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klewlis
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save me

Post by klewlis » Wed Sep 26, 2007 3:39 am

from anti-intellectuals who have no sense of logic.


*sigh*


I'm in need of a good debate with people who don't think that "that thing is pointless" is equivalent to "you are a bad person". And I'm tired of walking on eggshells all the time because of our stupid politically correct culture with its "do, think, and believe whatever makes you feel warm and fuzzy" philosophy.

O Di!

(just needed to get that out there. Feel free to ignore. ;)

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Post by Lucus Eques » Wed Sep 26, 2007 4:29 am

Heh, what brought this on?
L. Amadeus Ranierius

SCORPIO·MARTIANVS

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Post by klewlis » Wed Sep 26, 2007 5:41 am

Lucus Eques wrote:Heh, what brought this on?
conversation with people elsewhere...

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Post by Turendil » Wed Sep 26, 2007 5:47 am

"Romanis eunt domus"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IIAdHEwiAy8

thought I'd cheer you up.

Remember I found that my history was gender bias my english a writing journal and my latin/greek was everything else (a quote from vicotr david hansen about a student and why he was a classics major.)
phpbb

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Post by Diane » Wed Sep 26, 2007 6:04 am

But what are you going to use it for?

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Post by perispomenon » Wed Sep 26, 2007 7:27 am

Turendil wrote:Remember I found that my history was gender bias my english a writing journal and my latin/greek was everything else (a quote from vicotr david hansen about a student and why he was a classics major.)
I must be dumb, but I don't understand the meaning of that quote. What does "my English was a writing journal" mean?

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Post by klewlis » Wed Sep 26, 2007 2:13 pm

Turendil wrote:"Romanis eunt domus"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IIAdHEwiAy8

thought I'd cheer you up.
lol. thanks for that. I'd actually never seen it before, though I'd heard of it.

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Post by Kopio » Wed Sep 26, 2007 2:17 pm

When I read the info line I thought this was a thread about Smallville......Somebody Saaaaave meeeeeeee! I've been watching the first 6 seasons...right now I'm almost half way through season 5. I got hooked on it this summer, and have watched every season up to five now (so don't anyone spoil anything for me).

I like to have it on in the background while I do Database work.

Anyhow....what should we have intellectual conversation about? If you're so tired of anti-intellectuals, we should probably have a good intelllectual topic.

How about teleological vs. deontological ethics?

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Post by klewlis » Wed Sep 26, 2007 8:44 pm

Kopio wrote:How about teleological vs. deontological ethics?

while this is an excellent topic, I'm afraid I'm not well-versed in it enough to participate meaningfully! However, if others are, I'd love to read such a discussion.

The moment of frustration has passed (for now). I am hoping that as I get into higher classes they will become more stimulating... don't get me wrong; I love my classes right now but there is not much discussion happening.

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Re: save me

Post by annis » Thu Sep 27, 2007 1:45 am

klewlis wrote: And I'm tired of walking on eggshells all the time because of our stupid politically correct culture with its "do, think, and believe whatever makes you feel warm and fuzzy" philosophy.
Interesting. I've always taken this less as a warm-fuzzy or PC problem and more as a result of the much larger Cult of Victimhood, where perceived insult and the resulting hystrionic pearl-clutching are stoked up to drown out all other possible discourse. Everyone's a victim these days.
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Post by annis » Thu Sep 27, 2007 2:12 am

Kopio wrote:How about teleological vs. deontological ethics?
What? No aretaic ethics?
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Re: save me

Post by klewlis » Thu Sep 27, 2007 4:37 am

annis wrote:
klewlis wrote: And I'm tired of walking on eggshells all the time because of our stupid politically correct culture with its "do, think, and believe whatever makes you feel warm and fuzzy" philosophy.
Interesting. I've always taken this less as a warm-fuzzy or PC problem and more as a result of the much larger Cult of Victimhood, where perceived insult and the resulting hystrionic pearl-clutching are stoked up to drown out all other possible discourse. Everyone's a victim these days.
hm... I've never connected it to that before. Interesting.

I've always taken it to be symptomatic of the postmodernist belief that there is no absolute truth--truth is only what you want it to be. Therefore all beliefs are equally valid, etc.

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Re: save me

Post by annis » Thu Sep 27, 2007 12:29 pm

klewlis wrote:I've always taken it to be symptomatic of the postmodernist belief that there is no absolute truth--truth is only what you want it to be. Therefore all beliefs are equally valid, etc.
Certainly post-modernists are masters of the technique I call the Pyrrhonic Fandango — muddy up the epistemological waters then offer (unassailable) personal sentiment as a justification for whatever it is you want to argue for. For the opening move of the Fandango "there is no absolute truth" can't be beat, but there are lots of ways to go about giving epistemology a sound rap on the head and dragging it out the door.
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Re: save me

Post by Kopio » Thu Sep 27, 2007 3:50 pm

annis wrote:For the opening move of the Fandango "there is no absolute truth" can't be beat, but there are lots of ways to go about giving epistemology a sound rap on the head and dragging it out the door.
Isn't the fact that they say "there is no absolute truth" a betrayal of their belief? That sounds an awful lot like an absolute truth to me!

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Re: save me

Post by annis » Thu Sep 27, 2007 4:26 pm

Kopio wrote:Isn't the fact that they say "there is no absolute truth" a betrayal of their belief? That sounds an awful lot like an absolute truth to me!
Yep. That's the killer incoherency of epistemological relativism. Post-modernists are more likely to phrase it that there "are no privileged viewpoints" but of course to make a universal statement like that requires the ultimate privileged viewpoint.
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Post by Kopio » Thu Sep 27, 2007 5:10 pm

This reminds me another one of my other favorite logical foibles.

Tolerance. The view that we must be tolerant of everyone and their beliefs. This is leveled by a lot of the same post-modern relativists. Of course if you disagree with them, they aren't very tolerant! They call you a bigot, or something of that ilk. What they really mean is "you have to be tolerant of my views, but I don't have to tolerate your intolerant views"

That especially amuses me!

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Post by edonnelly » Thu Sep 27, 2007 7:29 pm

Kopio wrote:This reminds me another one of my other favorite logical foibles.

Tolerance. The view that we must be tolerant of everyone and their beliefs. This is leveled by a lot of the same post-modern relativists. Of course if you disagree with them, they aren't very tolerant! They call you a bigot, or something of that ilk. What they really mean is "you have to be tolerant of my views, but I don't have to tolerate your intolerant views"
I see this same bahavior in some of the self-proclaimed champions of rights such as freedom of speech, too. Groups like the ACLU will jump to defend your right to speak, as long it is in line with their general politically-correct position, but if your speech is offensive to a protected group, then they are either nowhere to be found or on the other side of the issue (e.g., Jena).

They also like to pick and choose which constitutional rights should be defended and which should be ignored. Not quite as hypocritical, per se, but still a do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do kind of behavior.
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Post by ThomasGR » Thu Sep 27, 2007 9:21 pm

"save me"

Just keep a distance from your writing and other people's reply. Internet is just good for fun, the real life is out there.

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Post by annis » Thu Sep 27, 2007 9:24 pm

Kopio wrote:This reminds me another one of my other favorite logical foibles.

Tolerance.
If you will permit me an extended quote from M. Nussbaum, The Therapy of Desire: Theory and Practice in Hellenistic Ethics,
The ancient appeals to nature that we shall be considering do not have these features. That is, they do not pretend to derive value-norms from a value-free account of the "scientific" underpinings of human life. Ancient accounts of "nature," especially "human nature," are value-laden accounts. They select some aspects of human beings and their lives as especially important or valuable, deciding only then that a certain element should be counted as part of our nature. Frequently, in so doing, they proceed by appealing to the actual sense of value of human beings, asking whether a life without element X, or Y, would be so impoverished that we would be willing to think of it as a human life at all. ... Norms follow from an account of "nature" because the account is frankly normative to begin with.
I went through several months of puzzlement about Stoic accounts of Nature before reading this.

The term "tolerance" is the same sort of thing. People calling for tolerance are using the word as shorthand a particular class of tolerance, not tolerance tout court. The word should be understand in this specific sense, in the same way that "values" in American Political language almost always means quite speficially "judeo-christian values" rather than some other set of values.
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Post by klewlis » Fri Sep 28, 2007 12:09 am

Kopio wrote:This reminds me another one of my other favorite logical foibles.

Tolerance. The view that we must be tolerant of everyone and their beliefs. This is leveled by a lot of the same post-modern relativists. Of course if you disagree with them, they aren't very tolerant! They call you a bigot, or something of that ilk. What they really mean is "you have to be tolerant of my views, but I don't have to tolerate your intolerant views"

That especially amuses me!
This one drives me nuts. It is the ultimate double-standard.

I ran into this a lot with my old job, which was in human services. I found that a particular worldview was assumed, and that if one did not agree with that worldview, one was automatically wrong, bigoted, etc. The contradiction, of course, was that it claimed at the same time to be accepting of all worldviews. Of course that is not logically possible, but it is widely propagated anyway.

What I find fascinating is the complete inability of the proponents to see the logical contradiction.

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Post by Bert » Fri Sep 28, 2007 2:15 am

I find that only the narrow minded, short sighted people disgree with me. The well rounded, intelligent and open minded people, however, seem to have the same view point I have. That's a pretty strong proof that my view point and opinion is correct.

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Post by klewlis » Fri Sep 28, 2007 2:35 am

Bert wrote:I find that only the narrow minded, short sighted people disgree with me. The well rounded, intelligent and open minded people, however, seem to have the same view point I have. That's a pretty strong proof that my view point and opinion is correct.
lol

funny, I find the same thing...

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Post by GlottalGreekGeek » Fri Sep 28, 2007 3:49 pm

klewlis wrote: What I find fascinating is the complete inability of the proponents to see the logical contradiction.
Thinking is hard, and many people are too busy/exhausted/lazy to do it. I actually like thinking, but even I sometimes get fatigued and take an easy way out. I BELIEVE this happens to everybody. Believing is much more easier than thinking - just find something to believe, and voila, no effort to keep believing it. People believe what they want to believe ;P

I remember I had a substitute teacher who pointed out the word which is embedded in the word "beLIEve".

EDIT : I am actually impressed with my fellow students at my school. Sometimes they are too tired to think since we're a busy lot, but when they're fresh and interested, they often do think about what they are saying. There is some knee-jerkiness, but I think *cough* I mean I believe that it's hard to find someone who does not have knee-jerk reactions at least part of the time. And there are exceptions - a few people who substitute the knee-jerk for thinking much more than necessary. But unless you select against that trait, it's inevitable. Perhaps it's because I go to a community college - the knee-jerk reaction of a LOT of high-school students is that people who go to community colleges are losers. Of course, if you THINK about it, or *gasp* invest some research, you realize that you often get better teachers, smaller classes, and in my case, a much more rigorous program than most four-year colleges. I've heard many stories of the community-college transfers to 4-year schools being better prepared and better students overall than those who spent their first 2 years at said college. And the tuition at community college is small change compared to even a public university. So maybe people who go to community colleges tend to look past general perceptions and consider what's really important since those are the people who choose community college. Of course there are also people who could not get into a 4-year university, but I am underwhelmed with how universities pick their students anyway.

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Re: save me

Post by Amadeus » Fri Sep 28, 2007 5:22 pm

Another insane belief is the denial of the principle of non-contradiction. But just how insane is it? Well, just read this funny bit:

http://www.philosophyetc.net/2005/05/la ... ction.html
The Law of Non-Contradiction

"How do you respond to someone who denies the law of noncontradiction? Some logicians suggest hitting the person with a stick. A better idea is to pretend to agree. Whenever you assert something, also assert the opposite. Soon your opponent will want to hit you with a stick!"

That's Harry Gensler, in Formal Ethics, p.36. He then offers an amusing dialogue between two Hegelians:

A: Are you still a follower of Hegel?

B: Of course! I believe everything he wrote. Since he denied the law of noncontradiction, I deny this too. On my view, P is entirely compatible with not-P.

A: I'm a fan of Hegel myself. But he didn't deny the law of noncontradiction! You read the wrong commentators!

B: You're wrong, he did deny this! Let me get my copy of The Science of Logic.

A: Don't get so upset! You said that he did deny the law, and I said that he didn't. Aren't these compatible on your view? After all, you think that P is compatible with not-P.

B: Yes, I guess they're compatible.

A: No they aren't!

B: Yes they are!

A: Don't get so upset! You said that they are compatible, and I said that they aren't. Aren't these two compatible on your view? Recall that you think that P is compatible with not-P.

B: Yes, I guess they're compatible. I'm getting confused.

A: And you're also not getting confused, right?
:lol:
Lisa: Relax?! I can't relax! Nor can I yield, relent, or... Only two synonyms? Oh my God! I'm losing my perspicacity! Aaaaa!

Homer: Well it's always in the last place you look.

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Post by thesaurus » Sat Sep 29, 2007 5:44 am

If it makes you feel any better, there have been aggravating, stupid and ignorant people since the beginning of civilization. But maybe that'll make you feel worse? Thrasymachus was like the the illogical loudmouth in Socrates' class.

I'd like to think people are generally more educated and enlightened these days, but it's hard to say how much humankind itself has actually changed. More educated about facts and science? Sure. Less hateful, irrational, sectarian and cruel? Not so sure.

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Post by klewlis » Sat Sep 29, 2007 4:13 pm

thesaurus wrote:If it makes you feel any better, there have been aggravating, stupid and ignorant people since the beginning of civilization. But maybe that'll make you feel worse? Thrasymachus was like the the illogical loudmouth in Socrates' class.

I'd like to think people are generally more educated and enlightened these days, but it's hard to say how much humankind itself has actually changed. More educated about facts and science? Sure. Less hateful, irrational, sectarian and cruel? Not so sure.
Personally, I don't think that humanity changes much at all--there is nothing new under the sun. We go through cycles but we always come back around to where we were. People are people... some think that education will solve all our problems; that would be nice, but it is not realistic. :(

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Post by GlottalGreekGeek » Sat Sep 29, 2007 7:11 pm

While I don't think human nature itself has changed much, I do think society/civilization has found better ways to compensate for the problems presented by human nature. For example, 10,000 years ago it is estimated that 25% of all human males died young as warriors/soldiers. The worldwide percentage of human males dying as soldiers is considerably lower than this today because, while the wars are more devastating, there are far fewer of them than there used to be. There are less wars because nations are larger, and better organized both politically and economically, thereby, for the most part, reducing both civil wars and wars with foreign nations.  Now this applies more strongly to Europe than to, say, Africa, since Europe is more stable both politically and economically. Of course, even 10,000 years ago there were societies where only 1 in a 100 males every died in war, such as the Ohlone, which managed to be very peaceful and stable because they were well organized economically, and because they had strict population control (for example, a woman - and by extension her husband - was required to remain celibate for several years after each time she gave birth).

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Post by klewlis » Sun Sep 30, 2007 2:49 am

GlottalGreekGeek wrote:While I don't think human nature itself has changed much, I do think society/civilization has found better ways to compensate for the problems presented by human nature. For example, 10,000 years ago it is estimated that 25% of all human males died young as warriors/soldiers. The worldwide percentage of human males dying as soldiers is considerably lower than this today because, while the wars are more devastating, there are far fewer of them than there used to be. There are less wars because nations are larger, and better organized both politically and economically, thereby, for the most part, reducing both civil wars and wars with foreign nations. Now this applies more strongly to Europe than to, say, Africa, since Europe is more stable both politically and economically. Of course, even 10,000 years ago there were societies where only 1 in a 100 males every died in war, such as the Ohlone, which managed to be very peaceful and stable because they were well organized economically, and because they had strict population control (for example, a woman - and by extension her husband - was required to remain celibate for several years after each time she gave birth).
but even if that is true (and considering the genocide, etc, that are occurring in various parts of the world as we speak, I'd want to see substantiation), it addresses only war... improving in one area does not prevent decline in another area, and does not indicate an overall net improvement.

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Post by Bert » Sun Sep 30, 2007 3:25 am

klewlis wrote: but even if that is true (and considering the genocide, etc, that are occurring in various parts of the world as we speak, I'd want to see substantiation), it addresses only war... improving in one area does not prevent decline in another area, and does not indicate an overall net improvement.
Right on. A lot of horrible things happen under the guise of civilization. Babies are being murdered (yes, I mean murdered!) just before they would be born because of the perceived (civilized ??) right of people to decide whether it would be advantages to them if these babies were to survive.

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Post by annis » Sun Sep 30, 2007 1:47 pm

klewlis wrote:but even if that is true (and considering the genocide, etc, that are occurring in various parts of the world as we speak, I'd want to see substantiation), it addresses only war... improving in one area does not prevent decline in another area, and does not indicate an overall net improvement.
Decline in what other areas? What historical periods would you consider superior to our own?

I'm always puzzled by this historical Calvinism (the total depravity clause). While there is copious room for improvement, there are moral improvements over time. Until not too many generations ago slavery was perfectly respectable and common. While the practice does still persist in some parts of the world, the percentage of people bound in chattel slavery now is lower than it has ever been. That's a serious improvement, and it's not somehow wiped out by humanity's remaining moral incapacities.
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Post by GlottalGreekGeek » Sun Sep 30, 2007 5:10 pm

klewlis wrote:but even if that is true (and considering the genocide, etc, that are occurring in various parts of the world as we speak, I'd want to see substantiation), it addresses only war... improving in one area does not prevent decline in another area, and does not indicate an overall net improvement.
This information I got from a book published a few years ago ... unfortunately, I completely forgot the name of the book and the writer ... otherwise I would cite that.

Genocide is not new. I cannot think of any ancient examples, but I imagine they would be hard to trace. For a much more recent example, in mid-19th century California, bands of men would hunt and kill Indians with the goal of wiping them out completely (in other words, genocide). They were funded by the State of California, and Washington reimbursed the state (I am not clear if the people in Washington were aware what exactly they were funding, but the State certainly knew and approved). Many of these bands were most eager to kill women and children in order to finish off the Indian race. These bands only stopped going out when it was so hard to find "wild" Indians than it wasn't worth the effort. Some (white) witnesses, such as Bret Harte, were horrified, but when they tried to spread the word, the genociders threatened to kill them too. For reference, see the eighth edition of California : An Interpretive History by James J. Rawls & Walton Bean, page 154. It also has a bibliography.

At the time, California was isolated from much of the world, so the world had little idea what was happening, and even if it could know, there was less it could do to stop it. Now if something similar were to happen in California today, communication is much stronger now, and word would get out very quickly, and when the word did get out there is a lot more which those outside California could do (i.e. Congress could send the National Guard). Most genocide takes place where communication with the outside is poor (for example, in the Holocaust, most of the murders either happened in remote rural areas, or in the camps which were deliberately remote in order to avoid global attention). So as worldwide communication improves, I expect less atrocities to happen.

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Post by edonnelly » Sun Sep 30, 2007 8:31 pm

annis wrote:Decline in what other areas? What historical periods would you consider superior to our own?

...

While there is copious room for improvement, there are moral improvements over time.
As a weird coincindence, I just today came to part in Pharr with the passage that describes Zeus being off with the Ethiopians. Pharr goes on in his footnotes for about a page and half discussing just this topic (apparently it used to be quite common to believe that culture and society corrupt a more-natural purity).
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Post by GlottalGreekGeek » Sun Sep 30, 2007 10:06 pm

edonnelly wrote: As a weird coincindence, I just today came to part in Pharr with the passage that describes Zeus being off with the Ethiopians. Pharr goes on in his footnotes for about a page and half discussing just this topic (apparently it used to be quite common to believe that culture and society corrupt a more-natural purity).
This footnote was edited out of the Wright version of Pharr (when I skimmed through the Wright version, that was the ONLY difference I found between the two).

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Post by edonnelly » Sun Sep 30, 2007 11:39 pm

GlottalGreekGeek wrote:
edonnelly wrote: As a weird coincindence, I just today came to part in Pharr with the passage that describes Zeus being off with the Ethiopians. Pharr goes on in his footnotes for about a page and half discussing just this topic (apparently it used to be quite common to believe that culture and society corrupt a more-natural purity).
This footnote was edited out of the Wright version of Pharr (when I skimmed through the Wright version, that was the ONLY difference I found between the two).
Well, in Lesson XVI #4 Pharr said "Memorize the first eight verses of the Iliad" and Wright changed this to "Memorize the first seven verses of the Iliad," which really strengthens the revised edition, in my opinion.
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Post by GlottalGreekGeek » Mon Oct 01, 2007 4:46 pm

Well, I didn't skim the revised very thoroughly.

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edonnelly
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Post by edonnelly » Mon Oct 01, 2007 6:49 pm

I was really just kidding. I did think it was funny that he hardly changed anything, but did apparently go out of his way to save the readers the trouble of memorizing that one verse (at least until the very next line of the text where he then says to memorize one additional verse per day...)
The lists:
G'Oogle and the Internet Pharrchive - 1100 or so free Latin and Greek books.
DownLOEBables - Free books from the Loeb Classical Library

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klewlis
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Post by klewlis » Thu Oct 04, 2007 5:04 pm

annis wrote:
klewlis wrote:but even if that is true (and considering the genocide, etc, that are occurring in various parts of the world as we speak, I'd want to see substantiation), it addresses only war... improving in one area does not prevent decline in another area, and does not indicate an overall net improvement.
Decline in what other areas? What historical periods would you consider superior to our own?

That's exactly my point. Our period is neither better nor worse than any other. There are a limited number of vices and strengths for the human race to select--each period and culture simply selects a different combination of them. One civilization could have less war and more oppression... or whatever. I don't think we're better or worse... we've just got a unique combination of vices and strengths, as did every age before us. :)

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