[FoRK] Nietzsche's Severe Rationalism

Kevin Elliott <k-elliott at wiu.edu> on Wed Jan 30 11:08:21 PST 2008

On Jan 30, 2008, at 10:37 AM, Corinna Schultz wrote:

> On Jan 29, 2008 3:07 PM, Kevin Elliott <k-elliott at wiu.edu> wrote:
>> This is one of those ideas that I completely reject.  By and
>> reasonable measure we've progressed.
>
> Well, yes we have. By fits and starts, to be sure. But is it
> inevitable? Will it continue indefinitely? The notion of Progress, is
> that we are gradually getting better and better, and will continue
> getting better. *That* is the fallacy. If we are to continue
> progressing we have to work for it, and plan for it, etc.

What the hell... this is FoRK... if ever there were a place for boldly  
making claims...

I'll grant that it's a tougher thing to prove but I'll put forth the  
following:

Man will inevitably advance.   My evidence:

I put for the the following earlier:

> Divide all of human history into 100 year chunks.  You can now choose
> one of those centuries to be randomly born into (no cherry picking
> like paths!).  I submit that the sensible choice is the 20th century.

I further submit that with very few exceptions this probably holds  
true going all the way to Ape Men wandering around on Africa.

In other words:  Better to be born in 1900 than any time earlier...  
better 1800 than any time earlier...

It might be necessary to stretch the time a bit to cover weird  
events... say 200 year chunks rather than 100.  Depends on things like  
how bad things were world wide in the 1300s (100 year war).   
Admittedly, this is anecdotal  evidence... but as evidence goes "all  
of human history" is a pretty convincing anecdote.

Why this is so is a completely separate question.  My gut is that it's  
all about evolution, the nature of economic progress, and  
competition.  But I'm pretty certain that we aren't going to stop the  
engine of progress any time soon.


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