Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Mon 3 Mar, 2014 04:44 pm
@timur,
Not to be pedantic but I doubt anyone plays at being Cassandra.

Why would they?

Cassandra had the gift of prophecy but the curse of having no one believe her.

She was not someone making false prophecies. Quite the opposite
Romeo Fabulini
 
  0  
Reply Mon 3 Mar, 2014 07:16 pm
Quote:
Rushpoint said: Only at the precipice do we evolve. question is, would it not be to late by then?

One of the most chilling bible prophecies is this one-
"The time has come for judging the dead, and for rewarding your servants the prophets and your people who revere your name, both great and small— and for destroying those who destroy the earth.” (Revelation 11:18)
We're the smelliest most polluting generation there's ever been, so maybe the verse refers to us?
Wildlife broadcaster Sir David Attenborough made an interesting comment-"the natural world will do something", he didn't elaborate but it seems he's suggesting overpopulation is the problem.
So maybe the Earth itself might cook up a virus to drastically thin us out?

http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g64/PoorOldSpike/Attenb-foodaid_zpsc26ff758.jpg~original
RushPoint
 
  1  
Reply Mon 3 Mar, 2014 10:24 pm
@Romeo Fabulini,
a pandemic would be most effective where on earth?

ancient permafrost melting in Siberia, Russian biologists claim to have found woolly mammoth tissue with live cells, it was also said there are concerns about ancient microbes or bacteria. it is thought that a virus or strange bacteria could be re introduced into our environment, one in which we have no immunity or ability to treat.

0 Replies
 
RushPoint
 
  1  
Reply Mon 3 Mar, 2014 10:27 pm
@Finn dAbuzz,
Cassandra is dead!
0 Replies
 
RushPoint
 
  1  
Reply Wed 5 Mar, 2014 08:54 am
so, would it not be fair to say that religion is somewhat responsible for shaping humanity into what it is today? I mean, the whole "fear of God" thing, morals, law, or making our mortality or the thought of imminent and inevitable death easier to accept? What if man had no rules from the beginning? what if for thousands of years we believed there would be no judgement by God? what if the "10 commandments" were never realized? would people not just do as they pleased? would it not be a world where survival of the fittest determined whom had what or how much? would people not just kill you for your sheep, family or home? so, could it be possible that religion is indirectly responsible for global population numbers, without religion ever being in the picture I'm wondering if the world would not have ended up a more violent place where survival of the fittest would have resulted in population numbers being much lower and with a less number of weaker people within it. Would science today not have benefited from this? I'm sure that at some point we would have realized that murder and theft is wrong and laws would have eventually been implemented, but without religion to stand in the way of early science I wonder what life would have been like today!
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Wed 5 Mar, 2014 09:15 am
@RushPoint,
RushPoint wrote:
why bother with science and physics when the more we learn and understand the less significant or "smaller" we become!

Because, compared to the universe as a whole, we are small and insignificant. We can fool ourselves about it with religion, or we can look reality straight in the eye by 'bothering' with the natural sciences. Personally I prefer facing up to reality. Also, I love the natural sciences; I don't find them bothersome at all. If you'd rather fool yourself, you can do that; that's on you.

Rush Point wrote:
why is it that, as a race of creatures on this planet, are we "knowingly" being blindly guided down a path of certain destruction as a result of corruption and greed focused on the "here and now" mentalities of the very few?

Again, I disagree with your premises. First, we are not blindly guided anywhere. We guide ourselves, at least in the world's democratic societies. Whether we do it blindly or consciously is up to us. Second, it isn't true that we are guiding ourselves "down a path of certain destruction". Over the long haul, the human condition has been continuously improving. Granted, there have been leaps and backlashes in the short run, but it's clear that humanity is immeasurably better off today than it was, say, 200 years ago. By the way, science and its applications have been important factors in this, which is one more reason to bother with science.
Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Wed 5 Mar, 2014 10:00 am
The human race is far better off that it was just 100 years ago. A century ago, far more women, by orders of magnitude, died in childbirth or of the various low resistance diseases collectively known as "childbed fever." Far fewer children die of the chronic diseases of childhood and what were once pandemic diseases such as polio. It's not just higher level scientific research that has helped us either. Something which is prosaic in our world--the automobile--led to the elimination to a huge vector of diseases, horse manure in the streets. Many of those diseases were also responsible for childhood illnesses and the high rate of childhood mortality. The proliferation of the automobile also led to the death of urban livery stables, a major vector in the spread of tuberculosis Science, grand and humble, has given us these benefits, and done so relatively recently.
0 Replies
 
RushPoint
 
  1  
Reply Wed 5 Mar, 2014 11:04 am
@Thomas,
so, you believe that our way of life is healthier? you believe that the food we buy at the grocery store is good for you? you believe that the rising number of obese people in our nations is a sign of a healthier society? child diabetes is thousands of times higher then what it was 200 years ago! something like 70% of the population is taking SSRI's or anti depressants of some form as a result of a highly stressful environment, heart dieses are far greater then what they were 200 years ago. As our societies get fatter and lazier it would seem we are in fact not better off than we were 200 years ago, albeit we have an extended life expectancy as a result of medical science but all for what? so we can take advantage of an automated and convenient life style? Not to mention our cities are exponentially getting larger by the decade, are we not just begging for a massive pandemic? People have traded in their life skills over the decades for the convenience and automation, what if the climate changes to the degree that we can no longer feed the masses? would it not be safe to say we are setting our self up for disaster?
Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Wed 5 Mar, 2014 11:14 am
You wouldn't be able to stand the open-air markets of a hundred years ago. Watch the flies, fresh from the horse manure piles in the streets, walking across the food you intend to buy. Think about the raw sewage which is dumped in the waterways from which your drinking water is taken. There is a global pandemic of obseity--and it shows up not just in humans, but in lab animals and livestock, and some researchers claim it shows up in wild animals, too. Increasingly, researchers are coming to the conclusion that it's the product of environmental, chemical pollution. For as alarming as that is, we are also living in a time when the the proliferation of those environmental pollutants is on the decline.

Thousands of years ago, the Romans used so much soft lead that traces of lead, precipitated from the atmosphere, can be found in Antarctic ice core samples. The Romans used soft lead for the pipes in the aqueducts because it could be easily formed by bending around a dowel, and burst sections could be quickly removed, replaced, and taken into town to any competent smith to be turned back into soft lead sheets. We now know that the consequences of long-term, low-level lead poisoning are. I suspect, though, that even had they known, the people cities in the empire would have preferred what they saw as clean water from the aqueducts to the water they saw in rivers and lakes, where people dumped their raw sewage--i would be inclined to agree with that sentiment.

"The good old days" is a myth. We are far, far better off even with these environmental pollutants than people were just a hundred years ago, and there's just no reasonable comparison between today and a thousand years ago. Kassandra lives.
dalehileman
 
  0  
Reply Wed 5 Mar, 2014 11:47 am
@RushPoint,
Rush, I'd agree with S. above that things are mostly better

Unless of course one factors in the increased probability of destruction if not by nuclear means then overpop
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Wed 5 Mar, 2014 12:02 pm
@RushPoint,
RushPoint wrote:
so, you believe that our way of life is healthier?

Yes I do. And it's not even a matter of belief, it's proven by demonstration. Life expectancy at birth today is roughly 75 years. It was roughly 50 years 100 years ago, roughly 25 hears 200 years ago. Nobody claims that we are living in Utopia today, but our health problems are peanuts compared to those of our ancestors in the not-too-distant past. My answer to all your "do you believe . . ." questions is a resounding "yes".

RushPoint wrote:
would it not be safe to say we are setting our self up for disaster?

No it isn't. This type of secular-apocalyptic vision you put forward has been around since at least the 1600s, and has never materialized. Adam Smith mentions it in his Wealth of Nations, published 1776. Apparently it was an old phenomenon even in his time.

Adam Smith wrote:
The annual produce of the land and labour of England, for example, is certainly much greater than it was, a little more than a century ago, at the restoration of Charles II. Though, at present, few people, I believe, doubt of this, yet during this period, five years have seldom passed away in which some book or pamphlet has not been published, written, too, with such abilities as to gain some authority with the public, and pretending to demonstrate that the wealth of the nation was fast declining, that the country was depopulated, agriculture neglected, manufactures decaying, and trade undone. Nor have these publications been all party pamphlets, the wretched offspring of falsehood and venality. Many of them have been written by very candid and very intelligent people, who wrote nothing but what they believed, and for no other reason but because they believed it.

You may not be aware of it, but your Jeremiad here follows a centuries-old pattern. Granted, there is never a conclusive proof that this time isn't different. But if your gloomy visions should prove right this time, it would be a first.
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Wed 5 Mar, 2014 12:06 pm
@Setanta,
Setanta wrote:
"The good old days" is a myth.

Hear, hear!
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Wed 5 Mar, 2014 12:27 pm
@RushPoint,
RushPoint wrote:
Every mammal on this planet instinctively develops a natural equilibrium with the surrounding environment, but we humans do not.

You may want to search the web for "rabbits in Australia". It will disabuse you of this error.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Wed 5 Mar, 2014 12:32 pm
@Thomas,
Quote:
This type of secular-apocalyptic vision you put forward has been around since at least the 1600s, and has never materialized.


Thousands of years, Boss, people have been attempting to peddle this for thousands of years. The job of prognosticator is a good one--just make sure you predict dire consequences at least ten years hence, and you feed the public hunger for this kind of thing; and when ten years pass and no disaster has materialized, no one will remember that you had predicted it. It's a great scam.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Wed 5 Mar, 2014 12:35 pm
Several years back, there was great article in the Sunday New York Times magazine in which the author (a well-known scientist) was poo-pooing the good old days myth, and he laid out exactly what one could expect if one had lived a century before, in the 1890s. At least half of your children had a statistical probability of dying before reaching maturity. Your life expectancy was less than 50, and even less for a child-bearing woman. There were many other treats of the "good old days" that he mentioned, but i don't recall them all now.
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Wed 5 Mar, 2014 12:43 pm
@RushPoint,
RushPoint wrote:
I mean, the whole "fear of God" thing, morals, law, or making our mortality or the thought of imminent and inevitable death easier to accept? What if man had no rules from the beginning? what if for thousands of years we believed there would be no judgement by God? what if the "10 commandments" were never realized? would people not just do as they pleased?

No. There are places in the world where people still don't believe there will be any judgment by God. Take Thailand, for example. Ninety-five percent of Thais adhere to Buddhism, a religion whose tenets do not include any belief in God. Thailand is a well-ordered, lawful society, where people don't just do as they please.
0 Replies
 
timur
 
  1  
Reply Wed 5 Mar, 2014 12:44 pm
Finn wrote:
Not to be pedantic but I doubt anyone plays at being Cassandra.

Yes, some are playing Cassandra, ie, making predictions of doom that never materialize.

That's today's meaning of playing Cassandra.

Look here:
Class matters wrote:
My convent education schooled me, but failed to encourage me , with cruel teachers playing Cassandra, telling me that I would end up in Woolworths if I failed to learn the subjunctive modes of French verbs.

rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Wed 5 Mar, 2014 12:46 pm
@RushPoint,
RushPoint wrote:
I’d like to share a revelation that I’ve had, It came to me when I tried to classify our species. I realized that we're not actually mammals. Every mammal on this planet instinctively develops a natural equilibrium with the surrounding environment, but we humans do not. we move to an area, and we multiply, and destroy, until every natural resource is consumed. The only way we can survive is to spread to another area and repeat this cycle. There is another organism on this planet that follows the same pattern: a virus. Human beings are a disease, a cancer of this planet. we are a plague

That's a great line from The Matrix. I loved Hugo Weaving's delivery. But not every cool line from a movie tracks well into reality.
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Wed 5 Mar, 2014 12:52 pm
@timur,
timur wrote:
Finn wrote:
Not to be pedantic but I doubt anyone plays at being Cassandra.

Yes, some are playing Cassandra, ie, making predictions of doom that never materialize.

Actually, Homer's original Cassandra made predictions of doom that did materialize. Her curse wasn't that her predictions were wrong; it was that they were right but nobody would ever believe them. The doomsayers of today, then, have a substantially worse record than Cassandra.
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Wed 5 Mar, 2014 12:53 pm
About 40 years ago, millions of starlings descended on some open fields in Georgia. They roosted in the trees, the plundered nearby fields, the stripped all the berries off nearby berry thickets, they ate all the insects they could find. They also **** so much that they killed many of the trees in which they roosted. Disease began to run rampant among them, and spread to other avian species. Eventually, the local county authority was faced with a public health nightmare with the corpses of millions of starlings in the field. They sent people in, at great expense, in biohazard suits on backhoes, dug trenches, and bulldozed the corpses into the trenches. There is no harmonious regulation of species in nature--there is only the price to be paid for destroying one's environment, and not only mankind pays these prices.
0 Replies
 
 

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