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Author Topic: Human evolution - continued from EP519: Artemis Rising – In Their Image  (Read 1835 times)

Zelda

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Moderator's note:

This post is a continutation of a discussion begun in this thread that I was unable to extricate elegantly. Please read the beginning of the conversation there before replying here.


And there's something of an argument to be made for mental illness being a function of natural selection. I'm not arguing the moral/ethical side here, I'm just saying, the human race grew and prospered before Zoloft, and arguably we did so in much better physical and mental shape.

Much better? That's an argument I've never heard. Why does Artemis Rising exist? Because millenia of "women are stupid" was very bad for the mental condition of both women and men.

People are so often eager to judge the quality of other people's lives. My father will be 88 in a matter of days. Right now would you choose death over his "quality" of life? Probably. Would you make the same choice when you are 88? Unlikely. Leave the old people alone.

Much better physical condition? The constant pain of life before modern dentistry? That by itself . . .

« Last Edit: March 05, 2016, 04:10:18 PM by eytanz »



Scattercat

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Given that as soon as you leave the advanced countries and head out into the Third World, illness rates and parasitic infection skyrocket and life expectancy plummets dramatically, I'm going to go with "modern medicine probably a net benefit" for $500, Alex.

Yes, the human race survived before Zoloft.  And grass can grow through asphalt, if it has to.  That doesn't mean that sod is worthless.

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matweller

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And there's something of an argument to be made for mental illness being a function of natural selection. I'm not arguing the moral/ethical side here, I'm just saying, the human race grew and prospered before Zoloft, and arguably we did so in much better physical and mental shape.

Much better? That's an argument I've never heard. Why does Artemis Rising exist? Because millenia of "women are stupid" was very bad for the mental condition of both women and men.

Bad thinking and mental illness are not the same thing. Donald Trump is a fount of bad thoughts, but he might not be mentally ill.

I was posing the argument as simple math, leaving the ethics aside -- just waxing philosophical, and I'm hardly the first person to pose the question. Is it better to have healthy, hardy life for a shorter period of time or lesser quality for much longer? The answer to that is and should be decided by each person and their resources, and those resources should be supplemented to varying degrees by the greater society, depending on the value to the population. Of course there are basic matters where care should be plentiful, easily accessible, and low cost. Vaccinations and cures for communicable diseases benefit a large body of, if not the whole population. They should be free and as easy to get as visiting an ATM, without question. Nobody should suffer extended, crippling pain over a dentistry situation or a broken limb that could be resolved in an hour or two. This is also something that affects the quality of life for multiple people, and therefore has more value to society as a whole. It's the further that you venture from the basic and simple that the question of societal value comes more into play.

People are so often eager to judge the quality of other people's lives. My father will be 88 in a matter of days. Right now would you choose death over his "quality" of life? Probably. Would you make the same choice when you are 88? Unlikely. Leave the old people alone.

I wasn't attempting to judge your life, your father's, or anybody else's. Your family does, and should have the right to decide the best course of care for him based on the resources available to you. I hope you will make those decisions with respect to his wishes, but I wouldn't assume any authority in the matter now or later. I would only want to decide for me. Have I seen people living worthwhile lives at 88 or 95 or 104? Absolutely. I was only an elder caregiver for a couple years, but I saw quite a variety of situations in that time. My last living client/friend passed away before Christmas at 85 and he probably would have chosen to go earlier given the opportunity. Everybody's different and whatever they decide, none of them should suffer having to listen to the opinion of outsiders, which is where the question posed by this story started.