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What is Progress?

FREEDO
Posts: 21,057
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3/22/2013 4:06:34 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
Medicine improves. Technology advances. Wondrous things invented. Cities are erected. People organize. Governments topple and new ones take their place. Markets are restructured. New ideas take root.

But has humanity, as a whole and over multiple generations, ever actually become more satisfied with the world than those before them?
GRAND POOBAH OF DDO

fnord
Nur-Ab-Sal
Posts: 1,637
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3/22/2013 4:10:43 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/22/2013 4:06:34 AM, FREEDO wrote:
Medicine improves.

Assertion.

Technology advances.

Assertion.

Wondrous things invented.

Assertion.

Cities are erected.

Assertion.

People organize.

Assertion.

Governments topple

Assertion.

and new ones take their place.

Assertion.

Markets are restructured.

Assertion.

New ideas take root.

Assertion.

I see nothing but assertions. Hence it must be wrong.
Genesis I. And God created man to his own image: to the image of God he created him: male and female he created them.
johnnyboy54
Posts: 6,362
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3/22/2013 4:15:07 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/22/2013 4:06:34 AM, FREEDO wrote:
Medicine improves. Technology advances. Wondrous things invented. Cities are erected. People organize. Governments topple and new ones take their place. Markets are restructured. New ideas take root.

But has humanity, as a whole and over multiple generations, ever actually become more satisfied with the world than those before them?

Do you think people are generally less satisfied then they were in the past?
I didn't order assholes with my whiskey.
FREEDO
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3/22/2013 4:17:17 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
Are you kidding me?

For all the smarts here, few seem to hold the capacity for understanding simple casual language.

Just answer the damn question.
GRAND POOBAH OF DDO

fnord
johnnyboy54
Posts: 6,362
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3/22/2013 4:18:04 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
If people are less satisfied, it is not an argument that humanity is not progressing. The way I see it is that as all the things you mention improve, people's expectations of what life may bring also increase.

It could also be that as all these things improve, we focus our sights on things that are not improving. Human suffering and human evil is always constant, and perhaps when our needs and wants are better fulfilled by all this progress, we focus more on where other people are at?
I didn't order assholes with my whiskey.
johnnyboy54
Posts: 6,362
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3/22/2013 4:19:11 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/22/2013 4:17:17 AM, FREEDO wrote:
Are you kidding me?

For all the smarts here, few seem to hold the capacity for understanding simple casual language.

Well your problem is assuming we are intelligent.

Just answer the damn question.
I didn't order assholes with my whiskey.
FREEDO
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3/22/2013 4:19:21 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/22/2013 4:15:07 AM, johnnyboy54 wrote:
Do you think people are generally less satisfied then they were in the past?

No, I don't think that.

If you pay attention to the tone, you can see my implication that our great endeavors of history really have little to do with the actual individual human experience.
GRAND POOBAH OF DDO

fnord
FREEDO
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3/22/2013 4:20:22 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/22/2013 4:19:11 AM, johnnyboy54 wrote:
Well your problem is assuming we are intelligent.

That was directed at Sal, btw.
GRAND POOBAH OF DDO

fnord
johnnyboy54
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3/22/2013 4:20:24 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/22/2013 4:19:21 AM, FREEDO wrote:
At 3/22/2013 4:15:07 AM, johnnyboy54 wrote:
Do you think people are generally less satisfied then they were in the past?

No, I don't think that.

If you pay attention to the tone, you can see my implication that our great endeavors of history really have little to do with the actual individual human experience.

Sorry. Sleep deprivation really hurts my reading comprehension skills.
I didn't order assholes with my whiskey.
johnnyboy54
Posts: 6,362
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3/22/2013 4:21:18 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/22/2013 4:20:22 AM, FREEDO wrote:
At 3/22/2013 4:19:11 AM, johnnyboy54 wrote:
Well your problem is assuming we are intelligent.

That was directed at Sal, btw.

Well damn. I wasted a snarky remark :P
I didn't order assholes with my whiskey.
Nur-Ab-Sal
Posts: 1,637
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3/22/2013 4:21:41 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/22/2013 4:20:22 AM, FREEDO wrote:
At 3/22/2013 4:19:11 AM, johnnyboy54 wrote:
Well your problem is assuming we are intelligent.

That was directed at Sal, btw.

Oh, I was just joking...
Genesis I. And God created man to his own image: to the image of God he created him: male and female he created them.
FREEDO
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3/22/2013 4:22:27 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/22/2013 4:20:24 AM, johnnyboy54 wrote:
Sorry. Sleep deprivation really hurts my reading comprehension skills.

Don't feel bad. I'm known for containing too many layers of meaning under what I say, with no explicit explanation.
GRAND POOBAH OF DDO

fnord
Nur-Ab-Sal
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3/22/2013 4:26:26 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/22/2013 4:21:41 AM, Nur-Ab-Sal wrote:
At 3/22/2013 4:20:22 AM, FREEDO wrote:
At 3/22/2013 4:19:11 AM, johnnyboy54 wrote:
Well your problem is assuming we are intelligent.

That was directed at Sal, btw.

Oh, I was just joking...

I don't expect anyone to cite such empirically obvious generalizations (and I think if you did post a wall of sources, it would look strange.) I was mocking the crowd that iteratively demands evidence for anything and everything.
Genesis I. And God created man to his own image: to the image of God he created him: male and female he created them.
FREEDO
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3/22/2013 4:26:57 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
It should be noted that, although I am introducing a concept behind the question, the thread is not here to drive a certain point. I'm just asking for opinions.

Are there things that, in the long run, really affect human life satisfaction?
GRAND POOBAH OF DDO

fnord
malcolmxy
Posts: 2,855
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3/22/2013 4:27:45 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/22/2013 4:22:27 AM, FREEDO wrote:
At 3/22/2013 4:20:24 AM, johnnyboy54 wrote:
Sorry. Sleep deprivation really hurts my reading comprehension skills.

Don't feel bad. I'm known for containing too many layers of meaning under what I say, with no explicit explanation.

Because what you're actually asking here is, "what is the meaning of life?"

Answer - suffering.

Therefore, we are progressing wildly.
War is over, if you want it.

Meet Dr. Stupid and his assistants - http://www.debate.org...
FREEDO
Posts: 21,057
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3/22/2013 4:28:20 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/22/2013 4:21:41 AM, Nur-Ab-Sal wrote:
Oh, I was just joking...

Well, that would be a mistranslation on my part then. I apologize.
GRAND POOBAH OF DDO

fnord
FREEDO
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3/22/2013 4:29:10 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/22/2013 4:27:45 AM, malcolmxy wrote:
Because what you're actually asking here is, "what is the meaning of life?"

...I don't think so....
GRAND POOBAH OF DDO

fnord
Nur-Ab-Sal
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3/22/2013 4:29:46 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/22/2013 4:28:20 AM, FREEDO wrote:
At 3/22/2013 4:21:41 AM, Nur-Ab-Sal wrote:
Oh, I was just joking...

Well, that would be a mistranslation on my part then. I apologize.

Have no worry. I should apologize for ruining your thread, too.
Genesis I. And God created man to his own image: to the image of God he created him: male and female he created them.
malcolmxy
Posts: 2,855
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3/22/2013 4:34:49 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/22/2013 4:29:10 AM, FREEDO wrote:
At 3/22/2013 4:27:45 AM, malcolmxy wrote:
Because what you're actually asking here is, "what is the meaning of life?"

...I don't think so....

What is progress?

If we're progressing, then why (insert all your "whys" HERE)?


By asking those two questions in succession, you're asking what the meaning of life is and what is it, exactly, toward which we should be progressing.

When you figure it out, let me know. That's one nut I ain't figured out how to crack yet.
War is over, if you want it.

Meet Dr. Stupid and his assistants - http://www.debate.org...
Mirza
Posts: 16,992
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3/22/2013 4:35:43 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/22/2013 4:06:34 AM, FREEDO wrote:
But has humanity, as a whole and over multiple generations, ever actually become more satisfied with the world than those before them?
Humanity isn't a single-acting entity, so the answer will be vague. Life conditions have improved, and more people have their needs met than ever before. The reason we seek to constantly improve our well-being is due to the fact that we seek to be relieved, surprised, and so on.
FREEDO
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3/22/2013 4:38:49 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/22/2013 4:34:49 AM, malcolmxy wrote:
When you figure it out, let me know. That's one nut I ain't figured out how to crack yet.

Perhaps you're right and you know what I mean better than I do.

But, for the sake of this thread, I think we can just go with what I think I mean instead. Which is not that.

I'm not one to be very caring about that question.
GRAND POOBAH OF DDO

fnord
johnnyboy54
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3/22/2013 4:39:44 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/22/2013 4:26:57 AM, FREEDO wrote:
It should be noted that, although I am introducing a concept behind the question, the thread is not here to drive a certain point. I'm just asking for opinions.

Are there things that, in the long run, really affect human life satisfaction?

I don't think so, and that really isn't a bad thing. Satisfaction breeds stagnation and as a species, we are always seeking to improve upon what we have. It is simply who we are.
I didn't order assholes with my whiskey.
FREEDO
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3/22/2013 4:41:36 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/22/2013 4:35:43 AM, Mirza wrote:
Humanity isn't a single-acting entity, so the answer will be vague. Life conditions have improved, and more people have their needs met than ever before. The reason we seek to constantly improve our well-being is due to the fact that we seek to be relieved, surprised, and so on.

Do you think newer generations can really appreciate what they have in the same way that older generations would have? Or is it just our perpetually adapting dissatisfaction that really drives most of this "progress"?
GRAND POOBAH OF DDO

fnord
johnnyboy54
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3/22/2013 4:42:19 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
But if by satisfaction, you mean happiness, then I think these things do help towards that. But the interpersonal relationships people develop over their lives are more important, at least if you basic needs are met.
I didn't order assholes with my whiskey.
FREEDO
Posts: 21,057
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3/22/2013 4:42:36 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/22/2013 4:39:44 AM, johnnyboy54 wrote:
I don't think so, and that really isn't a bad thing. Satisfaction breeds stagnation and as a species, we are always seeking to improve upon what we have. It is simply who we are.

That would roughly be my own answer.
GRAND POOBAH OF DDO

fnord
FREEDO
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3/22/2013 4:43:28 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/22/2013 4:42:19 AM, johnnyboy54 wrote:
But if by satisfaction, you mean happiness, then I think these things do help towards that. But the interpersonal relationships people develop over their lives are more important, at least if you basic needs are met.

What difference do you draw between satisfaction and happiness?

I did specifically choose the word satisfaction because it seems to most general.
GRAND POOBAH OF DDO

fnord
malcolmxy
Posts: 2,855
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3/22/2013 4:44:59 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/22/2013 4:38:49 AM, FREEDO wrote:
At 3/22/2013 4:34:49 AM, malcolmxy wrote:
When you figure it out, let me know. That's one nut I ain't figured out how to crack yet.

Perhaps you're right and you know what I mean better than I do.

But, for the sake of this thread, I think we can just go with what I think I mean instead. Which is not that.

I'm not one to be very caring about that question.

Except, that's the question to which you are getting answers...

At 3/22/2013 4:35:43 AM, Mirza wrote:
The reason we seek to constantly improve our well-being is due to the fact that we seek to be relieved, surprised, and so on.

At 3/22/2013 4:18:04 AM, johnnyboy54 wrote:
Human suffering and human evil is always constant, and perhaps when our needs and wants are better fulfilled by all this progress, we focus more on where other people are at?

And my answer, which was a snarky way of saying that I have no f*cking clue.
War is over, if you want it.

Meet Dr. Stupid and his assistants - http://www.debate.org...
malcolmxy
Posts: 2,855
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3/22/2013 4:48:09 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/22/2013 4:43:28 AM, FREEDO wrote:
At 3/22/2013 4:42:19 AM, johnnyboy54 wrote:
But if by satisfaction, you mean happiness, then I think these things do help towards that. But the interpersonal relationships people develop over their lives are more important, at least if you basic needs are met.

What difference do you draw between satisfaction and happiness?

I did specifically choose the word satisfaction because it seems to most general.
War is over, if you want it.

Meet Dr. Stupid and his assistants - http://www.debate.org...
johnnyboy54
Posts: 6,362
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3/22/2013 4:51:15 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/22/2013 4:43:28 AM, FREEDO wrote:
At 3/22/2013 4:42:19 AM, johnnyboy54 wrote:
But if by satisfaction, you mean happiness, then I think these things do help towards that. But the interpersonal relationships people develop over their lives are more important, at least if you basic needs are met.

What difference do you draw between satisfaction and happiness?

I did specifically choose the word satisfaction because it seems to most general.

I always associated satisfaction with contentment. No drive to improve. I associate happiness more so with having the same feelings, but the drive for improvement still exists.

I may have backwards definitions of those words though
I didn't order assholes with my whiskey.