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  • #31
    Originally posted by Aya Tari View Post



    Scientific backup? How about the entire archeological record before 5,000 BC where there is no evidence of large-scale conflicts between groups of human beings? How about the entire historical record of human civilization since 3,000 BC, which is a litany of despots, genocide, slavery, and war that kept only getting worse until World War II shocked some sense into people and caused them to start to wonder what the purpose of human civilization was?

    Incorrect. There is definitely evidence of conflict as massive as was possible considering the populations as determined by subsistence (rorrager... that's what professionals call it now, not "hunter/gatherer") and carrying capacity of the environment. And of genocide. Way before 5000BC. Slavery is harder to detect considering the technology, but that is an interesting question and definitely NOT one to which one can give a conclusive answer.

    There are trade-offs between past lifeways and current lifeways. Indeed, modern Western culture has many distinctive maladaptive qualities (like forming family group organizations only found in the absolute most resource poor populations... indicating that, though they have access to more stuff, they are actually barely surviving...). Our diet is abyssmal, but it's genetically programmed. We finally have nigh unlimited access to all the previously rare foodstuffs that our bodies are designed to crave, but too much of a good thing is a very bad thing indeed. But, in any case, if you want to compare past to present, present is going to wins hands down for reasons like "penicillin".

    From the get go, these questions are riddled with assumptions and unstated terms that makes it almost impossible to answer unless we know what you're basing your arguments on. What does your use of the word "civilization" even mean?

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    • #32
      Originally posted by BenjCano View Post
      The notion that hunters/gatherers are peaceful is not one supported by the data. Conflict and intra-tribal warfare are ubiquitous features of hunter-gatherer societies, including conflicts over limited resources, such as prey and water according to the Journal of Human Evolution.
      Quite. Let me one-up that: http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/hunter-gath...ildren-1538990

      The fossilised remains of 27 brutally murdered hunter-gatherers have been uncovered, showing the earliest human massacre ever recorded. The remains of six children and at least eight women, one of which was heavily pregnant, were discovered at the site of the murder in Kenya.

      <...>

      Mirazón Lahr said: "The Nataruk massacre may have resulted from an attempt to seize resources – territory, women, children, food stored in pots – whose value was similar to those of later food-producing agricultural societies, among whom violent attacks on settlements became part of life."

      The location of the Nataruk site was found in 2012. Dating techniques, including radiocarbon, used on the excavated material suggested the time of extermination could have been anywhere between 10,500 to 9,500 years ago.
      But let's not let that get in the way of the 'Humans were so much better before civilization' fantasy.
      Last edited by Ambrosia; 02-17-2017, 06:27 PM. Reason: Typo fixing!


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      • #33
        Originally posted by Ambrosia View Post

        Qutie. Let me one-up that: http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/hunter-gath...ildren-1538990



        But let's not let that get in the way of the 'Humans were so much better before civilization' fantasy.
        Never let crude facts get in the way of a good narrative. That's how religions and non-scientific philosophies survived for thousands of years.

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        • #34
          When faced with facts that disagree with our own beliefs, we have two options. Dismantle our beliefs or dismantle the facts.
          Since people tend to identify themselves by their beliefs, to dismantle the belief requires the dismantling of themselves as well.

          It's so much easier and far less painful to dismantle the facts instead.


          Keepers of the Wyck: A Chronicle I'm running FINALE: Chapter 39: Green Fairy

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          • #35
            Yes, there was interpersonal violence in the past, and the murder of 27 people out of the 6 million living at that time was horrific, but you are bringing up the exceptions that prove the rule (the vast majority of the tens of thousands of human remains lack evidence of interpersonal violence). For all we know, since the bodies were not buried, it could have been the dump site of an early serial killer (with the victims being dumped off over the course of months or years) because the exact date of each murder cannot be determined by carbon dating. In fact, considering the low population density of humans, it is much more likely that the victims were dropped off individually over time instead of in a small group, as you would have had to have combed 225 square miles to find a group that size on average.

            Now, compare that one horrific event (either early form of inter-group conflict or an early serial killer) and compare with the thousands of recorded genocides committed by civilization. When the global population was just 200 million people, Julius Caesar was responsible for slaughtering 150,000 members of a fleeing Germanic tribe (http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/roman-genoc...overed-1533067). Compare that event, which was just in a long list of Roman Genocides, to the early conflict/serial killer during the Neolithic, and it is hardly a comparison. The Neolithic conflict event killed 0.00045% of humanity over an indeterminate time period while the Roman Genocide killed 0.075% of humanity over three days. The Roman Genocide was over one hundred sixty times as bad (proportionally to the global population) than the Neolithic conflict, and it is hardly unique in the history of civilization.

            Of course, you can defend the despots, genocides, slavery, and wars caused by civilization all you want, you will hardly be unique because there are always people willing to defend and justify atrocities (usually with some subjective morality). I believe that human beings should expect more from their civilizations, and that we should overthrow despots, fight against genocide, execute the slavers and slave owners, and have a sufficiently robust military that war becomes unthinkably expensive for anyone who thinks to engage in war against us. Civilization is not civilized, but we can make it civilized by focusing on human rights and making sure that anyone who violates the rights of another human pays the price.

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            • #36
              Originally posted by Ambrosia View Post

              Quite. Let me one-up that: http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/hunter-gath...ildren-1538990



              But let's not let that get in the way of the 'Humans were so much better before civilization' fantasy.
              Indeed, That is a very recent (as in published recently), very good example.

              You can also go even further back than c. 8000 years ago. Neanderthals, as a species/sub-species of humanity that are burying their dead in a grave full of flowers and taking care of a member of their band who was badly injured (blinded in one eye, missing part of his leg... which almost certainly had to be amputated), taking care an old man who couldn't chew his own food due to loss of teeth, nor acquire said food very well due to advanced arthritis (all "good" "civilized" thing, depending on how you are using those terms, and can't really be termed "less than human" by all those quasi-Kantian philosophical tests) are also responsible for mass murder followed by cannibalism, in one case of a entire extended family. If the empathy exists to take care of the injured and aged and care for the dead, then the empathy exists to know EXACTLY what was going on when they killed the men, women and children, hacked open their skulls to get at the brains and break the bones for the marrow before tossing them into a hole in back of a cave.... That's 49,000 years old. (There's another that's approximately 100,000 years old as well, but less well excavated and you can't do some of the tests, like, say DNA to determine the victims were members of a family).

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              • #37
                Originally posted by Aya Tari View Post
                Of course, you can defend the despots, genocides, slavery, and wars caused by civilization all you want, you will hardly be unique because there are always people willing to defend and justify atrocities (usually with some subjective morality). I believe that human beings should expect more from their civilizations, and that we should overthrow despots, fight against genocide, execute the slavers and slave owners, and have a sufficiently robust military that war becomes unthinkably expensive for anyone who thinks to engage in war against us. Civilization is not civilized, but we can make it civilized by focusing on human rights and making sure that anyone who violates the rights of another human pays the price.
                This is still a forum about Mage: the Ascension, right?

                Is death less bad/evil if it occurs due to lack of food, or exposure to a sudden cold snap? You're not going to see telling archaeological evidence of those deaths but it's reasonable to expect they were much higher in prehistory than they are today.

                If your argument is that death is bad and we should seek the level of civilization that minimizes death, your answer is not prehistory. If your argument is instead that murder is bad, well, civilization increases murder because it increases our power over the world, and murder is death due to someone's power. Simply making everyone too weak to enact their will on the world hardly seems a just solution.

                Finally, I'll just note that you're proposing a Pax Romana (a superpower with such overwhelming martial might that major war doesn't happen) while you decry a war crime committed by Caesar. How do you propose to ensure all actions taken by this incredibly potent force are just?

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                • #38
                  Originally posted by Saikou View Post
                  When faced with facts that disagree with our own beliefs, we have two options. Dismantle our beliefs or dismantle the facts.
                  Since people tend to identify themselves by their beliefs, to dismantle the belief requires the dismantling of themselves as well.

                  It's so much easier and far less painful to dismantle the facts instead.
                  That's exactly how the religious, supersticious and magical thinking operates. It is so for any strong convictions too, and even big figures in sciences have suffered from this - Einstein for example never accepted Quantum theories. Perhaps that's just human nature

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                  • #39
                    Originally posted by Aya Tari View Post
                    Yes, there was interpersonal violence in the past, and the murder of 27 people out of the 6 million living at that time was horrific, but you are bringing up the exceptions that prove the rule (the vast majority of the tens of thousands of human remains lack evidence of interpersonal violence). For all we know, since the bodies were not buried, it could have been the dump site of an early serial killer (with the victims being dumped off over the course of months or years) because the exact date of each murder cannot be determined by carbon dating. In fact, considering the low population density of humans, it is much more likely that the victims were dropped off individually over time instead of in a small group, as you would have had to have combed 225 square miles to find a group that size on average.

                    Now, compare that one horrific event (either early form of inter-group conflict or an early serial killer) and compare with the thousands of recorded genocides committed by civilization. When the global population was just 200 million people, Julius Caesar was responsible for slaughtering 150,000 members of a fleeing Germanic tribe (http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/roman-genoc...overed-1533067). Compare that event, which was just in a long list of Roman Genocides, to the early conflict/serial killer during the Neolithic, and it is hardly a comparison. The Neolithic conflict event killed 0.00045% of humanity over an indeterminate time period while the Roman Genocide killed 0.075% of humanity over three days. The Roman Genocide was over one hundred sixty times as bad (proportionally to the global population) than the Neolithic conflict, and it is hardly unique in the history of civilization.

                    Of course, you can defend the despots, genocides, slavery, and wars caused by civilization all you want, you will hardly be unique because there are always people willing to defend and justify atrocities (usually with some subjective morality). I believe that human beings should expect more from their civilizations, and that we should overthrow despots, fight against genocide, execute the slavers and slave owners, and have a sufficiently robust military that war becomes unthinkably expensive for anyone who thinks to engage in war against us. Civilization is not civilized, but we can make it civilized by focusing on human rights and making sure that anyone who violates the rights of another human pays the price.
                    Dude, you're nuts.

                    Can you not see what you're doing? Your justifications just look like the nuts that believe we were made by the alien annunnakis or the bible fanatics that believe in the great flood.

                    Your way of thinking is COMPLETELY dishonest. You're NOT putting things on a rational perspective. That's not the way the scientific thinking works. You have your truth, and you try to ajust the facts to it. You're rationalizing (oh, it probably were a serial killer, over a large period of time). That's absolutely an-scientific. You must make your theories according to the facts, not trying to adjust the facts to fit your theories.

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                    • #40
                      By the way, the Soviet Union, China, North Korea, Cuba, etc etc, they've executed millions based on that same premisse of "executing the despots and slavers" that you have Aya. That's exactly the shallow way of thinking that allowed for the worse and most opressive tyranies.

                      What we must strive for is democracy, REAL individual freedoms and REAL freespeech (and not just freespeech for what we like to hear, but ABSOLUT freespeech, even to the things we find abhorent). The things you stand for, first of all are childish fantasies, and secondly, are EXACTLY the things that create the monstruous despots.

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                      • #41
                        Originally posted by Aya Tari View Post
                        Yes, there was interpersonal violence in the past, and the murder of 27 people out of the 6 million living at that time was horrific, but you are bringing up the exceptions that prove the rule (the vast majority of the tens of thousands of human remains lack evidence of interpersonal violence). For all we know, since the bodies were not buried, it could have been the dump site of an early serial killer (with the victims being dumped off over the course of months or years) because the exact date of each murder cannot be determined by carbon dating. In fact, considering the low population density of humans, it is much more likely that the victims were dropped off individually over time instead of in a small group, as you would have had to have combed 225 square miles to find a group that size on average.

                        Wow. You open this thread with post hoc ergo propter hoc and bad premises, and now to try to salvage your premises, you resort to special pleading. You should know, being a statistical analyst, basic Bayesian reasoning. You should also know that if you must add an element to a claim in order to make that claim fit the evidence better, then the prior probability of the claim is reduced by the probability of that element being true. There is no logically valid way to avoid this.

                        For example, if the evidence is unlikely on claim A, but becomes likely again if we add element X to A (so our claim now becomes X+A), and we have no reason to believe X is likely or unlikely, then the probability of X is 50% (or 0.50), and the prior probability of A is then reduced by 50%. In other words, P(A) becomes P(A) x P(X) = P(A) x 0.50. The prior probability is thus halved, just by claiming X.

                        And the notion that the 27 victims in this site were the work of a serial killer isn't a claim that we have no reason to believe is likely or unlikely. We have very good data about the murder frequency of serial killers. According to a global study on homicide, a given murder victim is only .00039% likely to have been killed by a serial killer. That makes your original claim makes it way, way, WAY less probable than if you'd just left it alone.

                        If you want to add MORE special pleadings to rescue your initial claim, then all their probabilities multiply to reduce the prior probability of the claim. If you want to say that serial killers were way more frequent or prolific back in prehistory, or that no one BUT serial killers did any murdering before civilization, we have no reason to believe that this brand new claim is either likely or unlikely. We can only give it a weight of 50%...but that means that your original claim is now only .000185% of its original probability.

                        Given your logical fallacies and bad reasoning, I'm coming to the conclusion that you're either arguing in bad faith, or this notion you have on the basis of civilization and technology is one you hold as a piece of dogma that you will twist facts and evidence to support. Either way, I don't think that further conversation with you can be productive. Goodbye and good luck.


                        I seem to have acquired a site for running play by post games. This is unexpected and frightening and come watch either the glorious play or the magnificent train wreck:

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                        • #42
                          Originally posted by BenjCano View Post
                          And the notion that the 27 victims in this site were the work of a serial killer isn't a claim that we have no reason to believe is likely or unlikely. We have very good data about the murder frequency of serial killers.
                          Also, let's not forget that the concept of serial killers would not have worked back then in the first place.
                          People did not live in pairs or small families. They did not wander alone off to work in some distant place or strange city. They lived in tribes. Single large groups. Not only would it be rare for a lone individual to wander *anywhere* for long enough to get murdered, it would be a magnitude more unlikely for a highly pregnant female.
                          And those 27 people definitely belonged to the same group, because your friendly neighborhood tribe wasn't in short walking distance either. 27 different groups? Hell no.
                          And, it most certainly wouldn't happen to 27 individual people from the same group, while Hoss at the bar goes 'Didya hear, them Ms. Miller's kid gone missin!'. Even a single missing person would be a thing that'd have ALL of them paying very close attention from then on.

                          This is Kenya about 9000 years ago, not Ruralville, US. Those 27 people traveled and died together.
                          Last edited by Ambrosia; 02-18-2017, 04:44 PM.


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                          • #43
                            Originally posted by BenjCano View Post


                            Wow. You open this thread with post hoc ergo propter hoc and bad premises, and now to try to salvage your premises, you resort to special pleading. You should know, http://forum.theonyxpath.com/forum/main-category/main-forum/the-classic-world-of-darkness/mage-the-ascension/1048468-consensus-around-the-world?p=1048953#post1048953&quot;]being a statistical analyst[/URL], basic Bayesian reasoning. You should also know that if you must add an element to a claim in order to make that claim fit the evidence better, then the prior probability of the claim is reduced by the probability of that element being true. There is no logically valid way to avoid this.

                            For example, if the evidence is unlikely on claim A, but becomes likely again if we add element X to A (so our claim now becomes X+A), and we have no reason to believe X is likely or unlikely, then the probability of X is 50% (or 0.50), and the prior probability of A is then reduced by 50%. In other words, P(A) becomes P(A) x P(X) = P(A) x 0.50. The prior probability is thus halved, just by claiming X.

                            And the notion that the 27 victims in this site were the work of a serial killer isn't a claim that we have no reason to believe is likely or unlikely. We have very good data about the murder frequency of serial killers. According to a https://www.unodc.org/gsh/&quot;]global study on homicide,[/URL] a given murder victim is only .00039% likely to have been killed by a serial killer. That makes your original claim makes it way, way, WAY less probable than if you'd just left it alone.

                            If you want to add MORE special pleadings to rescue your initial claim, then all their probabilities multiply to reduce the prior probability of the claim. If you want to say that serial killers were way more frequent or prolific back in prehistory, or that no one BUT serial killers did any murdering before civilization, we have no reason to believe that this brand new claim is either likely or unlikely. We can only give it a weight of 50%...but that means that your original claim is now only .000185% of its original probability.

                            Given your logical fallacies and bad reasoning, I'm coming to the conclusion that you're either arguing in bad faith, or this notion you have on the basis of civilization and technology is one you hold as a piece of dogma that you will twist facts and evidence to support. Either way, I don't think that further conversation with you can be productive. Goodbye and good luck.
                            Funny thing is, Aya will evoke the clausules of Occan's Razor when it suits his personal views, but forsake it's wisdom when it would get in the way of his convictions.

                            That's the same kind of cognitive dissociation found in religious thinking

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                            • #44
                              Originally posted by Ambrosia View Post

                              Also, let's not forget that the concept of serial killers would not have worked back then in the first place.
                              People did not live in pairs or small families. They did not wander alone off to work in some distant place or strange city. They lived in tribes. Single large groups. Not only would it be rare for a lone individual to wander *anywhere* for long enough to get murdered, it would be a magnitude more unlikely for a highly pregnant female.
                              And those 27 people definitely belonged to the same group, because your friendly neighborhood tribe wasn't in short walking distance either. 27 different groups? Hell no.
                              And, it most certainly wouldn't happen to 27 individual people from the same group, while Hoss at the bar goes 'Didya hear, them Ms. Miller's kid gone missin!'. Even a single missing person would be a thing that'd have ALL of them paying very close attention from then on.

                              This is Kenya about 9000 years ago, not Ruralville, US. Those 27 people traveled and died together.
                              That idea were absolutely preposterous, just a desperate attempt to counter argument the raw facts. Not only that, the serial killer himself COULDN'T live alone in some cave... There is a reason why humans live in groups, survival rates alone on the wilds having only sticks and rocks is minimum. So, a serial killer would still need to live in a group... But that would mean that his tribemen were ok with his "peculiar" needs...

                              It's totally nonsense. Pregnant women wandering alone in the wilds? No no no, all those ideas are beyond absurd

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