Real progress and real wisdom / by kevin murray

Orthodox mankind wants so badly for its constituents to believe that the progress of mankind is linear in its development, of life ever improving, and of mankind ever evolving.  It thus follows from this kind of reasoning that the mankind of today is far superior to mankind of yesterday, and that the mankind of tomorrow will be even more advanced.  Such thinking as that is absolute rubbish, for the progress of mankind has never been linear, but rather has its inevitable ebbs and flows, and to therefore believe that mankind has never been as brilliant and as superior as mankind is today, is a falsehood; for it conveniently casts aside any and all evidence that mankind has previously been quite knowledgeable and wise before and instead dismisses all ancient civilizations as grossly inferior.


While there is something to be said and to be appreciated about mankind's great progress in its recent mastery of this world, through its technological, medicinal and industrial advances, of which, such has brought forth to a significant swath of mankind, previously unknown luxuries and pleasures; to say that this therefore means that mankind has never been wiser or smarter or more industrious then every before, is fallacious.  In point of fact, extreme poverty exists at an exceedingly high level, even though mankind has the means to provide the resources as well as the governance to eliminate such.  Additionally, mankind has suffered through eons of war, of which, this too, has not even been close to being eradicated, even with such organizations as the United Nations, which apparently is proof positive that the world's nations aren't so united.  So too, mankind has proven it is the master of its domain, but environment disasters and continuing environmental troubles indicates that mankind still has a lot to learn as well as to comprehend.


All of the above is the counterpoint to those that pay endless homage to mankind's supposed brilliance.  In short, it must be recognized that those that believe so strongly that the mankind of today supersedes, hands down, all that has come before, typically display also the unmitigated gall and gumption to thereupon believe that mankind's wisdom has never collectively been higher.  This is a great fallacy, for knowledge is not wisdom, and if it can be said that never have so many known so much; it does not necessarily follow that never have so many been so wise, because not one of mankind's historic troubles in regards to war, famine, and pestilence has been fully and successfully resolved, proving that modern mankind in the scheme of things, thinks too highly of themselves, and do not fairly evaluate who and what they really are.


In truth, the real progress of mankind is not measured by the tools and toys it so produces, but by the great virtue and impressive wisdom that it so imparts and utilizes.  Today's mankind is in so many ways, absolutely petty, petulant, and perpetually problematic in the way that our society deals with one another, which is why all the troubles that have historically waylaid mankind, are still so prevalent, today.  This is indicative that the hubris of today will be the destruction of tomorrow; for when virtue is discarded as an unnecessary anachronism, and knowledge thereby trumps wisdom, the end result can only be catastrophic.