Old 06-20-2009, 01:39 PM   #41
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Default Re: The General Degredation of Society

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dodo birds went extinct. why didn't humans? truth is, not all life is essential for another's survival. maybe if say, cows went extinct. that would probably create a much larger issue. instead, people are making a huge deal out of some random species of bird/lizard/whatever going extinct that nobody's even heard of, and if they're going extinct it's probably because nobody cared enough.
I think it's more about the issue of the fact that even though we as humans can -live- without any really high quality of biodiversity, there's at least some feeling from some people some of the time that maybe we ought to actually care about more than -just- the survival of humans, and that maybe the environment and all the various species living in it might be at least worth thinking about.

The whole concept of environmental ethics and the degree to which we should consider the consequences of our actions on non-humans is a comparatively new branch of thought (Or at least, theories that say we -should- give a damn are relatively new, historically speaking) Go read some Peter Singer for some of the more Cogent arguments.
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Old 06-22-2009, 12:59 AM   #42
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Default Re: The General Degredation of Society

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maybe if say, cows went extinct. that would probably create a much larger issue. instead, people are making a huge deal out of some random species of bird/lizard/whatever going extinct that nobody's even heard of, and if they're going extinct it's probably because nobody cared enough.
To an extent, this is true; not every species is necessary to the survival of humans. We're probably not going to die out any time soon if the last few marbled murrelets bite it. However, even if you're not one for the "we should care" brand of ethics, there are some serious survival-related problems with the "if it doesn't affect us, let it die" mentality. The most dangerous (to humans) thing about species dying out isn't that there won't be any more cute cuddly animals, or awesome large predators, or even cows for eating. We could survive the direct affect of any one of these dying out. The issue is that the ecosystem is intricately connected; the extinction of one species will lead to extinctions or changes in others, and, in the long run, will affect us in some way.

For example, this article proposes a theory about what happens when mammal and bird species go extinct: a possible effect is that their parasites (which tend to be more resilient) will switch to us as alternative hosts. Although many parasites are specialized for one species of host, researchers have noticed far fewer co-extinctions of host-parasite pairs than expected. In other words, when mammal and bird species go extinct, their parasites are surviving, and moving to other species (possibly including humans). The article then notes that areas where the most new human diseases are emerging coincide with areas with the highest number of endangered mammal and bird species. Correlation doesn't equal causation, but it certainly does strengthen the theory, and hints toward the need for caution and more research.

This is only one way in which extinctions of "some random species of bird/lizard/whatever going extinct that nobody's even heard of" can affect humans. Even if nobody cares that the dodo bird is gone, we might be getting sick just a little more often because they are. If that effect is magnified, the consequences could be serious. This doesn't even go into the effects of random insect/bacteria extinctions that could reduce certain plant populations, which could have and even more dire effects. It's true that these thing happen slowly, but if we let things progress without taking action, it might be too late to stop some of the changes later on.

(...first post in Critical Thinking. Hope I didn't make a complete fool of myself).
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Old 06-22-2009, 01:19 AM   #43
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Default Re: The General Degredation of Society

Also, in response to the OP:

We haven't found a cure for cancer because there are thousands of different types of cancer, caused by thousands of different things, all progressing in different ways. Almost all of them used to be fatal, but nowadays, some of the most common types (e.g. non-melanoma skin cancer) have an over 90% five year survival rate thanks to medical advances. Cancers still are one of the most common causes of death, but it doesn't mean we haven't gotten anywhere with them.

I agree with everyone else who's saying that we have made significant technological advances in the last few decades. TC_Halogen brought up an interesting question about what would happen if all our technology stopped working, though. Maybe that's another way of looking at the OP's proposition about the degradation of society - that we've become so dependent on technology we can't survive without it. I've wondered about that a lot, too. Any ideas?
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Old 06-23-2009, 04:27 PM   #44
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I don't think it's so much that we can't survive without technology. I would guess that if somehow all technology was ripped from our society, we would revert back to primitive ways and start over again, although in very different conditions. Things certainly wouldn't be the same, but I highly doubt that it would bring about the end of the human race.

I like it how the OP stopped posting.
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Old 08-9-2009, 11:26 AM   #45
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Default Re: The General Degredation of Society

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Since this forum seems to be a pretty thoughtful and intelligent forum, I've decided to share with you my views on what I view as "The Degredation of Society" as a whole and how I, personally, believe that this generation of kids is fast becoming the least intelligence in recent history, thanks to the magic of technology such as Video Games and cell phones.

If you look around you today, what do you see? It's an absolute mess. Teenagers these days can't manage looking up from their tiny cell phone screens to pay attention to the environment around them for more than 10 seconds. In the past decade, you can easily see that we've hit a brick wall in the field of technological and medical advancements.What have our youth created lately, that will help further our civilization? Teleportation? Trips to mars? Moon bases? Cures for cancer. No, we have the wonderbra, and new ways to rapidly increase our weight and decrease our life expectancy. Kids are paying less attention to getting a decent education and more attention to how many space marines they've killed, or when the next binge drinking party is. If humanity continues this trend of decreasing intelligence I fear that we may dig ourselves into a rut that will be incredibly difficult, if not impossible, to get out of!

For example, when cell phones first got text messaging, people thought it was amazing. But the small, difficult way to type messages eventually led to "Textspeak", very grammetically incorrect form of the English language that I am sure you are all familiar with. It's moved from Text messaging to the internet, and within the next few years I believe this trend will be picked up and used by more and more adolescents, eventually overtaking and crippling the English language. It's what I believe to be a very serious problem.

People, if we don't do something soon to radically change the behavior and outlook on our childrens' life, we're going to have a serious decline in general intelligence all over the world. The children are our future, and if we don't do something, we are going to be in deep trouble.
The world is what it is. It grows up from a shell of nothingness to something huge. This is how the world works my friend although not all people believe in the environment around them and not all people believe in a world with peace. I see your points that yes we are getting pretty stupid not just as a society but as a whole world with the growing technological advancements you'd think we would be smarter by now with chips in our heads telling us where to go and what to do and how much faster you can be etc but no, we are warmangers my friend, we fiend for power! And we want it so badly that we lose sight on what exactly we are looking for and what we are doing. The world itself is discrimitory it tells you it will help then the next it spews you out because your not what it wants. Thats how this world works and our society will only get worse with the people we have in this world. Including people like myself I really shouldin't be here but these are my thoughts for your thoughts. Deep down I hope you get the right answers.

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Old 08-9-2009, 11:33 AM   #46
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Default Re: The General Degredation of Society

Generally, when one comes into a thread that is now 3 pages long, one ought to glance over the general course of the discussion rather than just quote the OP and respond directly to it, ignoring all the discussion that has happened since then.
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Old 08-9-2009, 11:50 AM   #47
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Default Re: The General Degredation of Society

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Originally Posted by Wineandbread View Post
I don't think it's so much that we can't survive without technology. I would guess that if somehow all technology was ripped from our society, we would revert back to primitive ways and start over again, although in very different conditions. Things certainly wouldn't be the same, but I highly doubt that it would bring about the end of the human race.

I like it how the OP stopped posting.
In our society technology is everything Wineandbread. Do you go outside and not see it? Cell phones, cars, Huge TV's on Buildings, this is what our world has become and hopefully becomes more like because we need technology to be faster, stronger and more efficient. Same with computers, if we didn't have computers we wouldn't't be talking right now. We need technology.
Although your thought about getting technology ripped from society I doubt it would ever happen (if anything it would happen SLOWLY if not EVER). Primitive ways yes indeed, we would be at war trying to figure out how we got ourselves in this mess, we would be wanderers walking on sand and wastelands full of crippled buildings that have fallen thanks to no technology.(I would put it in these words "Bible Times" ah those good'ol times). Bringing the end of the human race, in a way it would kill off most of the population of the earth then maybe some people would try to live knowing what they know and try to rebuild a civilization thus remaking the world although differently. Technology is amazing my friends.

These were my thoughts.
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Old 08-10-2009, 07:38 AM   #48
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Default Re: The General Degredation of Society

Something to keep in mind though. If you saw the movie Knowing. Although it is unlikely that the solar pulse will be that powerful, it is very possible that a pulse can come and blow out our power systems. (transformers all the way up) In the 1700s the Solar Flares actually took out telegraph systems. If a magnetic storm actually hit(say in the year 2012 at solar maximum haha) we would be in for a very abrupt sudden change when every single one of those transformers has to be replaced to get the eletric grids back on line. When it comes to living without technology that is about as bad as it could ever possibly get.
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Old 08-16-2009, 02:20 PM   #49
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Then let us surly hope to whatever deity is out there that that never happens in my lifetime because our society is built on technology. Take it away we start from scratch if not nothing.
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