Killer Myth: There is only one right way to live, and it is our way.
There is more than one right way to live in the same way that there is more than one right way to dance or more than one right kind of flower.
Killer Myth: Raising all your own food (farming) is better than hunting and gathering.
Farming is more work than hunting and gathering your food. Hunter gatherers actually have more free time and better nutrition than we do. (See The Worst Mistake in the History of the Human Race by Jared Diamond from the May 1987 issue of Discover Magazine and the Nutrition section.)
Farming DOES make it possible to stay in one place. Once you can stay in one place, it becomes possible to accumulate more possessions and store more food. (You can't do that if you have to keep dragging it all around with you constantly.) You have to protect it all. You keep it locked up. You also keep records of what you have, so you know if someone steals some of it.(The first known writing samples were counting tokens. These were followed by records of possessions. A list of rules for rationing food and descriptions of important activities--to them--like beer making--were also found. For more information, read The History of Writing from Historian.net.) You keep accumulating more and more until protecting your possessions becomes a full-time job, so some people become full-time guards/soldiers and record keepers. Then, because the job gives them control over the food and supplies, they become quite powerful. Eventually, they become the rulers and nobility. They get such an increasingly gigantic percentage of their society's resources that it reaches the point where they live in luxury while others starve. Thus, hierarchy and civilization develop together.
Killer Myth: Civilization is the best system that humans could ever have.
It has some big problems that will eventually destroy us if we don't look for other solutions.
Killer Myth: Our society's beliefs and customs are the truest reflection of human nature and ultimate truth.
The customs and beliefs of our civilization are NOT human nature. We are just so used to them that they seem self evident. However, humans in different cultures have very different customs and beliefs that are just as much a result of human nature as ours are. Furthermore, there is a lot we don't know about the universe.
Killer Myth: Our civilization can/should grow forever. It is our sacred duty to spread it.
We have been eliminating other cultures, especially tribal ones, through conquest and assimilation for thousands of years. At the same time, we are turning more and more of the earth's organic matter into human bodies. However, although the earth and its resources may have seemed unlimited in the past, we now know that the earth can only support so many people. Also, other plants and animals have a right to live, and we need them to survive. (See information about the web of life.)Even if we did manage to develop the technology to migrate to other planets, and transport the millions/billions necessary to keep up with the birthrate, every planet would eventually be full of people, and we would still end up with the same problem.
Killer Myth: Humans are separate from nature, and its laws don't apply to us. This is because God put us at the center of the universe (Even though we now know the Earth isn't physically at that center.) and created us to conquer and rule over it.
Humans are PART of nature. (See the web of life and/or go to the philosophy page and look at the environmental philosophy section or at Daoism/Taoism. You can also look at the Ecology section.)
When things go wrong, it's because...
Killer Myth: There is something wrong with human beings.
Humans beings are not perfect, but we do not have some deep wrongness or flaw any more than trees or deer or turtles do. Many people, especially lower status ones, are unhappy, but are made to believe they deserve their place in the hierarchy because there is something wrong with them, and they are not as worthy/able as those higher up, or because (eastern version) of something they did in a previous life. Even if they do rebel and are successful, they keep civilization and end up pretty much back where they started because, instead of trying something different, they try more of the same because...
Daniel Quinn's Books
ISHMAELMY ISCHMAELTHE STORY OF BBEYOND CIVILIZATION PROVIDENCE
Main Page | Environmentalism | Health | Science |
Philosophy | Money | Information