Human Nature: Progress and Appreciation(a Very Long Read)


It’s not perfect; there are some contradictions and idle sentences, but I would like to hear (read) what you think. Please comment!!!


Seeing something beautiful and devoting your time to admiring it. Is finding beauty in the simple things really such a gift? Maybe, after all, stopping and smelling the roses is surely not a bad thing but perhaps it’s not enough either. Perhaps instead we should focus on the accumulation of fact so that we may better understand our world, the universe around us, and all other stones and pebbles in between. Perhaps neither of which are correct and a mixture of both is required. An appreciation for beauty and a knack for understanding, understanding and then application, for without the possibility of application an appreciation for beauty becomes no more wondrous than watching television, which is no ability at all and is instead(according to our society) a mischievous diluter and essentially a waste of time. Taking an idea and applying it to different circumstances is the basis of our nature (and the premier of our evolution). Example: I inhabit these surroundings and if I hunt with a spear I can catch game and feed myself, but if I hunt with a rifle then it becomes easier. Expending little effort for much gain is of primary importance to us. The mind as an instrument, rather than: an unquestioning, driving force.

Must we always be improving? What if we could satisfy our hunger at the press of a button, is that not decadent? Excelling in one area at the cost of another, gaining food with zero energy expenditure and therefore destroying our natural self; that natural self being the instincts, instincts which are endorsed by evolution. In accepting this extreme we doom the body to decay, our natural equilibrium is offset. When we accept sloth, sloth becomes us, but the body shall not have time to adapt for human progress is too swift and so unless we restore the balance ourselves then we shall die out; the epidemic of obesity and the continued shortening of lives. And the answer: To excel in another area of course. We must accept another extreme, and we must exercise, maintaining a body which in its natural environment would be maintained in the very act of living.

In accepting a life artificial to our instincts we must accept further falsehoods to sustain ourselves. In the wild the wolf survives by hunting for food, but hunting for food is the only way he can survive. We are wolves, taken away from our original means and given new more productive ones, yet still hunting is our only way of survival. We must stimulate ourselves in the same way hunting stimulated us or we will die. Our basic instincts, the instincts based on the way of life we have long since abandoned still rule us. Manual labour is our way; without it we deteriorate.

The more we progress, the more dominion our minds claim, the more necessary falsehoods become. Progress begets progress, and so on until the end of time. So perhaps a halt in proceedings is not at all a bad thing, perhaps it would even be better if we stopped all together and returned to that which is our nature. Rousseau’s ideas on the Lisbon earthquake; the people would not have suffered such losses if the buildings had not come down on their heads.

We do not live as one with nature, we live against nature; our very being is an offence to god. Progress or appreciation, either of which are correct, but given the fact that all is relative and there are no laws besides those we impose on ourselves, we are decidedly out of place, and nature laughs at us when we refuse to admire it out of fear; fear of standing still.

When our extremes birth a further extreme that which is on the other side of the spectrum suffers. We are made guardians of the lands because our extremes threaten those who move at the pace of evolution, and have not the foresight to instigate their own means of survival; have not the swiftness to adhere to the artificially evolving world: Our world.

And so it seems that our species progress gradually negates all progress. Evolution is at its end and we are its greatest creation; creations which will destroy not only ourselves, but all those whom are governed by the previous and wholly obsolete system. But does all this mean that we should accept a true form of ‘reverse Darwinism’ and return to absolute ignorance? No, because we cannot. Dorothy moves down the ever winding yellow path and though she may want to turn back she cannot, for all that she loves is in Kansas. Animals raised in captivity cannot return to the wild because they know only civilization. Our way is our way, and progress comes with that. We can only hope that progress leads away from progress and delivers us to an eventual ideal, but this hopeful ideal(if it is at all possible to begin with) is too far off. The rate of decay which our extremes inflict on the world will be the end of us unless another extreme is soon introduced. And what will we forsake to maintain this new extreme? It seems to me that humans are inherently self destructive and our ‘progress’ is some grand science experiment; an experiment which steps away from millions of years of evolution and tries something different, something more efficient, something quicker. It also seems that this experiment has failed and that humanity’s ‘doom’ is an inevitable eventuality no matter the solutions we may find. Utopia is a dream which is beyond us for we are a species of extremes. The upset equilibrium of human life and human nature cannot be balanced. Beauty and knowledge, progress and appreciation, these opposite ends are incompatible and because of this we will perish, if not today then tomorrow.


Issac95 Issac95
18-21, M
2 Responses Mar 24, 2009

It's almost embarassing to have someone comment on this. Keep in mind that when I wrote this I was reading alot of old philosophical literature, hence words like 'decadent' and the whole 'questioning the fabric of society' thing that those old timmers were always doing. <br />
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And I like to think my arguments are much more ordered these days.<br />
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Thanks for commenting though :-)

That was definitely interesting. It's true that we're living in an artificial world, going against our instincts. I need my own post in here. ^^