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Poll: Have people really changed throughout history?

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  1. #21
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    Re: Have people really changed?

    I think it depends on what you really mean by the question "have people really changed". Are you referring to "essential" qualities? Or cultural qualities? Because there has been an enormous amount of cultural change.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kodiak View Post
    After listening closely to history lessons, I've noticed something very interesting: While the times have changed, the people haven't. We've always had philosophers who will point problems out, even propose solutions, but not take action; individuals have always inspired to take over; people who will hold to what they originally thought and defend said idea relentlessly regardless of its flaws; and the poor. The industrial revolution gave way to the middle class, who fall somewhere between the first and third categories that I mentioned; and to big business, who will let you starve to death before giving you one cent you have not worked to the bone for; this falls in place of the second, if not something all on it's own.

    My question is, what's new that has sprung up, sure our technology, lifestyles, etc. has changed drastically, but have the people? Sure, we see more liberals and liberal ideas, but these have been around for a while, just now we are letting up on their suppression.

    Personally, I look around me and see that people behave just the same as the commoners described in my history class.
    What I see here is a list of things about people that you seem to be proposing as essentialisms, but you make sweeping generalizations with each. Sure we've always had examples of each, but that doesn't mean that those are essential, that they really define humanity and we don't see any change in them. Let's take you bit about philosophers as an example: there is actually a field of philosophers that has focused a lot of doing just that. I'm talking about economic theorists, because if you look at the bottom of their epistemological rung they are really practicing a very complex form of philosophical ethics. And how many individuals have not aspired to take over? What of the tribal communities that actually don't have a chief? Examples of that abound in the Amazon, for example. And what does it mean to be poor in tribal areas in Papua New Guinea, where some communities have a culture and technology level of basic subsistence? Where's the class distinction there? And what of the egalitarian communities around the world?
    There is no wealth like knowledge, no poverty like ignorance.
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  2. #22
    CohnJon
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    Re: Have people really changed?

    The question of whether people have really changed throughout history is so incredibly vague. I agree that our primitive nature is the same as always. We will continue to search for "sex, security, and social validation" in order to express ourselves, however there has been more added to the human nature throughout time. As the world has advanced we have experienced more and created more and this has caused us to adapt to the world we have created. Its not evolution. Adaptation is within human means and this enables us to change who we are.

    That being said I believe that we can't just strip the human population of capitalism, technology, and modern innovation to see if we've changed. They are catalysts of our change and we are inseparable from them. I picture it like a tree growing with another one. As the tree of technology is nourished the tree of human culture windes up around it, both being supported by one another and therefore part of each other. We are different from who we were thousands of years ago and I even believe that we are different people than we were merely 300 years ago.

    All of that being said do you you ever see the primitive nature of human beings changing drastically? 10,000 years? 100,000 years?

  3. #23
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    Re: Have people really changed?

    I believe the question is not specific enough....really changed in what way? it would be better if it was more specific becoz it makes it harder to debate properly...

  4. #24
    AugDog
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    Re: Have people really changed?

    of course people have change. No more is a monarchy society looked up to in the world. women got that vote. segregation has been abolished. gays r starting to see an up side to there battle right now. working right, youth rights, water rights, all that stuff people had to do is starting to look good for america but need much more work.

  5. #25
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    Re: Have people really changed?

    of course people have change. No more is a monarchy society looked up to in the world. women got that vote. segregation has been abolished. gays r starting to see an up side to there battle right now. working right, youth rights, water rights, all that stuff people had to do is starting to look good for america but need much more work.
    But what you have described here is a change in the social framework in which we live, and you have made no attempt to explain why this would impact us. Whilst it would be a complicated experiment to draw somebody out of society at birth (and let him/her grow up in a wholly different, primitive setting) to see whether it is really society imposing an elaborate facade, or if our environment really has, concretely, changed the way we are, we can definitely observe staunch differences between those brought up in different societies around the globe, and this serves at least as an indicator that it is really our upbringing/surroundings that affect us, and not some intrinsic, observable change.

    Sure, you might say that we are far more sophisticated than cavemen, etc., but, if the question indeed refers to some essential, fundamental changes in our nature, then we could happily challenge this through saying that it is society and culture that has changed, and we grow up in an environment with norms, expectations, etc. that are far different to those that would have been around thousands of years ago (and the differences between people around the world serves as testimony to this, and perhaps even languages; to an uninformed observer, it may seem that we are all different fundamentally because we speak in different tongues, however, we can be pretty sure that it is our upbringing that shapes our linguistics, and not something intrinsic).

    Another problem with regard to some sort of fundamental change would be that, in evolutionary timescales, the time we have been around with a sophisticated society is tiny, whereas society itself has developed very rapidly. At birth, no influences from the environment will have carried into the baby's genome (unless soft inheritance is found to have a considerable effect), thus the baby has the same genome to a baby born 5000 years ago. The genome thus has not changed, but our society has, and it seems a valid conclusion, however preliminary, to say that at a fundamental level, we remain the same, but our society has imposed superficial, but nonetheless substantial constraints on the way we grow up, and thus it is only society, expectations, environment, etc. that have changed.

    Nonetheless, I am in agreement with several others on this thread who have pointed out that the question is vague and ambiguous, and 'change' must be adequately defined for the continuation of more specific debate.
    Last edited by Abut77; March 17th, 2013 at 02:18 AM. Reason: Paragraphing

  6. #26
    soumyadev
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    Re: Have people really changed?

    funny that the question has come up finally at an age where we call ourselves more advanced and developed than what we were thousands of years ago....but there's my question..ARE WE???? are we really that civilized,that developed,that matured,that changed......ill ask a thousand times and yet i have a plain and simple answer ...a ...NO!! tell me something that has changed...yeah u can point out thousand of facts..and thats true....EVEN I CAN SAY THAT WE MOVED ON FROM " STONES AND STICKS IN OUR HANDS" TO "IPHONES AND TABLETS".... but we still are the same in our thoughts, our ways,.....considering the fact that our mannerism and civilization is not included in our way of living ...we r still an animal in an advanced uit....who else but an animal kills a one of its kind?even animals dont do that i suppose!!! who else but a human can create weapons meant to kill themselves!! eating beef steaks is perhaps better than devouring raw meat (our stone age manners)...but we still haventv learnt a lesson of peace! in contrast ,we love killing those who preach about peace and contenment....no!jesus was killed thousands of years ago because why? simply because his preaching were against the ideologies ,established rules of another community.....thousands of years later...we kill again...mahatma gandhi is just another example!! u knw ..i can argue about this fact day after day....and funny people will argue back !! because people will never change...man never learns from his past mistakes .....rather he enjoys making another mistake tottaly different from the one in his past life!!! our visions have changed...our thoughts have changed....no ..not true...not changed exactly...moulded to a better form...our thoughts have been remoulded and not changed...old wine in new bottle.....sound godd till one learns of the consequences!!!from caves to modern skycrapers, from fire to fire extinguisher...the history of man narrates the change mankind has faced and not mankind changing!!!

  7. #27
    sohpigenitor
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    Re: Have people really changed?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rodriguez View Post
    Structurally, including the structure of the brain, no, they haven't. 3500-5000 years is a blink of the eye in terms of evolution.
    Yet there is clear evidence of genetical adaptations in humans. Lactase persistence is a genetic adaption to dairy farming which probably happened within the last 5000 years. There may be adaptions to the brain which are less obvious which we just haven't discovered yet.

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  9. #28
    We Know
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    Re: Have people really changed?

    The peoples of the world are not considerably different from the cave dwelling apes that were their ancestors. We're no different, merely more efficient killers. But seriously though, if you take into consideration that technological evolution is a function and result of our own, then the answer to the question would quite obviously be "yes".

  10. #29
    cherrie
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    Re: Have people really changed?

    such a general question. Of course people have changed throughout history. We educate ourselves and learn from the past so we can apply our new or old understandings to the present and future, and by doing so results in change of one form or another.

  11. #30
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    Re: Have people really changed?

    People change as their culture and times around them change. So yes, as a people, almost every culture has changed. But to call all of humanity as "people" as if there is some universal connection and then ask the question, misses the point of what history teaches us. In practically all societies, there is change over time. Some, more than others. We, humanity, as a "people" do change...but do so within the context of our culture and experiences, and this is past on to further generations. Human desires, by nature of them being a part of human nature, may not necessarily change, but the way in which they are manifested certainly are.
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  12. #31
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    Re: Have people really changed?

    It is my opinion that humans have changed due to a variety of factors: technology, cultural expectations, media, and government structures are a few. While we've adapted to fit our environment, the main factors that make us tick still do so, it just comes across differently in our current environment. We still do anything for pleasure, work a minimum amount, give up if we don't get instant gratification, among other things. Taking these three as an example, we can see examples in the past where they have been the driving factors behind human actions, but it looked differently then the same factors driving actions in the modern day world primarily due to the changes in our environment.

  13. #32
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    Re: Have people really changed?

    I don't believe we have any strong evidence indicating humans have fundamentally changed over history. We have evidence of fluctuations, but we don't have the requisite perspective to determine a real pattern of change. I wouldn't be surprised if humanity goes through cycles, so if continually returning to the original starting point, that wouldn't be an overall change although some changes were noted along the way.

    It's difficult to compare the present with even hundreds, let alone thousands, of years ago. We can extrapolate fragmented details from history, but we can't confidently patch them together to construct something congruent. There are thousands of versions of history within the civilized world alone. Which sets of history are we going to declare the definitive versions? And we hardly know ourselves now. How are we supposed to also know mankind from centuries ago?
    anything could be an illusion and we wouldn't know the difference... proof schmoof...

  14. #33
    Lukekerr3
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    Re: Have people really changed?

    While in history class then listening to the history channel and watching history videos i would say yes because every one of them had different facts about each one of them. George Washington had wooden teeth but yet he did not according the books but did with the history channel and then its said he is a war hero in all of the history books but historians say that is a lie on the history channel.

  15. #34
    knightmare
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    Re: Have people really changed?

    Throughout history people's ideals, sense of morals, justice, and mentality have undergone change. We are no longer interested in conquering the world like Napoleon, Julio Caesar,Hitler. We no longer live in the era of isolationism, but we live in one were we are free to travel the world. We seek knowledge, and peace. We no longer want to live under oppression. The Change in people during the ages and history is evident all around us today.

  16. #35
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    Re: Have people really changed?

    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post
    What are we that is so permanent?
    Selfish.

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  18. #36
    Quasar
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    Re: Have people really changed?

    Hi,
    Well even the circumstances have not changes the Rulers and the commoners are doing same thing over and over, it doesnt matter if the tools to manupliate human reality have changed.

  19. #37
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    Re: Have people really changed?

    Quote Originally Posted by knightmare View Post
    Throughout history people's ideals, sense of morals, justice, and mentality have undergone change. We are no longer interested in conquering the world like Napoleon, Julio Caesar,Hitler.
    Do you have any reason to believe that Napoleon, or Caesar, or Hitler had plans to conquer the world? Of for that matter the Persian kings of the early Iron Age, or the Egyptians, or the Greeks? I mean, who really made any legitimate, reliably recorded attempt to conquer the known world? They say at one time the sun never set on the British Empire, and yet no British king or queen ever set out to conquer the known world.

    Quote Originally Posted by knightmare
    We no longer live in the era of isolationism, but we live in one were we are free to travel the world.
    Yeah, if you don't mind risking death or imprisonment. Have you tried visiting North Korea? Or perhaps visiting a church in Thailand or Cambodia? Or reading a Bible in Israel? How about remarking to a fellow traveler on a Russian train you think Putin stole the last election?

    Quote Originally Posted by knightmare
    We seek knowledge, and peace.
    I've no reason to doubt you do, and I like to think I do, but unless you've changed to just talking about the two of us, what reason do I have for thinking the rest of the world, or even a majority of the rest of the world seeks peace and knowledge? Maybe you haven't heard, having been enjoying your freedom to travel instead of reading dry philosophy, but post modern philosophy has become a major influence on Western thought, and in its more radical forms it denies knowledge even exists, let alone that its a good idea to seek it. And it replaces knowledge with power over one's group, one of it's more famous proponents suggesting "knowledge is whatever your peers let you get away with saying".

    Quote Originally Posted by knightmare
    We no longer want to live under oppression.
    Again, you may be fortunate enough for this to be true for you and yours, but you've supplied no reason at all why I should accept it is the normal situation for the rest of the world.

    Quote Originally Posted by knightmare
    The Change in people during the ages and history is evident all around us today.
    I think what you're seeing is that rosy tint on your glasses, and not what's on the other side of them.

  20. #38
    mubaracus
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    Re: Have people really changed?

    Well our brains and our way of thinking are very susceptible to change because our brains are very flexible. But pertaining to the situations man has dealt with I suppose you could say we are the same people.

  21. #39
    Sreemoyee
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    Re: Have people really changed?

    we have essentially adapted. like a diamond that gets polished to a shine; we have refined the facade that makes us more acceptable.
    more appealing.
    but underneath all that, its the same rock. same constituency.
    that carnal hunger that resides within us, that our so called humanitarian side so urges to suppress, is the driving force behind every activity.
    that has been the truth when we had sharpened rocks to kill a beast.
    that continues to be the truth even when we ardently deny it and develop fancy ways to kill each other.
    Survival of the race has been the primary objective of our unconscious mind; and that, can never change.
    so we, essentially, can never change.

  22. #40
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    Re: Have people really changed?

    People may not change quickly, in fact any geneticist would point out that it usually takes a long time for a race to develop significantly different mental or physical characteristics. However culture and environment change, and we have come from a situation a thousand years ago where people knew little of science or geography, and accepted as normal the most cruel abuses of human and animal rights. We now know a lot more about our world and how it works, and we know a lot more about our neighbours and have thus developed a sense of empathy that didn't exist before. However our basic nature, and potential that gives for bad behavior in some circumstances, has probably not changed at all in the last few thousand years.

 

 
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