On Wednesday, January 26, 2000 8:02 AM Joao Pedro de Magalhaes
> >Again, destructive/stupid/selfish compared to what? To
> >other species? I don't think that's a fair comparison.
> >Point me to a less-destructive/less-stupid/less-selfish
> >civilisation that exists anywhere but in dreams.
> By that argument I cannot have an opinion about the human species -- there
> is no other civilization to compare us to! Fortunately for the thousands
> who, like me, enjoy thinkink about the human race as a whole, that line of
> reasoning is incorrect. Of course I can compare it to what my ideal
> of humankind would be. If you don't like it, no problem, you will have no
> opinion about humankind -- and that will save a lot of worries.
Comparing the real to the ideal is fair game, though then the question
arises of how well found the particular ideal is.
However, it seems many on this thread treat humanity as if it has and has
only had one civilization. Why is this assumed? It might be argued that
there is one civilization today and that given the degree of interaction
since last century, this has been the case for some time. Even so, what of
a thousand or two or three thousand years ago? It would seem that, back
that far, there were several civilizations -- Mesopotamian, Egyptian, Indus,
Chinese, various preColumbian ones, etc. Comparisons can be made between
Even if one does not accept this line of thinking, we can, at least, look at
certain aspects of the current civilization and extrapolate from them given
that it has changed over time.
Perhaps we should begin by asking just what civilization is...
Have a great time!
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