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Human Progress Is An Illusion by BlameThe1st Human Progress Is An Illusion by BlameThe1st
"The belief that rational and quantifiable disciplines such as science can be used to perfect human society is no less absurd than a belief in magic, angels, and divine intervention. Scientific methods, part of the process of changing the material world, are nearly useless in the nebulous world of politics, ideas, values, and ethics. But the belief in collective moral progress is a seductive one. It is what has doomed populations in the past who have chased after impossible dreams, and it threatens to doom us again. It is, at its core, the enticing delusion that we can be more than human, that we can become gods.

We have nothing to fear from those who do or do not believe in God; we have much to fear from those who do not believe in sin. The concept of sin is a check on the utopian dreams of a perfect world. It prevents us from believing in our own perfectibility of the illusion that the material advances of science and technology equal an intrinsic moral improvement in our species. To turn away from God is harmless. Saints have been trying to do it for centuries. To turn away from sin is catastrophic. Religious fundamentalists, who believe they know and can carry out the will of God, disregard their severe human limitations. They act as if they are free from sin. The secular utopians of the twenty-first century have also forgotten they are human. These two groups peddle absolutes. Those who do not see as they see, speak as they speak and act as they act are worthy only of conversion or eradication."

"It is this naive belief in our goodness and decency--this inability to face the dark reality of human nature, our capacity for evil and the morally neutral universe we inhabit--that is the most disturbing aspect of all these belief systems. There is nothing in human nature or human history to support the idea we are morally advancing as a species or that we will overcome the flaws of human nature. We progress technologically and scientifically, but not morally. We use the newest instruments of technological and scientific progress to create more efficient forms of killing, repression, economic exploitation, and to accelerate environmental degradation. There is a good and bad side to human progress. We are not advancing toward a glorious utopia."

"Scientific and moral progress are not the same. One advances. The other does not."


- Chris Hedges, When Atheism Becomes Religion.
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:iconkal444:
kal444 Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2015
Wow one to another huh lad? Should I? Yaaa...

No, cause how you read this is my proof.
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:iconblamethe1st:
BlameThe1st Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Cool story, bro! ;)
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:iconsomebodyoranybody:
somebodyoranybody Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
A lot of us wouldn't be here right now, if medicine wasn't as advanced as it is today.
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:iconblamethe1st:
BlameThe1st Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
You've seemed to gloss over the explanation of how there is a difference between scientific and moral progress.
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:iconsomebodyoranybody:
somebodyoranybody Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Sorry >.>
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:iconhisarcher19:
hisarcher19 Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
I was reading "Mere Christianity" by C.S. Lewis and I think Lewis brought up a good point on this.  Moral progress is, by definition, impossible.  Morality doesn't "progress."  To progress doesn't just mean to change, it also mean you get better.  Morality can't get better, but how well we adhere to it can be.

When you sit down and analyze history, you'd find that how well we do that doesn't get better.  Rather, it fluctuates.  We get really good, we get proud, we get bad, we get humbled, repeat.  The nation of Israel is a good example of this vicious cycle.
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:iconthecrossoverer89:
TheCrossoverer89 Featured By Owner Aug 28, 2014
to me the idea of "human progress" implies there is an end, do we listen to music to reach the end of a song? no. Do we dance to reach a location? No. So why should life
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:iconcybersakikun:
CyberSakiKun Featured By Owner Jul 17, 2014
What do you expect, the Illuminati.
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:iconblamethe1st:
BlameThe1st Featured By Owner Jul 17, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
:shrug:
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:iconcorvus-the-snark:
Corvus-the-Snark Featured By Owner Jul 16, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
With every step humanity makes in the right direction, we take several steps back

In other words: progress isn't an illusion but it might as well be
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:iconblamethe1st:
BlameThe1st Featured By Owner Jul 17, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Human history in a nutshell.
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:iconcorvus-the-snark:
Corvus-the-Snark Featured By Owner Jul 17, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Agreed
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:iconmasterofthardus:
masterofThardus Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2014
I find myself both agreeing and disagreeing with you.

Humans are naturally flawed, naturally debased and sinful, and will never be within a hundred million miles of perfection. However, it is impossible to ignore the fact that we are also capable of having a moral compass and acting with decency, and in fact most humans do. One can always say that people like you and me are the minority, and certain stories would seem to support that (a child getting run over in China and left to die, despite being in the middle of an immensely crowded street). Yet for every one story like that, you can find ten of the opposite (an entire town turning out to rescue a child trapped in an old well, half a dozen motorists stopping to put a stop to an attempted carjacking, etc).

To say that we are irrational, sinful, and debased is in-line with Christianity.

To say that we are incapable of being good is to deny that God works in and through us.

(Sorry, but I was getting an overly misanthropic vibe from this. ^^; Correct me if I'm incorrect about you thinking this.

Also I apologize for the large amount of comments I've been posting lately. I've been looking through your submissions, old and new, and they're very...thought provoking)
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:iconblamethe1st:
BlameThe1st Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
No prob. Like how my work has prompted such discussion.
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:iconbytestream:
Bytestream Featured By Owner Mar 24, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
So scientific progress is not human progress?
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:iconblamethe1st:
BlameThe1st Featured By Owner Mar 25, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
They are mutually exclusive, yes. We may have improved technology, but it hasn't prevented us from acting any different from our cavemen ancestors.
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:icontglooker:
tglooker Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
You are evil.

like this:

The unenlightened masses,
they cannot make the judgement call.
Give up free will forever,
their voices won't be heard at all.

Display obedience
while never stepping out of line
and blindly swear allegiance,
let your country control your mind.

Live in ignorance
and purchase your happiness.
When blood and sweat is the real cause,
thinking ceases the truth is lost.

World will be better without scum tell us that we wrong.

Progress and Change is Part of Life.

You want Staus Quo, Which Destory and Kill humans lifes.


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:iconcorvus-the-snark:
Corvus-the-Snark Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Hey, Metal Gear Revengeance
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:iconblamethe1st:
BlameThe1st Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Your icon makes this comment ironic.
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:icontglooker:
tglooker Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
That you had to say on matter.


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:icontaena-doman:
Taena-Doman Featured By Owner Dec 20, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
If I understand the third paragraph correctly "It is this naive belief in our goodness and decency..., Hedges does mean that today's man is actually the same as the one living during the stone age. I agree with him, because our body and behaviour is still "made" for living in small groups as 'hunters and gatherers' with an occasional exchange with other small groups. I think, this can be seen within the today's modern world with the rising of diseases of civilization ( e.g. overweight, diabetes) because of too less athletic movement and too much food or wrong food, the rising of mental disease (especially burn out), plus we still fear the unknown (noone can really deny this). In addition, we can not capture longer periods or at least it is very difficult for us, because we are still "calibrated" living in the jungle or in the savannah, where the current, potential risk (lion^^) or the gathering of the next resource to survive is more important, then the things what happens in 10, 50 or 100 years.
In this case it would be really interesting, at which time morality have actually be started. In my opinion, in the first intance, morality is something what helps to unite a group, to take care for each member of this group and to feel emphaty. And this is not limited to the human, because it can be seen in the behaviour of other members of the Hominidae family (chimpanzees, gorillas, orang utans), but also within other species with a complex social structure (ravens, dolphins...).

In human history there were two important revolutions: First, the Neolithic Revolution or the Acriculture Revolution, as man change from the 'hunters and gatherings"- living to the 'settlement' - living
approximately 11.000 years ago, which enabled a better control over food and a better food storage plus more time for other things.  And second, the Industrial Revolution approximately 300 years ago, where numerous technical inventions came into progress (steam engine, processes for iron and steel production, etc.). Well, the Digital Revolution can actually be named as a third revolution in human history.
But, we humans are still the same as in the one's living as hunters and gatherers. And this fact, I will then begin to doubt, when scientists discover a kind of
"genetic memory", which means that every new technological development we created, is saved in our DNA. But currently I do not see a kind of genetic memory. And also I do not see, that we learn something from human history (and there is a lot...since the first written history).

Some words concerning science: Personally, I see science as the wonderful medium to understand the world better. It is

neutral, always in progress and it is not dogmatic. Yeah, it is kind of wonderland,:D which enabled to ask curious questions, to make theories and to solidify all those with observations and evidences...until the next question or strange observation will raise.:D But science is a good or as bad as the users of science and their responsility for the world (currently the earth). To give an example, the understanding of nuclear power does mean that we can create nuclear bombs, but we are free in the wish to construct them in reality.

Finally, a real human progress will then defined, when human kind takes a real
responsility for the things he is doing. Unfortunately, it seems that the main members of the human kind do not care.

Sorry, for my English.:XD:




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:iconcalypsoeclipse:
Calypsoeclipse Featured By Owner Oct 15, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
I have to admit we progressed in science, and many religious extremists denounce these ideas; however, atheists like Dawkins and Harris have denounced historical documents of religious scientists.
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:iconryu238:
ryu238 Featured By Owner Aug 20, 2013
I think we made some progress as far as philospohy about liberty is concerned. The only trouble is to get people to listen.
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:iconblamethe1st:
BlameThe1st Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
That seems to be the biggest problem of all. We live in a time where we're able to broadcast our message to a broader audience. Getting people to listen is the problem.
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:iconryu238:
ryu238 Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2013
When people do listen and refuse to change their views or listen to their own bias, then it becomes a bigger problem.
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:iconblamethe1st:
BlameThe1st Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
True that.
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:iconryu238:
ryu238 Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2013
Hell you and I may have fallen into the same trap of showing only the worst spokespeople of a thing we don't like in order to demonize it.
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:iconzido15:
ZIDO15 Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2013
Hola :) :)
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:iconryu238:
ryu238 Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2013
:)
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:iconf14ace:
f14ace Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2013
What this? You mean to tell me that in the 24th century we won't live in a socialist utopia where we fly around the galaxy in starships exploring strange new worlds, seeking out new life and new civilizations, and boldly going where no man has gone before all while listening to heavy-handed philosophical speeches from Patrick Stewart? Oh well, I'll take "a galaxy far far away" over the "United Federation of Planets" any day.
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:iconthe-conquerors:
The-Conquerors Featured By Owner Oct 29, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Vader's much cooler than hippies like Spock and Sulu. ~ C
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:iconf14ace:
f14ace Featured By Owner Oct 29, 2014
Don't get me wrong.  I like Star Trek, but Star Wars is better in almost every way.
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:iconthe-conquerors:
The-Conquerors Featured By Owner Oct 29, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Indeed it is. ~ C
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:iconblamethe1st:
BlameThe1st Featured By Owner Jun 13, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Meh, I wasn't into Star Trek anyway.
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:iconcrezda:
Crezda Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I know exactly what that paragraph is talking about it. It reminds me of George Carlin's: Extreme human behaviour I watched on youtube not long ago.
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:iconblamethe1st:
BlameThe1st Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Link?
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:iconcrezda:
Crezda Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
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:iconabandonedambition:
AbandonedAmbition Featured By Owner Mar 20, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Rather defeatist wouldn't you say?

I find the fact that people are disgusted by the heinous acts of individuals such as Hitler or Stalin proof of human morality. Do you agree and why/why not?
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:iconblamethe1st:
BlameThe1st Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Proof of human morality? Yes. Progress? No. Who's to say it can't happen here,
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:iconraven-kipper:
RAVEN-kipper Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2013
MISANTHROPY FOR THE WIN, I really hate how a lot of people just live in this pretend world where everyone is so nice, perfect, and that humans are generally nice people. It's the biggest load of bull I've ever heard. I realized all people were bad when i got my head out of my (well you know) and looked around. Ya know if these people really think humans are so "GOOD" why have gun control :trollface:

Metaphor time
Go crazy you Darwin fan boys
Chimps flying a plane with their entire species on board= plane crashes
Humans flying a plane with their entire species on board=plane crashes
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:iconblamethe1st:
BlameThe1st Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Anyone who seriously beleives that humans are naturally good have never studied history.
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:iconraven-kipper:
RAVEN-kipper Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2013
Exactly I also find it hilarious when people say "oh no humans are fine it's just religion that causes all/most of the wars".....and in order to believe this they have to completely shove their heads up their asses. I really doubt the missionaries during colonial times would have known about disease if they were atheist also let's not forget about people like this [link]

How is he not in jail XD
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:iconblamethe1st:
BlameThe1st Featured By Owner Mar 20, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Shudders. And I thought Peter Singer was nutso!
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:iconraven-kipper:
RAVEN-kipper Featured By Owner Mar 20, 2013
I just saw him and I agree on one point treat animals better.....OK also help the poor so 2 points. So anyway that guy really likes animals he even said we are all just animals so we are not allowed to eat them...... Ya wanna know what I'm gonna do I'M GONNA EAT SOME CHICKEN CAUSE I CAN.
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:iconblamethe1st:
BlameThe1st Featured By Owner Mar 20, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
That's not the worst part! The guy believes that it's moral to kill mentally-disabled infants. The man is a proponent for infantcide.
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:iconraven-kipper:
RAVEN-kipper Featured By Owner Mar 20, 2013
ok that's more shocking then when I just realized alchemy is possible. I mean really.....really that's so hypocritical some might consider some animals to have the intelligence of mentally-disabled infants, but we can't kill them.....
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:iconblamethe1st:
BlameThe1st Featured By Owner Mar 20, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Exactly! It's the hypocrisy that is most infuriating!
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(1 Reply)
:iconcosmic--chaos:
Cosmic--Chaos Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
In that case, why don't we all just give up and kill ourselves? :unimpressed:

I sincerely doubt that gods exist, so why should I listen to this pretentious blowhard whine about the negative sides of human nature?

If humanity as a whole is as bad as some people claim, Earth would have been a charred shell decades ago.
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:iconblamethe1st:
BlameThe1st Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Well, we did char the earth at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and considering how modern bombs are 100x worse that those two, we could very well char the entire earth in the future.
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:iconryu238:
ryu238 Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2013
Stop with these fallacys please. 
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