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HOW ARE WE EVOLVING AS A SPECIES?

Posted by Tim Bryce on June 29, 2012

– And what role does morality play?

(Click for AUDIO VERSION)
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We like to believe America is still the greatest society ever devised by man; better than ancient Greece, Persia, Rome, Britannia, or whatever, but if you study the news you have to wonder if we are truly any different than our predecessors. The technology of today allows us to communicate faster, express our creativity, and perform research more rapidly thereby enabling us to feed and heal more people. We are very proud of our technology, just as our ancient forefathers were of theirs. Our socialization skills and sense of ourselves are expressed through our speech, fashion, and customs. Such things always suit the decorum of the times. Impetuous youth has always challenged the wisdom and ways of their elders, while the latter grows impatient for the former to mature and take their rightful place in society. Such things remain constant.

It is our actions which ultimately defines our civilization. The actions of the Occupy Wall Street movement, for example, are essentially no different than those found in the “Hoovervilles” created nearly 100 years ago where people camped out to protest socioeconomic conditions. The Yippies of the 1960’s were also similar in intent. Charlatans still wrong, cheat and defraud others, but now at record levels, such as Bernie Madoff’s infamous Ponzi scheme which fleeced investors of billions of dollars. People are still bludgeoned and defiled without remorse. Throughout the world, we still allow countries to practice genocide and other atrocities even though we thought World War II marked the end of such barbaric behavior. Now, with today’s high tech weapons, we can kill more efficiently and at a higher volume. Corruption is still accepted, both in government and the private sector. No, not too much has really changed over the years.

I honestly do not see how man has progressed over the millenias other than to live longer, propagate more actively, and consume more resources. After thousands of years of development, you would think we would be a little smarter, but I am at a loss as to how to prove it. We long for Utopia, but it doesn’t exist, nor do I believe it ever will at the rate we are going.

I have always been of the opinion that both God and the Devil are very much alive and well, and that mankind is the embodiment of both residing within one home, the human spirit, thereby defining our values and perceptions through our sense of right and wrong (good versus evil). This, in turn, defines the path we follow through life. As much as we would like to believe good always triumphs over evil, there is no evidence to show this to be true, other than we haven’t killed off mankind yet. It is our sense of morality which dictates how we evolve as a species. If we permit evil to get the upper hand, our species will continue to degenerate, but if we keep it in check, we prosper.

I tend to believe morality is learned behavior from our parents and family, friends, school, our places of worship, the media, and the workplace. In the past, these institutions taught such things as being responsible for one’s own actions (accountability), to work hard and strive to prosper, the benefits of cooperation, treating others as you would have others treat you, and cause and effect (the consequences of crime and punishment). Such concepts shape our perceptions and personal belief system. However, if these lessons are being taught inconsistently or erroneously, the individual will misinterpret morality and act accordingly, right or wrong. We may spend considerable time discussing literature, math, and science, but not nearly enough discussing morality, particularly with our offspring who represents our future.

Not surprising, such things as greed, deceit, and laziness have crept into the fabric of our society. Today, abusing government programs for personal gain is considered an acceptable form of behavior, it’s even encouraged, as is undermining our neighbors and colleagues for the purposes of petty power and control, and devising a dependence on others to support ourselves. What is considered moral today, would hardly be considered such not long ago. A bankruptcy was considered scandalous and a disgrace, as was a divorce, or being arrested. Now, failure seems to be openly embraced and admired while success and following principles are lampooned. Interestingly, the country is now divided into two ideological extremes, left and right, both possessing distinctly different interpretations of what is right and what is wrong. Years ago, organized religion was the moral compass of the country. People from all walks of life openly called on Deity especially in perilous times, including the President of the United States. Now, due to political correctness, people tiptoe around the subject and consider the discussion of religion in any form a taboo. No wonder Christianity and Judaism is now in retreat.

Next time you see a barbaric atrocity of some kind on television, be it a mass murder, a child molested, a government releasing hell on its own citizens, or a simple injustice, ask yourself why we tolerate and permit such actions to occur. Better yet, ask yourself, are we really any better than our predecessors?

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:
timbryce.com

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Copyright © 2012 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.


NEXT UP: 
OUR GROWING DEPENDENCY ON MASS MEDIOCRITY – “The state of the art is whatever Microsoft says it is.” – Bryce’s Law

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8 Responses to “HOW ARE WE EVOLVING AS A SPECIES?”

  1. Tim Bryce said

    A K.R. of Singapore wrote…

    “This article is excellent.”

    Like

  2. Tim Bryce said

    A J.P. of Toronto, Ontario wrote…

    “Surprising as it may be, I am in complete agreement with every point you make in this essay. The fact this is so, given our notherwise wildly divergent political and economic beliefs is important. It is important because it demonstrates a common, foundational ground from which to build. I forget the original French, but the old saying “the more things change the more they remain the same” seems surely to apply here.

    In terms of physical evolution itself, all the biologists tell us we are still a “work in progress,” except that being so much in control of nature, even in so-called primitive societies, we are far less susceptible to natural selection than were our more remote ancestors.”

    Like

  3. Tim Bryce said

    A W.B. of Arlington, Texas wrote…

    “Much like the “Cockroach Factor” which I firmly believe in…we cannot eradicate this level of ignorance and attitude from our gene pool…in fact it is much the opposite. The OWS crowd is a perfect example of the disconnect between education and common sense. The shame of it all is that, as a nation, we now have a higher education process which is rich in liberal philosophy and fails miserably at creating the necessary understanding of history, Constitutional governance, and economic function and growth. We are turning out PHD’s who cannot explain our economy or the relationship of the Constitution to our form of government. We are no longer educating people, we are indoctrinating them in an outlook that teaches that all about America is bad and needs to be changed. By the time the idiots figure it out, they will be too deep in the result to have a choice. Good Write, Tim!”

    Like

  4. Tim Bryce said

    An L.M. of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania wrote…

    ” Wrote an extensive comment which has been intentionally or un-intentionally deleted. Im short my comment was until man clearly understands his own nature, and were he can find that perfect happiness he is in hot pursuit of, nothing much will change. There are no rules that we can prescribe for his actions, hence we have the news of the day!”

    Like

  5. Tim Bryce said

    ASn E.S. of Texas wrote…

    “Most people don’t realize its the truth. Wow !! Thanks for that post !!”

    Like

  6. Tim Bryce said

    A K.S. of Oklahoma wrote…

    “BRAVO Tim. I have felt this for some time. It is a complex set of events that I believe have taken us to this point in time none of which would be easy to point the proverbial finger at. It is Builting a tower that is “not off much” at its base is WAY OFF at the top. Maybe our problem is that each event, each wrong action no matter how small is viewed from the “base” perspective & not the “top of the tower.”

    A look back in history of all the great civilizations will show that EVERY ONE OF THEM felt indestructable yet they are nowhere to be found now. All feel from within. My question then is this – “What maked America any different?”

    God help us.”

    Like

  7. Tim Bryce said

    A J.S. of Arizona wrote…

    “They say that some genes that give an evolutionary advantage, can also carry a less than favored side effect. I sometimes wonder if the genes that gave us speech, more intelligence capabilities, etc., basically the modern species sapiens, also carried with them some bizarre form of mental illness we all now carry…?”

    Like

  8. Tim Bryce said

    A J.S. of Skidway Lake, Michigan wrote…

    “I’m not sure we are evolving in a positive way. With so many instant communication devices, we often wait through a recorded menu of options. Voice mail makes it acceptable to ignore phone calls until a more convenient time…after the crisis is solved or it is too late.”

    Like

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