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Is there Any constant in global human history?

  1. Apr 30, 2004 #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:
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 30, 2004 #2


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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.

  4. Apr 30, 2004 #3
    But that's a point of disagreement. I see what you mean though.
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2004
  5. Apr 30, 2004 #4


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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.
  6. Apr 30, 2004 #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?....
  7. Apr 30, 2004 #6


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    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
  8. Apr 30, 2004 #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.
  9. Apr 30, 2004 #8
    The food thing might have to go if somone can find out if anyone starved themselves to death on purpose - hunger strike?
  10. Apr 30, 2004 #9
    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.
  11. Apr 30, 2004 #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?
  12. Apr 30, 2004 #11
    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.
  13. Apr 30, 2004 #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
  14. Apr 30, 2004 #13
    I'm not saying mad people should be completely ignored. Sometimes they come up with wonderful ideas. But only sometimes.

    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.
  15. Apr 30, 2004 #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 ...
  16. May 4, 2004 #15
    Last edited: May 4, 2004
  17. May 4, 2004 #16


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    please master
    by Allen Ginsberg - May 1968

    edit: inappropriate content
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2004
  18. May 4, 2004 #17


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    Hasn't disagreement remained constant? ;)

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

    Happy thoughts
    Last edited: May 4, 2004
  19. May 4, 2004 #18


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    And... ?? pain and pleasure? I don't get it.
  20. May 5, 2004 #19
    You're right honestrosewater. Thats why i posted this thead - to see if there was anything that we all agree on.
  21. May 5, 2004 #20


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    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.

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