Discussion in 'Science & Society' started by Bluecrux, Apr 13, 2009.
Would we have been better off without the all the science we evolved ?
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No, science is good in itself ...... only sometimes it is abused by mere humans ........ a nuclear bomb is harmless untill used by someone with the intent of killing .........
Without science we would still be in the dark ages , resorting to religion out of fear ......
treating plague/pest with blessings (for money) from a priest .......
Science lifts mankinds possibilities to a higher level .... only we have a to use it with responsibility .........
Anyway, this question might belong to philosophy forum ........
Does a man today live a life happier than in the medieval times or take any time you want and rollback changes . Take the time when the man just knew to hunt . Is the man today any more satisfied than he was , any safer, any happier ?
With each succeeding milestone in the progress of science , I doubt if we have really what we want - peace of mind .
In a way the world's more connected than ever before, but in reality we are just disconnected from each other and are getting ourselves closer to being more concerned about material things .
Ha, well sometime back people said the problem was communalism , today they say it's capitalism but I'd say it's none but materialism .
I too considered putting this in that forum initially but Science & Society , here it is . . . Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!
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Materialism has been known always ...........
I just finished reading Roger of Wendover´s medieval chronicle ( history up to a.d. 1235, he died in 1236 ) and before that Vitali´s medieval chronicle , and Roger de Hoveden´s chronicle and Albert of Achen, Gesta Francorum, Fulcher of Chartres and so on ... now I am reading Matthew of Paris chronicle .........
The red thread through all these chronicles are : fear , fear, fear , search of glory , materialism , religious fanatism , corruption of the church , violence ... more violence .... violence for fun and money ..... killing and raping .... simony..... abuse of power .... fear of the ordinary people (peasants ) ... more killing .... materialism ....some chivalry .... violence ... abuse .... pest... plague ...famines ... earthquakes .... early death ... more famine .... flooding ..... and a lot of religous superstition , abuse , people drunk with power .... war every single year !!! ..... taxes .... scuthage ... chirichescath .... bribes ... corruption .... early death .... excommunication and forgiveness for money .....
abuse of ordinary people every single year ...for them a short life ...early death ....
Summary : war, violence, corruption, famine, plague, abuse of church power, abuse of secular power ,taxes and a catholic church ... whose shepherds did look after their flock of sheeps and drank their blood and ate them ....
I am not for ONE second in doubt , that our life today is a million times better .... with a billion times more peace of mind ....
Which isn't the question in the thread title - the answer to which is self-evidently yes.
As for this question: it depends what you mean by "better off".
Not dying young, having genuine leisure time, being able to make (and meet) people all over the world, not having to suffer (so many) illnesses and diseases...
You'd rather we all spent out time striving to merely exist (in the main)?
And then dying young?
I'd say it was fairly evident that we're (generally) happier now.
Almost certainly safer.
And I' certainly more satisfied now than I would be then, I don't relish the prospect of having to hunt for a subsistence diet when I could just microwave a snack and carry on doing what interests me.
Is that all we want?
That would be why people spend so much time communicating on the internet, maybe?
I'm sure man was happy with Bubonic plague, Evangelism, the hypocrisy of Religion verse Witchcraft, Salted beef and drinking liquids from Leaded(Pewter) goblets. Yes without science we would have come far, if of course we could of worked other ways (praying?) to get around the mortality rate.
If anything in modern times we've not become unhappy because of science, but unhappy because of what we expect to get from it. (Now where's my hover car and robot to do the housework? :grumble: )
Has your personal Pocket-Sized Atomic Robo-Factory broken down again?
Tch, shoddy goods...
Yes. But it depends on how you define 'better off' and how you define 'we'.
There were SOME humans who lived for very long lives way back thousands of years ago as is historically proved in Egyptian writings. So if we would NOT have advanced in sciences there would still be SOME humans living a very long life while many died at younger ages. As millions of humans die due to many infectious diseases throughout history, science today has been able to reduce those deaths by having ways to fight off whatever comes along to wipe out millions of humans. Is this a good thing,well I guess if you had a disease you'd think it would be. But this advancement has also been humans own worst enemy allowing for unrestricted human growth and the polluting of everything that once was clean and fresh.
The question is the same . Would it have made any difference if we were without all this science & technology with us ?
Better off - being more prosperous .
Science we evolved - all the tools and things and craft and techniques and stufff by which we supposedly have bettered our lives .
Well , actually I think that there's hardly any difference between now and then . We can compare our life to them . The people back then didn't need computers, e-mails or any kind of playstations and all these things wasn't there source of entertainment . What science essentially did to us was that it made us more dependent on all this stuff . We all need this stuff because we know that it exsists . Had we not have any idea of all this stuff , we would have never complained . Never complained that the neighbours have got kid a brand Merc .
Everybody must have observed that we always have a tendency to wish for something we never had as we frequently see it with others . We can never satisfy ourselves ulitmately . I'd bet that if any sort of experiment was conducted with a section of primitive people(without those science tools ) without any any knowledge of outside world and technology were relocated to some isolated place on earth , they'd averagely be as prosperous as the rest .
You are talking about your own person, not everybody like you has access to supermarkets , can stack cans of beer and do job sitting on a chair under the air conditioner .
I'm talking about an average of all the people who live on earth . You can't isolate any section and conclude on that basis .
And certainly everybody's not as safe as you .
If we hadn't invented those tools we would most probably not be here right now.
You asked: "Would we have been better off without the all the science we evolved ? "
You obviously meant humans by 'we'. So, no. We would not have been better off.
The natural world as a whole would be better off though.
Difference to what?
It has - self-evidently - made a difference.
We don't live now the way they they did then - hence it's different.
So tell me what you mean by "different".
If these things had been available then they would have "needed" them.
Science hasn't "done" anything to us - we decided as a society to accept and make use of what has been discovered.
You're confusing "want" with " "need" - if we hadn't accepted the advancements we'd have continued without.
The human condition - the grass is always greener, etc.
How, um, scientific, of you.
They may well prosper - but only up to a certain point.
What's an air conditioner?
And the average is rising all the time.
Granted, and that's true for huge numbers of people: but nothing to do with the OP.
Did it make a difference? Yes.
Would we be better off without it? Well that question is harder to answer. Some might say our technological growth has outpaced our spiritual growth.
Before the Industrial Revolution:
More than 99% of the population worked in the food production industry as we'd call it today, or farming as they called it then.
The work-week was about 100 hours, with perhaps a little break in winter between mending buildings, fences and tools.
Work was back-breaking. Contrary to the lovely pictures, few people had draft animals. Just hauling your crop to market was an ordeal.
There was no entertainment to speak of. Not even books since printing hadn't been invented and nobody could read anyway because there were no schools for the working class. Maybe once every few months a traveling company would come through town and put on a show or give a concert. The rest of the time you got to hear the church choir once a week and they were all amateurs.
There was no medical care to speak of. People made the most out of herbs and they could set broken bones and pull out rotten teeth, but they couldn't treat anything serious. There was a lot of lameness, chronic pain and suffering and people just put up with it.
Nobody knew anything about vitamins, minerals and amino acids, so nutritional deficiencies were rampant. Only the rich got meat, everyone else was lucky to get a few eggs or dairy products. They subsisted on grains, which have an incomplete amino acid ratio so they were protein-starved. The average life expectancy for a person who survived childhood was in the 20s from the dawn of the Iron Age 3500 years ago when the population began to explode, all the way up into the 19th century.
And childhood was even worse. Infant mortality was almost too high to track and the childhood diseases we now have vaccines and antibiotics for killed sometimes more than half of the ones who survived infancy. Again, unlike the movies, children were generally put to work as soon as they were big enough to handle a farm implement.
Since it was so difficult to raise a child to adulthood so he could take over the family farm or other business, it was incumbent on every woman to give birth as often as possible, just to keep the species from extinction. We look with pity upon a woman of that era who had ten children, without stopping to realize they were all born before she died at age 25.
So you tell me whether life was "happier" back then. If you're having trouble making up your mind, find a woman and ask her. We don't call that thousand-year period of inescapable ignorance, squalor and religion "the Dark Ages" just because they didn't have TV.Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!
My life revolves around music, something I can say even though I'm not a full-time career musician. Life would be meaningless to me without it. We have 24/7 music only because of electronic technology. I would not live without it. As a pacifist one of the only things that I would take up arms for is to defend the world against those who strive to bring down civilization and all of its technologies. (The other is those who want to take away our dogs. Fortunately they tend to be the same people so we only need half as many bullets.)
BTW, only you can decide if you're "happier" than your ancestors, although I can't imagine you'd really rather be a subsistence farmer working 14-hour days, or a nomad chasing bison during the day and sleeping on the ground at night taking turns watching out for lions. But you are certainly "safer." At the end of the Stone Age, analysis of bones tells us that more than half of adult deaths were caused by violence. Life was hard and the competition was tough. I don't know anyone whose family was touched by violence. And you younger folks who didn't have to find a way to avoid being drafted and sent to Vietnam are probably even less familiar with violence than we are. The leading causes of death today--even in the Third World--include cancer, heart disease and auto accidents. War and murder are way down the list. Life is indeed safer in addition to healthier.
Speak for yourself. I love this world. I've been to places that are maybe not quite the Third World but definitely 2 1/2, and I would not consider living that way. And not specifically because they're poor, but because they're still working hundred-hour weeks without iPods and dying in childbirth.
Again, speak for yourself. If it's any consolation we all felt that way when we were young. Kids have felt that way since... well probably since the Stone Age.
Furthermore, you have the mixed fortune of living through a Paradigm Shift. The world has only gone through this a few times before: 1) The transition from nomadic hunter-gatherers to larger groups living permanently in farming villages; 2) Congregating in cities and learning to live in harmony and cooperation with strangers; 3) The invention of metallurgy which made war possible; 4) Industry, which reduced the portion of the population who have to grow food so everyone else became disconnected from the land.
Each time a Paradigm Shift happened, the world people knew, understood, adapted to and were comfortable with vanished and was replaced by something new and alien. You're experiencing the Paradigm Shift into the electronic age. It started in my day with ten-inch TVs, but now it's in full swing with the internet and little computers inside every artifact.
And of course your Paradigm Shift is happening much faster than the other ones. It took thousands of years for cities to cover the earth, giving people a little time to make peace with the technology. Even the Industrial Revolution took two or three centuries. In contrast, I've seen computers go from million-dollar monstrosities that only eggheads could run to tiny things that run the whole planet in a single lifetime.
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Materialism is merely the collection of tangible wealth that people can hang onto when they feel uneasy and can't figure out how to cope with change. It's a symptom, not a cause. In earlier eras people manifested their wealth by getting really fat, and there are still a few people who are unconsciously doing that today.
If you're wondering about all these things, it's because you're not working 100 hours a week so you have the time, energy, education and information to be able to wonder about them. And you can thank civilization for that. Oh yeah, and because you're still alive, not having died when you were two from some hideously painful disease.
People who live in this way that disgusts you--accumulating physical possessions, not taking an interest in anything, having vapid relationships, performing meaningless work--these are the people who have made a choice to coast through life, taking the bare minimum from civilization and giving the bare minimum back, so that civilization manages to advance ever so slowly. You don't have to live that way.
I have a very interesting job, a band I play in on weekends, the best wife in seven counties, a pack of sweet dogs who love me, cool friends who know a lot of fascinating stuff and want to make the world a better place, and this virtual community of cyberfriends with diverse points of view. I've been to the Reggae Sunsplash in Jamaica, I've ridden a motorcycle across Europe, I've climbed a volcano in Hawaii, I've skied the Sierra Nevada, I've seen Frank Zappa, Shakira and Apocalyptica, and I've probably spent a cumulative year inside the Smithsonian. We help people personally and also give a lot of our wealth to charity. It's been a good life and thanks to modern nutrition, medicine and safety it's not even over yet.
There's no reason you can't have a life like this. I don't mean doing the things I find fulfilling, but the things you find fulfilling. Make a choice and build the life that you want.
I dunno, go live in a cave for ten years, and only use stone tools.
Then, if you can remember how to use a computer when you come back, tell us if you enjoyed the experience. Assuming you survive, of course.
Difference - Difference in overall satisfaction with life taken on an average .
Well, I don't think there's any end to a human's needs .
But granting them their needs hardly puts an end to it .
It's human tendency to wish for an existing thing which they don't have .
Prosperous - The same it means in the dictionary .
PS: Unfortunately , I still have some of my exams going on so wouldn't be able to continue on this thread and post replies and further arguements . I am extremely apologetic for the same . I am sincerely thankful to you people for sharing your views with me . Would get back soon .
In which case: things ARE different, self -evidently, so your
would seem to be wrong.
And since prosperous (by the dictionary) means
then again your comment
would seem to be equally wrong.
Without tools and technology how could they thrive, advance and become as successful as we are? (On average).
That's a different question than the thread title. To answer *this* question, the answer is no. Without science we would:
* Die from tooth decay.
* Die from minor infections.
* Die from minor injuries.
* Die from minor birth complications.
* Die from inadequate food / food quality.
* Die from bad weather.
* Die from predators.
* Die from ignorance.
...and the list goes on ad nausium. Of course, the end result is that one day the Earth would get too hot for us to survive and then we all would die.
How much science and technology do the Amish use in their daily lives? They seem to thrive and prosper, and they seem quite content.
And I don't know, but there are umpty-eleven cultures around the world that live in the same way as they've lived for generations ....and mostly without science and technology. Have we relegated them to the pits of human existence?
Separate names with a comma.