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#265049 - 11/13/13 03:10 PM Re: Is civilization artificial? [Re: benjammin]
Pete Offline
Veteran

Registered: 02/20/09
Posts: 1372
i was thinking about this myself. in the end, does it matter whether we call a group as "chiefdom", a "society", or a "civilization"? if they had a profound effect on human history - then all that matters is that they did have an influence. The Mongols certainly did have a significant effect. Personally, I think the Comanches would have also had a major effect if they had been able to grow their society for a few hundred years more - but they were interrupted by the arrival of the white civilization.

anyway Benjammin. i'm getting the impression that we will see some sort of new cult coming out of Alaska in a few years. And when someone goes up there to investigate - they will find "B E N J A M M I N" painted on the walls of some cave. Hahahaha!

Pete2

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#265055 - 11/13/13 06:18 PM Re: Is civilization artificial? [Re: Pete]
benjammin Offline
Rapscallion
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/06/04
Posts: 4020
Loc: Anchorage AK
Hmm, maybe I can wrap this thread up with a quote,

"One of the most dangerous errors is that civilization is automatically bound to increase and spread. The lesson of history is the opposite; civilization is a rarity, attained with difficulty and easily lost. The normal state of humanity is barbarism, just as the normal surface of the planet is salt water. Land looms large in our imagination and civilization in history books, only because sea and savagery are to us less interesting." - C.S. Lewis

I pulled that from another website, but it is properly credited to the author, so no copyright issue.

I imagine that quote as recited by Sir Anthony Hopkins.

Regardless of how we define a group, civilizations remain forever a temporary condition. Not one has withstood the test of time. I think the biggest reason for this is because they allow the worst excesses of human nature to proliferate and dominate. It is not for simple survival that civilizations carry out unspeakable acts of violence, but simply to feed the beast within us, that insatiable thing that will eventually consume us entirely.

"You know, Burke, I don't know which species is worse. You don't see them screwing each other over for a percentage." Sigourney Weaver as Ripley in Aliens


Edited by benjammin (11/13/13 06:18 PM)
_________________________
The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools.
-- Herbert Spencer, English Philosopher (1820-1903)

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#265065 - 11/14/13 04:41 AM Re: Is civilization artificial? [Re: benjammin]
Pete Offline
Veteran

Registered: 02/20/09
Posts: 1372
benjammin ... love those two quotes. I remember the line by Sigourney Weaver, but I have not seen the one by C S Lewis before. Point well taken.

Pete2

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#265068 - 11/14/13 05:03 AM Re: Is civilization artificial? [Re: benjammin]
Phaedrus Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 04/28/10
Posts: 2438
Loc: Big Sky Country
Yet civilization always returns. One falls but the light is never permanently extinguished. I doubt it ever will be until humans become extinct. It's our nature to form complex societies.
_________________________
“You can tell whether a man is clever by his answers. You can tell whether a man is wise by his questions.” Naguib Mahfouz

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#265072 - 11/14/13 01:54 PM Re: Is civilization artificial? [Re: benjammin]
RNewcomb Offline
Member

Registered: 04/19/12
Posts: 170
Loc: Iowa
Originally Posted By: benjammin
Hmm, maybe I can wrap this thread up with a quote,

"One of the most dangerous errors is that civilization is automatically bound to increase and spread. The lesson of history is the opposite; civilization is a rarity, attained with difficulty and easily lost. The normal state of humanity is barbarism, just as the normal surface of the planet is salt water. Land looms large in our imagination and civilization in history books, only because sea and savagery are to us less interesting." - C.S. Lewis

I pulled that from another website, but it is properly credited to the author, so no copyright issue.

I imagine that quote as recited by Sir Anthony Hopkins.

Regardless of how we define a group, civilizations remain forever a temporary condition. Not one has withstood the test of time. I think the biggest reason for this is because they allow the worst excesses of human nature to proliferate and dominate. It is not for simple survival that civilizations carry out unspeakable acts of violence, but simply to feed the beast within us, that insatiable thing that will eventually consume us entirely.

"You know, Burke, I don't know which species is worse. You don't see them screwing each other over for a percentage." Sigourney Weaver as Ripley in Aliens


Incredible quotes... I loved the Alien(s) movies, and I loved that line from the movies.. I really like the Sir Anthony Hopkins quote, I hadn't ever heard that before. Guess I need to broaden my reading beyond Microsoft technical manuals someday.....

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#265085 - 11/14/13 05:54 PM Re: Is civilization artificial? [Re: Phaedrus]
benjammin Offline
Rapscallion
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/06/04
Posts: 4020
Loc: Anchorage AK
Civilization is a crux for our future. Through this regurgitation cycle of civilization we will either destroy ourselves, or we will evolve ourselves. The latter being the less likely outcome, I can't see it materializing without us developing an empathetic or telepathic capability. Until we can directly sense how our actions affect others, we will never be able to overcome as a race this self destructive nature. We are doomed to repeat this failure until one of the two outcomes occurs.
_________________________
The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools.
-- Herbert Spencer, English Philosopher (1820-1903)

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#265106 - 11/15/13 05:38 AM Re: Is civilization artificial? [Re: benjammin]
Pete Offline
Veteran

Registered: 02/20/09
Posts: 1372
"we will either destroy ourselves, or we will evolve ourselves"

I agree with you 100%.
based on what I can see from the scientific predictions, there is a time coming when we will face a dreadful climax - which should lead to the either/or outcome in your quote. that step in our evolution is going to be a very painful one. but it is outside of my lifetime, though possibly not outside of the lifetime of our grandchildren.

Pete2

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#265109 - 11/15/13 07:10 AM Re: Is civilization artificial? [Re: benjammin]
MoBOB Offline
Veteran

Registered: 09/17/07
Posts: 1219
Loc: here
I think civilization is in no way artificial. It is just a question of the level of organization. I believe that technology is not all that influential. Societies will always find a way to conquer either the elements for their betterment or others with whatever they have available or can fashion.

In regards to Benjammin's statement about extinction vs evolution of the human species, I am not too sure where I stand. I guess I would have to make an intellectual assent to being either a nihilist or an optimist.

Another question is that of the carrying capacity of the planet. What is it? I have heard 12 billion.

My $.02; possibly less.

YMMV
_________________________
"Its not a matter of being ready as it is being prepared" -- B. E. J. Taylor

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#265110 - 11/15/13 07:29 AM Re: Is civilization artificial? [Re: benjammin]
Am_Fear_Liath_Mor Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/03/07
Posts: 3078
Can I suggest that you watch the BBC TV series ' The Ascent of Man '

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=10fWml7Qu7Y (1 of 13 episodes) Yep, TV programs used to be like this before civilization ascended, peaked and declined in to X-Factor territory wink !

Then watch a short documentary film about the presenter Dr Jacob Bronowski (his secret life) who died shortly after being interviewed by Michael Parkinson.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BCfJstzPyZQ

It may answer the question 'Is civilization artificial?'

It has also been suggested that the fall of the Roman Empire was due in no small part to their plumbing and the intellectual retardation toxic effects of the lead construction. Could there be something similar happening today?





Edited by Am_Fear_Liath_Mor (11/15/13 08:16 AM)

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#265115 - 11/15/13 02:35 PM Re: Is civilization artificial? [Re: benjammin]
nursemike Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 11/09/06
Posts: 817
Loc: wellington, fl
Originally Posted By: benjammin
Civilization is a crux for our future. Through this regurgitation cycle of civilization we will either destroy ourselves, or we will evolve ourselves.

IMHO:
Civilization is finite and time-limited. All works of man are finite and time-limited. Long-term survival is pretty much reserved for astronomical items, and all of those came from a beginning, (big bang or word), and will result in an end (entropy or armageddon), that has nothing to do with human artifact. Civilization is what humans do to amuse themselves in the meantime: it probably shouldn't be taken quite so seriously.

Participants in a relationship often see the ending of the relationship as a big deal: true in adolescent love affairs and the fall of empires. Life goes on, or doesn't. No big deal.

YMMV.
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Dance like you have never been hurt, work like no one is watching,love like you don't need the money.

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