Primitivism

  1. Philosophy Forum
  2. » Ethics
  3. » Primitivism

Get Email Updates Email this Topic Print this Page

Reply Tue 16 Mar, 2010 10:48 pm
Is it conceivable to become too technologically advanced? Has the techno-gizmo world evolved too rapidly for its makers? These are a couple questions asked by the notion of primitivism, which, on the extreme end, suggests that civilization is self-destructive. A more modest position simply says that we humans were more sensible (morally or otherwise) sometime in the distant past.

I think it is plausible to say that we are getting ahead of ourselves, that our ability to reason has limits that we have exposed ever more rapidly. We like to speak of ourselves as "rational beings" but I always refer to David Hume when I hear this; as far as I interpret his work, Hume could not help but conclude that humans are not rational, but practical, sentimental and sympathetic. To that I would add that we can be quite stupid as well.

Anyway, what do you think? Is there a point where technology does us more harm than good?
 
Jebediah
 
Reply Tue 16 Mar, 2010 11:09 pm
@zefloid13,
We aren't particularly rational. We take a lot of our ideas unquestioningly from the traditions of our society. But those traditions are built up and reexamined over time. So we do make progress.

That's separate from technology of course, but that's the point. Technology allows civilization to be civilized, rather than fighting for food. But we don't always know how to deal with new technology. We can learn though.
 
ughaibu
 
Reply Tue 16 Mar, 2010 11:17 pm
@Jebediah,
Jebediah;140454 wrote:
Technology allows civilization to be civilized, rather than fighting for food.
The Kalahari desert is a hostile environment, yet the hunter gatherers living there are said to spend about fifteen hours a week on the business of survival. So, it's not clear that you're correct about fighting for food, particularly in view of the recent Iraq wars which seem to have been about securing resources required for present technologies.
 
Deckard
 
Reply Tue 16 Mar, 2010 11:58 pm
@ughaibu,
Primitivism

Nice collection of primitivist statements - John Zerzan in particular.
 
Jebediah
 
Reply Wed 17 Mar, 2010 12:05 am
@ughaibu,
ughaibu;140456 wrote:
The Kalahari desert is a hostile environment, yet the hunter gatherers living there are said to spend about fifteen hours a week on the business of survival. So, it's not clear that you're correct about fighting for food,


Hunter gatherers being the key phrase here. Anyway, what we think of as civilization is propped up by our technology. Our "problems with technology" are only problems because we've taken care of the bigger problems. We learn to deal with new technology. There are better solutions than walking to the ocean to chuck the coke bottle into it :p
 
wayne
 
Reply Wed 17 Mar, 2010 12:08 am
@zefloid13,
Technology serves mostly to increase our level of comfort in an otherwise harsh environment, Any new technology may only be as good as it is bad, but that is the human condition, the Id and the ego, good vs evil. The condition goes beyond ourselves into society as a whole, thus we have the internet which is a very good thing when used properly but has some nasty results when the Id gets a hold of it. the thing is we eventually reach a balance with any new technology and we are generaly more comfortable because of it, is this a good use of finite resources? probly not
 
1CellOfMany
 
Reply Fri 19 Mar, 2010 08:25 pm
@zefloid13,
zefloid13;140451 wrote:
Is it conceivable to become too technologically advanced? Has the techno-gizmo world evolved too rapidly for its makers? These are a couple questions asked by the notion of primitivism, which, on the extreme end, suggests that civilization is self-destructive. A more modest position simply says that we humans were more sensible (morally or otherwise) sometime in the distant past.

I think it is plausible to say that we are getting ahead of ourselves, that our ability to reason has limits that we have exposed ever more rapidly. We like to speak of ourselves as "rational beings" but I always refer to David Hume when I hear this; as far as I interpret his work, Hume could not help but conclude that humans are not rational, but practical, sentimental and sympathetic. To that I would add that we can be quite stupid as well.

Anyway, what do you think? Is there a point where technology does us more harm than good?

Technology is the embodiment - the practical manifestation - of the power of the human intellect to discover the secrets of nature through scientific investigation and reasoning. The products of technology, including tools, toys and techniques, are the means to augment our power to do many things that we can do without technology: Walking is augmented by riding, driving, and flying. Food production and preparation are augmented and accessorized by a staggering variety of machines and products, from the farm to the kitchen.

In a darker vein, imaginative games that children (and adults) can play with things in nature are augmented (often replaced) by electronic games. High-quality, long-lasting products, well presented, are replaced by cheap, mass-produced goods, cleverly advertised. The human ability to kill, destroy, and to force others to obey our will is augmented by the technology of weapons.

What does it mean to say, "the techno-gizmo has world evolved too rapidly for its makers"? What is it about us, the makers and consumers of technology, that needs to catch up? Could it be that we are influenced in our choices by the technology of advertising, so that we spend what we earn on things that we really don't need? And what about those weapons? Could it be that we lack the wisdom and the understanding to pass beyond the need for weapons? Could it be that we do not know ourselves and what is actually good for us well enough to decide what technology is worth developing and worth using?

"With great power comes great responsibility." Technology is power. What we are behind on is our sense of responsibility, and even our understanding of what it is we are responsible for. A teen shows off his ability to drive by cruising and showing off in potentially dangerous ways. But he or she can mature into a parent who uses a car as transportation to work, to school, to shop, to vacation, etc. right now we humans are, collectively, acting like that teenager. I pray to God that we will survive long enough to grow up and learn responsibility to our fellow humans and to all of life on earth. We are all connected, and what we do with the power we have learned to wield affects all of us.
 
reasoning logic
 
Reply Sat 20 Mar, 2010 04:54 pm
@1CellOfMany,
1CellOfMany;141396 wrote:
Technology is the embodiment - the practical manifestation - of the power of the human intellect to discover the secrets of nature through scientific investigation and reasoning. The products of technology, including tools, toys and techniques, are the means to augment our power to do many things that we can do without technology: Walking is augmented by riding, driving, and flying. Food production and preparation are augmented and accessorized by a staggering variety of machines and products, from the farm to the kitchen.

In a darker vein, imaginative games that children (and adults) can play with things in nature are augmented (often replaced) by electronic games. High-quality, long-lasting products, well presented, are replaced by cheap, mass-produced goods, cleverly advertised. The human ability to kill, destroy, and to force others to obey our will is augmented by the technology of weapons.

What does it mean to say, "the techno-gizmo has world evolved too rapidly for its makers"? What is it about us, the makers and consumers of technology, that needs to catch up? Could it be that we are influenced in our choices by the technology of advertising, so that we spend what we earn on things that we really don't need? And what about those weapons? Could it be that we lack the wisdom and the understanding to pass beyond the need for weapons? Could it be that we do not know ourselves and what is actually good for us well enough to decide what technology is worth developing and worth using?

"With great power comes great responsibility." Technology is power. What we are behind on is our sense of responsibility, and even our understanding of what it is we are responsible for. A teen shows off his ability to drive by cruising and showing off in potentially dangerous ways. But he or she can mature into a parent who uses a car as transportation to work, to school, to shop, to vacation, etc. right now we humans are, collectively, acting like that teenager. I pray to God that we will survive long enough to grow up and learn responsibility to our fellow humans and to all of life on earth. We are all connected, and what we do with the power we have learned to wield affects all of us.


Wow! You are way ahead of your time 1CellofMany you are able see and understand what most others would not even have a interest in considering. It must be that you have a rare ability to consider important things, where as most of the population can not, and may or may not ever be able to preceive what you can. The real question is what are you able to do with this info to progress the advancement of all mankind? Will you share it a little at a time with the layman or will you keep it to yourself and maybe share it with like minded thinkers on a forum like this? Or would you do more than what I have said? Should there be a Price for this info or should it be free? Should we send a offering plate around so that intellectually challenged [or should I say people who are more ethically challenged than me or you] can tithe you so that they can learn how to think more ethically and logically?Smile Should ethics be taught in public schools? :detective:
 
1CellOfMany
 
Reply Sun 21 Mar, 2010 01:26 pm
@zefloid13,
reasoning logic;141725 wrote:
Wow! You are way ahead of your time 1CellofMany you are able see and understand what most others would not even have a interest in considering. It must be that you have a rare ability to consider important things, where as most of the population can not, and may or may not ever be able to preceive what you can. The real question is what are you able to do with this info to progress the advancement of all mankind? Will you share it a little at a time with the layman or will you keep it to yourself and maybe share it with like minded thinkers on a forum like this? Or would you do more than what I have said? Should there be a Price for this info or should it be free? Should we send a offering plate around so that intellectually challenged [or should I say people who are more ethically challenged than me or you] can tithe you so that they can learn how to think more ethically and logically? Should ethics be taught in public schools?

There are over a million people, some in nearly every country on Earth, who believe in the principles below. They strive each day to bring their own characters and actions closer to these principles, and they work to encourage others to investigate these ideas and to join the effort of bringing about a new civilization:
1. INDEPENDENT INVESTIGATION OF REALITY
Discover for yourselves the reality of things, and strive to assimilate the methods by which noble-mindedness and glory are attained among the nations and people of the world.

No man should follow blindly his ancestors and forefathers. Nay, each must see with his own eyes, hear with his own ears and investigate independently in order that he may find the truth. The religion of forefathers and ancestors is based upon blind imitation. Man should investigate reality.

2. ABANDONMENT OF ALL PREJUDICE
O people, make firm the girdle of endeavor, that perchance religious prejudice may be annulled. For love of God and his servants, engage in this great and mighty matter. Religious hatred and rancor is a world-consuming fire, and the quenching thereof most arduous, unless the hand of divine might give men deliverance from this unfruitful calamity.

Beware of prejudice; light is good in whatsoever lamp it is burning. A rose is beautiful in whatsoever garden it may bloom. A star has the same radiance if it shines from the east or the west.

All the prophets of God have come to unite the children of men and not to disperse them; to put in action the law of love and not enmity.

We must banish prejudice. Religious, patriotic, racial prejudices must disappear, for they are the destroyers of human society.

We must become the cause of the unity of the human race.

3. THE ONENESS OF THE WORLD OF HUMANITY
White doves and gray doves associate with each other in perfect friendship. Man draws imaginary lines on the planet and says, "This is a Frenchman, a Musselman, an Italian!" Upon these differences wars are waged. Men are fighting for the possession of the earth. They fight for that which becomes their graves, their cemeteries, their tombs.

In reality all are members of one human family -- children of one Heavenly Father. Humanity may be likened unto the vari-colored flowers of one garden. There is unity in diversity. Each sets off and enhances the other's beauty.

4. THE FOUNDATION OF ALL RELIGIONS IS ONE
The foundation underlying all the divine precepts is one reality. It must needs be reality and reality is one. Therefore the foundation of the divine religions is one. But we can see that certain forms and ceremonies have crept in. They are heretical, they are accidental, because they differ, hence they cause differences among religions. If we set aside all superstitions and see the reality of the foundation we shall all agree, because religion is one and not multiple.

5. RELIGION MUST BE IN ACCORD WITH SCIENCE AND REASON
Religion must agree with science, so that science shall sustain religion and religion explain science. The two must be brought together, indissolubly, in reality. Down to the present day it has been customary for man to accept blindly what was called religion, even though it were not in accord with human reason.

6. A UNIVERSAL LANGUAGE
A universal language shall be adopted and taught in the schools and academies of the world. A committee appointed by the national bodies shall select a suitable language to be used as a means of international communication.

Every one will need but two languages, his national tongue and the universal language. All will acquire the international language.

7. UNIVERSAL EDUCATION
Partaking of knowledge and education is one of the requisites of religion. The education of each child is obligatory. If there are no parents, the community must look after the child. It is suggested that the childless educate a child.

It is incumbent on every one to engage in some occupation, such as arts, trades, and the like. We have made this -- your occupation -- identical with the worship of God, the true one. Reflect, O people, upon the mercy of God and upon his favors, then thank him in mornings and evenings.

8. EQUALITY BETWEEN MEN AND WOMEN
This is peculiar to the teachings of BAHA'O'LLAH. Former religious systems placed men above women. Daughters and sons must follow the same form of study and acquire a uniform education. One course of education promotes unity among mankind.

9. AN INTERNATIONAL TRIBUNAL
The true civilization will raise its banner when some noble kings of big ambitions, the bright suns of the world of humanitarian enthusiasm, shall, for the good and happiness of all the human race, step forth with firm resolution and keen mind and hold a conference on the question of universal peace; when keeping fast hold of the means of enforcing their views they shall establish a union of the states of the world, and conclude a definite treaty and strict alliance between them upon conditions not to be evaded. When the whole human race has been consulted through their representatives and invited to corroborate this treaty which verily will be accounted sacred by all the peoples of the earth, it will be the duty of the united powers of the world to see that this great treaty shall endure.

A reflection of this parliament of man will be established in each community and called the "house of justice." Its members will be chosen for their attribute of justice, and all matters pertaining to the community interests will be brought here for consultation.

10. UNIVERSAL PEACE
All men and nations shall make peace. There shall be universal peace amongst governments, universal peace amongst religions, universal peace amongst races, universal peace amongst the denizens of all regions. Today in the world of humanity the most important matter is the question of universal peace.
(Abdu'l-Baha, Divine Philosophy, p. 24)
 
HexHammer
 
Reply Sun 21 Mar, 2010 01:53 pm
@zefloid13,
zefloid13;140451 wrote:
Is it conceivable to become too technologically advanced? Has the techno-gizmo world evolved too rapidly for its makers? These are a couple questions asked by the notion of primitivism, which, on the extreme end, suggests that civilization is self-destructive. A more modest position simply says that we humans were more sensible (morally or otherwise) sometime in the distant past.

I think it is plausible to say that we are getting ahead of ourselves, that our ability to reason has limits that we have exposed ever more rapidly. We like to speak of ourselves as "rational beings" but I always refer to David Hume when I hear this; as far as I interpret his work, Hume could not help but conclude that humans are not rational, but practical, sentimental and sympathetic. To that I would add that we can be quite stupid as well.

Anyway, what do you think? Is there a point where technology does us more harm than good?
It has already happend.
Small kids now get diabetes, which only old people got in the days of old. Because of the mass production of foods and candy, which result in low prices. The TV and PC isn't helping out much on the problem, since people sit sitll and do whatever they do there. Only recently gaming-consols have devices which allows body and leg movement while playing.

In medical sector, too big medic firms produce too many products with high side effect and only have a cure effecientcy of 30%-40%, and too many doctors are getting bribes to forget other products in favor of the big company with big pockets.

If the would would come to an end in 2012, most wouldn't know how to survice in the wilderness, we are too technology dependant to survive by ourselfs, both in term of finding food, know how to find water, navigate, making shelter ..etc.
In certain places life expectency would only be mere hours, since it requires particular suvival skills to endure extreme heat or cold, without our technology.

Overall we'r better off than for 100 years ago, just that we need to make legislations that reflect the new worlds demands.
 
reasoning logic
 
Reply Tue 23 Mar, 2010 12:54 pm
@Jebediah,
Jebediah;140454 wrote:
We aren't particularly rational. We take a lot of our ideas unquestioningly from the traditions of our society. But those traditions are built up and reexamined over time. So we do make progress.

That's separate from technology of course, but that's the point. Technology allows civilization to be civilized, rather than fighting for food. But we don't always know how to deal with new technology. We can learn though.


I do seem to agree with you, your quote seems to me what keeps us from advancing more quickly. [We take a lot of our ideas unquestioningly from the traditions of our society] Some how or another we need to get the people to bring into question some of the things that they are taught.[ especially religion and mythology]:detective: If you feel bad about eating brains do not do it. It is not like the person who dies will ever know that his brains were not eaten. Eating brains is probably a ancient cannibal tradition. Be carefull with [kuru] laughing sickness is no laughing matter so I would have to stay away from eating brains.
 
Deckard
 
Reply Wed 24 Mar, 2010 02:47 am
@Jebediah,
Jebediah;140454 wrote:
We aren't particularly rational. We take a lot of our ideas unquestioningly from the traditions of our society. But those traditions are built up and reexamined over time. So we do make progress.

That's separate from technology of course, but that's the point. Technology allows civilization to be civilized, rather than fighting for food. But we don't always know how to deal with new technology. We can learn though.


But man against nature has come to include man against technology. The two are indistinguishable. It is not "separate from technology of course", and that is the point. We have already crossed the line. Dealing with technology which includes the social institutions that technology gives rise to has today become like dealing with Nature (capital "N"). Those who control (own) the technology are already as if part of Nature and they already stand between us and (our True) Nature. We try to get back to the real Nature but only on the weekend, only on our vacation. We are out of touch with Nature. We have to deal with Civilization first. Civilization stands between us and Nature. Civilization began as a way to guard against the dangers of Nature but it has become now as if part of Nature itself with its own set of dangers that we must now learn to guard ourselves against. Primitivism is an attempt to remember who we are before we forget completely and believe that reality to be only who we were.
 
Jebediah
 
Reply Wed 24 Mar, 2010 10:13 am
@zefloid13,
I think primitivism answers the question of who we are by looking at who we were in primitive societies. I think that's a narrow view. Part of "who we are" is formed by our civilization--it may be arbitrary but that's how we work. It's in our nature to talk a lot, and so we have cell phones. It's in our nature to want entertainment and so we have TV. It's in our nature to want to go into the woods sometimes, and so we have national parks. I don't see a conflict.
 
HexHammer
 
Reply Wed 24 Mar, 2010 10:52 am
@Deckard,
Deckard;142906 wrote:
But man against nature has come to include man against technology. The two are indistinguishable. It is not "separate from technology of course", and that is the point. We have already crossed the line. Dealing with technology which includes the social institutions that technology gives rise to has today become like dealing with Nature (capital "N"). Those who control (own) the technology are already as if part of Nature and they already stand between us and (our True) Nature. We try to get back to the real Nature but only on the weekend, only on our vacation. We are out of touch with Nature. We have to deal with Civilization first. Civilization stands between us and Nature. Civilization began as a way to guard against the dangers of Nature but it has become now as if part of Nature itself with its own set of dangers that we must now learn to guard ourselves against. Primitivism is an attempt to remember who we are before we forget completely and believe that reality to be only who we were.
Dont' really agree with this, there are many who doesn't care about nature, they can't miss what they never seen in the urban jungle. Never heard about bronx gangs long for nature, they have enough in the brother hood and their terretory.
Nor upper class Gucci lovers ..all such decadent people rarely want to do trekking in the mountains and live under primitive conditions, less "relive themselfs" under primitive conditions.

Decadence leads to lost abilities.
 
 

 
  1. Philosophy Forum
  2. » Ethics
  3. » Primitivism
Copyright © 2022 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.02 seconds on 07/05/2022 at 10:46:34