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Are you Opimistic about the future of the Human Race?

We live in interesting but precarious times...

Perhaps we through our leaders could have done a lot more to protect our little blue dot in space from the ravages of Human nature.

The real question is will the next generation be enlightened enough to stop or even reverse the damage mankind has done up to now?

By Hitchens8
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6

Humans are remarkably resilient. I think we'll come out of this latest period of darkness a different people, but still us. It may be a little too optimistic to say that maybe we'll learn our lesson this time, but it's a non-zero possibility.

Yes I think this was a very nasty blip...one that will pass.
Although a lot of damage has been done to America's credibility and standing abroad...there will be a lot of work to do to undo the damage..Trump's warped Administration's reckless endeavour to make a great country great..has only diminished it. It was and is causing voter apathy and malaise..the very thing that ironically got him in..in the first place.IMO.

@Hitchens I am not a DJT supporter. I believe, however, that had Trump been the Democratic Party candidate and won the presidency, his populist approach to governance would have resulted in a much more humanitarian outcome. As a Democratic president, he would have been much better than as a Republican or as H.Clinton.

@PBuck0145

Even if he did run as a Democrat..and had won..he may have pandered to his core democratic vote..yes..probably..for a while..so maybe some issues dear to democrats might have been addressed..

But..the problem I have with that hypothesis is that he has such ingrained bias and prejudice wired in to his physche..that he would (in my honest opinion) have slowly reverted back to his own sick agenda of nonsense..but who knows right?

@Hitchens Perhaps you are correct. I base my beliefs on the fact that most of his campaign promises which were discarded when elected, but might have been implemented with the support of a Democratic congress.

@PBuck0145

You are probably right..he might well have too..but it's his personal character that is the issue..his now legendary economy with basic truth..and his inability to take advice..his lack of empathy..and diplomacy..would lead me to the conclusion that this experiment would have failed anyway. IMO.

4

IMO, The continuation of a particular genetic group is not possible or desirable. There will be constant churning of characteristics, and whatever life-forms persist will be those best suited to a changing environment.

The entire chain of organisms can be thought of as a single entity—after all, time is just an illusion. It is not reasonable to be stressed out or worried about the future of humans. At some point the entire earth will disappear,

What I think is that the only thing worthy of survival is conscious awareness itself, and consciousness IMO exists independently and above our world of robotic bodies. Reality is not what it seems.

You are quite correct..in many ways..the question is about the past..the present..and the outlook for the near future..if nothing else we are all realists here..I know that all life will definitively be destroyed by either our own hand I.e nuclear holocaust..climate change..a virus/resistant bacteria..asteroid collision..and you're right much of this is beyond our control...

Life consciousness and time are indeed like a transitory dream..but I would like us to effect enough change to allow my children and their children to live that dream..not the nightmare.

Thank you William.?

3

I believe that many of the next generation will be enlightened enough to stop or even reverse the damage mankind has done up to now. The real question is** will they have the power to do so".

Yes will they have the power or will they elect people who care enough and have the political will to get other leaders to proactively and effectively collaborate across the world stage..to effect the real and urgent changes to problems facing mankind..not just local votes..or pandering to lobbyists who are very much part of the problem.

@Hitchens Well, that's a relief!

3

Climate change is definitely turning out to be significant challenge. Our impacts on the world are damaging in most ways. Luckily for the earth, we are a blip on the screen and then it will correct all our damage relatively (in earth terms) quickly.

Hope for humans as a species? Definitely. We continue to lower our rates of violence, increase our average levels of health and lifespans, increase the availability and quality of educational opportunities, provide for greater freedoms and rights, and our lives in the material sense get easier and easier to handle. We sorely lack in forward, long-term thinking and emotional health but I'm looking at the big picture over hundreds and thousands of years and there is no denying the continued betterment of our condition. Why would I think it would reverse in the near future in a way that wouldn't rebound back to progress? All generations think the world is going to hell in a handbasket... because there are bad things and we focus on them (survival mechanism that keeps us alive!) and we are remarkably and deeply resistant to change, even when it is good for us.

Seeker3CO Level 8 Aug 10, 2018

[ted.com]

Hey Seeker..great answer..well said.

I posted the link to the Ted.com talk that discussed the comparative progress that has been made..thanks to PBuck...

Check it out..he has left some big ones out..but it's still interesting and supports much of what you are saying..

Thanks again Seeker..

3

Yep

Optimist..excellent.

3

As a race we have come so far, and things keep getting better. In time - probably 200 - 300 years from now the earth will be running smoothly, we will have world peace, we will conquer all diseases, it will be paradise.

gater Level 7 Aug 10, 2018

Yes I think the crucial thing is to get through the next couple of hundred years..Hawking said that too.
It's refreshing that you are calmly optimistic. Does seem so far away..I shall have to remember to keep flossing.. wouldn't want to loose any teeth before paradise arrives..😉

Thank you.

3

Trump's the president. So my answer is no. Thanks to him ruining my country, I can't escape this perpetual state of nihilistic depression I'm in.

Believe it or not..this will pass..and one hopes that the Generation growing up today..even in the most conservative communities will remember this dreadful era...and learn from it!

@Hitchens I hope so, dude. I had a bipolar meltdown the other day when I read that 43% of republicans think Trump should have a right to censor or shut down media outlets he doesn't like. It's horrifying. And when you have mental health problems to begin with, reading these things makes it so much worse.

@TheDarkNolanite

Look.. don't allow this kind of thing get you down.
That's just the kind of tactic they use to make us question our sanity...
That's the thing you see they don't give a shit about anything or anyone..just money power, guns and god...
They lie openly..they interfere with freedoms hard one..they pollute the water and ravage the land..they care not a jot for wildlife..unless it's to poison and shoot them..they betray their friends with trade wars..yet they befriend America's enemies..hanging out their own intelligence services..the list of bullshit is just endless....

But you need to keep your shit together..because these goons will not be in power forever..

3

Yes, and I'm equally optimistic about the future of nature. Humanity will constantly be at odds with itself over advancing technology, yet continue to produce amazing new developments and discoveries, like gene editing and particle accelerators. Meanwhile, nature will continue to develop its own fuck-yous like antibiotic resistant bacteria and dormant viruses that find refuge under ice shelves.

Yea..its like we are some sort of strange machine with a hammer in one hand..and a brush and pan in the other..destructively creating problems..then creating clever ways to clean up the mess. My brother was a Professor of Genetics in Chicago..now he is a director in a prominent genome commercial company in Boston..he tells me of interesting developments there..
I would be very concerned about our precarious situation with antibiotic resistant bacteria..even more so than viruses..never thought I would be thinking that one day....Thank you.

3

On the one hand:

The biosphere and human society are complex systems, and complex systems tend to be remarkably resilient, self-healing and durable.

We are wired by natural selection to find it far easier to perceive existential threats that aren't really that severe, and to pretty much not even notice positive developments.

There are lenses through which to see the data that tell us that death from war and disease are at an all-time low, that extreme, grinding poverty is at an all time low, and so forth.

On the other hand:

We are beating the crap out of the biosphere and the institutions that preserve civil society. To the point of reaching some serious tipping-points.

As Trumpism and similar phenomena elsewhere in the world demonstrate, way too many people are so deeply in thrall to delusional, irrational thinking and immortality projects that you can readily game out some pretty dystopian outcomes.

In theory, life, including intelligent life, should be plentiful in the universe and there's no evidence of it. This may well be because there are certain evolutionary "brick walls" that many species encounter and never get past. One of which may well be the acquisition of technology before having the self-control to use it wisely. This may be us, right now, in this moment.

So ... "am I optimistic" is a question that gets answered differently on different days. I think that religion is inherently doomed over the long run, but may bring us down in its death throes. I don't know how it's going to turn out. Close call and whew, glad it missed us? Dystopian detour but ultimately works out? We manage to drive ourselves extinct after all? I really don't pretend to know.

Selfishly, whatever happens isn't likely to fully manifest in the 10 to 30 years I probably have left, particularly since I'm not racially or culturally or economically very vulnerable. I'm using the time I have left to argue for critical thinking, empathy, and compassion, and try to demonstrate it as best I can. Seems like the best contribution I can still make.

mordant Level 8 Aug 10, 2018

Wow Mordant..truely comprehensive and first class response..a few thousand more well infofmed human beings like you and we could get things done..cheers.

2

I believe we're very good at adapting.

And true those with the ability to adapt or with the will to survive..are always the best placed to survive..correct by any standard.

Cheers.

2

I'm pretty sure the human race is doomed, so no optimism here.

Hermit Level 7 Aug 11, 2018

We are not allowed to call it human race anymore.. it's human species apparently...I've been reprimanded twice already on this Post..so tread lightly ??

But since we are all buggered and dooooomed..feel free to call it what you like..I'm sure the cockroaches and rats inheriting the world will be more than happy to take over the Rat Race..?

Thanks have the most pleasant afternoon ever.

@Hitchens. Uhhhhhhh! Bloody semantics. Well, race, species, whatever it's all fucked anyway so sounds like someone with too much time on their hands and nothing important in their life to address!?

@Geoffrey51

No it ok..they are good people..it would be different if it came from Trolls..but they are fine well intentioned guys ..words carry weight..and what seems like a trivial faux pad to me..is an important distinction to another..that should be respected..unless it's done out of malice..I agree some times the message is more important than arguing over the semantics. Cheers Geoffrey. ?

@Geoffrey51 you will be part of the Problem,Not the Solution!!

@bubaj50 That is probably true. Love cliches though

2

No species survives. We are likely to be on the shorter end of the range. In any event I have essentially no control over it, so I am neither optimistic or pessimistic I just am. That's enough.

We may not even make it through to next weekend...nobody knows...

But I only know that it's better to be alive than dead...?

@RobLawrence Even their time will come, though likely after ours.

2

Not optimistic as to the harm being done environmentally. Also not optimistic that humanity can find an alternate to its rapacious nature. I think it's in our DNA. We utilize our most Machiavellian traits far too readily.

Yea you nailed it..we are voracious consumers..we are insatiable..There is this stupid way of thinking..don't worry about the rain forests, the wildlife , Marine life, ice caps etc disappearing..

Because you will be dead..

Don't worry about climate change or pollution etc

Because you will be dead..

Who cares about the humans coming after us?

I'm starting to think that people may deserve what's coming down the line.

Same with Trump..they voted for him..they deserve him.

2

No. Optimists like Steven Pinker believe that the human condition is improving, but his viewpoint is extremely anthropcentric. He does not acknowledging the devastation humans are causing to Earth's biosphere, the only environment in which humans will ever be able to thrive.
[ted.com]

PBuck0145 Level 7 Aug 10, 2018

Thanks just watched it..
It's what he left out that is worrying..sure he crunched the comparative numbers..but admitted fleetingly that climate change is a gargantuan problem..that can be solved by applying solutions...what fucking solutions..the Paris Accord is in the toilet..thanks to 45. What about the rise of religious funementalism and national socialism?

As for destroying the rain forests..and wiping out wildlife that are regularly becoming extinct..plastics pollution..not even addressed etc etc

His numbers hide a number of elephants in the room.

Excellent cheers.

2

hopefully but extrapolating given the current data doesnt look hopeful

weeman Level 7 Aug 10, 2018

No it doesn't look pretty now..but we have to hope..remember that line "Hope is a fine thing..maybe the finest..and the world is a fine place, and worth fighting for".

2

First, there is no such thing as race. Second, I have great expectations for our species if we can survive ourselves another century and establish a functional colony on Mars. Failing either ensures our species will indeed go extinct. Of course, humans as we know them now will surely disappear along the way as evolution continues.

Sorry Evident..the vocabulary constabulary already beat you to that one ..in the form of the aptly named Wordywalt..you may be a Polymath..but he was quicker on the draw ?.
Either way I stand corrected...its species, my apologies to you..and the Human species, which I hope are in no way diminished by my faux pas.

I do seem to remember Hawking commenting that the next surviving the next couple of centuries would be crucial ..and also leaving the planet at some point ..to establish stepping stone colonies to escape a dying world.

So all things being equal and we haven't succumbed to War..natural catastrophes..virul/bacterial holocaust..asteroid collision ..and avoiding reliance on Artificial Intelligence (They could destroy us too)..I sense there is at least some reason to be partially optimistic..

Thanks Evidentialist.

@Hitchens -- Agreed. We need to get our eggs out of this one basket. It isn't a matter of if we get hit by a killer because that is guaranteed. The problem is timing. Although we have several programs to find and catalog any rocks or lumps of nickel-iron with our name on them, we are frequently blindsided.

I am optimistic about our odds, but we are working against a clock that is unseen and can't be changed to suit our needs.

@evidentialist

IKN..It might be that we could harness the energy of one of these deadly leviathans to catapult us out of our solar system..perhaps hitching a ride through the galaxy..at least some of the way to goldilocks land?

Maybe as is sometimes suggested those rocks hurtling through space may have carried the stuff of life..to us in the first place water etc may well either kill us..or provide a way out..who knows?

But yes it's as you say a race against time..and fortune..maybe our friend in the Oval office might do better investing money in think tanks..and useful research..instead of a "Space Force".

2

This question come up a lot, though it can be worded differently and with a different spin.
I generally shout at the screen "Nope - no hope!"
But the truth is, I do have hope, just not a lot of it.
I think there are very smart and enlightened people out there that have the foresight and ability to make the changes necessary for a happy and contented future for the human race.
Unfortunately, I also believe that there are far more unenlightened people with not enough sense to see the big picture and these are the masses who drive change (or the lack there of).
Hand-wavingly, the human race is it's own worst enemy.

scurry Level 8 Aug 10, 2018

I know it must come up in some form or other..yet still there is no harm in discussing it for those that haven't yet given an opinion..or were out marching the last time it came up..lol..but yes repition is tedious..still I do think the spin here is a valid one..since it counters that the next generation may have acquired enough world savvy through social media and education..to turn the tide of shit..excuse my French.. we should reserve some hope for their future. ?

@Hitchens For Sure - no harm in bringing it up again.
I would have scrolled by if irked me to any degree.
I think the way this question was phrased, it got me to look at it from a different angle, hence my reply.
Funny , you mention that this generation may have acquired enough world savvy to turn the TIDE of shit. Valid point. Except this is the same generation that thought it was a good idea to East TIDE pods. So who knows where we're headed. smile009.gif

2

I am 100% positive that the human race will continue to exist, but it will look different than it does now.

I can't tell you how it will be different without a lot more data, but we'll still be around. The earth may be more fucked up but we are a species that survives and thrives, there is no reason to think that the future of our species will be different. Many things that we thought 50 years ago were irreversible we've found ways to reverse. Innovation has not slowed and although many people think we'll destroy the earth, I'm betting we'll make it pretty fucked up and then fix that too.

Optimism and pessimism are wastes of time, who cares how full the glass is if you're heading over with a full pitcher?

I get what you are saying..that human's innate adaptability, tenacity, and sheer will to survive will carry us through all but the most cataclysmic of planetary disasters..and maybe even some of them..right?

2

Nope. I think we're fucked. It's just a matter of time. We've done this to
ourselves. We are the architects of our own demise.
Or an asteroid.
Whichever comes first.

KKGator Level 9 Aug 10, 2018

Asteroid might be cleaner...?☹

@Hitchens Much faster, and less painful, too.

@KKGator

Couldn't be any worse than stubbing your toe..or stepping on A piece of Lego?

2

I hope not...

Hope is a fine thing...no good praying..?

1

Yes, progress has to include a step backwards every once in a while. We will contI use to move in a positive direction.

LeslieV2 Level 5 Aug 14, 2018

Sometimes it feels like 1 step forward..2 steps back..but yes..we are survivors at the end of the day..but I think we need to keep an eye on going in the right direction..

1

I am definitely. Our children will be smarter than us . Evolution will prevail!

bubaj50 Level 7 Aug 13, 2018

Great optimistic answer...I have faith that the kids will turn this around...if there is time..

@Hitchens I raised my Son and Daughters to be adaptable to whatever tasks that they may encounter. Not with the attitude of Survivalists, but of people that will change the world for Humanity. They would be well able to be "survivalists" too , mind you.

@bubaj50 I have 2 girls...I agree..you need to teach them right from wrong..to know that it's up to them to change the crap they see on the news..it upsets them how things are going ..even at their age.
I try to teach them the importance of thinking for themselves..and also critical analysis..asking questions..and when your done..ask some more questions...
I would love to teach them some survivalist skills but the truth is apart from common sense tips that I picked up from books and TV..I really don't know shit from shinola..

Anyway some of those survivalist..take it to far..IMO...some of em are genuine fruitcakes..still I admire their skills..but am saddened that they really believe Armageddon is always a week away..maybe I'm wrong..who knows?

@Hitchens I have an advantage in that I grew up on a farm...and I am a sailer...I know that “ plan A” is only theoretical!

@bubaj50

Well you definately would have the jump on me..?

But there should always be a Plan B if the shit hits the fan.

Let's just hope it never comes to that..now we need little scientists etc ?

1

When I was younger , the air was badly polluted . Laws were developed and passed, and the air became significantly cleaner . There are intelligent people who can vastly improve life on this planet , but only if hard decisions are made , put in place , and followed . With the wrong minded people in place , greed overcomes long term planning and life gets worse .

Cast1es Level 8 Aug 13, 2018

Yep..greed and a huge lack of empathy...

Hopefully the kids of today...have already woken up to that coffee...

1

The children of the 60s had an opportunity to change and had some had a good crack, the compassionate of the 70s made a bit of a difference with ecological awareness. Those born in the 80's have been overcome by consumerism and egocentric ideology. Don't hold out much hope for change. I feel sorry for the children born in this decade because they have inherited the bullshit of at least three generations.

I was born in '71 ..I have noticed a year on year trend of the following cycle:

A surge in capitalism..followed closely by a surge in marketing..followed by a surge in consumerism..followed by a surge in manufacture..followed by a surge in pollution and waste...

All for "Stuff" that the marketing people convinced us we needed...and the cycle continues exponentially...for more crap that we don't need..we just want or covet it...

1

In some respects we will continue to develope and do wonderful things. In others we'll do the opposite.
If you look at how we've evolved over the past umpteen million years, and then consider what we will become in umpteen million years time, who knows what that human will be up to.

ipdg77 Level 8 Aug 11, 2018

I wonder will they ever sort out the issues with Cryogenics...then maybe we could press the pause button..and take a look at the brave new world of the future?

@Hitchens It's an interesting thought

@Hitchens then we would have to live with the same idiots that got us here in the first place ☹. ... And the future would likely be created on Huxley's distopian Brave Nee World.

@Geoffrey51 Fair point!..I didn't think of it from that perspective...maybe one tour on this little blue dot should be enough anyway..?

@Hitchens don't plan on another planet or Science to solve this.we will and must!

@bubaj50

Yea but we need Governments to get their collective fingers out of their asses..and agree a common approach..A.K.A Paris Accord.. a lame duck without the U.S on board..its not much..but at least it was a start..climate deniers are just as bad as flat Earthers..at least those lunatics are only a danger to themselves. IMO.

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