Discussion Do we really have it better than our Ancestors?

Mai72

Lifer
Sep 12, 2012
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Video of Primitive Forest Tribe Meeting Modern Man for the First Time:


Video of Daniel Everett who was once a Christian missionary (now atheist) talks about his time with the Piraha tribe of Brazil.


Do we really have it better than our ancestors? For many people that would be a resounding YES. We have things like modern medicine. Most of us live comfortable lives. That includes most of the poor, excluding the homeless. We can go from an airconditioned/heated home, to our air conditioned/heated car and not have to deal with the discomforts of the environment. We have opportunities today that we've never had even 50 years ago. Want to learn a trade, or skill that can generate a great income? Its very likely that can happen, and you can now do it in the comfort of your home. But, at what cost? In the movie FioghtClub Tyler Durden states that "the things we own, own us." That has always stuck with me. That new car you just bought. That new home or fancy apartment you are living in. Those fancy clothes. That big screen TV, or multiple big screen Tvs. That new iphone. They all come at a cost. And that is our time, because those nice new shiny items start to own us via long hours at work, or doing a job you seriously dislike.

Let's look at religion. Daniel Everett traveled to the forest of Brazil to teach the Piraha about Christanity and to not be afraid of death. What he found was they had no fear of death, and that they had no religion. That had no higher deity. It defies everything that we've been taught about. That a God, or deity is a must for morals, and to have purpose in this life. Daniel couldn't believe his discovery, so he brought in sociologist and they discovered that these people were the happiest people on the planet. How? They measured how many times they smiled, which was a TON. Now, lets look at our Western modern world. Depression, anxiousness, unhappiness, sadness, and anger seem to be most prevalent. Especially in America. This is what researchers have found. And yet, we are living in the most abundent and properous times ever.

I'm not trying to argue that we should go back to primitive ways. Tribes people have many issues that would and could be easily fixed by modern medicine and a more modern approach to living. The life expectancy of a tribes person is short. Infections and diseases plague them. They could use adequate housing. And a host of other issues could be vanquished by modern practices. But, I'd also argue that they don't have the issues that I stated earlier. I don't know. It was just a thought.
 

Torn Mind

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Nov 25, 2012
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Denmark is happy statistically?

I came around that fact through a few random youtube recommends.
 
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Captante

Lifer
Oct 20, 2003
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"Dead seed, blind man's greed
Poet starving, children bleed...

Nothing he's got he really needs.

21st century schizoid man."


~ King Crimson
 
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TheELF

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Dec 22, 2012
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Councillor Hamann: Almost no one comes down here, unless, of course, there’s a problem. That’s how it is with people – nobody cares how it works as long as it works. I like it down here. I like to be reminded this city survives because of these machines. These machines are keeping us alive, while other machines are coming to kill us. Interesting, isn’t it? Power to give life, and the power to end it.
Neo: We have the same power.
Councillor Hamann: I suppose we do, but down here sometimes I think about all those people still plugged into the Matrix and when I look at these machines, I.. I can’t help thinking that in a way, we are plugged into them.
Neo: But we control these machines, they don’t control us.
Councillor Hamann: Of course not, how could they? The idea’s pure nonsense, but… it does make one wonder just… what is control?
Neo: If we wanted, we could shut these machines down.
Councillor Hamann: Of course… that’s it. You hit it! That’s control, isn’t it? If we wanted, we could smash them to bits. Although if we did, we’d have to consider what would happen to our lights, our heat, our air.
Neo: So we need machines and they need us. Is that your point, Councillor?
Councillor Hamann: No, no point. Old men like me don’t bother with making points. There’s no point.
Neo: Is that why there are no young men on the Council?
Councillor Hamann: Good point.
Anyway it's easy to be happy and to get along with everybody if you think that those few duzend people is all there is on the planet. It really makes you treat everybody as your very best friend because there aren't that many people that could safe you from a lion or something you need to be on everybody's good side.
 
Nov 8, 2012
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It is unquestionable that we have it better than ancestors - though I do think we have some catching up to do as far as biological evolution is concerned. We still have plenty of cave-man like actions and emotions.

Example: I really don't think a lot of the human brains are cut out for monogamous relationships. Mostly because... we didn't have them for millions of years. Did the human brain evolve that quickly for our hormones to support it? Probably not - take a look at divorce rates and single family homes lol.



If anything people have become so accustom to the lives we have now - that things like depression and anxiety have skyrocketed from lives where you just don't have a lot to do in day-to-day lives - vs. like dank was mentioning, churning butter, finding milk, raising crops, making clothing, bartering for other goods, learning new skills, fixing shit, you could honestly make an infinite list - because the list of tasks WAS endless. Now think of how much time the average person spends on their smartphone because their life doesn't have much of a purpose like it did previously.
 

nakedfrog

No Lifer
Apr 3, 2001
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Let's look at religion. Daniel Everett traveled to the forest of Brazil to teach the Piraha about Christanity and to not be afraid of death. What he found was they had no fear of death, and that they had no religion. That had no higher deity. It defies everything that we've been taught about. That a God, or deity is a must for morals, and to have purpose in this life.
Maybe that's what you were taught. I wasn't raised religious, and always found the idea that a deity must be present to provide morals/purpose to be a stupid concept. I don't think it's an innate belief.
 

sdifox

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Sep 30, 2005
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No, your ancestors didn't have to worry about vaccine side effects :rolleyes:
 
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TheELF

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Dec 22, 2012
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If anything people have become so accustom to the lives we have now - that things like depression and anxiety have skyrocketed from lives where you just don't have a lot to do in day-to-day lives - vs. like dank was mentioning, churning butter, finding milk, raising crops, making clothing, bartering for other goods, learning new skills, fixing shit, you could honestly make an infinite list - because the list of tasks WAS endless. Now think of how much time the average person spends on their smartphone because their life doesn't have much of a purpose like it did previously.
All their work was done until about 5 in the evening because they didn't have any light after that...plenty of time to think about how terrible their lives where.
 

Torn Mind

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Nov 25, 2012
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As far as social structure goes, it is likely the hunter-gatherer social structure is far more equitable than the agrarian-city based social structure that has existed for millennia. Probably because if someone did deviate, life would such for everyone else. In contrast, the agrarian organization systemically enables division and different “paradigms” within society. Often times, the friction between tiers comes to a head and the civilization ends. The Aztecs has it coming because their conquered subjects weren’t fond of their rules, for example.

People love romanticizing primitives. Only thing is, the primitives were also diverse in their organization.

Cultures are not meant to be some zoo exhibit to give a thrill. Cultures develop because of necessity and environment. The people sacrificed to the gods or to the state sure didn’t have it better.

Also, back then we could make loans and currency for nations to use out of digital bytes. We had to, ah, forcefully acquire them. This isn’t a color or ethnicity thing either.
 

maluckey1

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Mar 15, 2018
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It's not always a binary situation better/worse, because society is a social construct. That means it exists for the needs of the participants. The situation molds the construct to be advantageous to it's current participants within a range of bad to good on a Bell Curve.

The experience of the participants is always relative to their expectations.

On a humanitarian mission, I once spent some time amongst Shuar people In a small village, only accessible by canoe. During lunch one day, after the obligatory chicha bowls were passed (gross...but "when in Rome"...), I asked about food security, and health of the group, and they stated that the jungle provides all the food that they need. They went on to tell me that what they really want is a generator to serve as power for a disco. They expected animal attacks and disease, and they really didn't believe that they could change that. They believed that they COULD change that they don't have a disco...if they only had a generator.

It's more about what you want/expect than what is given to you.
 
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Red Squirrel

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May 24, 2003
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In some ways, we have it better, in other ways we have it worse. Technology and modern things like medicine, indoor plumbing and electricity makes life way easier and safer. But now we are heading towards a dystopian era with constant mass surveillance and more government overreach, and basically corporations and government trying to control our lives while we slave away working for the system. We are slowly losing our freedoms. Don't even get me started with HOAs. But even cities can be pretty bad and the overall government. My city is now trying to pass a law to limit how many pets you can have. This crap never stops, busybodies making laws are always trying to find ways to control our lives and limit our freedoms. It's getting absurd.

Before there was way less of that crap. As long as you're not stealing or killing people or causing vandalism, you were probably left alone. Now, almost everything you do is either illegal, taxed, or heavily regulated. But then at same time so many other aspects are better now like medicine for example. And not all regulations are bad either, for example labour regulations that ensure you make it home safe after work etc.

I'd say in general we do still have it better.
 

Scarpozzi

Lifer
Jun 13, 2000
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I think the real issue is that we read about how great the AT 1% live and those heathens in the rainforest don't know what they're missing. You want those bastards to stop smiling? Give them a smartphone and teach them how to nef on ATOT.
 

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