: : If mankind were as dreadful as you say then how on Earth did it get from where is was 50,000 years ago to the 6billion plus technological complex societies we see to day?
: Well, we fuck like rabbits, er, people, and as I said, we're willing to do anything and anything to perpetuate our genes. Improved hygiene and obvious related advances help, of course, as well as the absence of serious predators (other than ourselves, give or take the odd shark or grizzly attack). However, as a quick trip to Bangkok or Calcutta would confirm, we're victims of our own success.
: : Youre not suggesting it was 'better' then are you?
: No. People have always been cruel. Good old Rene Descartes used to cut up animals alive to prove a point (that he had no heart, perhaps?). Before him, the Romans slaughtered animals en masse to appease their ceasars. And oh yeah, all the human torture stuff throughout the ages, too (can't forget that). I'm sure that the first primitive man who stood up on two legs promptly learned that a backhanded slap across the face kept the other primitives in line, but that sharp sticks really got the point across.
: Don't be glum, chum? Well, just a few minutes ago I had a conversation with a hunter who told me that he specifically AVOIDS products which have not been tested on animals (they use modern, nonanimal techniques) and specifically SEEKS OUT products which have been poured into animals' eyes or down their throats. So...after the mind stops reeling, perhaps it's time to see things from the other perspective.
: Maybe humanity's self-destructive streak is a good thing, if it manages to rid the world of homo sapiens while leaving the rest of nature alone. I know, I know, I'm on a misanthropic bender again, but to quote Charlton Heston in "Planet of the Apes": On this planet, it's easy.
It does seem as if there's a slow but persistant inching of civilization toward more humane values. The treatment of animals is a good example. We have deliberately kept ourselves from awareness of precisely what goes on inside the mass slaughterhouses. A reflexive denial which threatens our empathic trait. Historically we were much closer to the "job" of killing for food.
There is something ironic about such progress. The "happy" ignorance of certain acts are being replaced by the unhappy experience of suffering in the face of cruelty. It can get heavy...at times unbearable.