What Gives a Civilization/Society Value?

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For me this is one of those questions that sounds really simple, but gets really hard when you actually think about it. I started thinking about it when I read this. Now sci-fi aside this is an interesting idea. What makes a civilization or society have worth? What about more worth then another? Is it their technology? Their morality? Their art? Their food? Their hairstyles?

For the life of my I couldn't really think of one simple answer. In then end I decided the only real answer is that there wasn't one. If anything I suppose the only worth one has in the long view is it's ability to advance and prosper long term. Unfortunately this level of "might makes right" kind of goes against what I want the answer to be. So I leave the question for The Escapist to give its input on, because its really been bothering me for awhile.

All of those. Those are all reasonable things to value. We must also look at the cost though. You can apreciate the advancements in film brought about by Nazism while still acknowledging the terrible cost of that social movement.

There is no reason to respect something or someone that doesn't belong to your group and is also of no use or threat to you. It is a thing that comes before reason.
You simply start with certain core values before there can be anything worth thinking about. Lucky for some, most people are born with capacity for empathy.

I suppose the worth of a society lies in the benefit its' citizens gain from being a part of it.

Food availability, infrastructure, protection from crime and other societies, things like that.

This is really an interesting question. A society is measured by how it treats it's weakest most vulnerable members. A civilization however is defined by whatever it has built and what it has discovered.

Homogeneous structure. If they are like you, you perceive them to have as much value as your own society. If they are far different, they are savage, and must be destroyed.

Captcha: No means no. It certainly does, Captcha.

It's certainly a thought provoking image, because you could aptly apply it to the European conquests of North America and Africa, which is largely what Avatars a metaphor for.

You could say the logical fallacy here is that you are judging other civilisations by your own standards, hence you are inevitably going to conclude that other more alien civilisations are inferior to your own. In the case of Avatar, the humans are going conclude the Navi culture is inferior because they don't conform to human ability, whilst the Navi themselves are going to conclude the humans are themselves inferior for not conforming to Navi values. Morally speaking, nobodies right or wrong as who's best.

Speaking amorally however, history is written by the winners- There are reasons why i'm writing in Latin text, why south America speaks Spanish and why they wear Western clothes in East Asia. The most "successful" civilisations, however you define them, leave their footprint behind long after they're gone. If Avatar was less of a morale parable, the Navi would have ended up rather like modern Native Americans today.

The moral landscape kinda talks about this issue. Its a fairly hazy book with a lot of critics but it basically said this.

There is a hypothetical perfect world where everyone is feeling maximum contentedness all the time (discounting ANY sadistic tendencies which harm others to gain contentedness) and a hypothetical worst world where all people feel all negative feelings possible at all times. I like to judge based roughly on this. However this system is rather easily broken. For example a society where everyone dies at 30 of disease that performs blood sacrifice to their god might be happy as fuck because they think that this is the perfect way to live and eternal reward will be theirs for doing so. Is general happiness a good indicator? The average happiness of an individual nation. Then again you could make 90% VERY happy at the cost of 10% and still be a "Happy nation" on average. Its a tricky question. Honestly for me its a balence between:

Happiness of those WORST off in that society compared to how happy those persons COULD be.

Education in said country

Crime rate in said country

Health in said country

I find that when the above are in good balance art and culture tend to come with them. Not always though. Then again id HATE to live in a country that failed massively at any of these but had pretty art. Thats more of an extra "Thats a nice enough society!" more than a "This is a place i WISH i could live forever!"

You know what's kind of awful about that film..

GRACE: "I'm not talking about pagan voodoo here -- I'm talking about something real and measurable in the biology of the forest."

..seriously, I got to that line and I no longer gave a shit.

In Dances With Wolves or The Last Samurai, the point was that there's something which is lost in the destruction of a particular way of life irrespective of whether it actually "works" as well as another way of life. Both films are an appeal to tolerance, and while they're kind of offensive on the level that they basically reinvent (or at least heavily sanitize) the cultures they're talking about, they still link back to something real.

In Avatar, as nicely encapsulated by the quote above, the reason we're encouraged to sympathize with Navi culture is not because culture itself carries some intrinsic value, but because Navi culture is right. It's more right than the human invaders, and that's why the Navi win, because if we view technology as the ability to exploit the environment, the Navi manage to exploit the environment better than the humans. They win because they're more "advanced".

The thing is, this makes the whole thing pointless, because you know what.. The indigenous population of Africa, Asia, Australasia and South America? Who the fuck the cares about them? What they believed was just "Pagan Voodoo". Exploiting their resources, killing their people, destroying their cultures, converting them to your religion, that was all fine and justifiable because none of it was worth a damn. But killing the blue cat people, that's bad.. however, it's only because their God actually exists!

And to cap it all off, rather than coming to some kind of compromise, they basically leave the entire human race to die.. because this is apparently a moral victory.

James Cameron apparently felt the message in Avatar was too "strident", and that the sequels are going to focus more on entertainment, and that confuses the crap out of me. What message? Seriously. What has this film taught us? Nothing. What were the stakes? There weren't any. This film has no message because it does not connect to any kind of comprehensible real life situation.

Ugh.. sorry.. off topic anger, but I hope it's at least a little relevant here.

Simple answer: the people and the past, which is kind of cheating but they the people and past shape the technology, art, and philosophy. Of course value is always subjective. So in that sense all those values you listed don't really equally exist... my final conclusion nothing is real everything is permitted.

Solve media: what causes shingles? Well given all the commercials on tv it's the fucking chicken pox. What is with all of these advertisements regarding shingles?

I want to say the thing that gives a civilization value is synergy, or how its people come together for a specified goal. It doesn't matter what the goal is - be it curing the incurable, mapping the entire realm, or even cooking today's meal - as long as it's established to others and that people are working toward it. Great leaders, minds, artists, or just great people in general could lay the plan out or expedite the objective, but often there needs to be a lot of action behind it; people paying patronage, or burning the midnight oil, or keeping a vigil, or even just showing up somewhere could accomplish that goal.

its a simple question for me. how it treats its most vulnerable members. that shows to me all i really need to know about a society

Ultimately nothing has any value but there are also uncountable ways of measuring value. But it's said that the rule of law is the foundation of society. Without that then anything that people value that is attempted will be very unstable.

Shock and Awe:
For me this is one of those questions that sounds really simple, but gets really hard when you actually think about it. I started thinking about it when I read this. Now sci-fi aside this is an interesting idea. What makes a civilization or society have worth? What about more worth then another? Is it their technology? Their morality? Their art? Their food? Their hairstyles?

For the life of my I couldn't really think of one simple answer. In then end I decided the only real answer is that there wasn't one. If anything I suppose the only worth one has in the long view is it's ability to advance and prosper long term. Unfortunately this level of "might makes right" kind of goes against what I want the answer to be. So I leave the question for The Escapist to give its input on, because its really been bothering me for awhile.

Welcome to the wonderful world of Cultural Relativism.

On a moral level, as societies are essentially groups of people, the value of the group will be the same as the sum of the values of its members. So, a society that has the most valuable members is more valuable. When it comes to determining individual value, you hit up against a question that has no single correct answer, and is heavily dependent on the culture of the questioner.

All life on Earth is doomed to extinction when the random hand of the universe crushes our planet. Humanity has an endless need for resources and space, and the galaxy is littered with resource-rich dead worlds ready for our taking. The needs of humanity will take us to the stars, and we will be bringing Earth's life with us.

So; I view the value of civilization as being ensuring the survival of all known life in the universe.

Shock and Awe:
For me this is one of those questions that sounds really simple, but gets really hard when you actually think about it. I started thinking about it when I read this. Now sci-fi aside this is an interesting idea. What makes a civilization or society have worth? What about more worth then another? Is it their technology? Their morality? Their art? Their food? Their hairstyles?

For the life of my I couldn't really think of one simple answer. In then end I decided the only real answer is that there wasn't one. If anything I suppose the only worth one has in the long view is it's ability to advance and prosper long term. Unfortunately this level of "might makes right" kind of goes against what I want the answer to be. So I leave the question for The Escapist to give its input on, because its really been bothering me for awhile.

That's easy - people.
It's people who declare whether something has value or not. You can have all the technology/morality/art/etc. but if the people don't care then it's not worth anything.
People create and make use of every part of society. If a certain part of society is outdated and/or useless, people get rid of it (usually slowly because it's easier to accept small changes over long periods of time than a sudden monumental change) and replace it with something else that, in their eyes, has value.

Because we live it. Particular being is valuing.

evilthecat:

In Avatar, as nicely encapsulated by the quote above, the reason we're encouraged to sympathize with Navi culture is not because culture itself carries some intrinsic value, but because Navi culture is right. It's more right than the human invaders, and that's why the Navi win, because if we view technology as the ability to exploit the environment, the Navi manage to exploit the environment better than the humans. They win because they're more "advanced".

The thing is, this makes the whole thing pointless, because you know what.. The indigenous population of Africa, Asia, Australasia and South America? Who the fuck the cares about them? What they believed was just "Pagan Voodoo". Exploiting their resources, killing their people, destroying their cultures, converting them to your religion, that was all fine and justifiable because none of it was worth a damn. But killing the blue cat people, that's bad.. however, it's only because their God actually exists!

Look at Cameron himself to understand Avatar: the man is passionate about the environment and nature. In Avatar we have one species that lives in natural harmony with its environment - the whole ecosystem is symbiotic, and it works; their lives are fulfilling, and their world flourishes. We have another species, one that comes from a post-industrial overpopulated wasteland caused by their own exploitative and destructive actions, bringing that same destruction and exploitation to another world for little reason beyond their own personal consumption and capitalistic gain.

A fulfilling harmonious life versus a perpetual cycle of destruction, suffering, and dissatisfaction. The former is something to be striven for, whereas the latter seems more the result of our failing self-control and lack of responsibility.

Hap2:
Look at Cameron himself to understand Avatar: the man is passionate about the environment and nature. In Avatar we have one species that lives in natural harmony with its environment - the whole ecosystem is symbiotic, and it works; their lives are fulfilling, and their world flourishes. We have another species, one that comes from a post-industrial overpopulated wasteland caused by their own exploitative and destructive actions, bringing that same destruction and exploitation to another world for little reason beyond their own personal consumption and capitalistic gain.

A fulfilling harmonious life versus a perpetual cycle of destruction, suffering, and dissatisfaction. The former is something to be striven for, whereas the latter seems more the result of our failing self-control and lack of responsibility.

Firstly, the utopia in which everyone lives in perfect harmony with nature is totally artificial, and couldn't remotely work in anything like the real world.

Secondly, and IMHO, more importantly, this movie about the evils of capitalism and industry was the highest grossing movie of all time, IIRC, made using the latest technology. I refuse to be impressed by a lecture about the evils of greed and technology intended make oodles of money by using the fanciest toys.

I hate this movie with the intensity of a thousand burning suns: it's an overly zealous and utterly simplifying romanticized vision of native cultures that comes peppered with a big chunk of anti-technologist pretentiousness on top. The picture covers that last part nicely. But apart from me venting about the movie, the question that stands at the core of the OP is a very interesting one. Why exactly should we value certain "cultures" more than others and how objective can these value-judgments actually get? What is the role of technology or art in there and how accurate can those claims actually get?

Frankly, I don't think there is any clear cut objective way to do it. Neither is "culture" or "society" an easily definable thing nor do I think any form of value can be attached without inherent bias. The only idea is perhaps a utilitarian approach that might be the most viable candidate. A society would in this regard be "superior" in that it provides the greatest amount of happiness per individual (plus a lower boundary to exclude exploitation of minorities). Technological progress which is inherently applicable is a way to do this as it leads to more convenience while, especially in the medical sector, it also rids life of many of it's ills. A dynamical art-scene in the society in question would also be desirable as it's vibrancy adds to general satisfaction. However, there are a lot of pit-falls in that approach most notably in limiting cases or in terms of actual measurement. Hence, it is entirely problematic to try and attach these sorts of value judgments to an entire society from an objective standpoint - cultural relativism is probably the best approach i.e. don't presume to be able to make any judgments about a society at large.

However, certain practices inside a culture might very well be criticized from a utilitarian standpoint: oppressing a minority, for instance, can be seen as creating far too much harm in that it can be ever seen as a viable method. It is, however, entirely accurate that this assumption rests on a basis that such a behaviour is to be valued as negative from the get-go.

thaluikhain:
Firstly, the utopia in which everyone lives in perfect harmony with nature is totally artificial, and couldn't remotely work in anything like the real world.

First, exactly what are you contrasting it with if not modern human civilization? Second, of course it would be impossible for humans to suddenly change; change is gradual, we have conditioned ourselves as we have developed and bred into becoming what we are now. However, if we are capable of developing our species over time as such, and are conscious of our bad habits, why not live that effort to make things better? Why not struggle with an ideal as a guideline rather than an end? Because we will be dead before that happens, so fuck everyone else after us? Because a perfect ideal world is impossible? For someone who makes claims to realism, using the latter of these two reasons shows a fundamental misunderstanding of the world.

What I have never understood is why people take up the perspective of the dualist all or nothing scenario:

If we are capable, we can make a utopian world.
We are not capable.
Therefore we cannot make a utopian world.

Simple enough logic; however, the interpretation leaves something to be desired. The world does not necessarily reflect our logic (the inverse is true); logic is only as good as what we put into it, e.g., the absolute utopian world is made of fluff - ideals are not ends, they are guidelines for the struggle of life.

Expecting an all or nothing scenario, where we achieve utopia or not, is a child's game; there is only continuous becoming for us, and if we cannot understand that, then we start making impossible ends instead of focusing on the struggle itself.

Secondly, and IMHO, more importantly, this movie about the evils of capitalism and industry was the highest grossing movie of all time, IIRC, made using the latest technology. I refuse to be impressed by a lecture about the evils of greed and technology intended make oodles of money by using the fanciest toys.

And how do you otherwise expect to reach a wide enough audience of some of the most apathetic creatures to ever live on this planet? I doubt there would have been as much impact if the movie was made on organic toilet paper. You are better than that to use such poor logic.

Hap2:
First, exactly what are you contrasting it with if not modern human civilization? Second, of course it would be impossible for humans to suddenly change; change is gradual, we have conditioned ourselves as we have developed and bred into becoming what we are now. However, if we are capable of developing our species over time as such, and are conscious of our bad habits, why not live that effort to make things better? Why not struggle with an ideal as a guideline rather than an end? Because we will be dead before that happens, so fuck everyone else after us? Because a perfect ideal world is impossible? For someone who makes claims to realism, using the latter of these two reasons shows a fundamental misunderstanding of the world.

What I have never understood is why people take up the perspective of the dualist all or nothing scenario:

If we are capable, we can make a utopian world.
We are not capable.
Therefore we cannot make a utopian world.

Simple enough logic; however, the interpretation leaves something to be desired. The world does not necessarily reflect our logic (the inverse is true); logic is only as good as what we put into it, e.g., the absolute utopian world is made of fluff - ideals are not ends, they are guidelines for the struggle of life.

Expecting an all or nothing scenario, where we achieve utopia or not, is a child's game; there is only continuous becoming for us, and if we cannot understand that, then we start making impossible ends instead of focusing on the struggle itself.

I fail to see the relevance of any of that.

Hap2:
And how do you otherwise expect to reach a wide enough audience of some of the most apathetic creatures to ever live on this planet? I doubt there would have been as much impact if the movie was made on organic toilet paper. You are better than that to use such poor logic.

Right, so it was all about the message, and the money meant nothing? So I suppose all of that massive revenue went to environmental projects, did it?

There's no single answer. It depends entirely on who's doing the valuing. It's the same with anything else--one man's trash is another man's treasure and all that. A Templar would probably have different ideas of what makes a society valuable than, say, a modern New Yorker. And no matter what value system we're using, civilizations are so nuanced that there are bound to be some aspects that match the value system and others that don't.

thaluikhain:

Firstly, the utopia in which everyone lives in perfect harmony with nature is totally artificial, and couldn't remotely work in anything like the real world.

Nature can't even live harmoniously with nature. "Mother Nature" isn't Gaia; she's Medea.

A society/civilization is valuable in direct proportion to the utility it creates. /utilitarianism

But yeah, society is good because the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. A society can do more to work towards any goal than an individual on his own.

thaluikhain:

Hap2:
First, exactly what are you contrasting it with if not modern human civilization? Second, of course it would be impossible for humans to suddenly change; change is gradual, we have conditioned ourselves as we have developed and bred into becoming what we are now. However, if we are capable of developing our species over time as such, and are conscious of our bad habits, why not live that effort to make things better? Why not struggle with an ideal as a guideline rather than an end? Because we will be dead before that happens, so fuck everyone else after us? Because a perfect ideal world is impossible? For someone who makes claims to realism, using the latter of these two reasons shows a fundamental misunderstanding of the world.

What I have never understood is why people take up the perspective of the dualist all or nothing scenario:

If we are capable, we can make a utopian world.
We are not capable.
Therefore we cannot make a utopian world.

Simple enough logic; however, the interpretation leaves something to be desired. The world does not necessarily reflect our logic (the inverse is true); logic is only as good as what we put into it, e.g., the absolute utopian world is made of fluff - ideals are not ends, they are guidelines for the struggle of life.

Expecting an all or nothing scenario, where we achieve utopia or not, is a child's game; there is only continuous becoming for us, and if we cannot understand that, then we start making impossible ends instead of focusing on the struggle itself.

I fail to see the relevance of any of that.

Hap2:
And how do you otherwise expect to reach a wide enough audience of some of the most apathetic creatures to ever live on this planet? I doubt there would have been as much impact if the movie was made on organic toilet paper. You are better than that to use such poor logic.

Right, so it was all about the message, and the money meant nothing? So I suppose all of that massive revenue went to environmental projects, did it?

If you are not interested in discussing what it is I have said, then why bother to reply? You seem to be more interested in being offended by the movie and hammering your own interpretation in than you are in challenging it.

I would suggest the most prominent marker of a worthy civilisation is that it survives, or survives as long as possible anyway. That's using survive in very loose terms: realistically there is a lot of flux. Civilisations may merge, splinter and leave 'children', and change a lot throughout their time.

Secondary issues would be to maintain power or influence, and leave a cultural legacy. Good recognition of a great civilisation is for it to be admired by other civilisations such that they seek to emulate it or absorb its output.

Agema:
I would suggest the most prominent marker of a worthy civilisation is that it survives, or survives as long as possible anyway. That's using survive in very loose terms: realistically there is a lot of flux. Civilisations may merge, splinter and leave 'children', and change a lot throughout their time.

Secondary issues would be to maintain power or influence, and leave a cultural legacy. Good recognition of a great civilisation is for it to be admired by other civilisations such that they seek to emulate it or absorb its output.

What does survival mean though? I'm sure there are civilizations in ancient Mesopotamia which are long forgotten that are far older than the United States. What if the great civilization falls into ruin? The ancient kingdoms of Africa are nothing more than a few ruins. I know you addressed that in your post, but I still thought it was worth asking.

Can a civilization really have survived if nothing remains, but it's people? What about the opposite? The Romans left quite an impression, but the people themselves have scattered to the winds. The current Italians are only a fraction of the ethnicity of the ancient romans. Of course, one of Romes greatest strength was it's ability to integrate foreign people. That can count as one of it's achievements.

Of course the oldest living civilization is China. China has also done quite alot and fills the second issue. That would mean that by those definitions China is the greatest civilization. In a way it is.

I just love typing for the sake of it.

When gaging the "value" of a society, I would consider the happiness of the people, how well they care for one another and their environment, and how do they benefit the world and those that dwell upon it long term.

If the damage done by a society outweighs the long term benefits to the people and the environment, I do not see that as a valuable society overall, rather I would consider it more malignant than beneficial.

veloper:
There is no reason to respect something or someone that doesn't belong to your group and is also of no use or threat to you. It is a thing that comes before reason.
You simply start with certain core values before there can be anything worth thinking about. Lucky for some, most people are born with capacity for empathy.

What? I find that very odd. I was always taught we are all ONE group, all family, all related and we are to respect all things in our universe, even things we do not fully understand very well, since if we do not understand something very well, we could not possibly know if we are damaging what we may need to survive one day.

Objectively societies have no value. Subjectively it differs from person to person.

Frission:

What does survival mean though? I'm sure there are civilizations in ancient Mesopotamia which are long forgotten that are far older than the United States. What if the great civilization falls into ruin? The ancient kingdoms of Africa are nothing more than a few ruins. I know you addressed that in your post, but I still thought it was worth asking.

Can a civilization really have survived if nothing remains, but it's people?

Good question.

I'm a little unhappy with the term survived, as I said. Perhaps we could ask instead do civilisations ever die?

As a general rule, I would personally think of a civilisation more as culture than population. Celtic civilisation was comprehensively replaced by Roman, but assuredly the ancient Celtic blood runs thick and deep across Western Europe in places like France, northern Italy, etc.

Let's take, say, England. The ancient pre-Roman civilisation (popularly but inaccurately termed 'Celtic') still perhaps exists a bit; although it was so subsumed into the greater Anglo-Saxon culture after 500AD that it is a bare whisper. There is of course one ancient Mesopotamian culture clearly still going: Persia/Iran. Although very much changed, particularly by Islamisation after the 7th century conquest. Is it realistically the same civilisation? We might also wonder where civilisations start and die. The USA was an offshoot of British civilisation. When did it cease to be so? It it sort of still one? How do we define it all?

At any rate, I believe that thinking about 'discrete' monolithic cultures is a poor approach. It is vague: the borders are fuzzy, there is much overlap, they shrink or expand in time and place, and so on.

Lil devils x:

veloper:
There is no reason to respect something or someone that doesn't belong to your group and is also of no use or threat to you. It is a thing that comes before reason.
You simply start with certain core values before there can be anything worth thinking about. Lucky for some, most people are born with capacity for empathy.

What? I find that very odd. I was always taught we are all ONE group, all family, all related and we are to respect all things in our universe, even things we do not fully understand very well, since if we do not understand something very well, we could not possibly know if we are damaging what we may need to survive one day.

Well that is nice. I was taught that catholics might aswell not bother, because they go to hell anyway (not being protestants) and stuff like that.
I don't believe any of that now, but we don't have to accept what we are taught anyway.

All that stuff is secondary. Not being nice also works. History is the proof of that even if it's not pretty.
You either care inside or you don't. That's the heart of the matter, where all such nice considerations flow from.

veloper:

Lil devils x:

veloper:
There is no reason to respect something or someone that doesn't belong to your group and is also of no use or threat to you. It is a thing that comes before reason.
You simply start with certain core values before there can be anything worth thinking about. Lucky for some, most people are born with capacity for empathy.

What? I find that very odd. I was always taught we are all ONE group, all family, all related and we are to respect all things in our universe, even things we do not fully understand very well, since if we do not understand something very well, we could not possibly know if we are damaging what we may need to survive one day.

Well that is nice. I was taught that catholics might aswell not bother, because they go to hell anyway (not being protestants) and stuff like that.
I don't believe any of that now, but we don't have to accept what we are taught anyway.

All that stuff is secondary. Not being nice also works. History is the proof of that even if it's not pretty.
You either care inside or you don't. That's the heart of the matter, where all such nice considerations flow from.

Our History has taught us the opposite, that having lack of respect for all things will end in our destruction. That it is lack of respect that is the cause of suffering and turmoil, that we can create " Hell on earth" and be made to live through it if we fail to take care of the earth and all that dwell upon it. That we will be made to suffer through the consequences of our actions here on this earth, so we better make our efforts here mindful of the future, or we will pay for it by living through what we have made.

Lil devils x:

veloper:

Lil devils x:

What? I find that very odd. I was always taught we are all ONE group, all family, all related and we are to respect all things in our universe, even things we do not fully understand very well, since if we do not understand something very well, we could not possibly know if we are damaging what we may need to survive one day.

Well that is nice. I was taught that catholics might aswell not bother, because they go to hell anyway (not being protestants) and stuff like that.
I don't believe any of that now, but we don't have to accept what we are taught anyway.

All that stuff is secondary. Not being nice also works. History is the proof of that even if it's not pretty.
You either care inside or you don't. That's the heart of the matter, where all such nice considerations flow from.

Our History has taught us the opposite, that having lack of respect for all things will end in our destruction. That it is lack of respect that is the cause of suffering and turmoil, that we can create " Hell on earth" and be made to live through it if we fail to take care of the earth and all that dwell upon it. That we will be made to suffer through the consequences of our actions here on this earth, so we better make our efforts here mindful of the future, or we will pay for it by living through what we have made.

We're still here and our cultures were propagated by conquerors. Greco-roman culture, christianity, western dominance all spread by the sword and later by gunpowder. Reason alone is not enough, let alone history, to explain or justify true altruism. It either comes from within or nothing.

veloper:

Lil devils x:

veloper:

Well that is nice. I was taught that catholics might aswell not bother, because they go to hell anyway (not being protestants) and stuff like that.
I don't believe any of that now, but we don't have to accept what we are taught anyway.

All that stuff is secondary. Not being nice also works. History is the proof of that even if it's not pretty.
You either care inside or you don't. That's the heart of the matter, where all such nice considerations flow from.

Our History has taught us the opposite, that having lack of respect for all things will end in our destruction. That it is lack of respect that is the cause of suffering and turmoil, that we can create " Hell on earth" and be made to live through it if we fail to take care of the earth and all that dwell upon it. That we will be made to suffer through the consequences of our actions here on this earth, so we better make our efforts here mindful of the future, or we will pay for it by living through what we have made.

We're still here and our cultures were propagated by conquerors. Greco-roman culture, christianity, western dominance all spread by the sword and later by gunpowder. Reason alone is not enough, let alone history, to explain or justify true altruism. It either comes from within or nothing.

It was not through fighting that we still exist, it was through understanding. My tribe for example, has never been conquered, and we attribute that to reaching an understanding with those that came to do us harm rather than the taking of arms to destroy. We have been taught that it was the fighting that caused the fall of the civilizations before us, and that the only true path for the survival of mankind is to help one another. We view those periods that you see as long as very short in the whole of it all and unsustainable.

Lil devils x:

veloper:

Lil devils x:

Our History has taught us the opposite, that having lack of respect for all things will end in our destruction. That it is lack of respect that is the cause of suffering and turmoil, that we can create " Hell on earth" and be made to live through it if we fail to take care of the earth and all that dwell upon it. That we will be made to suffer through the consequences of our actions here on this earth, so we better make our efforts here mindful of the future, or we will pay for it by living through what we have made.

We're still here and our cultures were propagated by conquerors. Greco-roman culture, christianity, western dominance all spread by the sword and later by gunpowder. Reason alone is not enough, let alone history, to explain or justify true altruism. It either comes from within or nothing.

It was not through fighting that we still exist, it was through understanding. My tribe for example, has never been conquered, and we attribute that to reaching an understanding with those that came to do us harm rather than the taking of arms to destroy. We have been taught that it was the fighting that caused the fall of the civilizations before us, and that the only true path for the survival of mankind is to help one another. We view those periods that you see as long as very short in the whole of it all and unsustainable.

Your tribe? What place do you come from?
Anyway, civilizations have fallen because they LOST fights and it didn't really matter if they were the agressor or the defender (or didn't even put up a fight in the final stages).
The great conquerors atleast left us something: culture and a legacy. The lesser peoples ground under their heels left nothing. Forgotten. Not much in the way of understanding.
Not nice, but still there.

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