# A fine essay on Conservatism

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I figured I would pass this on for all to read as I think it does a very good job of stating the conservative ideology without cluttering it too heavily with whatever planks happen to be on the plate for a given generation.

http://www.conservativeforum.org/EssaysForm.asp?ID=6046

Edited by ecoli
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The propositions that

1) some circumstances are more desirable than others

2) historical progress is illusory/worthless

are contradictory, and I don't think this essay satisfactorily reconciles them.

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Reposting articles (especially) without commentary is against forum rules, jryan. Consider this a warning.

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This read more like an essay on postmodernism than an essay on conservatism, and for what it's worth I'm a modernist so I strongly disagree with most of the content.

I really don't buy the likening of neoconservatives to modernists either. I don't really see much overlap between the two.

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The propositions that

1) some circumstances are more desirable than others

2) historical progress is illusory/worthless

are contradictory, and I don't think this essay satisfactorily reconciles them.

I don't believe they are, not in the way it offered, anyway. He is stating that humanity has had no real progress beyond the technical throughout human history. Human weaknesses are still the same human weaknesses that thwarted Utopia 100, 500 or 2000 years ago. Basing any goal on a time where humanity is not prone to such weakness is folly.

We can't even see and avoid duplication of CURRENT failure, much less that of 30, 60 or 100 years ago. That we fail to see it well into our 70s rather than 50s, or fail to find in in our iPads rather than our New Reels is irrelevant.

The more desirable circumstance has and always will be more freedoms to make of our life what we will... but that has never changed and that can be achieved with the stroke of a pen over night and requires no research or development to arrive at.

Government provided "freedom" is really Government exercised freedom at the expense of individual freedoms.

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Wow, so this entails conservatism,

There is No New Thing Under The Sun

The philosophical core of conservatism is pessimism about the improvement of mankind. That is not to say that conservatives necessarily regard humans as entirely deplorable. It is rather to say that they agree with Marcus Aurelius that he who has seen the present has seen everything. The accidents may change, but the fundamentals of human nature and the texture of human experience do not.

So even though this is not true, seeing as human behavior has drastically changed and evolved throughout history, I want to skip to, 'if you have seen the present, you have seen everything'. Really what does that mean? Considering that the present is ever changing, I do not think that statement is an accurate description of reality.

When the Mayans saw the night sky five thousand years ago, that means that they saw the future of space travel/machinery, as it is today.

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And is this something conservatives should be proud of?

Conservatives really do not share the sophisticated insights of the modern man, and they reject not this or that sophisticated theory but sophisticated theorizing as a practise.

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Thus the conservative says that we didn't take a wrong turn in the free debate. It was its premises that were at fault. This realization in turn requires us to develop not just different public policy but a different and less "sophisticated," if more sophisticated, understanding, and again not just of economics or politics but of the human condition. We must see that the Old Adam, and the Old Eve, are still with us. And we must see that the entire Enlightenment project of redesigning human existence was flawed, not only in its execution but in its basic design.

So the author seems to be making a point that the Enlightenment was a negative on humanity? This must be a joke, I also love the terrible wording

This realization in turn requires us to develop not just different public policy but a different and less "sophisticated," if more sophisticated, understanding, and again not just of economics or politics but of the human condition.

So the author wants a public policy that is less sophisticated yet more sophisticated understanding of the human condition?

The author seems to be arguing against innovation, and stating that not every problem can be solved, therefore we shouldn't try? This is really ludicrous.

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Wow, so this entails conservatism,

So even though this is not true, seeing as human behavior has drastically changed and evolved throughout history, I want to skip to, 'if you have seen the present, you have seen everything'. Really what does that mean? Considering that the present is ever changing, I do not think that statement is an accurate description of reality.

How has human behavior changed throughout history?

When the Mayans saw the night sky five thousand years ago, that means that they saw the future of space travel/machinery, as it is today.

No, but human innovation is not the same as human behavior. What we always endeavor to change is behavior.

Conservatives really do not share the sophisticated insights of the modern man, and they reject not this or that sophisticated theory but sophisticated theorizing as a practise.

And is this something conservatives should be proud of?

No, no more than an adult should take exceptional pride in dressing themselves. When you learn history, and pay attention to everything around you you realize that there are a lot of people burning excessive mental cycles of calculating the outcome for things that common sense and wisdom could tell you at immediately.

"Sophisticated insights of modern man" is simply a needlessly complicated endeavor to avoid learning what past experience has already taught us. Like watching an abused spouse bend over backwards trying to justify returning to the abuser.

So the author seems to be making a point that the Enlightenment was a negative on humanity? This must be a joke, I also love the terrible wording

Not all of it, no. But there is much of the Enlightenment and it's aftermath that you'd be willing to accept as unfortunate (eugenics, for example), and the problem is, in his view, that the troubling portion of the Enlightenment has superseded the good in Western societies. We are casting aside liberties in the hopes of the Utopia... giving away the guarantee in exchange for the unreachable promise.

So the author wants a public policy that is less sophisticated yet more sophisticated understanding of the human condition?

Understanding the human condition isn't hard. We have thousands of years of direct observation to prove the simplicity of it.

The author seems to be arguing against innovation, and stating that not every problem can be solved, therefore we shouldn't try? This is really ludicrous.

No, he is not arguing against innovation. He is simply arguing that innovation is not the means to all of our desired ends.. or most, for that matter.

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How has human behavior changed throughout history?

One example? We used to kill virgins to appease the gods. We don't do that anymore.

Really?

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Not all of it, no. But there is much of the Enlightenment and it's aftermath that you'd be willing to accept as unfortunate (eugenics, for example), and the problem is, in his view, that the troubling portion of the Enlightenment has superseded the good in Western societies. We are casting aside liberties in the hopes of the Utopia... giving away the guarantee in exchange for the unreachable promise.

There would be no such thing as western societies, as you know them, if it was not for the Enlightenment. And if you were referring to the good that existed previously in western culture (Europe at the time), before the enlightenment could you elaborate? Are you referring to the black plague, the crusades, Church rule, or are you referring to serfdom?

The Age of Enlightenment (or simply the Enlightenment) is the era in Western philosophy and intellectual, scientific and cultural life, centered upon the eighteenth century, in which reason was advocated as the primary source and legitimacy for authority.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Age_of_Enlightenment

How has human behavior changed throughout history?

To elaborate on the point iNow was making, do you think that if the Pope told all Christians in a broadcast tomorrow, "to take back the holy land" that they would grab their guns and go? I seriously doubt it, but during the crusades, that very thing happened. There is a perfect example of how human behavior has changed, we are more likely to question religious authority.

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How has human behavior changed throughout history?

Hint: it's the topic of these forums

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Hint: it's the topic of these forums

Hint: No it's not. We have learned more about the universe around us and how to build nifty gadgets along the way but it has not changed human nature in the slightest.

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One example? We used to kill virgins to appease the gods. We don't do that anymore.

Really?

We don't? Seriously? Take a look around the world and tell me honestly that you believe that.

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Hint: No it's not. We have learned more about the universe around us and how to build nifty gadgets along the way but it has not changed human nature in the slightest.

Though human behavior has changed. Different societies have very different norms.

We don't? Seriously? Take a look around the world and tell me honestly that you believe that.

Ok. I believe that. If you want, I'll add the qualification that we don't do that in liberal societies.

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Though human behavior has changed. Different societies have very different norms.

I don't think there is evidence that human behavior has changed either, quite frankly, as a whole. Technology has done little but accentuate our age old drives to both preserve ourselves and kill others and I see no reason to believe that the future holds any more promise than that. It is pessimistic, I know, but it is also realistic.

Ok. I believe that. If you want, I'll add the qualification that we don't do that in liberal societies.

And they didn't do that in liberal societies 2000 years ago, either.

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I don't think there is evidence that human behavior has changed either, quite frankly, as a whole.

I don't know about you, but I'm not an illiterate serf.

Technology has done little but accentuate our age old drives to both preserve ourselves and kill others and I see no reason to believe that the future holds any more promise than that.

Are we talking about technology, or are we talking about social norms?

And the point is disingenuous, anyway, for anyone who chooses to live with said technology. If it holds no promise, then why not go back to nature? Why not stop "playing god" by wearing clothes and harnessing combustion to remove the consequences of living in winter? Or is that before the arbitrary point where additional change is playing god? What are we trying to rationalize, again?

And they didn't do that in liberal societies 2000 years ago, either.

Oh? And what liberal societies might those be, and how widespread were they? I can't even think of any that didn't have slaves.

(Good thing so many people have been willing to "play god" since then, eh?)

Edited by Sisyphus
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So even though this is not true, seeing as human behavior has drastically changed and evolved throughout history, I want to skip to, 'if you have seen the present, you have seen everything'. Really what does that mean? Considering that the present is ever changing, I do not think that statement is an accurate description of reality.

You're focusing on detail - which is not what they're talking about. Zoom way out and engage the very nature of man, and what drives us. One of my favorite all time authors is extremely liberal and points this "there is nothing new under sun" thing out all the time. It's partly based off of the notion that humans still do what we did thousands of years ago - just updated packaging.

Only humans would invade Iraq as a pre-emptive strike and act as if this is the first time that's happened - or to pretend as if previous military conquests were not motivated, at least onstensibly, by arguable grievances.

We pretend as if humans are done conquering lands and subjugating each other, but we still do it to this day. We seem to try to except ourselves from the momentum of history with our "enlightenment" - and that's what bugs them. And me, for that matter.

The liberal reverance for government is the epitome of this exceptance. We see that historically governments are never static - they dynamically grow and grow, rarely shrink, unless they are conquered or spend themselves to death. And they tend to take on more and more power as the society evolves, using appeals to welfare of the society.

It's not that enlightment is wrong, like the conservatives want to believe. It's that it is misapplied. We can and should be enlightened about our moral obligations, and be welcome to upgrading our standards of decency to one another, but to delude ourselves into believing, for instance, we can suddenly trust an all powerful government to benevolently rule us for all time is naive by the most kindly of standards.

At least, that's what I believe is the point they're trying to make. Thing is, even human nature isn't static. We may be the same as 2000 years ago, in essential behavior and how we justify excusing bad behavior, but even our basic human nature has changed since say, 20,000 years ago. It just appears a permanent feature of man.

No' date=' no more than an adult should take exceptional pride in dressing themselves. When you learn history, and pay attention to everything around you you realize that there are a lot of people burning excessive mental cycles of calculating the outcome for things that common sense and wisdom could tell you at immediately.

"Sophisticated insights of modern man" is simply a needlessly complicated endeavor to avoid learning what past experience has already taught us. Like watching an abused spouse bend over backwards trying to justify returning to the abuser.[/quote']

But without these sophisticated insights we don't audit what we believe. How do we evolve at all if we don't question our conclusions from time to time as we increase in knowledge and philosophical edification?

There is no sound reasoning in the idea that we shouldn't figure out why serial killers do what they do since common sense tells us there's no fixing them. Sophisticated insights have taught us alot about them, which helps with apprehending them much sooner, with far less victims. It has helped to intellectualize something many of us probably would claim is a waste of time.

I couldn't disagree more with the core conservative line of static nature. It's only convenient for today, but eventually it will run out of gas as the nature of man evolves differently.

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I don't know about you, but I'm not an illiterate serf.

Well, firstly, That's not behavior.

Secondly, don't look now, but most of the world still ARE illiterate serfs.

Are we talking about technology, or are we talking about social norms?

Either, so long as you are willing to not focus on what YOU have and focus rather on the whole of humanity.

And the point is disingenuous, anyway, for anyone who chooses to live with said technology. If it holds no promise, then why not go back to nature?

I never said that. I like my creature comforts as much as the next person. But they haven't changed humanity, and the vast majority of the humans on the planet don't live as you and I do... nor can they.

Hell, we have a movement now to pay the third world to remain serfs to conserve energy for the minority.

As a sobering figure, the world GDP in 2009 was $51 trillion. If we were to achieve true equity amongst all the people of the world that would mean each person would be entitled to....$8,500 annually. While there would be some adjustment downward to the cost of essentials, many of the luxuries that you and I take for granted would disappear as the capital simply wouldn't exist to provide equal access to the comforts you and I enjoy.... nor would the infrastructure exist to create it, even if we were to settle on a sufficient price that would differentiate the cost of air conditioning from the cost of a loaf of bread.

Oh? And what liberal societies might those be, and how widespread were they? I can't even think of any that didn't have slaves.

I will see if I can find one, but I am at a disadvantage in this as I can easily point out that anti-slavery in the MODERN world is in the minority... and even that stretch in the demographically small western world is a blip on the human time line.

And few ancient civilizations were free of anti-slavery movements (Spartacus, Egyptian Jews, and so on)

(Good thing so many people have been willing to "play god" since then, eh?)

Huh?

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But without these sophisticated insights we don't audit what we believe. How do we evolve at all if we don't question our conclusions from time to time as we increase in knowledge and philosophical edification?

But we audit against what we already know.

There is no sound reasoning in the idea that we shouldn't figure out why serial killers do what they do since common sense tells us there's no fixing them. Sophisticated insights have taught us a lot about them, which helps with apprehending them much sooner, with far less victims. It has helped to intellectualize something many of us probably would claim is a waste of time.

Well, I'm not entirely sure about that either. The abilities of profiling are greatly overplayed in the modern media. I know this because my father was in the FBI and was good friends with the guy who invented profiling, he was a family friend, and he would be quick to point out the limitations of the field. If you were to try and expand profiling into the cartoonish version you see in Silence of the Lambs (Fosters teacher was modeled after my dad's friend) or Criminal Minds you would wind up with far more Richard Jewells than Theodore Kaczynskis. In reality, the majority of serial killers are caught for reasons completely unrelated to profiling (parking tickets at crime scenes, foul odors reported by neighbors, etc.)

I couldn't disagree more with the core conservative line of static nature. It's only convenient for today, but eventually it will run out of gas as the nature of man evolves differently.

When, you say...

When will that be?

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Well, I'm not entirely sure about that either. The abilities of profiling are greatly overplayed in the modern media. I know this because my father was in the FBI and was good friends with the guy who invented profiling, he was a family friend, and he would be quick to point out the limitations of the field. If you were to try and expand profiling into the cartoonish version you see in Silence of the Lambs (Fosters teacher was modeled after my dad's friend) or Criminal Minds you would wind up with far more Richard Jewells than Theodore Kaczynskis. In reality, the majority of serial killers are caught for reasons completely unrelated to profiling (parking tickets at crime scenes, foul odors reported by neighbors, etc.)

If even one was caught, then it was worth it. Of course there are limitations - and guess what that is Jryan? That's a form of enlightenment. You have further thought out the conclusion of the practice, and questioned it and have determined a deeper conclusion.

That's the value of constant literal examination over traditional static conclusions.

When' date=' you say...

[i']When[/i] will that be?

It's ever changing every day, so if you have a small enough measuring instrument you could see it's happening right now at a micro level. Remember, we notice that humans do the same essential things, but do they do them in the same quantities?

You can always find a weirdo in a village, but does that mean that villages are made up of weirdos?

It's quite easy to violate the association fallacy here too, by pointing out dictators, wars and other atrocities, despicable human behaviors without quantifiying them.

Do we know if this is happening less or more? Or is the change so subtle from generation to generation that we never actually notice it? Or is it exactly the same, or even getting worse and we aren't noticing it?

I know this much: there is nothing we have ever observed in nature that would suggest static behavior - nature exterminates such things.

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I don't think there is evidence that human behavior has changed either, quite frankly, as a whole. Technology has done little but accentuate our age old drives to both preserve ourselves and kill others and I see no reason to believe that the future holds any more promise than that. It is pessimistic, I know, but it is also realistic.

We've gone from a species of hunter gatherers to farmers to network-connected city dwellers. I'm not sure what else there is to discuss if you can't recognize this simple fact. Science has revolutionized our lives.

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I don't think there is evidence that human behavior has changed either, quite frankly, as a whole. Technology has done little but accentuate our age old drives to both preserve ourselves and kill others and I see no reason to believe that the future holds any more promise than that. It is pessimistic, I know, but it is also realistic.

http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/steven_pinker_on_the_myth_of_violence.html

Steven Pinker charts the decline of violence from Biblical times to the present, and argues that, though it may seem illogical and even obscene, given Iraq and Darfur, we are living in the most peaceful time in our species' existence.

Take a look. Interesting talk.

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We've gone from a species of hunter gatherers to farmers to network-connected city dwellers. I'm not sure what else there is to discuss if you can't recognize this simple fact. Science has revolutionized our lives.

I think you are missing my point. I have never said that we have not advanced technologically but we have not advanced sociologically.

I mean, for example, would you see the conquering of Native Americans, or Africans in the 1800s as progress? It was done through better technology, after all. Those cultures where the conquering Western culture took root now thrive unlike the areas where it didn't. Was that progress? Is the end of Western Empirical powers a regression? Have we shown that third world nations can progress without the seed of Empire?

Also, on another front, ancient societies grew at a pace that their technology allowed... as we improved our ability to survive extremes, humanity moved from the warmer areas of the world to inhabit harsher climates, or adapt to harsher climates visited on us. Is this boom in human population a real change in human nature, or humanity's ongoing effort to bend nature to humans? I don't see this as a change from Ancient Egypt, or Mesopotamia, or Greece. It is technological growth, but it is still predicated on the same human behavior we see present in ancient humans tanning animal hides to keep them warm in colder climates.

It is a progression of innovation, but not of human nature, which has always been innovative.

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It is interesting, but not entirely honest, I don't think. Oddly, I would argue that Iraq is a poor choice for "horrors", while Darfur may be appropriate. But your underlying assumption is faulty, I think. Since I and Dr. Pinker agree on the idea that global violence is variable, and that we are living today is "probably the most peaceful time in history", do you assume then that this will continue? I harbor no such belief.

I would argue that population growth as global militarization are the primary contributors to this peace. Increased population and more efficient weapons have greatly reduced the number of men needed to wage war and pinpoint enemies... and reduce the number of dead as a result. But that doesn't stop war. It makes it cleaner, I suppose..

But even then, as seems to be a trend in human history, we are so sure of our naturally peaceful future that the peace loving nations of the west are disarming and ridding ourselves of the very tools we have used to ensure this short reprieve from more globalized violence.

As such, I think we will be lucky to make a full 100 years without another large scale global war breaking out again.

Edit: By the way, such optimism also existed at the turn of the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries... and surely numerous other short breaks in history.

Edited by jryan
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It is interesting, but not entirely honest, I don't think. Oddly, I would argue that Iraq is a poor choice for "horrors", while Darfur may be appropriate. But your underlying assumption is faulty, I think. Since I and Dr. Pinker agree on the idea that global violence is variable, and that we are living today is "probably the most peaceful time in history", do you assume then that this will continue? I harbor no such belief.

The point was that we have indeed changed sociologically, as evidenced by us not killing each other nearly as much.

Did you watch the video, or just read the summary blurb? Pinker is not just talking about wars but about violent deaths in general, so global (de)militarization is not the sole factor here.

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The point was that we have indeed changed sociologically, as evidenced by us not killing each other nearly as much.

Did you watch the video, or just read the summary blurb? Pinker is not just talking about wars but about violent deaths in general, so global (de)militarization is not the sole factor here.

I did watch it. I even want to believe it. But I can't. Even Pinker must qualify it with "possibly".

I guess I would need to read his study as I also have serious reservations about his ability to even quantify the claims he makes about general violence in the modern world much less any time in recorded history... let alone the prehistoric era... which is the majority of man's existence.

As such it seems like a feel good and a pat on the back that we aren't even sure we deserve.

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I mean, for example, would you see the conquering of Native Americans, or Africans in the 1800s as progress?

No, but I see the laying of the transcontinental railroad, transcontinental telegraph lines, and transatlantic telegraph lines as progress. There was certainly plenty of progress happening at the same time which fundamentally altered human behavior. We no longer needed a pony express to get messages across the country quickly. We could use electricity instead.

The "not all is progress" attitude is pretty common among postmodernists. This culminated in the atomic bomb, which so far has remained mankind's ultimate achievement which is considered counterprogressive by postmodernists.

I certainly recognize that along with technological progress comes ways to use it counterproductively and destructively. With great power comes great responsibility.

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No, but I see the laying of the transcontinental railroad, transcontinental telegraph lines, and transatlantic telegraph lines as progress. There was certainly plenty of progress happening at the same time which fundamentally altered human behavior. We no longer needed a pony express to get messages across the country quickly. We could use electricity instead.

It's interesting you mention that since the railroad and telegraph would not have been possible without the "pacification" of the West... and the need for the railroad would not have existed without the subjugation of the western tribes.

Note that I also share the view of the railroads and cities as good things. But they were only possible and necessary through the employ of our baser human instincts.

The "not all is progress" attitude is pretty common among postmodernists. This culminated in the atomic bomb, which so far has remained mankind's ultimate achievement which is considered counterprogressive by postmodernists.

I think we are confusing behavior with human nature. While I think it is possible to see a nominal sway in the aggregate human behavior, I don't ever consider it permanent and for all sways to the negative a positive ill follow, and vise versa. This current stint of a few decades does nothing to change my mind on that.

I certainly recognize that along with technological progress comes ways to use it counterproductively and destructively. With great power comes great responsibility.

While the Spiderman quote is appropriate and "true", in practice I find far more evidence for the counter to that: "Power Corrupts".

Indeed, the current progressive movement in the US and Europe is decidedly COUNTER to the notion of responsibility, and directly contributing to a growth in state power. The eventual outcome of such a movement should not come as a surprise.

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Hint: No it's not. We have learned more about the universe around us and how to build nifty gadgets along the way but it has not changed human nature in the slightest.

Come on Jryan, you cannot believe this bunch of crap. How has human nature not changed in the slightest? Sure in some areas of the world there is still behaviors going on that have for centuries, but overall human behavior has changed drastically. Do you go and hunt buffalo for your food? Do you dance the rain dance to make sure your crops get watered? Would you ever trade your daughter to her future husband because he has the best livestock to offer? Is it acceptable to beat your wife if what you use to beat her is no wider than your thumb?

These are all examples of human behavior that are not as prevalent anymore and in some cases have been outlawed. To imply that human behavior doesn't change is just madness. With technological change there is inevitable social/behavioral change.

Factors affecting human behavior

Attitude – the degree to which the person has a favorable or unfavorable evaluation of the behavior in question.

Social Norms – the influence of social pressure that is perceived by the individual (normative beliefs) to perform or not perform a certain behavior.

Perceived Behavioral Control – the individual’s belief concerning how easy or difficult performing the behavior will be.

Behaviour is observable. It is the way a child or persons reacts to different situations. A persons behaviour can be affected by many thing such as change of circumstance or even medical conditions.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_behavior'>http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_behavior

All these factors effect human behavior, many of these factors are always changing. So how can you argue that human behavior has not changed in the slightest? Its just dishonest.

Other theories hold that human rights codify moral behavior which is a human social product developed by a process of biological and social evolution (associated with Hume). Human rights are also described as a sociological pattern of rule setting (as in the sociological theory of law and the work of Weber). These approaches include the notion that individuals in a society accept rules from legitimate authority in exchange for security and economic advantage (as in Rawls) - a social contract.

The combination of biology and society is what makes us what we are and do what we do. Biology guides our responses to stimuli, based on thousands of generations of ancestors surviving because of their responses. Our social structures dictate restrictions on and alterations in how we carry out our biological responses.

http://www.wsu.edu/~taflinge/biology.html

Anatomically modern humans evolved from archaic Homo sapiens in Africa in the Middle Paleolithic, about 200,000 years ago. By the beginning of the Upper Paleolithic 50,000 BP (Before Present), full behavioral modernity, including language, music and other cultural universals had developed.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human

Learning theories emphasize that learning a new, complex pattern of behavior, like changing from a sedentary to an active lifestyle, normally requires modifying many of the small behaviors that compose an overall complex behavior . Principles of behavior modification suggest that a complex-pattern behavior, such as walking continuously for 30 minutes daily, can be learned by first breaking it (down into smaller segments (e.g., walking for 10) minutes daily). Behaviors that are steps toward a final goal need to be reinforced and established first, with rewards given for partial accomplishment if necessary. Incremental increases, such as adding 5 minutes to the daily walking each week, are then made as the complex pattern of behavior is "shaped" toward the targeted goal. A further complication to the change process is that new patterns of physical activity behavior must replace or compete with former patterns of inactive behaviors that are often satisfying (e.g., watching television), habitual behaviors e.g., parking close to the door),or behaviors cued by the environment (e.g., the presence of an elevator).

http://www.csupomona.edu/~jvgrizzell/best_practices/bctheory.html

All of the above shows examples of how human behavior has changed, is changing, or can change.

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Note that I also share the view of the railroads and cities as good things. But they were only possible and necessary through the employ of our baser human instincts.

And what basic instinct was it that employed us to create the railroad?

Was it sex?

Was it survival?

Was it society?

Those are the major ones, and I could see the argument for society, but to imply that the building of the railroads was heavily based on instinct is a lie. Did instinct tell us how steam engines work? Did instinct tell us that we could design trains?

No, simply our instinct gives us the will to live, and the will to work together, and our will to procreate.

Sure if we didn't have those instincts trains may not exist today, but what is your point, we should have government that is only based upon the basic human instincts of man? Sex, Survival, and Society?

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