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ON MAINTAINING VERSUS ADVANCING CIVILIZATION; HOW MANY LEVELS ARE THERE, ANYWAY?
Topic Started: Mar 27 2012, 05:47 PM (4,705 Views)
Livyjr
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Edited by Livyjr, Apr 10 2012, 04:42 AM.
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Livyjr
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In the first place, civilization presupposes partial conquest of physical environment, through the invention and utilization of tools and the development of basic processes of craftsmanship and industry such as weaving, smelting, forging, and moulding, as well as the techniques of agriculture.

The operation of natural laws are discovered by scientific investigation, and frequently science and invention succeed in applying or modifying them to man's advantage.

The economic order must be sufficiently advanced on the productive side to make possible division of labor and specialization.

Facilities for the distribution of the products of agriculture and industry must be available, and there must be a tenable basis for the exchange of the labor of the individual for basic wants produced by other individuals or groups.

Civilized existence is possible only after social institutions such as the family, the kindred, and the tribe have in turn been integrated into political organizations such as city-states, kingdoms, or democracies, wherein governmental devices ensure harmonious relations among individuals.

- A Short History Of Western Civilization by Charles Edward Smith, Louisiana State University, and Lynn M. Case, University of Pennyslvania, copyright 1948 ....
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Livyjr
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If civilization is to be advanced rather than maintained, exactly how many levels or stages of "civilization" are there, anyway?
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Livyjr
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Inferno opens on the evening of Good Friday in the year 1300.

Traveling through a dark wood, Dante Alighieri has lost his path and now wanders fearfully through the forest.

The sun shines down on a mountain above him, and he attempts to climb up to it but finds his way blocked by three beasts—a leopard, a lion, and a she-wolf.

Frightened and helpless, Dante returns to the dark wood.

Here he encounters the ghost of Virgil, the great Roman poet, who has come to guide Dante back to his path, to the top of the mountain.

Virgil says that their path will take them through Hell and that they will eventually reach Heaven, where Dante’s beloved Beatrice awaits.

He adds that it was Beatrice, along with two other holy women, who, seeing Dante lost in the wood, sent Virgil to guide him.

Virgil leads Dante through the gates of Hell, marked by the haunting inscription “abandon all hope, you who enter here”.

They enter the outlying region of Hell, the Ante-Inferno, where the souls who in life could not commit to either good or evil now must run in a futile chase after a blank banner, day after day, while hornets bite them and worms lap their blood.

Dante witnesses their suffering with repugnance and pity.

The ferryman Charon then takes him and his guide across the river Acheron, the real border of Hell.

The First Circle of Hell, Limbo, houses pagans, including Virgil and many of the other great writers and poets of antiquity, who died without knowing of Christ.

After meeting Horace, Ovid, and Lucan, Dante continues into the Second Circle of Hell, reserved for the sin of Lust.

At the border of the Second Circle, the monster Minos lurks, assigning condemned souls to their punishments.

He curls his tail around himself a certain number of times, indicating the number of the circle to which the soul must go.

Inside the Second Circle, Dante watches as the souls of the Lustful swirl about in a terrible storm; Dante meets Francesca, who tells him the story of her doomed love affair with Paolo da Rimini, her husband’s brother; the relationship has landed both in Hell.

In the Third Circle of Hell, the Gluttonous must lie in mud and endure a rain of filth and excrement.

In the Fourth Circle, the Avaricious and the Prodigal are made to charge at one another with giant boulders.


The Fifth Circle of Hell contains the river Styx, a swampy, fetid cesspool in which the Wrathful spend eternity struggling with one another; the Sullen lie bound beneath the Styx’s waters, choking on the mud.

Dante glimpses Filippo Argenti, a former political enemy of his, and watches in delight as other souls tear the man to pieces.

Virgil and Dante next proceed to the walls of the city of Dis, a city contained within the larger region of Hell.

The demons who guard the gates refuse to open them for Virgil, and an angelic messenger arrives from Heaven to force the gates open before Dante.

The Sixth Circle of Hell houses the Heretics, and there Dante encounters a rival political leader named Farinata.

A deep valley leads into the First Ring of the Seventh Circle of Hell, where those who were violent toward others spend eternity in a river of boiling blood.

Virgil and Dante meet a group of Centaurs, creatures who are half man, half horse.

One of them, Nessus, takes them into the Second Ring of the Seventh Circle of Hell, where they encounter those who were violent toward themselves (the Suicides).

These souls must endure eternity in the form of trees.

Dante there speaks with Pier della Vigna.

Going deeper into the Seventh Circle of Hell, the travelers find those who were violent toward God (the Blasphemers); Dante meets his old patron, Brunetto Latini, walking among the souls of those who were violent toward Nature (the Sodomites) on a desert of burning sand.

They also encounter the Usurers, those who were violent toward Art.

The monster Geryon transports Virgil and Dante across a great abyss to the Eighth Circle of Hell, known as Malebolge, or “evil pockets” (or “pouches”); the term refers to the circle’s division into various pockets separated by great folds of earth.

In the First Pouch, the Panderers and the Seducers receive lashings from whips; in the second, the Flatterers must lie in a river of human feces.

The Simoniacs in the Third Pouch hang upside down in baptismal fonts while their feet burn with fire.

In the Fourth Pouch are the Astrologists or Diviners, forced to walk with their heads on backward, a sight that moves Dante to great pity.

In the Fifth Pouch, the Barrators (those who accepted bribes) steep in pitch while demons tear them apart.

The Hypocrites in the Sixth Pouch must forever walk in circles, wearing heavy robes made of lead.

Caiphas, the priest who confirmed Jesus’ death sentence, lies crucified on the ground; the other sinners tread on him as they walk.

In the horrifying Seventh Pouch, the Thieves sit trapped in a pit of vipers, becoming vipers themselves when bitten; to regain their form, they must bite another thief in turn.

In the Eighth Pouch of the Eighth Circle of Hell, Dante speaks to Ulysses, the great hero of Homer’s epics, now doomed to an eternity among those guilty of Spiritual Theft (the False Counselors) for his role in executing the ruse of the Trojan Horse.

In the Ninth Pouch, the souls of Sowers of Scandal and Schism walk in a circle, constantly afflicted by wounds that open and close repeatedly.

In the Tenth Pouch, the Falsifiers suffer from horrible plagues and diseases.

Virgil and Dante proceed to the Ninth Circle of Hell through the Giants’ Well, which leads to a massive drop to Cocytus, a great frozen lake.

The giant Antaeus picks Virgil and Dante up and sets them down at the bottom of the well, in the lowest region of Hell.

In Caina, the First Ring of the Ninth Circle of Hell, those who betrayed their kin stand frozen up to their necks in the lake’s ice.

In Antenora, the Second Ring, those who betrayed their country and party stand frozen up to their heads; here Dante meets Count Ugolino, who spends eternity gnawing on the head of the man who imprisoned him in life.

In Ptolomea, the Third Ring, those who betrayed their guests spend eternity lying on their backs in the frozen lake, their tears making blocks of ice over their eyes.

Dante next follows Virgil into Judecca, the Fourth Ring of the Ninth Circle of Hell and the lowest depth.

Here, those who betrayed their benefactors spend eternity in complete icy submersion.

A huge, mist-shrouded form lurks ahead, and Dante approaches it.

It is the three-headed giant Lucifer, plunged waist-deep into the ice.

His body pierces the center of the Earth, where he fell when God hurled him down from Heaven.

Each of Lucifer’s mouths chews one of history’s three greatest sinners: Judas, the betrayer of Christ, and Cassius and Brutus, the betrayers of Julius Caesar.

Virgil leads Dante on a climb down Lucifer’s massive form, holding on to his frozen tufts of hair.

Eventually, the poets reach the Lethe, the river of forgetfulness, and travel from there out of Hell and back onto Earth.

They emerge from Hell on Easter morning, just before sunrise.

http://www.sparknotes.com/poetry/inferno/summary.html
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Livyjr
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What are the factors that serve to differentiate civilized existence from barbarism?
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Livyjr
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Civilization

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Civilization (or civilisation) is a sometimes controversial term that has been used in several related ways.

Primarily, the term has been used to refer to the material and instrumental side of human cultures that are complex in terms of technology, science, and division of labor.


Such civilizations are generally hierarchical and urbanized.

In a classical context, people were called "civilized" to set them apart from Barbarians, while in a modern-day context, "civilized peoples" have been contrasted with primitive peoples.

There is a tendency to use the term in a less strict way, to mean approximately the same thing as "culture" and therefore, the term can more broadly refer to any important and clearly defined human society.

Still, even when used in this second sense, the word is often restricted to apply only to societies that have attained a particular level of advancement-especially the founding of cities.

The level of advancement of a civilization is often measured by its progress in agriculture, long-distance trade, occupational specialization, a special governing class and urbanism.

Aside from these core elements, a civilization is often marked by any combination of a number of secondary elements, including a developed transportation system, writing, standardized measurement, currency, contractual and (tort-based) legal systems, characteristic art and architecture, mathematics, enhanced scientific understanding, metallurgy, political structures, and an astronomical understanding.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civilization
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Livyjr
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RLA2
 

We don't help advance civilization to a higher level by teaching people what not to do.


billfmsd
 

Interesting that you are talking about maintaining civilization while RLA is talking about advancing civilization.


The irony here, of course, is that "civilization" is advanced by fire and sword ....

By the most barbaric means possible ...

"Advancing civilization" is what Hussein Obama is doing right now with fire and sword in Afghanistnam ...

"Advancing civilization" is why George W. Bush invaded Iraqinam ...

"Advancing civilization" is what we were doing in Viet Nam when we killed or caused the deaths of over one million Vietnamese, while nearly destroying our own economy ....

Perhaps that is why I am so against the "advancement of civilization" ....

And so ....
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Livyjr
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If one were to draw a circle around the USA, and then make the claim, spurious or otherwise, that the circle around the USA represented a boundary around "civilization", would everybody encompassed by that circle then be "civilized" by the fact of inclusion within that boundary?
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RLA2
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The more we talk about, "civilization" and I think about, "civilization" the more inclined I am to think it is an unnecessary and non-functional concept. When employed in a dychotomous way as to designate some collections of human beings barbarians and others
(usually those others that appear on the surface to be more like us) as civilized, the concept not only has no positive utility but tends to have a negative impact.
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RLA2
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The concept of culture is more universal than civilization. Some culutres evolve into "civilizations" and some do not. Cultural groups that establish more longevity, more territoriality, more advanced technology and political organization may come to be thought of as civilizations.
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Livyjr
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RLA2
 

The more we talk about, "civilization" and I think about, "civilization" the more inclined I am to think it is an unnecessary and non-functional concept.

When employed in a dychotomous way as to designate some collections of human beings barbarians and others (usually those others that appear on the surface to be more like us) as civilized, the concept not only has no positive utility but tends to have a negative impact.



Now, that is informing, rla ...

I find myself thinking along a similar path ...
Edited by Livyjr, Mar 28 2012, 03:29 PM.
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Livyjr
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The Vietnamese thought of themselves as having a distinct civilization dating from the 1100's, rla ....

The term culture would be descriptive of their civilization ....

It was the civilization which gave them cohesion, however, not the culture, because in Viet Nam, there were actually many different cultures ...

But those cultures were part of a cohesive civilization ....

And so ....
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RLA2
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As the human species evolved, first in response to its local geography, the evolutionary process became more influenced by the interaction of individual organisms, so that the process was more and more a function of the interaction of physical, chemical, social and
psychological/spiritual processes. Holons, in the form Persons, became nested in cultural hiearchies, or holarchies which became nested in civilizations, the most persistent holons
of civilizations were Eastern Civilization and Western Civilization, both of which shaped by
northern hemisphere or southern hemisphere influences. Secondarily, these four general
trends were further shaped by developments in technology, including the arts, crafts and
sciences.
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Livyjr
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Why was there so much more turmoil in Western civilization than in Eastern civilization, rla?

The Eastern Roman Empire lasted much longer than did the Western Roman Empire ...

And China has a much longer history of continuous civilization than does the western world ....

Did they get the better holons?
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RLA2
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Perhaps the East evolved holons, while the West evolved cojones?
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