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Poll: Have people really changed throughout history?

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  1. #61
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    Re: Have people really changed?

    I do not think we have changed inspite of all the moral teaching. However Steven Pinker believes he has evidence we have become less violent. We carry a huge evolutionary baggage which controls our behaviour and our intellects fail to control it. We have failed to plan our future and the planet rolls on.Modern neuroscience suggest all our actions are pretetermined and there is no self to make sensible decisions.

  2. #62
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    Re: Have people really changed?

    Quote Originally Posted by kaptonok View Post
    However Steven Pinker believes he has evidence we have become less violent. We carry a huge evolutionary baggage which controls our behaviour and our intellects fail to control it.
    We assume it controls. It's also a good excuse. When desperation meets decision people change and those controls lose much of their power over human behavior; like when the 20-year drug addict three generations deep decides he's not going to carry around that evolutionary baggage anymore. So he lets it go, as difficult as that may be, as unexpected and painful as that may be, and his life does a 180 which then gives rise to his new meaningful marriage and his children and his grandchildren and his new business and his new contribution to society.

    Evolutionary baggage may be sticky; but it's not permanent glue. Many destitute people throughout history through today have said "thanks, but no thanks" to their controlling baggage.
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  3. #63
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    Re: Have people really changed?

    What Steven Pinker has done in his book ' The Better Angels of Our Nature ' is to produce historical evidence of evolution at work over the last 5000 years. Technology has altered our environment and made violence less profitable in the modern world. Hence what religion and moral teaching has failed to do natural selection has achieved. Perhaps we are conceited if we believe we control our own destiny and are exempt from natural selection.
    Naturally things could take a turn for the worst if technology fails due to climate change, violence may become more useful as a means to an end.

  4. #64
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    Re: Have people really changed?

    People have changed throughout the years. People are starting to accept more things than they have not previously accepted before. Gay marriage for example, there have been more people accepting it. A wise man once told me that the only constant is change. Nothing else stays the same. We don't wear the same clothes everyday, we don't eat the same meal everyday. People have to change. The world is not going to stop turning because someone refuses to change.

  5. #65
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    Re: Have people really changed?

    Quote Originally Posted by kaptonok View Post
    Hence what religion and moral teaching has failed to do natural selection has achieved.
    How Christianity Changed the World is any interesting study -- not in religion’s moral failings -- but how one religion, in this case, Christianity, changed the world for the better.

    Perhaps we are conceited if we believe we control our own destiny and are exempt from natural selection.
    Or perhaps we just enjoy, at some level, being victims or we somehow assume we are stuck being victims of circumstance because we’ve just been bred and taught that. It seems to be more comfortable for many people to accept victimization then it is to change our willful, reasoned response -- which appears to remain a clear and present option. Sometimes we call these type of people crazy because they don't fit into the natural selection format. Nevertheless, some such crazy people do often end up changing the world for the better.

    So maybe the question is, how do we give rise to more thinkers who do not accept circumstances that are programmed to control their destiny.
    Last edited by eye4magic; March 31st, 2015 at 08:15 PM.
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  6. #66
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    Re: Have people really changed?

    We can believe what we like about ourselves and others, just as we can believe what suits us about the world. This site is concrete evidence of that. Steven Pinker has attemped to produce evidence. Without evidence our claims are mere opinions. I might feel this table is solid but evidence slowly garnered has shown it to be atomic and almost empty space.

  7. #67
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    Re: Have people really changed?

    Quote Originally Posted by kaptonok View Post
    We can believe what we like about ourselves and others, just as we can believe what suits us about the world. This site is concrete evidence of that. Steven Pinker has attemped to produce evidence. Without evidence our claims are mere opinions. I might feel this table is solid but evidence slowly garnered has shown it to be atomic and almost empty space.

    If we want observable evidence that we are not personally stuck in some pre-determined matrix that we cannot change, we have but to exercise our will. When we’re ready, we are free to change our environment which eventually will begin to change whatever rut natural selection may find us in. And often this may take us way outside our comfort zone. However (and it may take a while) once our new environment begins to ripple its effect in our life, we have but to open our eyes and observe that we’re now experiencing and living the possibilities instead of the probabilities.
    Close your eyes. Fall in love. Stay there.
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  8. #68
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    Re: Have people really changed?

    Natural selection is not a rut or a chosen way of life it is an explanation of just how we got to the present moment in time. Some neuroscientists believe we have no free will and we do not choose. The majority of people today accept we are partly a product of our nature and nurture even if they believe there is a ghost in the machine called the self. Many reject the unplalatable parts of scientific enquiry and I can understand that attitude, but that has always been the case from the start of the age of enlightenment.
    ' Ah love could thou and I with fate conspire
    To grasp this sorry scheme of things entire
    Would we not shatter it to bits---- and then
    Remold it nearer to the Hearts Desire.'

  9. #69
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    Re: Have people really changed?

    Quote Originally Posted by kaptonok View Post
    Natural selection is not a rut or a chosen way of life it is an explanation of just how we got to the present moment in time.
    Right – and how we each individually got to the present moment of our existence (life) is most likely based on lots of different circumstances/factors that we have little or no control over to change (since they are in the past). In other words, our current state, our life, is assumed to be explained as a result of natural selection or what I personally view as 'we are the result of probability factors' that we are most likely connected to in some way. In that we can't change circumstances of the past, that doesn't mean we can't change given patterns in our life in order to change probability factors moving forward.

    For the most part, we are a rather predicable species. Nevertheless, this doesn’t mean there’s a default hidden setting somewhere in our consciousness or biology that says we have to accept circumstances that we had no control over (that rise from natural selection) or given norms. In that we can't change the past, we can change our response to the present in order to change probability factors for the future.

    So for example, the 20-year alcoholic from a long family tree of alcoholics can say to his given selected gene pool “Thanks, but after being addicted to alcohol for 20 years and being raised by a family of alcoholics; after having it control my life for 20 years, I’m going to choose to change the pattern and set of probabilities (predictable factors) of my life that I had no control over when I was born. So in that I can't change the past and the circumstances that somehow were selected as a patterns of my life, I'm going to choose to change the probability patterns moving forward by changing my response to those patterns in the present."


    Many reject the unplalatable parts of scientific enquiry and I can understand that attitude, but that has always been the case from the start of the age of enlightenment.
    Well, currently science is only willing to look at the material man and not much else. Scientists also understand that we don’t have the complete picture. In the future, the concept of only the material man may change especially as we begin to understand more about the invisible subatomic world buzzing around in our atoms.
    Last edited by eye4magic; April 7th, 2015 at 10:19 PM.
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  10. #70
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    Re: Have people really changed?

    I cannot deny that individuals will occasionally act out of character but I can see like most of us you are sitting on the fence reserving the ultimate decisions to the self which can break free of entanglements.
    Mary Midgley takes that view in her book ' Are you an Illusion' although an atheist she opposes the Richard Dawkins view which she calls self- deceiving fatalism.
    As time goes on more and more of our actions are traceable to our background and life- style. It would now appear that brainscans can pick out psycopaths and Robert Hare believes there are 1% among the population.
    As a layman with not a great deal of time left I follow the zigzag progress of the experts with interest.
    ' Oh Thou who didst with pitfall and with gin
    Beset the Road I was to wander in
    Thou wilt not with Predestined Evil round
    Enmesh; and then impute my fall to Sin!'

  11. #71
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    Re: Have people really changed?

    Quote Originally Posted by kaptonok View Post
    I cannot deny that individuals will occasionally act out of character but I can see like most of us you are sitting on the fence reserving the ultimate decisions to the self which can break free of entanglements.
    On this we agree. Most people are sitting on a fence regarding breaking free from entanglements because, after all, it's hard and challenging and generally way outside our comfort zone. But sitting on the fence is a choice, a free will choice. Our fear or reservation of experimenting with that choice awaits our boldness.
    Close your eyes. Fall in love. Stay there.
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  12. #72
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    Re: Have people really changed?

    Had I been born two hundred years ago could have had your confidence that I'm a completely free agent, but not many believe that now.

    Sorry, Kap, I accidently deleted part of your post.... But my response is below and I did read it.
    Eye
    Last edited by eye4magic; April 16th, 2015 at 08:13 PM.

  13. #73
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    Re: Have people really changed?

    Quote Originally Posted by kaptonok View Post
    Had I been born two hundred years ago could have had your confidence that I'm a completely free agent, but not many believe that now.
    Neither do I. We are not completely free agents. That might be an interesting and unpredictable world. We are free agents within certain boundaries. However, those boundaries do not have to seal in stone the probability factors of any assumed fate
    Close your eyes. Fall in love. Stay there.
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  14. #74
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    Re: Have people really changed?

    Thats no problem my internet skills are very poor but slowly improving.
    I'm glad we have common ground; there is probably more common ground than we think among debators on this site. Some posts I find difficult to follow and some exceedingly long. I suppose that is the thinking behind Twitter, keep it short and to the point. Some subjects are very deep and its easy to drown.

  15. #75
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    Re: Have people really changed?

    I totally agree with Sigfried's comment about that....well done
    Graduated from Soran University with First Class Degree with Honours in Computer Science.

  16. #76
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    Re: Have people really changed?

    i think people have changed. When i say 'people', I am referring to the entire human population...Not specific individuals or class of people such as philosophers,etc..
    For instance, People used to be a lot 'care free'. Yeah of course they too had problems of their own, but people these days are a lot more stressed.
    Also, people used to be a lot more kind and loving...unlike now when almost everyone u come across is cunning, two faced and dishonest.
    But yeah, we all know that change is inevitable .

  17. #77
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    Re: Have people really changed?

    I believe human beings have evolved, another word for changed. We act very differently than we did 2000, or even 150 years ago.

  18. #78
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    Re: Have people really changed?

    Yes I think they have but I am referring to the head of the snake.
    The vast majority of people are sheep, they have not change, the small people at the head, that causes change have.
    That is why the majority of the planet does not live in the dark ages any more.

  19. #79
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    Re: Have people really changed?

    Changing clothes, the characters do not change.

  20. #80
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    Re: Have people really changed?

    I think people tend to be the same which is why history tends to repeat itself. However, as technologies advance, so too do societies advance.

 

 
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