Is humanity worth saving?

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Surio
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Post by Surio »

Oho, I see. How very interesting.
Indeed, and if what you say is correct, I would like you to construct a complete idea out of the Not -A is also the case (like I did out of "A" is the case), rather than engage in sarcastic wordplay, tomfoolery and smartarsery combined :-P
P.S: All in Good fun Part-II ;-)


secretwealth
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Post by secretwealth »

> Until the age of (European) empires came about, all of Asia ran life as per their own schedules, as per their own ways and customs.
Yeah, and those ways and customs sucked. In Korea, women had to kill themselves if they were raped for shame. In Japan, samurai were allowed to kill anyone of a lower social class and not face justice (that's where ninjas come from). In China, men were allowed to kill their sons if they misbehaved. Throughout Asia, families were punished for what one person did (that's where North Korean gulags got their playbook--it isn't something invented in the modern world--it's a throwback to a barbaric age).
Bear in mind, I'm not saying that the west was any better. Terrible, corrupt things happened there, too. Women were burned at the stake for having red hair. Kings were allowed to execute people just because they felt like it. And, yes, imperialism was evil. That doesn't mean what happened in pre-modern Asia wasn't messed up, too, because it was.
I don't see why we can't agree that history has been barbaric everywhere, or why we have to praise any particular group of people. The fact of the matter is that history has plenty examples of people treating people like shit. In fact, I'd say it's a defining feature of civilization.


Surio
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Post by Surio »

@secretwealth,
You have specifically responded to a subset of my overall response with drilled down specifics, and in terms of the specifics you mention, yes, there are parts of History that don't read well for any culture.
However, my total response to you was connected to the overall readings on Eastern culture that you had raised in previous threads (re: Buddhism, Confucianism and Hinduism, Karma, etc). The ideas that are floating around today on these religions and the different ways of life surrounding these religions stem from interpretations that were originally made during Imperialism (which had a sinister agenda), and it is this which I take exception to.
ETA: As @Felix mentioned:

"The thing is that the answers to these questions say way more about us (including the predominant mode of thought we are in ;-) - that's probably a whole new thread all by itself) than they do about the question,"

This has been my own takeaway from it all.


Canadian Dream
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Post by Canadian Dream »

Ugh, derailed thread. Anyway, back to the orginal questions.
"Is humanity worth saving? What about civilization?What about individuals?"
The issue with answering these questions lie in the fact that question itself is loaded by the word 'saving'. By using 'saving', it automatically implies the the object of the sentence in in trouble or flawed. But what if humanity isn't flawed, but rather our culture is the problem?
So with that out of the way, I would say humanity has just as much right to be on this planet than another other life. One human is really equal to a blade of grass, we aren't special we are just life expressed in a different form. That energy/matter just cycles endlessly around in various forms, so in the end, if you believe anything is worth saving on this planet that than yes humanity is worth 'saving'.
Cultures on the other hand, do seem to have a natural life cycle where the death and replacement of a particular culture is normal. So in the regards our culture isn't particularly better than any of the other one through history so no I don't feel our culture is worth saving. Rome wasn't worth saving, so why on earth would we be? It will crash and burn and something else will take its place. What and when are an entirely different debate.
The last question is likely the most difficult to address because 'saving' implies often religious overtones. So is the question addressed in a body context or spirital? Since my answer to the first question would obviously cover human bodies as well I agree they should be saved.
Yet on spirital level, I reject the question entirely. I don't need to be 'saved' because I believe my spirit wasn't created flawed. I am what I am and I don't have to 'be better' or more 'rightous'. I am light/good and darkness/evil all rolled into one package and trying to be one or the other is a gross oversimplication of the human spirit. I've been evil when I have yelled at my kids because I was tired and fustrated. I have been good when I kiss away their tear and offer comfort when they are hurt. By denying what darkenss/evil that exists in us all you deny part of yourself and are never whole and exist in a word of guilt towards things that you should have moved on over a long time ago. So you don't need to save a human spirit...unless you are giving the same offer to blades of grass before you cut the lawn *grin*.
Tim


jmed
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Post by jmed »

@jacob - What does it mean to save humanity? We need to more clearly define what we're asking before we can try to answer.
Of possible utility: "Existential Risks: Analyzing Human Extinction Scenarios and Related Hazards" http://www.nickbostrom.com/existential/risks.html (& more at http://www.existential-risk.org/)


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Stahlmann
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Re: Is humanity worth saving?

Post by Stahlmann »

I gonna flip the question (which in consequence will describe (and resolve) my crazy love to fringe ideologies).

Is it possible to join some NGO in DACH and fight for better world at some org with average for this region salary?

On some level union busting/representing the "not yachts owners" is a thing so I don't wanna be front face (and I know that unions are sold anyway...). Yea, NGOs tend to rather provide small salary globally.

Where are Soros" (or other progressive titans) money? :lol:
The right (at least here, but I think this is global tendency) told me the story that the bad guys (from their perspective) are pouring millions towards influencing society :lol:.

Ideally progressive on economical side, a bit conservative on morality. Yea, with first position on some level this is against their interests, so I'm not sure if they're doing this for something more than virtue signalling and treating this as sophisticated tax evasion. Yea, I'm aware of Hegelian constructor and on some level it's possibleto do tax evasion... and help other people. I do understand that we don't live in XIX century and average 1%er isn't driving daily through big city with golden carriage and butler hitting peasants with his quirt - but some of this metaphor is still valid and kick of injustice is one of the feelings that fuels my hatred to the system... but it seems I could channel this energy to earn money and feel good. Yea, fee fees are important for Sthalmann. inb4 spoiled latte and caviar socialist kiddo - I wish I could pull this, but not the case unfortunately :lol:

If somebody knows the answer or has the other corner of the mystery, please share.

Riggerjack
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Re: Is humanity worth saving?

Post by Riggerjack »

Is it possible to join some NGO in DACH and fight for better world at some org with average for this region salary?
No. In the way you mean it.

NGOs pay less than Corporate organizans, because part of the compensation is the feeling of righteousness that comes with the cause.

However, just because they pay less on average, does not mean they pay less than the average for an area.

Meaning that writing white papers for DC think tanks pays well, regardless of where one is, because competition is tied to a HCOL economy. People in that HCOL economy would probably contest my assertion that they are well paid. And therein is the answer to your riddle.

Unfortunately, the answer is an enigma all itself: how one gets one of these local opportunities offered by HCOL foreign interests? I have no idea.
......
It seems like someone will always have some awesome deal, that they crafted for themselves over many years. Each story is different, but some threads are consistent.

The most consistent was that they crafted their deal, they didn't look for a better deal on offer.

If you want something the system isn't set up to provide you, stop looking to change the system, change how you interface with the system.

Stahlman, you seem to be an awkward fit into the establishment of your country. Round peg, square hole. Perhaps you should focus on making your own hole that fits.

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Stahlmann
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Re: Is humanity worth saving?

Post by Stahlmann »

Hmm, thanks RJ. interesting perspective.

Working with therapist on jealousy should/will be next goal for me.
there aren't many things which tend to be in my head before sleep (so many sleepless nights...) or during sudden wake up at 3 AM.

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fiby41
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Re: Is humanity worth saving?

Post by fiby41 »

It depends upon 'at what cost'?

jacob
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Re: Is humanity worth saving?

Post by jacob »

The quoted cost is usually [the freedom] to grow the economy or the population or a combination of both. This runs into strong headwinds because so many of our traditional [legal] rights and [financial] arrangements, especially as we've gotten used to them over the past 200 years, are predicated on taking those as a given.

Lucky C
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Re: Is humanity worth saving?

Post by Lucky C »

An extraterrestrial race visits Earth and communicates to all humans, from the cities to the remote tribes, that we are all doomed and the only way to be saved is to accept their technologically advanced help. From studying humans, the ETs know how to communicate this in a way that is more effective than anything the best human marketing wizards could come up with. This is their job; as a sort of charitable organization of their race, they find alien planets with civilizations that are at risk of either being sent back to the stone age or being wiped out completely. As a result, their messaging (which may consist not only of sophisticated A/V communications but physiological effects to make sure they are "well received" by the audience) is effective for something like 99% of the adult population. After the ETs are done with their worldwide presentation, nearly everyone in the world who is capable of understanding the message believes it fully. We are doomed, and to minimize loss of life and preserve as much of our civilization as possible, we require their help.

Now since the majority of humans believe that democracy is a good idea, the ETs put the matter to a vote. Do we agree to let them take executive control until we are not on a path toward self-destruction? With countless sensors already distributed throughout the planet, they can easily take a tally by asking everyone to signal a vote immediately by a raised hand or a nod of the head, before there is time for authoritative figures to snap anyone out of this special programming and convince them that the human powers-that-be know what's best, that we should not submit to this alien race. So right after being stunned by this news, all humans are allowed to vote based on their own conscience.

The vast majority of people do think humanity is worth saving, and would not want their vote to doom the human race, so very few vote to refuse assistance. Many abstain from voting, torn between wanting to save the human race and being wary of allowing aliens to take control. However, the majority votes in favor of the operation, with many dissatisfied with the current state of society and wanting to take any help they can get, and some reasoning that the ETs seem powerful enough to take us over by force if we don't work with them peacefully anyway.

How did you vote?

It turns out the ETs wield far more technological wizardry than you imagined. After an expression of gratitude for accepting their assistance, they inform you that approximately 90% of the human population is now gone, in order to bring it down to a sustainable level. Most everyone in your continent is still there, but the rest of the globe has instantly had a hard reset, with all signs of civilization replaced with pristine wilderness, largely as it was before humans invaded. Even some species thought to be extinct are now repopulated in those lands. Of course the ETs still have much work to do, helping to make the remaining population self-sustaining after the severing of the majority of global trade, scrubbing the excess CO2 from the atmosphere, ensuring all power generation and resource use can be done sustainably, and aiding in social improvements to make a more peaceful society.

You are told not to worry about the other 90% who are no longer with you, since they were not harmed. There are now nine additional copies of Earth in parallel universes, each with another 10% subdivision of the human race, largely split into regional groups, but also with major conflicts taken into consideration (for example, Israelis and Palestinians were separated).

After one year, the work is done. The human race can confidently progress on a sustainable path for the foreseeable future. Sure, there will always be conflicts, but nothing on the horizon that would spell the end of the world as we know it. Before the ETs depart to head to their next project, they have one last message: They are capable of bringing the rest of humanity back to one Earth, if that is the will of humanity. Each of the ten parallel Earths will vote independently and all the ones who vote for reunification will get their wish while the ones who don't will be left alone. The problem is that if all votes are for reunification and population is back up to 100%, despite all the improvements made, the population will still be at an unsustainable level. Combine that with with the resumption of geopolitical conflicts and humanity would be back on the path of certain self-destruction, albeit delayed a bit from its original timeline. Once again, all humans are asked to vote immediately on whether they would like to reunify.

How did you vote?

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Lemur
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Re: Is humanity worth saving?

Post by Lemur »

Depends. These aliens...are they for or against the 2nd amendment? :lol:

Joking...umm. I'd vote yay. Certainty sounds better then the Thano's solution.

Myakka
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Re: Is humanity worth saving?

Post by Myakka »

A key problem with aliens swooping in and re-making the Earth in a sustainable fashion is whichever new Earth the few who are currently intent upon hoarding all of the resources to themselves so as to impoverish (nearly) everyone else, would tend to replicate today's disaster someday.

My impression is that the few (1%?) involved in this insanity do it to 1) prove themselves superior to the rest of us and 2) force us to submit to their control -- if we don't play their game, we can find ourselves without the necessities of life; if we play their game, we sacrifice all concern for the well-being of many others who get excluded from access to the resources those in power control.

Maybe all your aliens need to do is somehow remove the menace of these few to everyone else.

That isn't to say that the remainder of us are angels. Among the very nice ordinary people are a few who are as cruel and mean as those who create and maintain this system. Still, to no longer be compelled to go along with a destructive ideology would likely mean quite alot.

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Re: Is humanity worth saving?

Post by jacob »

Humans have already "found a new Earth" three times in recorded history.

The first was the discovery of a new continent in the 15th century after the old world was getting too dense to avoid the recurring famine+epidemics that came to act as a natural limit on further population growth. Essentially invading a stone age continent with renaissance technology that could feed many more people took the pressure off of Europe.

The second was the discovery of fossil fuels in the 18th century allowing humans to set aside land otherwise used for heating fuel, construction materials, and draft animal feed to feed humans. (Something like 90%+ of available land is now used to feed humans directly or indirectly.)

The third was the discovery of short-stalked high yield disease resistant varieties of wheat and rice in the 20th century that combined with artificial fertilizer (Haber Bosch) generated from fossil fuels again took the edge of how many could be fed with "heirloom" varieties.

Right now the race is on to find C4 varieties of all the staple crops that can tolerate the increased amount of heat/dryness/CO2 from global warming.

To answer the question, we don't need to invoke aliens. It's plausible that AI will present a solution. Indeed, smart humans have already proposed such solutions. I'd vote to split and not reunify. At least it would delay the next need for expansion by a couple of centuries. Consider that it's actually the normal condition for any species to have its back against the population ceiling. Having a free run (no limit but the sky) is nice but rather unusual.

Kriegsspiel
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Re: Is humanity worth saving?

Post by Kriegsspiel »

The C4 crops idea is one of the coolest things I've heard about in the past couple years. It was such a trip hearing that this amazing process, photosynthesis, actually kind of sucks.

Lucky C
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Re: Is humanity worth saving?

Post by Lucky C »

@jacob GOOD POINTS...

So then if we want sustainability + technology (avoiding going back to the stone age) + wildlife (limiting mass extinction to the extent possible) we need all of the following?
- Population pressure, preferably the "good" kind of voluntarily not having too many kids rather than population decline due to disaster or government control (New Worlds are not the solution but would be nice to buy us time)
- Closed loop technology (recycling all waste so as not to require mining new resources indefinitely... unless asteroid mining can be done without too much waste)
- Strong perpetual wildlife protections in large contiguous areas (never cutting into the protected area even if your people are suffering from famine or other resource constraints... improvements to the above help wildlife's odds of survival)

Closing the loops on a global scale (must appeal to the majority rather than the quirky ERE mindset) while still holding onto and improving technology seems to be much less straightforward than population limitation (which is going to peak regardless of what we do) and wildlife protection (which we already kind of know how to do and can hopefully improve in the future).

I suppose we'll need a "box" that takes in plastic, electronics, batteries, etc. and spits out topsoil, precious metals, and toxic chemicals (separately!); situated in a place where the waste heat from such a process can be utilized. If modern waste can be reused in such a radically improved way compared to today's "recycling", and if that could be the difference between sustainability and decline, I would say it is definitely worth a try!
jacob wrote:
Sun Mar 25, 2012 10:59 pm
what's the ultimate point in considering whatever happens far in the future?
The "point" of life is to fight entropy. We have been doing this on larger and larger scales from the days of simple chemical reactions in a primordial soup. I know net entropy always increases but the point is that life "organizes" matter more and more as it spreads whereas e.g. a fire spreads while "disorganizing" its fuel. Humanity is conscious of its ability to fight entropy, and it is easy to see that humans of all cultures embrace this fight by the way we find beauty in intricately designed clothing, buildings, gardens, etc. It is generally a good thing to create rather than destroy, more satisfying to the soul to produce rather than consume.

In our battle against entropy, we sought to control nature, but now we are relearning that we are still subject to the laws of nature. Oops. It doesn't matter what the ultimate point or end game is since humanity's goals and humans themselves are bound to evolve over time. The point is that we don't want our species or complex civilizations to die off, losing the battle against entropy. To most people, a complex 21st century technological society with population pushed to the limit is seen as more desirable than a simple stone age tribe with plenty of room to grow, in part because most desire that complexity even if it does not make them happier than they would be living a much simpler life.

One possible "end game" extrapolation would be that humanity will continue to fight entropy on grander scales, becoming a spacefaring species, perhaps harnessing the power of the sun with a Dyson sphere, and ultimately figuring out how to prevent the heat death of the universe (or greatly extend the time until heat death of our little corner of the universe). Perhaps even unlock ways to travel to other young universes.

I think that since humans are easily fooled, humanity might be satisfied indefinitely with much less grand ambitions. As the video gaming industry has demonstrated, most people are satisfied progressing through life virtually even if no progress is made in their real lives. This is not likely to ebb any time soon as virtual worlds become more real - and more optimized to not only dish out rapid-fire dopamine hits (a la 80's arcade classics or today's smart phone time wasters) but to provide real enduring satisfaction in the players' lives - more than can be had from the average job (maybe even social life?). Perhaps virtual space will suffice as the final frontier. We won't even need The Matrix to keep humans out of trouble if 90% of them sign on voluntarily and the other 10% can live "real" lives maintaining/servicing the 90% in a sustainable way. But we'll need a lot of those e-waste looper boxes too.

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Jean
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Re: Is humanity worth saving?

Post by Jean »

I wouldn't trust thé alien and vote no. Then i'de vote no for reuniting. Concerning vidéo games, i don't see any activity more satisfying than them that doesn't require huge amount of ressources.
Hunting Bears or invading France is probably more fun, but they are very far from sustainable activities. Otoh, vidéo games cost less than five minutes of work per day.

7Wannabe5
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Re: Is humanity worth saving?

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

C3 plants may benefit from more CO2 in atmosphere. It is a more limiting factor for C3 plants than C4 plants. However, they do suffer more from increased heat/drought.

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