Would Buddha Beg to Differ? Maybe Civilization Is The Necessary Evil?

 Throughout this blog I've argued that civilization is bad for humans in most every way imaginable. One can certainly argue that it does have little perks, like ice cream, and emergency surgeries, and skydiving (which might require emergency surgery). Overall, however, it seems clear that humans were happier before we started living "civilized."

But on the other hand, who's to say that life on Earth is supposed to be so idyllic? Is the point of life just to have fun with your friends & family? 

Buddha would argue that the point of life is to end rebirth, since life is full of suffering. Well, that argument falls on deaf ears when your life does not seem to have much suffering compared to the joys you experience in your community.

But if one investigates the disjoint, witnessless, perfect reality that Buddha discovered, one will indeed come to his conclusion that life, in comparison to nibbana, is full of suffering. In fact, every moment of even the best life, is miserable compared to nibbana. 

So, perhaps civilization, as horrible as it is, might ultimately be better than the natural and traditional tribal way of life. I might come to that conclusion, if it were not for the final stage of civilization that we are in now, in which mind control is becoming impossible to escape, and all life on Earth is threatened with extinction. That's not a good set-up for meditation on nibbana.  Unless it gets co-opted by some master meditators or some benevolent aliens, which is apparently what most new-agers & astrologers are banking on.


What do you think? Has the civilization project been worth it? 

Comments

  1. If one reads Steven Pinker, humans as whole have benefited greatly throughout the course of history with less poverty and better standard of living. But when collapses happen, as they inevitably do, there is great suffering warfare and disease. It won’t be until we reach some higher evolutionary stage, if this is even possible, that we might transcend the limits of tribalism, capitalism and suffering.

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