• I like sushi
    280


    I think maybe you have a set idea of what “human nature” is that you’ve not made explicit enough. We are quite unique creatures in the sense we’re both highly adaptive and creative compared to any other species on Earth. More than anything we’re VERY opportunistic as well as being very attuned to projecting ourselves into the future - thsi combination has led to agriculture, industry and general commerce. These are probably better looked at as manifestation of humanity rather than “discoveries” or “creations”. If you taek on this different perspective then “technology” can be investigated as being a manifestation of humanity rather than as a “product” (looking at items as “products” is something that is perhaps a lot to do with current cultural attitudes).

    All human cultural changes, and the problems they may bring along with them, certainly make us ask evermore probing questions about what it is to be “human”. The advances of communicative technologies has given us the uncomfortable view of humans - regardless of nation, language or thought - as being very similar. In a sense it seems our biggest challenge today is not about finding our sense of idnentity, but about dealing with the cultural manifestation of being “this” or “that” identity.

    Ironically we can only ever understand what we are bby setting ourselves apart from others. By doing so we’ve found, or at least I have, that in doing so we the perceived gulf between us as separate beings as being more of an illustration conceived through cultural differentiation. This si not to say “everyone is the same” but that we’ve all got a lot more in common that we’d like to admit. The question is then about how we’ll manifest this realisation in future generations - I would imagine it will lead to a future where individual creativity is played off against the more dominant commercial aspects of how we interact in society and between given delineations of society; perhaps culminating in a global attitude that savours human creativity over any particular economic restraint.*

    *meaning who knows what! It just appears to me that resource physical resource management (meaning raw materials such as food) is not a huge issue and that in a world of plenty where opportunity abounds, for more people across the globe than ever before (historically speaking!), a new focus will draw our attention.
  • Jake
    1.2k
    TT, try this...

    Do you believe that children should have legal access to military grade weapons such as machine guns, rocket launchers, surface to air missiles etc? How about adult civilians?

    If you answered no to either of these questions you already agree with my basic premise, human ability to manage power is limited. From there it's only one more little step to realizing that a knowledge explosion which delivers ever more power at an ever accelerating rate is sooner or later going to be a big problem.

    As I’ve said, human nature seems addicted to tool making, maybe because it’s enabled us to achieve so much, like surviving a hostile environment, catching high protein food, etc., and it’s embedded in our genes.Brett

    Yes, and this is why I've been wrong in assuming that reason alone would be sufficient to make any substantial edit to this pattern. Illogical wishful thinking on my part.

    I now see that pain will be a necessary ingredient. The question really is, will the level of pain be enough to wake us up but not so much as to kill us off? Will it fall within that range? Or will the pain exceed that range thus preventing any opportunity for further learning?
  • TogetherTurtle
    171
    Do you believe that children should have legal access to military grade weapons such as machine guns, rocket launchers, surface to air missiles etc? How about adult civilians?Jake

    I don’t think they should but in parts of the world they certainly do. And people come out alive.

    human ability to manage power is limited.Jake

    Yes, but how limited? And limited for how long? In the cases you discuss that children are used as soldiers some of them must have some control because some live. Same for adults in the same situation.

    It would certainly be ideal for humanity to collectively decide to get rid of it’s nuclear arsenal but it isn’t 100% necessary for the survival of humanity.
  • Jake
    1.2k
    So that we don't go endlessly round and round making the same points I'll leave you with this. Maybe it will help, probably not, your call of course.

    https://thephilosophyforum.com/discussion/3728/the-knowledge-explosion/p1
  • TogetherTurtle
    171
    You showed me that before. I’ve refuted those points, at least from my point of view. I do think this is a good stopping point though. I hope we get the chance to discuss something new soon
  • Jake
    1.2k
    I’ve refuted those points, at least from my point of view.TogetherTurtle

    Yes, in your imagination, you've refuted those points. I do appreciate you at least engaging the topic, and doing so in a more articulate manner than most.
  • Brett
    328
    I think maybe you have a set idea of what “human nature” is that you’ve not made explicit enough.I like sushi

    I’ve indicated in a few posts my perception of human nature. Its a big, controversial subject with no agreement. I can only indicate which side of the differences I stand in which is probably the nomological position. I lean towards caring, co-operation, tool making (meaning being capable of abstract thinking), being conscious of wrong, through evolution, as opposed to Dawkin’s “ruthless selfishness".

    All human cultural changes, and the problems they may bring along with them, certainly make us ask evermore probing questions about what it is to be “human”.I like sushi

    Cultures may change but can human nature? Has it ever, except through interpretation. If I look at it in an nomological light it can only change through evolution.


    We are quite unique creatures in the sense we’re both highly adaptive and creative compared to any other species on Earth.I like sushi

    Yes we are “quite unique, opportunistic as well as being very attuned to projecting ourselves into the future”, because of our nature.
    Projecting ourselves into the future I would call abstract thought.

    What you refer to as manifestations is our nature. They may manifest themselves in particular ways, like making tools.

    Technology is the practical aspect of science, which is abstract thinking. It’s a manifestation of human nature by way of abstract thinking/science. It’s exterior to human nature.

    The question is then about how we’ll manifest this realisation in future generations - I would imagine it will lead to a future where individual creativity is played off against the more dominant commercial aspects of how we interact in society and between given delineations of societyI like sushi

    This is the same tired old argument that commerce is the problem to be overcome. Why is commerce a problem and technology not?

    In relation to technology; we are either not in control and consequently fumbling along trying to manage it, or we are in control and this is how we manage it. Either it’s part of our nature or it’s not.
    If it’s not part of our nature then we have a troubled relationship with it and we’re constantly trying to make a deal. Otherwise it’s either part of our nature and it’s not very satisfactory, leading to a continuous round of problems, or we are about to, or have already, made an uneasy pact with something outside of our nature.


    Edit: sorry, the part about manifestations is messy, you were referring to industry, etc as a manifestation of our nature, I think.
  • I like sushi
    280
    This is the same tired old argument that commerce is the problem to be overcome. Why is commerce a problem and technology not? — Brett

    Sorry, perhaps I wasn’t clear. I never meant to say “commerce” was a problem anymore than I would technology. I was trying to outline that technology has given rise to an adaptive economy (in the broader sense of “economics”). Agriculture gave us more lesuire time sendentary living, and basically civilization as we know it today. My point was that the creative pursuits that lead to more means of commerce isn’t, in and of itself, immediately valued. Creativity’s value takes time to manifest.

    Greater technological breakthroughs can, and do, lead to the universal value of creativity (in art and science) as a non-immediate product to invest in - due to mass global communications today the boon is that artists who’d scramble around to make a living are now more easily able to forge a proper living and thus produce more.

    Technology cannot be “controlled” any more that ideas can be. We can try to, and do, inroduce laws to amend problems that arise and it may be the case that the rate of acceleration is too much at the moment and we’d be better off taking a breather ... I don’t think so though and I don’t really see how we could take such a breather without civil war and/or despotism.

    Evolution means things change. The biggest change we’ve had is with agriculture. Our genetics are not set in stone, they so something akin to “moulding” themselves around the situation. Physiological varieties surface due to the environmental exposure - over generations or within a few years due to dietary alterations.

    Cultures may change but can human nature? — Brett

    I don’t think these are different items in the sense you’re trying to frame them. Humans without culture are not humans. Culture is the manifestation of humanity not an independent entity. When humans are all gone so will be all human culture. Culture is the expression of human nature - it is how we regard each other, how we understand each other, and how we communicate with each other. Technology facilitates all of these both directly and indirectly. The Chinese developed cooking methods based on necessity and the stir fry method came to be due to a lack of resources to cook with - wood and oil.

    In terms of biology we may well soon ourselves altering teh human genome and becoming a distinctly different species to what we are now - I think there are many dangers involved in tinkering with such things. I believe the question of tailormade babies is something we’re already discussing before the technology arises. I understand concern in matter s like this as we are not the most forward thinking creatures and we will hopefully adapt our cultural attitudes and express our full potential more efficiently in the near future so as to learn to cope with the amount we need to consider and plan as a unity of beings rather than as dispersed and varied cultural traditions (at the same time diversity is required in order to maintain the ability to adapt; basically we’re always playing a balancing game!)
123Next
bold
italic
underline
strike
code
quote
ulist
image
url
mention
reveal
youtube
tweet
Add a Comment

Welcome to The Philosophy Forum!

Get involved in philosophical discussions about knowledge, truth, language, consciousness, science, politics, religion, logic and mathematics, art, history, and lots more. No ads, no clutter, and very little agreement — just fascinating conversations.