Is there Any constant in global human history?

  • #1
Is there any practice, belief, value, etc ... in human history (recorded that is) that has remained constant throughout the ages? Is there nothing we can agree on?
If no, then does it mean that no matter what we agree in the future - there can never be a claim of total universality (of the 'thing' - i.e. belief, practice, value)? :confused:

Lastly - am i making any sense? :redface: :tongue:
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
Njorl
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There is always an "us" and a "them". What happens to "us" is always more important than what happens to "them". That's pretty universal - not reassuring - but universal.

Njorl
 
  • #3
But that's a point of disagreement. I see what you mean though.
 
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  • #4
selfAdjoint
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What do you mean it's a point of disagreement? It's an observed fact of human existence. I would say that every group has a list of killings that are OK (self-defense, enemy tribes, witches, whatever), and all other killing is illegal by the customs of the group.
 
  • #5
Is there a specific killing that has always been allowed? I'm not sure - but I don't think there has been. Haven't there been people who considered death better than retaliating against enemy? ... a kinda 'turn the other cheek' idea?....
 
  • #6
marcus
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quddusaliquddus said:
Is there any practice,... that has remained constant ...?

sex


they like to try variations and do it various ways, but
so far all the tribes that completely abandoned it have died out


oh, eating food too
there have been efforts to control this
but despite all the religious taboos and fad diets
people have been eating rather persistently from the start


they care for infants somewhat as well
it having been found that abandoned ones seldom thrive

at the moment I cant think of other constants of human behavior
although watching football on television is well-nigh universal
it is not yet up there with the first three
 
  • #7
Marcus: Lol, I knew someone was going to say the survival essentials - food, sex, shelter etc... 4got to exclude them in my original post.
 
  • #8
The food thing might have to go if somone can find out if anyone starved themselves to death on purpose - hunger strike?
 
  • #9
confutatis
quddusaliquddus said:
Is there any practice, belief, value, etc ... in human history (recorded that is) that has remained constant throughout the ages? Is there nothing we can agree on?
I think it's safe to say that the idea that truth, beauty, and happiness should be pursued is pretty much universal. But since truth cannot exist without falsehood, beauty cannot exist without ugliness, and happiness cannot exist without sorrow, that universal pursuit creates quite a few problems.
 
  • #10
Haven't there been people who opposed following truth, beauty, and happiness- lofty ideals. I'm guessing that there might have been becoz there are people who deny such things even exist...ur thoughts?
 
  • #11
confutatis
quddusaliquddus said:
Haven't there been people who opposed following truth, beauty, and happiness- lofty ideals. I'm guessing that there might have been becoz there are people who deny such things even exist
There is a rare form of cognitive disorder (I forgot the name) which causes people to deny that they exist. I've read of one case in which the following dialogue between a doctor and the patient occurred:

Doctor: So you believe you don't exist?
Patient: I dont' believe it doctor, it is a fact.
Doctor: How is it possible that you do not exist and still be able to have this conversation with me?
Patient: I don't know; it's a complete mystery to me.
Doctor: Shouldn't that be evidence that you might be wrong about you not existing?
Patient: I can't see why. Aren't you surrounded by mysteries yourself? Do you ever stop to think those mysteries imply you are wrong about what you think is true?

It's a known fact among psychologists that madness is highly contagious. To answer your question, yes, there is no idea which has not been opposed by someone at some point in time. That's why we have madhouses.
 
  • #12
Lol@transcript :D
I agree with you completely. Hmm...kinda killed my question :D
Mad people need to be taken into consideration - who knows What they believe?
I was hoping to find anything. Doesn't this mean that you have to take numbers into account i.e. one man against whole of human history - we'd ignore the madman. But at how many people do you draw the line? Is there a method to this madness?....lol
 
  • #13
confutatis
quddusaliquddus said:
Mad people need to be taken into consideration - who knows What they believe?
I'm not saying mad people should be completely ignored. Sometimes they come up with wonderful ideas. But only sometimes.

Doesn't this mean that you have to take numbers into account i.e. one man against whole of human history - we'd ignore the madman. But at how many people do you draw the line?
I think one is enough. I never heard of two lunatics who agree with each other. I may be wrong about this, but it seems all forms of madness are a result of selfishness, egocentrism, or narcissism.
 
  • #14
"I think one is enough. I never heard of two lunatics who agree with each other. I may be wrong about this, but it seems all forms of madness are a result of selfishness, egocentrism, or narcissism."

Really? ... didn't know that about mad people ...
 
  • #15
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nevermind
nevermind
nevermind.
 
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  • #16
loseyourname
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please master
by Allen Ginsberg - May 1968

edit: inappropriate content
 
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  • #17
honestrosewater
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Hasn't disagreement remained constant? ;)

If it has never been true that all people agree, then...

Happy thoughts
Rachel
 
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  • #18
honestrosewater
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loseyourname said:
please master
by Allen Ginsberg - May 1968
And... ?? pain and pleasure? I don't get it.
 
  • #19
You're right honestrosewater. Thats why i posted this thead - to see if there was anything that we all agree on.
 
  • #20
Njorl
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quddusaliquddus said:
Haven't there been people who opposed following truth, beauty, and happiness- lofty ideals. I'm guessing that there might have been becoz there are people who deny such things even exist...ur thoughts?
In the dark ages, the bulk of European Christians believed happiness was not for them. They also believed that truth, the ultimate truth of what was in the bible, was not for them. While they believed that the bible was true, they also believed they were not worthy to know what was in it. I haven't read anything about their attitude toward beauty, but I don't imagine there was a lot of it in their lives.

I always found this a little hard to believe, but I've never read anything indicating the contrary.

Njorl
 
  • #21
Lol...no way!....I refuse to believe that....They were probably told that - but we'ren't botherd to oppose the authorities since they needed bread
 
  • #22
honestrosewater
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Does everyone agree that I am right? If so, am I wrong?
oh, it never ends...
 
  • #23
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We do what ever it takes to keep our bodies alive, or die for a child or kindred individual to live, and carry our genetic material forward. That the most prevalent constant. The second constant besides the no-brainers like eating and sleeping, is that we reproduce, if we can. The rest is gloss.
 
  • #24
jammieg
Well speaking as someone who spends a lot of time starring into empty space I have to disagree with the madness bit, I think everyone is crazy to some extent and to relative good and bad degrees I mean people use to believe in all kinds of things that today would be considered detrimental to mental health but it was common then, just one example being if you said anything bad about the "God" we all agree on then you have to be tortured for the demons to come out, all in the name of a greater good, but that was ok because at the time it was a generally accepted belief, there's no way this sort of thing could go on today. If bad crazies are contagious then are good crazies?
 
  • #25
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How about religion. Every known culture or society has had some form of religion. There are and have been of course individuals that disagree or believe that religion is baseless but then isn't that belief in itself a religion?

PS In case any of you are wondering why I am all of a sudden posting so many replies again, my boss is gone on vacation.
 
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