Problems in Watts

2 years 1 week ago #364090 by Wescli Wardest
Replied by Wescli Wardest on topic Problems in Watts

I never said “destroy it all.”

When a population reaches the point where the environment can no longer support it either we go to war to find new lands or we go explore to settle new lands. Expansion is how a species has the best chance of long term survival. Once we feel the strain of our population taxing the planet to strain we will be forced to move on.
The planet will then recover quickly without such a large burden on it.

Nature has changed multiple times throughout the history of the planet. Even long before we had any influence on it. And Nature has survived it all. It is only our arrogance that makes us believe we can control something as vast and powerful as nature. All we can do is adapt. And that is one of our species greatest strengths. Adaptation.

I never said that humans were superior. In fact, I can most often be found to compare us to a virus. And just as a virus moves from one host to another, so shall we. It is in our very nature to move forward and explore. And like I said before, our advantage, the ability to adapt, has given us an edge over almost every other species. These two things will make it possible for us to go to other places and thrive.

Unlike many others animals in nature we have found ways to survive when the other animals would be wiped out or have their population seriously reduced. This is a benefit for us. Imagine if we didn’t’ have that ability. Do you think you would still be here?

Your last sentence is very presumptuous. I feel like you may be projection your own shortcomings in other people. I know that you do not know me nor the majority of other people in the world. So I forgive you.

When I suggest that an expansion in to the universe is our most likely solution it was completely rejected. Ruin the planet… as if anything we have done cannot be overcome by nature if given the chance. You recognize that people have been on the earth for over two-hundred-thousand years. And it is primarily in the last couple hundred that the most “damage” has been done. That is one one-thousandth the time we have been here. I bet if you give people some time you will be pleasantly surprised. Like I said before, it takes time to change things. People usually learn quickest when they feel pain. The pain of something unpleasant tends to drive change.

There is a cartoon I find amusing and I would like to share it with you.

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Nature will continue with or without us. It's not the planet we're ruining. It's the environment that is good for us we are changing. Nature will be fine rather we are here or not. So we will need to adapt. And I still hold firm in the belief that expansion to other celestial bodies will be how our species continues. Look at things outside our planet... the sun will not last forever. If we do not go to other planets than eventually we will be wiped out by the one thing that sustains us on this planet... the Sun.
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2 years 1 week ago #364109 by Vincent Causse
Replied by Vincent Causse on topic Problems in Watts
I do agree on some things and i dont an others, Humans have not over run the planet for millions of years but it seems that only our species homo sapiens sapiens has done so, it s a race to extinction. Lets see it that way, most other human species survived so far longer than ours, even Neanderthal has survived few 100 000 years more than us as a species, that with our wiping out their environment, i think this is something that we should learn from. The "take and move on" is typical from our society that is "buy, use, throw a way and buy new". Sure the planet will go one but we are not exactly making a show of intelligence to be honest ! Again the intelligence matter is a difficult subject as being the more vocal human are the only one judging. But i stand by my point that populating a territory until it just cant take any more ... is just foolish, the idea that we could just leave earth is even worse. Living what ever the way we want now, is far to be wise, thinking that it s okay the planet will sort it s self out is an other selfish way of thinking. The here and now does not work in consumption, as we are a so called intelligent species it s our duty to make sure that our only home will be viable for the futur generation of humans and the others species! One must look far n the futur not just in the morrow. Even thinking to make sure earth will be as pristine as possible for futur human species as it happened in the past ! Evolution never sleep, it does not stop so why would we be the last ? But right now the facts are that for the sake of our own survival we re taking down other living beings with us. To live mindful we must live with what we have, not already thinking about moving on when we re done with the place and we can not think saying : it s okay one day we ll die and it will all be fine, our children would be very impressed to hear such a thought !
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2 years 1 week ago #364114 by Wescli Wardest
Replied by Wescli Wardest on topic Problems in Watts

I agree that the “everything is disposable” attitude society as a whole seems to have taken on is not good for long term sustainability.

It has been proven throughout history that nature will sort itself out. May not be an ecosystem that will support human life; but, some of the eras of the past were not suitable for humans either. It’s just part of the life cycle of the planet itself. Time changes everything.

Populating a territory until the numbers are no longer sustainable is a foolish practice. But unlike other species, rather than slowly dying out because of it we have developed, and continue to develop, skills and tools that will allow us to move on to other areas.

to make sure earth will be as pristine as possible for futur human species as it happened in the past” is an incorrect assumption. The earth was not always suitable for human life. And to deny the planet its ability to change as it sees fit is selfish on our part. Nature will do as she pleases. It is for us to adapt and/or move on if we want to survive as a species.

And speaking of taking down other animals. We, as a species, have taken down far, far fewer numbers and species of animals and life than nature herself has. There have been over seven discovered mass extinction events in the planets history that we have discovered so far. When nature decides it’s time for a change there is nothing we can do to stop it. And it is sheer human arrogance to think we can or even should.

People constantly go on about balance and nature but they seem to understand neither very well. Not specifically referring to you Vincent, but people view these topics through very small, narrow skewed windows and only seem to acknowledge the things that support their preconceived notions. It is a much vaster and ever changing subject with no point of equilibrium. Nature in itself is balance. And balance is the constant struggle between opposing forces. Not a state of equilibrium, always in motion and waging the ongoing struggle.

And that is also one of the points that Watts eludes to that people seem to have real issue with.

I can see there are things we will disagree on. That’s cool with me. ;)

But let’s return the thread to the original topic. I feel we high-jacked it. :P

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2 years 1 week ago - 2 years 1 week ago #364120 by OB1Shinobi
Replied by OB1Shinobi on topic Problems in Watts
I can never get far with Watts before I read something that I take exception to.

....And all so-called civilized peoples have increasingly become crazy and self-destructive because through excessive thinking they have lost touch with reality. That’s to say we confuse signs, words, numbers, symbols, and ideas with the real world.” —Alan Watts

While I agree that we are pretty crazy and self destructive, I cant help but to ask "as opposed to whom?" Desert roaming goat herders who expanded their lands by conquest and cut the throats of bulls and lambs over a piece of stone in dedication to their God - who took slaves and killed each other with rocks over accusations of infidelity? (No offense meant to modern Jews, Christians, or Muslims).
Jungle dwelling peoples who, to nourish Quetzalcóatl would cut the still beating hearts out of men and women their warriors captured while raiding the weaker societies along their borders and who thought that rocks and gems bestowed magical powers upon them? (No offense intended toward the descendants of indigenous people or those who practice some form of Shamanism)
The oh-so-wisened Brahmins who believed that enlightenment was the result of emaciation and who reign/ed over a caste system wherein a whole 4th of their people were believed to deserve whatever wretched treatment was forced upon them (exploitation, virtual enslavement, violence, murder, sexual assault) by the belief that Dharma deliberately and righteously birthed them into human existence as an "Untouchable"? (No offense intended to modern Hindus)

Im not denying that modern people hold and live by some pretty inane beliefs, im just rejecting the insinuation here that ancient people didnt. There are a great many things we can fault ourselves for, I dont think that being more looney OVERALL than our ancestors is one of them.

We, the human race, cannot be over populated. We can reach appoint where a single planet can no longer support the numbers of people on it. But all that means is that we will then be required to expand our occupied territories. IE, find other planets or celestial bodies to live on. Necessity has been a great motivator all throughout history. And given the opportunity, when need arises, I have faith that we will explore alternative resources.

Friend, respectfully: I agree with most of what youve said (i often do) but this single part, to my way of reading it, seemed to imply that its ok to practice knife throwing, archery and melee weapons practice on the walls, build a fire pit directly on the the living room floor, leave the rotting leftovers of our meals laying around and use all the corners in the all rooms as toilets - but dont worry, just because the house will eventually become unlivable to us doesnt mean it wont be livable to something and besides, necessity is a great motivator and once we're homeless the need for a new home will automatically give us the ingenuity to acquire one (even if its in space). One which I assume we would also abuse until it becomes unlivable (but only for us!). Maybe this is true (though on a global scale I doubt the impoverished masses will be a part of this great colonization) but still, wouldnt it be better to just start cleaning up the house (planet) we've already got?
Last edit: 2 years 1 week ago by OB1Shinobi.
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2 years 1 week ago #364122 by Wescli Wardest
Replied by Wescli Wardest on topic Problems in Watts
I always find it interesting how people’s minds work. How they interpret what is written or said by another.

I think maybe it is because we, as a people, seem to want to find deeper or hidden meaning in things? Or maybe we’re just jaded by life, trained to see things from a certain perspective. I don’t know.

I believe Watts was making a satirical observation regarding those that would consider themselves “more” civilized. Or place themselves in a self-imposed position of moral or mental superiority to those that might be able to accept that not everything has some deeper meaning to ponder. IE, the intellectuals, internet philosophers or today or other annoying group that always feel they have the answer or are right because they read something or thought about it more. I am pretty sure Watts was not comparing one civilization to another that might be viewed by the so-called civilized peoples as less civilized.

I also find it amazing that as science and discovery advances we discover that maybe not so much of what our predecessors knew is just a bunch of hoopla. But that is a different conversation all together.

As to my words, “We, the human race, cannot be over populated. We can reach appoint where a single planet can no longer support the numbers of people on it. But all that means is that we will then be required to expand our occupied territories.” That is literally all I meant. As population expands we will reach a point where the planet can no longer produce enough food, air and/or even water to support the population. Even if all other things were disregarded as superfluous and crops and living space was all that covered the earth. I do not want to see it that way! But that is all I meant.

We can clean the “house” all we want. We will still reach a point where the planet cannot support the life on it. Unless you’re a proponent of mass extermination? Maybe some kind of lottery? History didn’t view that well when the Nazis tried it. And no one looked fondly at China when they implemented population control. Well, no one that I am aware of. Maybe some did like it, cheering in dark corners. :P

And I like I was telling Vincent Causse earlier, no matter what we do, there will come a time where the sun reaches the end of its life cycle. And if we haven’t found a way to populate other celestial bodies, outside our own solar system, we will go extinct.

In referring to the first part of this reply….
“I was discussing the disparity between the way in which most human beings experience their own existence, and the way man’s being and nature is described in the sciences. I was pointing out that in such sciences as ecology and biology, ecology for example describes and studies the relationship between all organisms and their environments. The way in which they describe human, animal, and insect behavior is in flat contradiction with the way in which most of us experience our thinking, our action, and our existence. We have been brought up to experience ourselves as isolated centers of awareness and action, placed in a world that is not us, that is foreign, alien, other, which we confront. Whereas, in fact, the way an ecologist describes human behavior is as an action. What you do is what the whole universe is doing at the place you call “here and now”. You are something the whole universe is doing in the same way that a wave is something that the whole ocean is doing.” –Watts

This is a part of a series of Watts lectures which I find to be a good read and can be found here…
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Or use...
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2 years 1 week ago #364135 by Vincent Causse
Replied by Vincent Causse on topic Problems in Watts
While reading Watts i can feel the sarcastic satiric in the air it self. The shocking truth are part why i like him that much, nowadays too many people or do not tell the scientific truth or twist it or make imaginary political correct, people pleasing answers. It is true that all things have an end, it s just sad that we re hurrying the outcome. About the "civilized" and "un-civilized" or "savage" usual concept it is not a new thing certainly, a little study can explain why in some area of earth farming and technology came to be and in other didnt. But while the not modern technological society lacked technology, the so called modern lost knowledge, so no one can judge really. What is sad is to be supremely sure that one way is better than the other and that is one thing that us modern settlers, judge of all way of life and intelligence. Of course someone like Alan Watts could not refrain from hurting such an ego and it is hurting even more in an age where some people believe that life cannot be enjoyed with out the internet and the gadget that permit to access it! My little advice , read it , re-read it as i did, not always easy to understand what is he on about, breath it in , read in between the lines, feel the sarcasm and satire and admit that us humans are just another species on earth , what mainly separate us from our animal cousins is our capacity to write, tell stories ,create and create our own problems, think about the futur and of course over thinking which lead us to making a lot of wrong decision. Happiness is just a meditation time away

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