Re : Polemics for longevity

From: Joao Pedro de Magalhaes (
Date: Mon Jan 24 2000 - 08:39:43 MST


Bryan Moss wrote:
>> I think that the present human species' members are evil,
>> destructive, stupid and selfish creatures (and I'm not
>> claiming myself as an exception).
>I really don't buy the 'destructive, stupid, selfish' line;
>destructive compared to what...?

I think human beings are stupid, destructive and selfish because the their
actions within History. Of course you can argue that now we are less
destructive and stupid than 200 years ago; it's true but that does not
invalidate the stupidity, selfishness and detructiveness within present
human minds. To put in mathematical terms: the ratio stupid actions/smart
actions is high enough for me to consider all humans stupid.

>> However, I think that there has been a major evolution
>> from an intellectual and cultural point of view in the
>> human masses of civilized countries in the past centuries
>> that presently continues and, hopefully, will continue.

>I think we've just got a whole bunch of new technologies
>that make us *seem* more humane.

Although technology has something to do with it, I believe a better
education is the main basis for our evolution.

>> It's the old American view of free-market and anarcho-
>> capitalism -- bound to generate huge wealth but also
>> enormous social problems and ecological disruption.
>You can't have a government without first having a market;
>thus, if markets causes social problem those problems are

I'm not going to discuss free-markets because I've done it before, everyone
knows my opinions and I already know yours.

Menno wrote:
>I'm aiming at becoming an evil, destructive, *intelligent* and selfish
>creature :-):-):-).

As a general statement in the present time, I believe it's quite difficult
to combine intelligence and destructiveness.

Daniel Ust wrote:
>Many of the problems Joao Pedro lists are not caused by the free market or
>the non-existent anarchocapitalism (what part of this planet is
>anarchocapitalist in any sense of the word?:). A lof of social problems in
>the US are caused directly by government intervention in the market. Rent
>control, e.g., creates a housing shortages and exhorbitant rents for new
>dwellings in NYC, near where I live. (It also causes more people to move
>from the city to the countryside, creating commuting and environmental
>problems. This is also aided and abetted by former government development
>plans which sought and still seek to cram all humans into ideal suburban or
>rural communities.)
>Ecological disruption is, to a large extent, caused by government
>protections and subsidization of unprofitable economic development. Face
>it, the free market on its own would not invest in the Amazon, the American
>Southwest, or Nigeria. Those places are either unsafe, don't provide
>skilled labor, don't have the infrastructure (roads, housing, etc.), or
>lacking in resources. Also, what resources there are are already owned --
>in the Lockean sense of the world, even if the local governments don't
>recognize such ownership -- by the locals.
>I'm not saying the cure to all these problems is a free market, but a free
>market is not the cause of them. Nor would not having a free market help.
>Argh! I've violated my own maxim not to get into political debates on this

I'm sorry but I'm not going to do the same. But I obviously disagree with


Joao Pedro de Magalhaes
The University of Namur (FUNDP)
Unit of Cellular Biochemistry & Biology
Rue de Bruxelles, 61
B-5000 Namur BELGIUM

Fax: + 32 81 724135
Phone: + 32 81 724133
Reason's Triumph:

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