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The future for the human race. Where we will end up?

Any topics that are primarily about humanism or other non-religious life stances fit in here.
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Manuel
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The future for the human race. Where we will end up?

#1 Post by Manuel » August 2nd, 2010, 1:11 pm

Just wondered what direction you think humanity will take, where philosophically/socially we will end up. In Nth thousand years time we must assume that our world and our view of it will have changed, probably immeasurably.

Off the top of my head, presuming that we still exist as beings (personally I think we will) I imagine that certain things will be inevitable:

a)There will be no religion or superstition.
b)There will be no countries/passports
c)We will all speak one language, have one form of currency
d)There will be no distinguishable races.

Do you agree that these are inevitable? If so, would it be beneficial to atempt to speed things up? Could you add to this list of inevitablities?

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jaywhat
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Re: The future for the human race. Where we will end up?

#2 Post by jaywhat » August 2nd, 2010, 2:29 pm

I wihs they were inevitable.

I imagine our descendants looking down from their hover cars and pointing to marks on the ground where roads used to be. Sending an old fashioned email to their friends on holiday on the moon ............

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Gurdur
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Re: The future for the human race. Where we will end up?

#3 Post by Gurdur » August 2nd, 2010, 3:26 pm

The future for the human race. Where we will end up?
In Rio

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Dave B
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Re: The future for the human race. Where we will end up?

#4 Post by Dave B » August 2nd, 2010, 3:31 pm

Think of a possible future and that will possibly be the future!

After 55 years of reading science fiction - but particularly that branch that deals with "social future" - and then looking at the trends over the last hundred years and those of today I seem to see two main things:

a) We are going back into a phase where the gap between the haves and the have-nots is once again widening. This seems so on both a national and a global level.

b) We are possibly overdue for a "mini apocalypse", consider that WW2 was the last such. There has not been a year free of conflict, somewhere, since then - will this get better or worse?

If the cataclysmic climate Casandras have the right of it the combination of the above may mean considerable conflict. The global population is increasing at a rate faster than those countries where the rate is highest can cope with in terms of resources.

I fear that I have a vision where, for a while at least, the standard of life will actually deteriorate as a global average - which may invoke more violence from certain nations, religious or social groups.

We have become so enamoured of technology that food production is suffering. At the personal level there are those who spend more on technology than on decent food for their kids (some live in my street). What effect will this have on the next generation or two? How will this affect everyday society for you kids and grandkids?

The balance of wealth will swing distinctly East, and with it the balance of power and influence. China is buying up resource futures globally like there is no tomorrow, and every source of resources they get their hands on is one less for us. They are close to tying up the main sources of strategic materials such as lithium and tantalum - critical to the electronics industry.

"The West" are not exactly in global favour at the moment. The next century will be, er, interesting - I am ambivalent about not seeing much of it!
"Look forward; yesterday was a lesson, if you did not learn from it you wasted it."
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tubataxidriver
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Re: The future for the human race. Where we will end up?

#5 Post by tubataxidriver » August 2nd, 2010, 4:57 pm

It has already been predicted by H G Wells. Morlocks vs Eloi. I'm betting on the Morlocks.

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Dave B
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Re: The future for the human race. Where we will end up?

#6 Post by Dave B » August 2nd, 2010, 5:30 pm

tubataxidriver wrote:It has already been predicted by H G Wells. Morlocks vs Eloi. I'm betting on the Morlocks.
Yup, I thought of that whilst writing my post. Another version is, "Soylent Green", a frightening film because it is not really beyond possibility.
"Look forward; yesterday was a lesson, if you did not learn from it you wasted it."
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david house
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Re: The future for the human race. Where we will end up?

#7 Post by david house » August 2nd, 2010, 5:55 pm

The question was in Nth thousand years so by that time China will have also reached its peak and faded away. Eventually, I suppose, we will all have to inhabit other planets, as we will have exhausted the resources on our own. Our star will die (Ok I know not for billions of years but we are thinking the unthinkable) so, to survive, we have no choice other than to leave.
As a firm believer in Darwinism I think it is also interesting to try to imagine what human attributes might gradually be modified or replaced. I used to tease my older brother that his far distant successors would not be born with a right hand, but would have a universal remote control there instead. Maybe we won't have legs, but a set of wheels. Eyes that filter out anything our brains regard as unpleasant and replaces them with acceptable images. I worry now about the future for my grandchildren so how much more these types of scenario.

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Dave B
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Re: The future for the human race. Where we will end up?

#8 Post by Dave B » August 2nd, 2010, 6:19 pm

The question was in Nth thousand years
Oops, forgot that David. But as I said, there are as many possible outcomes as there are possible outcomes.

That "n thousands of years" ranges from extinction to through little radical change to technologically/GM enhanced cyber/supermen. Not enough time for really large changes in natural evolution, unless n > 500 or so maybe. All civilisations could go up and down more than once so every possible answer is possible. I would not like to guess which path human development would take, unless I got an idea for a story that took me naturally along one route.

Despite (or perhaps because?) being a dedicated science fiction fan of 50 odd years standing I have to admit to finding myself more interested in the next decade or two for myself, and for the next century for the kids of friends and family.
"Look forward; yesterday was a lesson, if you did not learn from it you wasted it."
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Nick
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Re: The future for the human race. Where we will end up?

#9 Post by Nick » August 2nd, 2010, 6:46 pm

Manuel wrote:Just wondered what direction you think humanity will take, where philosophically/socially we will end up. In Nth thousand years time we must assume that our world and our view of it will have changed, probably immeasurably.

Off the top of my head, presuming that we still exist as beings (personally I think we will) I imagine that certain things will be inevitable:

a)There will be no religion or superstition.
b)There will be no countries/passports
c)We will all speak one language, have one form of currency
d)There will be no distinguishable races.

Do you agree that these are inevitable? If so, would it be beneficial to atempt to speed things up? Could you add to this list of inevitablities?
Hmmm... I'm afraid I don't get too excited by such questions of thousands of years hence, and I'm not much of a sci-fi enthusiast either. Worse, I think it is as likely that we will destroy ourselves, or be destroyed as the dinasaurs were.

Limiting myself to a thousand years in order to preserve any sort of meaning in the answer, I think that if we are to survive that long it will be partly because of a decline in religion. Passports, far from being abolished, will have been replaced by individual ID chips; most of the world's (decreasing) population will speak an evolved language, maybe "Chinglish", but we will still have racial types, though much less pronounced than now. Except for the decline in religion (so long as it is replaced by something positive) I see no particular reason to attempt to speed up any of these now, especially not a single currency!!

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Dave B
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Re: The future for the human race. Where we will end up?

#10 Post by Dave B » August 2nd, 2010, 7:46 pm

I see no particular reason to attempt to speed up any of these now, especially not a single currency!!
I would happily go for a single global currency just to stop a few greedy bastards, like George Soros, making more money than they can ever spend out of other people's misery. Ditto all other commodity markets if possible.
"Look forward; yesterday was a lesson, if you did not learn from it you wasted it."
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Manuel
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Re: The future for the human race. Where we will end up?

#11 Post by Manuel » August 2nd, 2010, 7:49 pm

The reason I thought it was important to discuss humanity in the future, is that it may make clearer issues in the present. It is entirely possible that my reasoning may be flawed however, but I'll give it a go:

Take the issue of race. It seems logical to me that the longer time goes on, the longer civilisation continues, more and more interracial mixing will take place to a point where we will all be the same. The only way to prevent that happening would be to purposefully and successfully keep all races apart from now until the end of time, which doesn't seem reasonable or logical. Any mixing, however small will be one more step toward uniformity, it's simply a matter of how long it will take. It is inevitable.

If the above paragraph is true this may help us come to terms with current issues. If we accept that it is inevitable, it adds weight to the premise that policies of current Nationalistic minority parties, who try (in vain) to keep blood pure and races separate are absurd, and are, and forever will be, fighting a losing battle. Well we knew that already, but you take the point.

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Dave B
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Re: The future for the human race. Where we will end up?

#12 Post by Dave B » August 2nd, 2010, 8:17 pm

Take the issue of race. It seems logical to me that the longer time goes on, the longer civilisation continues, more and more interracial mixing will take place to a point where we will all be the same.
Hmm, I can see other possible scenarios, Manuel.

Consider the possibility that another Hitler type arises, determined to maintain racial purity and who is willing to take violent action to make sure his racial type is the superior one. This is in essence no different from national or tribal antipathy since the genetic difference between the most widely separated racial types is minute in terms of the entire human genome.

I would say that economic equality is of far greater importance than racial or religious in the long term. Humans are usually good neighbours so long as they have as much grub as next door and don't have to fight for it. OK, that goes for all resources - the imbalance of which have probably caused more conflicts than any other single cause.

But I do think race and colour will be seen as less important as time goes on. Few (except BNP members) make any comment these days about mixed race families - and we have several round my way.

This is like chaos theory, one small change here or there means a totally different outcome in a thousand years, thousands of outcomes.

I am gonna shut up because I keep coming back to the same thing! Every version may be valid.
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Gottard
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Re: The future for the human race. Where we will end up?

#13 Post by Gottard » August 2nd, 2010, 9:08 pm

1) China will be the incumbent superpower
2) Genetic evolution and appropriate drugs will enable humanity to live as much as 150 years
3) By consequence working life will raise accordingly
4) Human density will cause survival wars
5) I sense that some material/gene/?x? coming from outer space will change our lifestyle
6) New religions will supplant old ones
7) Humanism will be more widespread albeit a minority
8) Kings' blood will have mixed with folk to such extent that monarchs will be confused with presidents. :wave:
The only thing I fear of death is regret if I couldn’t complete my learning experience

Caterpillar
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Re: The future for the human race. Where we will end up?

#14 Post by Caterpillar » August 2nd, 2010, 9:55 pm

Manuel wrote:Take the issue of race. It seems logical to me that the longer time goes on, the longer civilisation continues, more and more interracial mixing will take place to a point where we will all be the same. The only way to prevent that happening would be to purposefully and successfully keep all races apart from now until the end of time, which doesn't seem reasonable or logical. Any mixing, however small will be one more step toward uniformity, it's simply a matter of how long it will take. It is inevitable.
Since humans have already been around for quite a long time without that happening (in fact, we have diversified into the races we know today, rather than converged), I don't think it is likely that we will all become the same. However, I do hope that it will cease to matter.

Fia
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Re: The future for the human race. Where we will end up?

#15 Post by Fia » August 2nd, 2010, 10:07 pm

(cross-posted with caterpillar) :pointlaugh: to your last point, peneasy.

For someone who is usually so positive, I actually see the future for us as very bleak indeed.
What we are doing to the planet with inequality, consumerism, industry, oil (peak oil has probably now been reached, it's downhill all the way now for our comforts unless we can find sustainable non-polluting power sources), religion and all the power games that go with all of that, is wholly unsustainable, as well as the inequitabliites that are crystal clear even now. The only long term future for homo sapiens that I can see is groups of post apocalyptic smallholding communities scratching a living, sharing skills and hopefully being fecund enough :smile:

Our planet is far more resilient than us. The dinosaurs came and went, and the way we are going, so could we. Our species seems to have a huge propensity for mutually shooting ourselves in our metaphorical feet.

Go on - cheer me up, show me otherwise :D

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Gurdur
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Re: The future for the human race. Where we will end up?

#16 Post by Gurdur » August 3rd, 2010, 6:01 am

peneasy wrote:1) China will be the incumbent superpower
Often mooted, but desertification and heavy pollution in China in its relentless drive for growth may well come back to bite it in the arse.
4) Human density will cause survival wars
Already does. The most extreme recent example was Rwanda.
5) I sense that some material/gene/?x? coming from outer space will change our lifestyle
I'm already here. Doing my best.
6) New religions will supplant old ones
There is no upper limit on the number of boy bandz.

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Dave B
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Re: The future for the human race. Where we will end up?

#17 Post by Dave B » August 3rd, 2010, 6:18 pm

Caterpillar wrote:
Manuel wrote:Take the issue of race. It seems logical to me that the longer time goes on, the longer civilisation continues, more and more interracial mixing will take place to a point where we will all be the same. The only way to prevent that happening would be to purposefully and successfully keep all races apart from now until the end of time, which doesn't seem reasonable or logical. Any mixing, however small will be one more step toward uniformity, it's simply a matter of how long it will take. It is inevitable.
Since humans have already been around for quite a long time without that happening (in fact, we have diversified into the races we know today, rather than converged), I don't think it is likely that we will all become the same. However, I do hope that it will cease to matter.
For most of human history travelling "far and wide" meant visiting the next village but one for most people - thus there would be little chance of racial mixing.

Then there was the increase in travel but the hangover from colonial and slaving times meant national/racial purity was important.

Then - in only the last 60 years - large scale immigration, emigration, foreign holidays all over the world, students going to study or work in foreign unis or for NGOs etc. etc. have cosmopolitanised thousands, if not millions, of people. Racial mixing has only just got going in historical terms. In two shortish bus journeys today I saw four different mixed race children, three EuroAfrican and one EuroAsian, about the usual number. That's for one not overly large suburb of one not overly large county town.

Now racial mixing barely a matter of comment. America dropped their rules that only black families could adopt black children, white for white, Asian for Asian etc. some time ago. There are calls for the UK rule on this to be dropped as well.
"Look forward; yesterday was a lesson, if you did not learn from it you wasted it."
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Gottard
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Re: The future for the human race. Where we will end up?

#18 Post by Gottard » August 4th, 2010, 8:10 pm

Fia wrote:(cross-posted with caterpillar) :pointlaugh: to your last point, peneasy.
Go on - cheer me up, show me otherwise :D
You surprise me Fia, as I figured out you were way more positive about life. You might be missing last winter' snow, are you?!
Your stance compels me to be serious on my forecast (not easy!):
1st consideration:neither you nor I will be here by then, so why to bother?
2nd consideration: let me recall you of that little Humanist principle, saying "this is the only life, get the most out of it and try to maximize happiness".
3rd:someone named Charles (no blue blood in him) taught us that life evolves -he didn't say 'implodes'
4th:as the analyst that I am, I must respond: "I have not enough measurable data available to take a firm standing". Cheers :wave:
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Gottard
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Re: The future for the human race. Where we will end up?

#19 Post by Gottard » August 4th, 2010, 8:22 pm

Gurdur wrote:
peneasy wrote:
4) Human density will cause survival wars
Already does. The most extreme recent example was Rwanda.
Gurdur, if have to be serious about the future I must admit that the above is my most potential concern about the future, not in thousand years, rather centuries I would say. Because to set up birth planning we should need agreement of all countries in the world, much like carbon quashing - can you imagine?!
The only thing I fear of death is regret if I couldn’t complete my learning experience

Fia
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Re: The future for the human race. Where we will end up?

#20 Post by Fia » August 4th, 2010, 9:05 pm

DaveB wrote:Now racial mixing barely a matter of comment.
Sadly not in this part of Scotland, but I agree. Racial mixing has always happened, and it's good for the genes. Angles/saxons/celts/vikings/picts/french... it's only when skin pigment is involved folk notice.
Gurdur wrote:
5) I sense that some material/gene/?x? coming from outer space will change our lifestyle
I'm already here. Doing my best.
Now, Gurdur, I know Australia's an awful long way away to most of us here, but it is still on the planet, even if some of us appear otherwise :D


Yes, peneasy, I am very positive about my life. Just not as much for future generations.
peneasy wrote:1st consideration:neither you nor I will be here by then, so why to bother?
Because we are daft enough to reproduce and have investment in our species future :D
peneasy wrote:2nd consideration: let me recall you of that little Humanist principle, saying "this is the only life, get the most out of it and try to maximize happiness".
Absolutely. The older I get the better I am at living my life with the joy that comes with self-knowledge and engendering and sharing happiness.
peneasy wrote:3rd:someone named Charles (no blue blood in him) taught us that life evolves -he didn't say 'implodes'
Sadly, i still reckon that we, as a species, have scuppered it for the huge populations we have. Evolutionary theory didn't factor in the extinctions and damage that homo sapiens have caused. If our planet was a human, we are like ticks: sucking the blood and poisoning it. The planet is big enough to recover. Having only one host we might not be unless we stop shilly shallying about and learn to live more simply.

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