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Is humanity fated to chaos?

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Is humanity fated to chaos?

Postby lozzic » Sun Oct 28, 2007 12:16 am

Well the title of this thread has probably left you confused but I could not think of a way to phrase the question/subject title in such a way as to be a short suitable size since what I am trying to convey consists of several aspects.

1. a) Is society, the state, politics, humanity whatever you want to call it fated to chaos? By chaos I mean conflicting views etc. everyone trying to achieve different goals?

b) If this is indeed the case what is the point? I mean there is no one "right" view and nothing can be achieved so why bother? (that sounds rather schopenhauerian :lol: ).

2. a) Are humans naturally motivated by the need for power, greed, survival instinct (the cardinal sins) etc and other traits and are these traits impossible to genuinely overcome?

b) If so do these influence, or rather create point 1. a) (shown above) condemn humanity to recurring chaos until the end?

c) With regards to point 1. b) is this argument circular, surely the answer to that is that the 'point' is to strive for ourselves in a dog eat dog world as individuals whether we want to or not, but then of course we end up with the age old question what is the meaning of life?


Yes I know this is rather poorly laid out, and I have spotted things I could expand on out but it is late at night here in the UK, I am tired :D and I don't want to write an infinite page essay but I just had to pose this question since it has been annoying me for years (yes years :roll: ) the answer seems to close yet so far away (as if I would ever find it ha-ha) :( . I am trying to take a neutral stand point on this and be objective (some might argue that is impossible :) but lets not go there) basically I am posing it as a problem to ponder.
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Postby Eadmund » Sat Mar 29, 2008 9:37 pm

I have thought long and hard about this as well. I have a friend who says that humans are inherently evil, and therefor war will never end. I however could not disagree more. I think that not only is it possible to have world peace but that it is close at hand.

Many people see the increasing violence around the world as a sign that we're going to keep fighting 'till we're all dead and the Earth is a radioactive wasteland. I see it like pouring water in a heated pot. At first there is a violent reaction, but soon temperatures even out and all is calm.
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Postby Bert » Thu Apr 03, 2008 1:14 am

Eadmund wrote:I have thought long and hard about this as well. I have a friend who says that humans are inherently evil, and therefor war will never end. I however could not disagree more. I think that not only is it possible to have world peace but that it is close at hand.

Many people see the increasing violence around the world as a sign that we're going to keep fighting 'till we're all dead and the Earth is a radioactive wasteland. I see it like pouring water in a heated pot. At first there is a violent reaction, but soon temperatures even out and all is calm.
Is the water-hot pot example just a way to describe it or is that the basis for your opinion that world peace is close at hand?
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Postby Eadmund » Thu Apr 03, 2008 5:51 am

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Re: Is humanity fated to chaos?

Postby edonnelly » Thu Apr 03, 2008 5:00 pm

lozzic wrote:Are humans naturally motivated by the need for power, greed, survival instinct (the cardinal sins) etc ...


Why do you include survival instinct here? I don't see how it maps to any of the cardinal sins nor do I necessarily think it's inherently bad.

Eadmund wrote:Many people see the increasing violence around the world as a sign that we're going to keep fighting 'till we're all dead and the Earth is a radioactive wasteland.


It's not clear exactly what "radioactive wasteland" means anymore. Take a look at how the environment around Chernobyl is doing a mere 20 years after the worst nuclear power plant accident in history. A nuclear war might kill all of mankind and ultimately leave the planet in a much better state than it's been in since before we got here.
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Postby IreneY » Tue Apr 08, 2008 9:42 pm

What a complicated issue! You do open quite a few subjects of discussions don't you? :) To begin with, let us define "natural" (too much of Socrates' philosophy does this to you you know). What is "natural" and what is it's "opposite"? Or, in other words, how do we term whatever is not "natural" and where does is "come from"? (I feel I should warn you: At times I cannot stand the guy and much less his student but I will continue with more "then..." and "let us now define". Blame our educational system, my professors and my mom :lol: )

Secondly, why are "conflicting views" "chaos"? And if "conflicting views" are "chaos" why is "chaos" a bad thing?


These are off the top of my head you understand :D
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Postby timeodanaos » Wed Apr 09, 2008 1:32 pm

If we take the evolution of the human mind as something that happened/happens naturally, then humans are natural, out of nature spring the products of humans, with positive or negative effects on the natural things that were here before.

If humans are natural, then all our inventions must be natural, and whatever happens, it will be natural.


The question much rather is a matter of which things are to be preferred. Nuclear wastelands or happy little orchards filled with singing children (or something likewise amicable). It is a common thing to do, naming that which you prefer the 'natural' way. Some people might prefer the nuclear wastelands, although I couldn't know who.
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Postby annis » Wed Apr 09, 2008 11:42 pm

timeodanaos wrote:It is a common thing to do, naming that which you prefer the 'natural' way.


To bring us back to Greece and Rome, both the Epicureans and Stoics did exactly this.
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Postby edonnelly » Thu Apr 10, 2008 1:09 pm

timeodanaos wrote:If we take the evolution of the human mind as something that happened/happens naturally, then humans are natural, out of nature spring the products of humans, with positive or negative effects on the natural things that were here before.

If humans are natural, then all our inventions must be natural, and whatever happens, it will be natural.


The problem is that if you take this argument to its logical conclusion, the word "natural" ceases to have any useful meaning. It also leaves us lacking a word to describe the way the world is/would be without the influence of mankind.
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Postby timeodanaos » Thu Apr 10, 2008 2:39 pm

edonnelly wrote:The problem is that if you take this argument to its logical conclusion, the word "natural" ceases to have any useful meaning. It also leaves us lacking a word to describe the way the world is/would be without the influence of mankind.

What's it called... contrafactive history or something? Trying to imagine the course of history if certain events had not happened. It might be fun to speculate, but it doesn't make any difference, does it? I don't have any answers as to what should be done to make humanity more compatible with the other species of the Earth, but I don't think anyone would agree to eradicating mankind for the love of small furry animals.
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Postby Bert » Sat Apr 12, 2008 1:38 pm

timeodanaos wrote:
edonnelly wrote:The problem is that if you take this argument to its logical conclusion, the word "natural" ceases to have any useful meaning. It also leaves us lacking a word to describe the way the world is/would be without the influence of mankind.

What's it called... contrafactive history or something? Trying to imagine the course of history if certain events had not happened. It might be fun to speculate, but it doesn't make any difference, does it? I don't have any answers as to what should be done to make humanity more compatible with the other species of the Earth, but I don't think anyone would agree to eradicating mankind for the love of small furry animals.

I don't think he is suggesting anything like that. He is just wants to be able to use the word 'natural' the way almost everyone uses it.
The distinction between natural sweeteners compared to artificial sweeteners is very clear with the conventional use of 'natural' but ambiguous or even meaningless using your discription of what is natural.
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Postby IreneY » Sat Apr 12, 2008 6:21 pm

So when we are talking about humans being "naturally motivated by he need for power, greed, survival instinct (the cardinal sins) etc" are we talking about different kind of insticts of some sort? Something hard-wired into our brain/being so that our species will continue to exist ?
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Postby Ireclan » Tue Apr 22, 2008 9:52 pm

1.

A. Unknown. Humanity is a constantly evolving creature. Who says that we won't end up like the Borg from Star Trek, for example? Baring that, however, yes, I do think humanity is fated to "chaos". I think it's in our genetics.

B. Well, we don't really form societies because there's a "point", we form them because it's almost instinctual. We are naturally social creatures. It's our evolutionary advantage. That being said, I fully support societies, because it makes us stronger. Think of it this way: one lone individual has a very limited ability to see all ends, but a group of individuals thinking together can see more.

2.

A. Yes. That's just the way evolution has built us. But one of the miracles of self-awareness is the ability to counter evolution. So I think that these traits can be genuinely overcome. They aren't often, though, because what survival advantage would it give you?

B. Yes. I do believe there is a correlation.

C. :? Not sure what you mean here.
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Postby Turendil » Mon May 05, 2008 4:29 am

Since I'm drawing a blank in trying to answer your question I would say yes. :lol:
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Postby Sessurus » Wed May 14, 2008 9:05 pm

For the sake of not getting into a heated off topic discussion, can we avoid the topic of evolution and creation. I prefer to argue this topic amongst stronger unknowns than speculative unknowns (and thus set my unknowns within a present human time frame).

According to the topic, I would think world peace when people either cease to communicate, or cease to seek a difference in their general abilities.

Thus I think the best solution to conflict is individualism where an individual seeks only to compete against them self and chooses not to interfere in the life of others. This is a difficult task in our society as we create governments that are made to force the formation of a society (a bit of circular reasoning there).

I think, however, to fully accept this solution humans would have to accept isolation. That is a near impossibility as we are social creatures.

I shall have to contemplate this more.

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Postby IreneY » Thu May 15, 2008 6:12 pm

Hello Sessurus and welcome to the forum :)

Now that I have showed that I can be welcoming and friendly if I want to I think I can ask, so you think they only solution if everyone cared about himself and bugger all the rest and we had to social care and whatnot? :D (smiley put there in another, probably futile effort, to show that I honestly wait a bit before trying to decapitate someone usually [fellow Greeks excluded] )
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Postby Sessurus » Fri May 16, 2008 10:54 am

IreneY wrote:Hello Sessurus and welcome to the forum :)

Now that I have showed that I can be welcoming and friendly if I want to I think I can ask, so you think they only solution if everyone cared about himself and bugger all the rest and we had to social care and whatnot? :D (smiley put there in another, probably futile effort, to show that I honestly wait a bit before trying to decapitate someone usually [fellow Greeks excluded] )


I think you read incorrectly into my statements. I noted the evolution/creation point because, although this is my first time on these forums, I post regularly on many forums. I have never seen an evolution/creation thread that a) ended nicely b) provide any insight that can otherwise be afforded by research c) (with the two previous points in mind) supplied hard cold fact to the underlying argument.

In terms of my own beliefs regarding the fate of humanity.

There need not (in fact it is the object of isolation) be hostility between the members of adjoining existence. Simply, however, the parties may not affect one another's lives in a matter that promotes self interest. This includes the stated incident of the members not knowing that they are acting in self interest, or the affected party feeling that the assisting party is acting in self interest.

Ideally of course, communication would be a hundred percent between parties in which both cases would be ruled out. In real life, however, it is not simply enough to assist another person, but you must also find that they are willing to be assisted and feel that you are truly assisting them. Results of such cases result in a similar if not the same incident of animosity which promotes hostile involvement (hostile may not be the correct word here, unbalanced maybe a better word).

Thus in my thought process social conflict ( social chaos if you like) is a direct result of unbalanced interaction. Now you may say that chaos can come from other sources. This is true (lets give some examples, injuries, sickness, and self inflicted damage either emotionally, or mentally). This, however, is inconsequential as it effects purely the individual. It is at the point where social interaction spreads such ailments, that an unbalanced relationship can occur.

Thus now allow us to break the relationship piece. Now all conflicts that occur to the individual remain with simply the individual. Thus the worst case is that the individual no longer contributes to the environment (they die). All the chaos that is bestowed upon that person is in fact destroyed with them. Thus no chaos is spread and the human race is "at peace."

With all this in mind it appears that our social interaction that we depend on so much as humans is in fact the operation by which chaos spreads, and as humans will never stop interacting, thus chaos will never cease.

There is one "trivial" case I left out (in my opinion) the case of all balanced social relations. If this could be forced (forcing people to get along, increasing communication to remove unbalanced relations, and punishing actions that seek to unbalance relations), even then a problem would exist. We would need 100 percent containment because we must accept that otherwise an outside individual factor (let us call them an over achieving human) enters the population. It is unlikely that continually this individual will lower themselves to the equal level of relations of the rest of the population. Thus the population must expel (or exterminate) the factor or risk being conquered by it. It cannot be assumed that the general population will always be stronger than the factor or contingent that they are facing. Thus somewhere, a population will eventually be overcome by a factor, even if it was possible to maintain the populations balance (which is unlikely or impossible). This population would then likely follow the lead of the conqueror and prepare to present a factor to other balanced populations. In which case, once the population begins growing it become more difficult to stop.

So thus I conclude that both options are at best...okay they are both impossible. Chaos is inevitable

What I like to argue better is whether chaos can be contained and also balanced (thus the "American" experiment). Can two factors continually compete thus offsetting one another continually (this is an example of pure economics)?

Anyhow, I have class tomorrow. Please do not take my comments personally, I really think about these things a lot, but I do not generally apply them to real human existence because I see them as idealistic at best, destructive and possibly construed as a call to anarchy (or at least revoking of the base establishment) at worst. This is never desirable unless you are literally the last person on earth, in which case your are the establishment and the opposition, which makes it your decision to revoke your own opinions and beliefs with out relation to anyone.

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Postby IreneY » Tue May 20, 2008 11:55 am

Ah! I think we must also define "chaos" :). I have a sneaking suspicion that what you consider "chaos" I consider normal human interaction.
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Postby annis » Tue May 20, 2008 8:33 pm

IreneY wrote:I have a sneaking suspicion that what you consider "chaos" I consider normal human interaction.


Forget Thomas Paine! I'm quoting you now.
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Postby IreneY » Tue May 20, 2008 10:01 pm

:oops: :oops: Being quoted by you is a compliment I most certainly don't deserve, and especially if mine replaces Paine's even if temporarily. Thank you.
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Postby Sessurus » Wed May 21, 2008 12:46 pm

IreneY wrote:Ah! I think we must also define "chaos" :). I have a sneaking suspicion that what you consider "chaos" I consider normal human interaction.


Hmm...by the Mathematically common usage of definition I would disagree. I would instead say that the result of my underlying opinions and assertions is that social interaction is the means by which chaos is spread, but I do not initially "define" either or so I can tell from my skim over my writing.

Now there is some residual chaos created by social interaction,and I am basically saying that human interaction more or less carries the excess weight of added chaos, especially as communication is proliferated and barriers to privacy are broken thus promoting anarchy or some form chaos.

Therefore, I'd say that the two are not equivalent, but that the chaotic effect of social interaction is a subset of chaos in general.

Does that clear it up a bit?
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Postby Kasper » Thu May 22, 2008 4:04 am

then is this chaos you speak of not also known by the word 'diversity'?
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Postby Sessurus » Thu May 22, 2008 6:25 am

Kasper wrote:then is this chaos you speak of not also known by the word 'diversity'?


No, diversity can exist mutually exclusively from chaos or social interaction. There may, however, be residual chaos created from misunderstandings that arise via social interaction amongst persons. You might call these misunderstandings "diversity" although they do not in their entirety represent diversity alone.

Fore example,I may misunderstand what you say to me and thus get the wrong impression, I would argue no diversity is necessary in that situation. However, if you try to help me and I don't like the way you look or if we have different social habits that I view as improper or offensive then diversity may contribute to chaos.

Thus diversity represents a wholly exclusive topic that has certain consequences of social interaction (whether those be good or bad) that may or may not contribute to chaos.

It is important to note that the chaos I speak of is basically the set of all non ideal consequences that occur within the existence of an individual, whether those consequences are in fact real or imagined, they contribute to the chaos as a whole. Thus many things could represent a subset of chaos and thus are consequences, that may or may not contribute.

For example, I am a very picky eater. I consider it offensive for someone to make me food without asking me what my likes and dislikes with regard to food are.

In the case of others I know, they would consider that a boon to be given food that is prepared for them, whether they were consulted or not.

Thus I have increased my chaos by making what most would call an imaginary consequence of not accepting randomly prepared food, that may or may not be good.

More information can be gleaned from this, however, for example, because the person who was to feed me may view randomly prepared food as boon, they may be offended by my decision, thus increasing their chaos. Thus social interaction of people who are perfectly able to produce food for themselves have increase the relative tension of their existence, or have increased the chaos, by interacting with regard to food.

Does that help?

Oh, and diversity here may or may not apply. Perhaps the food was beef which I don't eat, thus it may have been a difference in cultural food types and I maybe offended by the food and thus I am offended by the difference in cultures, which may imply diversity. However, since my choice to not eat random food is personal, it is possible that I may like the food and simply abhor the fact that someone made if for me without asking. I don't see diversity in this second situation. It may or may not be a feature or custom of that person to make the food, but either way, my decision was not based one their custom, just my own previous belief.

I'm thinking there may be something wrong with the second example. I think it might lie in how you define diversity. If we are speaking in a general matter of overnighting differences, that might not contribute to the problem. However, if diversity is simply any difference, (including wording of questions, or not thinking in the same manner, which is an inherent quality of humanity) then I suppose it would apply. I think, however, to replace differences (which is more broad) with diversity in this case, results in a less clear definition because diversity has more specific implications that simply differences. Just as discrimination can replace choice. Accept that every choices requires some form of discrimination to be made, apple or oranges, if I choose one it seems to imply a discrimination has been made against the other.

However, (this just came to me) the random case cannot be thrown out either. Thus no diversity (or differences) may exist in a social interactive exchange, however, it is possible anger or other emotions can arise within themselves for not reason at all because it is not acceptable to note chaos without noting that humans can cause it randomly.

For example, I can stand up right now. Do I have to have a reason to stand? No, I just can. If I just stand, randomly, then quite possibly no discrimination has been made between sitting and standing. The same applies for diversity, I can just choose chaos via social interaction because I feel like it or basically for not reason at all. Thus diversity or differences do not apply to the result of chaos via social interaction, but chaos is still possible.

So still no, diversity is simply a subset of consequences that may or may not result in chaos, but chaos can result without the prompting of differences or diversity.
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Postby Essorant » Mon May 26, 2008 12:12 am

We are fated to chaos, perhaps, only like the weather is "fated" to be stormy sometimes. But just as the weather is also "fated" to be otherwise sometimes, warm and sunny, pleasant and calm etc likewise are humans fated to peacefuller and stronger conditions. The differences with human "weather" though is that we are able to make choices, and fasten ourselves to roots and cultivation of a civilization and with laws that more and more strongly help defend against or minimize "chaos". So our "fate" of chaos is faced with an even greater "fate", that is, our "fate" to make concious choices against "chaos". <pre></pre>
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Re:

Postby grdSavant » Fri Feb 27, 2009 9:17 am

Too bad this thread seems to have fizzled out.

Therefore chaos == misanthropic, or asocial (I did not write antisocial), or grumpy.

It seems it is anything contrary to a self-defined sense of naturally orderly and positive, whether or not in fact a majority voting mechanism might contradict a conclusion that stuff is becoming chaotic.

Simply because one does not discern the choice or discrimination does not mean that a choice was not made. You wrote,
Sessurus wrote:For example, I can stand up right now. Do I have to have a reason to stand? No, I just can. If I just stand, randomly, then quite possibly no discrimination has been made between sitting and standing.

Which is fallacious, else it would be a case of the unmoved mover. Clearly, as you wrote, you would have had to chose to either sit or stand.

Calling your "chaos" anything other than what it is--misanthropy--is weak. One may call the sky peach-colored rather than blue, but that is of little consequence to the generally agreed projection that it is blue.

Civilization is changing, and not necessarily for the worst, especially since there is some agreement that the fitness metric of change is defined as good.
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