better social order?  I am looking forward to hearing your opinion and arguments and strongly appreciate links to relevant academic articles and books you can advise.

Maybe civilization nowadays are more advance in technology, but i think they are declining and pathetic when it comes to the earth conservation. We are continuing destroying our planet, global warming, floods, famine or great hunger are occurring all around the world. I hope with this advancing technologies, we can make the world a better place for all of us..
nick_bogdan
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May 29, 2018, 02:24:50 PM
 #10


A fun movie is 'Idiocracy' which basically shows how our society looks like in the future. Maybe we'll consider it a documentary some day Roll Eyes

In a sense, it seems like we're all just going further and further into this 'soft' life, it's all cushy and there are no problems, things just go on, day in and day out.
At some point, I fear that we'll lose meaning.

I definitely understand that we have many problems nowadays while the high level of comfort in everyday life is possibly one of the reasons for all those disorders and global laziness, as shown in Idiocracy. Although I understand that not every person will become a genius, I guess that we now live in a transitional period. The system of education is still mostly working to train people who will be only parts of the machinery. However, I think it won`t take long, and young people will use all the opportunities that modern world gives because they will have more knowledge and freedom, not only higher level of general comfort. I still believe that the desire of knowledge and development is the natural feeling of mankind.
OriginTrain
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June 01, 2018, 01:56:11 PM
 #11

I'm fully convinced that when we lived in caves, we were far better off. We lacked iphones, however we had contentment. I've come to this realization truly and fully after living in third world countries where people are far happier than they are in the first world country where I'm from. They're also more emotionally intelligent even when lacking in what we perceive as intellectual intelligence.

When you take psychedelics, you're pulled out of the matrix and see the world for what it really is. That's our natural state in the cave. The "modern civilization" is a torturous prison when you fully see it for what it is. You don't need to take prozac when you're in the cave.
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June 02, 2018, 11:54:04 AM
Last edit: June 02, 2018, 12:05:21 PM by vapourminer
 #12

technically and opportunity wise we are much better off than in the past. in general (at least developed societies) disease and starvation are fairly rare. education is the main (IMO) way society advances.

however.

we now (here in the USA) have programs that encourage laziness and leeching from the government so work is entirely optional. free housing, food, healthcare. sit around and breed so you get more subsidies for every extra child. why bother bettering yourself and society when you are paid to watch tv, eat, and complain you need more handouts because you dont have what that guy who works for a living has.

the human race... we are devolving, not evolving.

(some of) the latest generations seems to just want easy living, no stress, and more money and status without earning it, just because they feel entitled. "snowflakes"  yeah right.. they need to learn how life really is.

my parents and myself made ourselves what we are. not that we havent screwed up here and there, but when we did we learned from our mistakes and bettered ourselves on our own. we didnt go cry to the government for handouts.

BTW, yes some on welfare do need it, im not saying all take advantage of it. safety nets are needed. but it seems that its being abused beyond belief today.



 
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June 12, 2018, 04:43:19 PM
Last edit: June 12, 2018, 06:05:14 PM by NadiaHel
Merited by vapourminer (1), FractalUniverse (1)
 #13

Do you believe that in ancient times (like a thousand years ago) people had a better living, or were wiser, braver, or had any special knowledge?  Suffered less or more? Had better social order?  I am looking forward to hearing your opinion and arguments and strongly appreciate links to relevant academic articles and books you can advise.

Well, it depends on what time in history are you asking about, and, also, about what means to you the concept of progress.

I am a PhD researched dedicated to ancient rock-art. In my studies, I`ve come to realize that the humans from the Palaeolithic time (from Magdaleniense, for instance, about 40.000- 10.000 when mostly of the great caves where painted) were used to live in harmony with nature. In that era, it is difficult to find signs of violence between humans in the rock art, on the contrary, most of the art show hunting scenes, mythical animals, some rituals, and so.
Once the era known as Neolithic appears, there was a huge change in human behaviour. For instance, citys began to be walled for the first time in history, and religious specialist appears, as long as war-scenes in rock art.
Maybe that was caused by a climate change, maybe this is just when the humanrace begin to spread too much.

I think over population is a big problem, to be honest. When people concentrate in a small place, then bad things happen, nature is attacked, natural resources are exploded, all is contaminated, and etc. So, under the point of getting adapted to the enviroment, I think human race is declining.

One another curiosity: dental cavities first appears in paleomedicine after the agriculture "revolution". Before that, it wasn`t an issue to human health and, also, they used to live longer (from paleolithic the average was about 40, in neolithic about 30, due to sick and war).

Now, there have been eras to humanity. One of my best friends is a genome researched. She always tell me how the human genes are declining, for they are not longer exposed to the nature, and all the people survives, even when their genetic information is not the best. In the past, a human with gen problem will not survive, and probably never has descendants. So, also, genetically speaking, we are declining.

Regarding the accomplishments of human race, ok, we have accomplished a lot, but, under my perspective, we haven`t resolv yet the most important issues of recent history:
- War.
- HUnger.
- The end of natural resources.

"Homo homini  lupus", I`m afraid.
Of course, I consider myself a naturalist, so I believe, in conclusion, we are declining.

An interesting book about it is "Anarchy evolution", by Greg Graffin (Bad Religion singer and also PhD in evolution research).
And, also, there is one of my favourites books, related: Konrad Lorenz, "Civilized man's eight deadly sins", you can download it for free in here: http://www.freepdf.info/index.php?post/Lorenz-Konrad-Civilized-man-s-eight-deadly-sins
(it is one of my favourites author, also winner of a well-deserved Nobel price for his amazing contribution to humanity, in Medicine, Ethology, history.. a wise man)

I think you are going to love it.
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June 12, 2018, 06:46:02 PM
 #14

I think we are getting more intelligent as a race, but humans are devolving quickly getting weaker by the day. If you look at how easily offended and lazy people are becoming it is depressing, especially in the first world. (I know I am generalizing, ofc there are tons of strong hard workers left)


I believe this is true. I can't help but think social media, in particular, is responsible for people being offended by everything. The anonymity and the ability to cut others down without repercussions seems to embolden people to act with disrespect toward others and a hypersensitivity that leads to being overly defensive when confronted with an idea contrary to their personally held beliefs.

It is unfortunate 'ignorant' has such a negative connotation. We all think or say things that are ignorant. It isn't possible to view everything in life from a non-biased, educated point of view. It's just unfortunate that people are quick to stick to their guns when it comes to their opinions, even though they may have been exposed to something that can open their eyes a little more.

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June 13, 2018, 04:36:33 PM
 #15

If we're talking about health, then yeah. Modern technology makes it so that more and more people with genetic problems live longer and longer, and naturally such people have more kids. A person with a heart condition that would had died in their teens now lives to their mid 30s lets say. In the past those genes would had been taken out of the gene pool, but now it's more spread out in the population. So in that sense it declines.
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June 18, 2018, 03:56:27 PM
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If we're talking about health, then yeah. Modern technology makes it so that more and more people with genetic problems live longer and longer, and naturally such people have more kids. A person with a heart condition that would had died in their teens now lives to their mid 30s lets say. In the past those genes would had been taken out of the gene pool, but now it's more spread out in the population. So in that sense it declines.

Besides the genetic issue, I`d like to point out an Aldous Huxley statement, written in his marvellous book "The Island": "Both of us victims of the same twentieth-century plague. Not the Black Death, this time; the Gray Life.'

Even though the life expectancy has increased in the last century (please notice this just happened in some areas of the world), the new human plague is mental illness. Depression has become the first cause of violent death in many countries, for the people has "everything" but a sense of worth-living. As Huxley used to say, "Gray life is the new plague", and he spoke about that almost a century ago.
The human race is divided between those who died because of hunger and sickness and those who died because they can`t see the point of living anymore (having everything can lead to a feeling of despair as well).
Mental illness seems to be a "first world" problem, but how profound is it? We are talking about a species willing to death due to the lack of sense of their own existence.
How is the dehumanization of the human race leading towards a self-sense of pointless life? And, at the same time, how many people starve to death?
I think, ethologically speaking, that the human race is suffering the result of denaturalization, as Konrad Lorenz used to say. The most apart from nature an animal lives, the bigger probability of developing mental illness. Somehow we tend to forget about how important mental illness is into the development of a society, but it is a collateral damage in our path towards decay.

Besides, the way abstraction is taking place in its replacement of reality is making people get sick. For instance, social media, "cyberlife". How much are new mental illness appearing each day thanks to the new abstract way of communication between humans?

Just some more questions to add to the OP.
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June 18, 2018, 07:29:06 PM
 #17

What I like about modern times are things that can rescue people from being wrongfully accuse. For example DNA evidence. Or woman accused cop of raping her, his body cam showed that absolutely nothing took place. Makes you wonder about the endless amount of people that were killed and punished for something that they didn't do. Even though such things still happen now.
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June 19, 2018, 06:24:09 PM
 #18

Do you believe that in ancient times (like a thousand years ago) people had a better living, or were wiser, braver, or had any special knowledge?  Suffered less or more? Had better social order?  I am looking forward to hearing your opinion and arguments and strongly appreciate links to relevant academic articles and books you can advise.

Science says the earth is around billion years.  
The bible says when calculated it was almost let's say three thousand years ago.  

In my own opinion, people from past thousand years doesn't have that good living it is only who had power and authority, the earth is composed of types of people.

Above average - sitting pretty.  
Average - free from slavery
Middle average - near to slave
Poor - slave

The reality is just live your life or else die.
You have skill then use it.  But if trees run out then it's the end. Cruelty causes poverty.  Intelligence causes pride.

Ancient times proves that everything is unexplainable, we just have to go with the ride that stops when we run out of oxygen.  

The answer is a universe of "why's" and "How's" .

Articles are worth reading somebody's opinion and point of view, What about your's?  
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June 22, 2018, 01:54:39 PM
 #19


My answer to all of your questions is NO WAY. As a species we progressed so far at the back of science and civilisations have vastly improved from knowledge all the way to the standard of living. Just to get a glimpse at the type of scientific discoveries we experienced only this year, its astonishing really https://www.ranker.com/list/scientific-breakthroughs-of-2018/ranker-science

To be honest I'm slightly concerned you even asked this  Undecided

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June 24, 2018, 01:11:49 AM
 #20

It's declining.

You have people begging to get offended at the slightest thing...

Also men are turning into little bitches while females are becoming overtly masculine in their behaviour.

It's doomed.....



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