I am not taking a pessimistic view of human achievement on the whole, there are simply caveats. In matters of technology, man has accomplished much, and has learned much from the efforts of the greats that came before them. However, technological progress does not necessitate moral progress. The world still exists in the same state of "all against all" that it did five hundred or twenty-five hundred years ago.Really? That sounds quite the pessimistic view of human accomplishment. Please elaborate.
I will say that I am yet to be presented with a lesson mankind (in this case, the word "mankind" refers to the masses, not just men of particular genius) has learned from history. In my view, not only have we not learned from history, we cannot learn from history. Until millions of years of evolution leaves its mark, we will continue to be the same moral animal, and the past will repeat itself in cycles until the end of history.
How long do you think those things will last? I know the answer, and it is only until this or that crisis removes the thin veneer of civilization we live under.We have protected wetlands, established Natural Parks and wildlife preserves, all but abolished the legal slave trade over 150 years ago, created cures for diseases, protected endangered animal species, some nations (ie., US) have provided legal equality for women and ethnic minorities, we've established benevolent governments rooted in democracy, created pacts reducing weapons of mass destruction, have defended the weak and oppressed, and made strides in feeding the hungry. I could go on and on. Some philosopher, somewhere (I don't have the time to look it up) once said that "If all you look for is the negative in humanity you will certainly find it; However, if we search for the positive, we can certainly find it as well." I prefer to be a "glass-half-full" kinda guy - it just makes life so much more rewarding. :shrug:
How long do you think those things will last? I know the answer, and it is only until this or that crisis removes the thin veneer of civilization we live under.
After the Great War, people who sounded the same as you were abound. Everyone thought that they had seen the end of war, and that history was over, and that everything would be fine. Everyone said it was the "War to End All Wars." All it took was one country with a horrible economy and a history of antisemitism to strip it all away, at least until the next time.
All it will take is one episode of "Great Powers Gone Wild" to show us that we haven't come as far as we think we have.
What have we learned exactly? A lesson is not learned if it evaporates it in instant. I suppose you're correct in a sense. We do learn, but those lessons never stick. We may have different ideas of what it means to learn from history.Your pessimism regarding the future "morality" of humanity does not detract from the fact that we (present-day civilization) have learned from past errors and HAVE made great strides in areas of conservation, human rights, science, etc. Whether or not this progress "carries over" to future generations is not really the question in the OP is it?
Or if you will, do it from Asia, not Europe, the Mongols did a pretty good job.
. . . then seeks to transform it.
This is why human nature always causes communism, on a large scale, to fail.