Author Topic: Humans, progress and the future.  (Read 1715 times)

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Offline jesse james

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Humans, progress and the future.
« on: September 14, 2013, 06:38:29 PM »
Given that we've been recognizably human for arguably 150 thousand years, and that life was very nasty brutish and short around that time, it seems eminently reasonable to me, that humans are on a trajectory of progress that is both heartening and at odds with a contemporary view of things as going to hell in a hand cart pretty damn fast.
what say you?
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Offline Swish

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Re: Humans, progress and the future.
« Reply #1 on: September 14, 2013, 08:09:07 PM »
Most of us won't have to worry about it for longer than 80 years, at that time most of the "newness" of life has long passed and the wonder that comes with it.
 
We can live longer these days but still will have to face the last day eventually, no exceptions.
 
What happens then is up for debate, better to hedge your bets, try to be nice and do some good things just in case there's some kind of reward for doing so.
 
 

Online Babblelot

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Re: Humans, progress and the future.
« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2013, 09:33:00 AM »
I consider myself a realist, but I often come across as a pessimist. It's simply that I'm not burdened by youth or children or religion.

I'll have time to join this discussion later.

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Offline jesse james

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Re: Humans, progress and the future.
« Reply #3 on: September 18, 2013, 05:20:24 PM »
Most of us won't have to worry about it for longer than 80 years, at that time most of the "newness" of life has long passed and the wonder that comes with it.
 
We can live longer these days but still will have to face the last day eventually, no exceptions.
 
What happens then is up for debate, better to hedge your bets, try to be nice and do some good things just in case there's some kind of reward for doing so.

I take your point about only having eighty odd years to 'worry about it', but what I'm getting at is that that many of us, certainly those in the West, live longer, are wealthier and are subject to much less violence that was historically the case, and yet we still tend to think things are falling apart.
The humanitarian and rights revolutions have been part of the enlightenment project that has more or less made most of our lives better-in terms of egalitarianism, yet we are remarkably indifferent to this, whether through historic amnesia or a tendency to be persuaded by the propagandizing of the media, propaganda in the sense of only that which is negative, to submit to a view that the world turns for the worse.
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Online Babblelot

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Re: Humans, progress and the future.
« Reply #4 on: September 20, 2013, 08:21:14 PM »
Human progress aside, this planet is gonna burn or freeze. Mars II? Or, perhaps, some people along the, oh, I don't know...pfft, of course Americans will survive! God blessed America! And Americans will start over. The owner class will find themselves some slaves rebuild their fortunes. Feudalism will emerge.

That's just human nature.

If you were wondering, Karma is something that rich people invented to make poor people feel better about themselves, if only for a brief moment.
« Last Edit: September 20, 2013, 08:45:32 PM by Babblelot »
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Offline monstertruck

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Re: Humans, progress and the future.
« Reply #5 on: September 21, 2013, 04:16:34 AM »
Human progress aside, this planet is gonna burn or freeze. Mars II? Or, perhaps, some people along the, oh, I don't know...pfft, of course Americans will survive! God blessed America! And Americans will start over. The owner class will find themselves some slaves rebuild their fortunes. Feudalism will emerge.

That's just human nature.

If you were wondering, Karma is something that rich people invented to make poor people feel better about themselves, if only for a brief moment.
That is one sweet quote right there B!


In general, folks are safer, fatter, live longer and enjoy greater creature comforts than our predecessors.

One could argue that by reducing the effects of natural selection the world will eventually be populated and governed by the likes of Honey Boo Boo.  I don't consider that progress or enlightening. ;-()
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Offline jesse james

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Re: Humans, progress and the future.
« Reply #6 on: September 21, 2013, 09:25:31 AM »
Human progress aside, this planet is gonna burn or freeze. Mars II? Or, perhaps, some people along the, oh, I don't know...pfft, of course Americans will survive! God blessed America! And Americans will start over. The owner class will find themselves some slaves rebuild their fortunes. Feudalism will emerge.

That's just human nature.

If you were wondering, Karma is something that rich people invented to make poor people feel better about themselves, if only for a brief moment.

well, you need to be specific about what you mean, and the thread is actually about human progress.
Of course you're right in terms of the earth- 'planet is gonna burn or freeze', the suns luminosity is very slowly increasing and ice ages are a common feature of recent geological history. My own favorite candidate for human extinction is increased vulcanism-geologically it's been a major force in shaping extinctions on earth. Given reality of the Yellowstone Caldera, i'm not sure why you think nature would single out the US for survival, given that geological catastrophes on the scale of a super-volcano would transcend national and class boundaries.
  I take your point about karma, but i don't think religions have been entirely inimical to human progress, but in terms of the role of religion in terms of status and class struggle you have to go with Marx and his  A Contribution to the Critique of Hegel's Philosophy of Right;
  The foundation of irreligious criticism is: Man makes religion, religion does not make man. Religion is, indeed, the self-consciousness and self-esteem of man who has either not yet won through to himself, or has already lost himself again. But man is no abstract being squatting outside the world. Man is the world of man – state, society. This state and this society produce religion, which is an inverted consciousness of the world, because they are an inverted world. Religion is the general theory of this world, its encyclopaedic compendium, its logic in popular form, its spiritual point d’honneur, its enthusiasm, its moral sanction, its solemn complement, and its universal basis of consolation and justification. It is the fantastic realization of the human essence since the human essence has not acquired any true reality. The struggle against religion is, therefore, indirectly the struggle against that world whose spiritual aroma is religion.

    Religious suffering is, at one and the same time, the expression of real suffering and a protest against real suffering. Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people.
 
 
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Offline jesse james

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Re: Humans, progress and the future.
« Reply #7 on: September 21, 2013, 09:31:56 AM »
Human progress aside, this planet is gonna burn or freeze. Mars II? Or, perhaps, some people along the, oh, I don't know...pfft, of course Americans will survive! God blessed America! And Americans will start over. The owner class will find themselves some slaves rebuild their fortunes. Feudalism will emerge.

That's just human nature.

If you were wondering, Karma is something that rich people invented to make poor people feel better about themselves, if only for a brief moment.
That is one sweet quote right there B!


In general, folks are safer, fatter, live longer and enjoy greater creature comforts than our predecessors.

One could argue that by reducing the effects of natural selection the world will eventually be populated and governed by the likes of Honey Boo Boo.  I don't consider that progress or enlightening. ;-()

I know your last point was flippant, but it's interesting that many people would think that natural selection, and therefore some notional idea of progress in terms of the human phenotype is the norm, when the reality is that stasis is far more common in evolutionary terms. Zebra's, lions, spiders, humans, tend to be the same for Millennia rather than being in a state of constant evolutionary flux.
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Offline monstertruck

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Re: Humans, progress and the future.
« Reply #8 on: September 21, 2013, 12:46:59 PM »
Human progress aside, this planet is gonna burn or freeze. Mars II? Or, perhaps, some people along the, oh, I don't know...pfft, of course Americans will survive! God blessed America! And Americans will start over. The owner class will find themselves some slaves rebuild their fortunes. Feudalism will emerge.

That's just human nature.

If you were wondering, Karma is something that rich people invented to make poor people feel better about themselves, if only for a brief moment.
That is one sweet quote right there B!


In general, folks are safer, fatter, live longer and enjoy greater creature comforts than our predecessors.

One could argue that by reducing the effects of natural selection the world will eventually be populated and governed by the likes of Honey Boo Boo.  I don't consider that progress or enlightening. ;-()

I know your last point was flippant, but it's interesting that many people would think that natural selection, and therefore some notional idea of progress in terms of the human phenotype is the norm, when the reality is that stasis is far more common in evolutionary terms. Zebra's, lions, spiders, humans, tend to be the same for Millennia rather than being in a state of constant evolutionary flux.
:))
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Offline propstoart

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Re: Humans, progress and the future.
« Reply #9 on: September 22, 2013, 11:40:04 AM »
Human progress aside, this planet is gonna burn or freeze. Mars II? Or, perhaps, some people along the, oh, I don't know...pfft, of course Americans will survive! God blessed America! And Americans will start over. The owner class will find themselves some slaves rebuild their fortunes. Feudalism will emerge.

That's just human nature.

If you were wondering, Karma is something that rich people invented to make poor people feel better about themselves, if only for a brief moment.

well, you need to be specific about what you mean, and the thread is actually about human progress.
Of course you're right in terms of the earth- 'planet is gonna burn or freeze', the suns luminosity is very slowly increasing and ice ages are a common feature of recent geological history. My own favorite candidate for human extinction is increased vulcanism-geologically it's been a major force in shaping extinctions on earth. Given reality of the Yellowstone Caldera, i'm not sure why you think nature would single out the US for survival, given that geological catastrophes on the scale of a super-volcano would transcend national and class boundaries.
  I take your point about karma, but i don't think religions have been entirely inimical to human progress, but in terms of the role of religion in terms of status and class struggle you have to go with Marx and his  A Contribution to the Critique of Hegel's Philosophy of Right;
  The foundation of irreligious criticism is: Man makes religion, religion does not make man. Religion is, indeed, the self-consciousness and self-esteem of man who has either not yet won through to himself, or has already lost himself again. But man is no abstract being squatting outside the world. Man is the world of man – state, society. This state and this society produce religion, which is an inverted consciousness of the world, because they are an inverted world. Religion is the general theory of this world, its encyclopaedic compendium, its logic in popular form, its spiritual point d’honneur, its enthusiasm, its moral sanction, its solemn complement, and its universal basis of consolation and justification. It is the fantastic realization of the human essence since the human essence has not acquired any true reality. The struggle against religion is, therefore, indirectly the struggle against that world whose spiritual aroma is religion.

    Religious suffering is, at one and the same time, the expression of real suffering and a protest against real suffering. Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people.
 
 

Deep stuff, JJ. I would like to think there is something good in religion, that there is something to be gained from practicing it, tempering ritual with rationality.
Climate change might claim humanity, but the Earth will definitely survive it. I try to be positive, I try to see the good in people.
Currently, I am busy figuring out how to make a living ;)

Offline jesse james

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Re: Humans, progress and the future.
« Reply #10 on: September 22, 2013, 02:34:40 PM »
Human progress aside, this planet is gonna burn or freeze. Mars II? Or, perhaps, some people along the, oh, I don't know...pfft, of course Americans will survive! God blessed America! And Americans will start over. The owner class will find themselves some slaves rebuild their fortunes. Feudalism will emerge.

That's just human nature.

If you were wondering, Karma is something that rich people invented to make poor people feel better about themselves, if only for a brief moment.

well, you need to be specific about what you mean, and the thread is actually about human progress.
Of course you're right in terms of the earth- 'planet is gonna burn or freeze', the suns luminosity is very slowly increasing and ice ages are a common feature of recent geological history. My own favorite candidate for human extinction is increased vulcanism-geologically it's been a major force in shaping extinctions on earth. Given reality of the Yellowstone Caldera, i'm not sure why you think nature would single out the US for survival, given that geological catastrophes on the scale of a super-volcano would transcend national and class boundaries.
  I take your point about karma, but i don't think religions have been entirely inimical to human progress, but in terms of the role of religion in terms of status and class struggle you have to go with Marx and his  A Contribution to the Critique of Hegel's Philosophy of Right;
  The foundation of irreligious criticism is: Man makes religion, religion does not make man. Religion is, indeed, the self-consciousness and self-esteem of man who has either not yet won through to himself, or has already lost himself again. But man is no abstract being squatting outside the world. Man is the world of man – state, society. This state and this society produce religion, which is an inverted consciousness of the world, because they are an inverted world. Religion is the general theory of this world, its encyclopaedic compendium, its logic in popular form, its spiritual point d’honneur, its enthusiasm, its moral sanction, its solemn complement, and its universal basis of consolation and justification. It is the fantastic realization of the human essence since the human essence has not acquired any true reality. The struggle against religion is, therefore, indirectly the struggle against that world whose spiritual aroma is religion.

    Religious suffering is, at one and the same time, the expression of real suffering and a protest against real suffering. Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people.
 
 

Deep stuff, JJ. I would like to think there is something good in religion, that there is something to be gained from practicing it, tempering ritual with rationality.
Climate change might claim humanity, but the Earth will definitely survive it. I try to be positive, I try to see the good in people.
Currently, I am busy figuring out how to make a living ;)

Well i'm a non believer, but what i was thinking of, and what i think we must acknowledge, is the religions have created these powerful poetic metaphors about belonging to one another, that we are created in the image of god, in other words valuing the sacred in each other, that transcendent view of the other. Christ, for example, beseeches us to charity and in fact a kind of egalitarianism. 
   
  But despite even this kind of metaphysical view, and our increasingly sophisticated moral structures,  hasn't saved us from killing each other in millions, i think it's something like 160 million in the last century, that's 160 million of each other that we've killed, destroyed.
  I'm broadly optimistic, but what's scary about us humans is that despite our unique ability to care and be kind, we are also display an unbelievable ability for destroying each other in the most brutal ways imaginable.
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Online Babblelot

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Re: Humans, progress and the future.
« Reply #11 on: September 22, 2013, 07:24:40 PM »

well, you need to be specific about what you mean, and the thread is actually about human progress.


This part right here is what I think about human progress in the context of the "future" as I define it (scorched earth/frozen planet):

"The owner class will find themselves some slaves and rebuild their fortunes. Feudalism will emerge. That's just human nature."

In other words, things are being held in place, albeit tenuously, by evolving/enlightened societal mores. In so few words, I'm agreeing with your point.

Quote
Of course you're right in terms of the earth- 'planet is gonna burn or freeze', the suns luminosity is very slowly increasing and ice ages are a common feature of recent geological history. My own favorite candidate for human extinction is increased vulcanism-geologically it's been a major force in shaping extinctions on earth. Given reality of the Yellowstone Caldera, i'm not sure why you think nature would single out the US for survival, given that geological catastrophes on the scale of a super-volcano would transcend national and class boundaries.
  I take your point about karma, but i don't think religions have been entirely inimical to human progress, but in terms of the role of religion in terms of status and class struggle you have to go with Marx and his  A Contribution to the Critique of Hegel's Philosophy of Right;
  The foundation of irreligious criticism is: Man makes religion, religion does not make man. Religion is, indeed, the self-consciousness and self-esteem of man who has either not yet won through to himself, or has already lost himself again. But man is no abstract being squatting outside the world. Man is the world of man – state, society. This state and this society produce religion, which is an inverted consciousness of the world, because they are an inverted world. Religion is the general theory of this world, its encyclopaedic compendium, its logic in popular form, its spiritual point d’honneur, its enthusiasm, its moral sanction, its solemn complement, and its universal basis of consolation and justification. It is the fantastic realization of the human essence since the human essence has not acquired any true reality. The struggle against religion is, therefore, indirectly the struggle against that world whose spiritual aroma is religion.

    Religious suffering is, at one and the same time, the expression of real suffering and a protest against real suffering. Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people.
 

 :) That was awesome.
« Last Edit: September 22, 2013, 07:27:10 PM by Babblelot »
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Online Babblelot

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Re: Humans, progress and the future.
« Reply #12 on: September 22, 2013, 07:44:11 PM »
Let's face it, Jesse, Hitler was yesterday. Nazism wasn't just one deranged man. It was one insane man who captivated *at least* one entire Western, civilized country.

Arguably, Westerners don't look so bad at the moment, but Westerners were abhorrent yesterday. Humans are sick motherf**kers to this very day.
« Last Edit: September 22, 2013, 07:57:08 PM by Babblelot »
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Online Babblelot

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Re: Humans, progress and the future.
« Reply #13 on: September 23, 2013, 02:34:30 PM »
I just stumbled upon this in an article about Dominionism. I never heard it before but it goes to show, the longer you live, the more you see what those before you already saw.

“Religion exists so the poor will not kill the rich” – Napoleon Bonaparte

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Offline jesse james

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Re: Humans, progress and the future.
« Reply #14 on: September 23, 2013, 03:39:47 PM »
Let's face it, Jesse, Hitler was yesterday. Nazism wasn't just one deranged man. It was one insane man who captivated *at least* one entire Western, civilized country.

Arguably, Westerners don't look so bad at the moment, but Westerners were abhorrent yesterday. Humans are sick motherf**kers to this very day.

that's right, i think that bad things happen, not because of an individual or some technological breakthrough, though obviously they're part of it, but when there are these shifting tectonic plates that start to move and make what happens happen.
Stalin and Hitler were figureheads for these grievous ideologies that allow those participants to view those outside as invertebrate. Once you identify someone as being somehow less human as yourself, you become licensed to inflict all manner of crime upon that person, because in your eyes they aren't  really a person.
  We've been shown time and time again how just ordinary citizens can do this,  the Milgram experiment and the Stanford prison experiment -ordinary people can become slaves to authority.
  I take your point about class, but the problem is always how to change things without resorting to the very dehumanization and brutality of the class which holds the reigns of power. How many revolutions have ended in the brutal carnage of a class and enslaved the masses they were supposed to liberate?
 
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Offline monstertruck

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Re: Humans, progress and the future.
« Reply #15 on: September 23, 2013, 07:31:07 PM »
Let's face it, Jesse, Hitler was yesterday. Nazism wasn't just one deranged man. It was one insane man who captivated *at least* one entire Western, civilized country.

Arguably, Westerners don't look so bad at the moment, but Westerners were abhorrent yesterday. Humans are sick motherf**kers to this very day.

that's right, i think that bad things happen, not because of an individual or some technological breakthrough, though obviously they're part of it, but when there are these shifting tectonic plates that start to move and make what happens happen.
Stalin and Hitler were figureheads for these grievous ideologies that allow those participants to view those outside as invertebrate. Once you identify someone as being somehow less human as yourself, you become licensed to inflict all manner of crime upon that person, because in your eyes they aren't  really a person.
  We've been shown time and time again how just ordinary citizens can do this,  the Milgram experiment and the Stanford prison experiment -ordinary people can become slaves to authority.
  I take your point about class, but the problem is always how to change things without resorting to the very dehumanization and brutality of the class which holds the reigns of power. How many revolutions have ended in the brutal carnage of a class and enslaved the masses they were supposed to liberate?
All of them.
It appears to be an unbreakable cycle.
CONK da ball!!!

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Re: Humans, progress and the future.
« Reply #16 on: September 24, 2013, 01:07:14 AM »
Let's face it, Jesse, Hitler was yesterday. Nazism wasn't just one deranged man. It was one insane man who captivated *at least* one entire Western, civilized country.

Arguably, Westerners don't look so bad at the moment, but Westerners were abhorrent yesterday. Humans are sick motherf**kers to this very day.

that's right, i think that bad things happen, not because of an individual or some technological breakthrough, though obviously they're part of it, but when there are these shifting tectonic plates that start to move and make what happens happen.
Stalin and Hitler were figureheads for these grievous ideologies that allow those participants to view those outside as invertebrate. Once you identify someone as being somehow less human as yourself, you become licensed to inflict all manner of crime upon that person, because in your eyes they aren't  really a person.
  We've been shown time and time again how just ordinary citizens can do this,  the Milgram experiment and the Stanford prison experiment -ordinary people can become slaves to authority.
  I take your point about class, but the problem is always how to change things without resorting to the very dehumanization and brutality of the class which holds the reigns of power. How many revolutions have ended in the brutal carnage of a class and enslaved the masses they were supposed to liberate?
All of them.
It appears to be an unbreakable cycle.

Didn't ours go reasonably well, monsta???  :rofl_2:
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Re: Humans, progress and the future.
« Reply #17 on: September 24, 2013, 01:37:04 AM »
I just stumbled upon this in an article about Dominionism. I never heard it before but it goes to show, the longer you live, the more you see what those before you already saw.

“Religion exists so the poor will not kill the rich” – Napoleon Bonaparte (paraphrased)

EDIT: Actual quote (according to Wiki): I do not see in religion the mystery of the incarnation so much as the mystery of the social order. It introduces into the thought of heaven an idea of equalization, which saves the rich from being massacred by the poor. Often paraphrased as “Religion keeps the poor from killing the rich.”
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Offline monstertruck

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Re: Humans, progress and the future.
« Reply #18 on: September 24, 2013, 06:20:12 AM »
Let's face it, Jesse, Hitler was yesterday. Nazism wasn't just one deranged man. It was one insane man who captivated *at least* one entire Western, civilized country.

Arguably, Westerners don't look so bad at the moment, but Westerners were abhorrent yesterday. Humans are sick motherf**kers to this very day.

that's right, i think that bad things happen, not because of an individual or some technological breakthrough, though obviously they're part of it, but when there are these shifting tectonic plates that start to move and make what happens happen.
Stalin and Hitler were figureheads for these grievous ideologies that allow those participants to view those outside as invertebrate. Once you identify someone as being somehow less human as yourself, you become licensed to inflict all manner of crime upon that person, because in your eyes they aren't  really a person.
  We've been shown time and time again how just ordinary citizens can do this,  the Milgram experiment and the Stanford prison experiment -ordinary people can become slaves to authority.
  I take your point about class, but the problem is always how to change things without resorting to the very dehumanization and brutality of the class which holds the reigns of power. How many revolutions have ended in the brutal carnage of a class and enslaved the masses they were supposed to liberate?
All of them.
It appears to be an unbreakable cycle.

Didn't ours go reasonably well, monsta???  :rofl_2:
The circle may well repeat itself here in the states within our lifetime.
CONK da ball!!!

Offline jesse james

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Re: Humans, progress and the future.
« Reply #19 on: September 26, 2013, 05:38:40 PM »
I just stumbled upon this in an article about Dominionism. I never heard it before but it goes to show, the longer you live, the more you see what those before you already saw.

“Religion exists so the poor will not kill the rich” – Napoleon Bonaparte (paraphrased)

EDIT: Actual quote (according to Wiki): I do not see in religion the mystery of the incarnation so much as the mystery of the social order. It introduces into the thought of heaven an idea of equalization, which saves the rich from being massacred by the poor. Often paraphrased as “Religion keeps the poor from killing the rich.”

Surely you do see the irony of quoting Bonaparte and the inherent dangers of rampant secularism, don't you?
I am a lighthouse worn by the weather and the waves
And though I'm empty I still warn the sailors on their way