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MSalman
06-20-2011, 10:34 PM
A chanting parade that I hear often: "we are finally civilized humans or live in a civilized world". Some of the reasons given are following:

1) we no longer burn the witches
2) we have liberty and democracy
3) we have freedom and human rights: some rights for women & homosexuals, freedom of speech, public nudity & promiscuity
4) slavery is abolished
5) technology and science advancements
6) better educated

Discuss....
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ardianto
06-21-2011, 02:38 PM
:sl:

In Indonesia we call Civilization as "per-adab-an" and Civilized as "ber-adab". The plain word is "adab" that means Manner. In exactly, good manner.

If we call Civilization as "per-adab-an", it's because we believe every civilization was built based on good manner. Civilized society is a society that its people have good manner in their live. Without good manner, a society is not civilized society, even if this society is rich and has high technologies.

Okay, I will continue later.
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Mister Agenda
06-23-2011, 09:26 PM
We're more civilized than many of our ancestors and less civilized than many of our descendants...I hope. It would be good if in 100 years our descendants will look back on our errors and wonder at how we could have been so violent.
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MSalman
06-23-2011, 10:27 PM
Originally Posted by Mister Agenda
We're more civilized than many of our ancestors and less civilized than many of our descendants
how exactly? There are two parts to my question: 1) how exactly are we civilized - how exactly are we "better" than our ancestors? and 2) how do we know we are more civilized than many of our ancestors and less civilized than many of our descendants? Do we have some sort of criteria? What is the factor which allows us make such a claim?
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Mister Agenda
06-23-2011, 11:15 PM
I'm a simple man. 200 years ago, 90% of the world's population was in what the UN defines as absolute poverty. Today it's 14%. 200 years ago, slavery was widespread and generally accepted, today it is nearly wiped out and widely considered evil. And although war has killed more in absolute numbers in the last century than in any previous century, as a percentage of population, fewer people were killed in war than any century in history. To me, more peace and prosperity and less oppression mean more civilized.

On the other hand the amount of war and poverty and oppression we still have is horrific. It is not much of a comfort to look back in history and note that it was even worse before when it's so bad now. Wars and genocides involving millions of people at once. Perhaps our new efficiency in killing each other has introduced us to new caution.

I'm not sure what criteria the future will use in judging us. Many people involved in enslavement thought it was perfectly normal, nothing wrong with it. Maybe in the future they will consider us less civilized because most of us eat meat. But I hope that it will be mostly be that they consider us to have been more violent, more impoverished, and more oppressive than they are.
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Ramadhan
06-24-2011, 03:11 AM
Originally Posted by Mister Agenda
I'm a simple man. 200 years ago, 90% of the world's population was in what the UN defines as absolute poverty. Today it's 14%.
This caught my eye as it presents with many questions:
1. what is the definition of absolute poverty according to the UN?
2. is the criteria of absolute poverty the same for every century?
3. how was the measurement taken 200 years ago?
4. last but most important: is wealth criteria for being "civilized"?
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Muhaba
06-24-2011, 07:51 AM
as far as nudity is concerned, i think ppl today are as civilized as cave age ppl. cave ppl (and even ppl living in areas like the amazon forests today) barely wore anything. they too were quite civilized!
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yas2010
06-24-2011, 09:22 AM
Please define poverty? Absolute or relative?
Civilised? More armed conflicts since post second world war?! Are we becoming more better in killing? War aside. Anyone heard of Bhopal in India and the catastrophe that struck? Yet no-one has ever been held responsible.
Slavery - abolished in the US. But doesnt it exist in different forms around the world?
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Ramadhan
06-24-2011, 11:23 AM
Originally Posted by Mister Agenda
And although war has killed more in absolute numbers in the last century than in any previous century, as a percentage of population, fewer people were killed in war than any century in history. To me, more peace and prosperity and less oppression mean more civilized.
Is there any statistics or data for this?
Because I remember reading somewhere that in terms of percentage population, the world war I killed more population of the warring countries than any other previous war.
Also in speaking of oppressions, who could forget a combined of upwards of 100 millions people killed by stalin, mao, khmer rouge, etc? Not to mention civil wars in many countries?

And after I checked, you actually were wrong. last century, more people killed directly or indirectly from conflicts even by percentage of population than ever.

Here's some statistics:




AND




And these 20th century numbers did not even include the democides by Stalin and co. which could easily in hundreds of millions.
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Zafran
06-24-2011, 02:55 PM
salaam

we're becoming less civilized as time goes on - even when technology and medicine have helped humanity - on the other hand you have chemical and biological and nuclear weapons being produced - the violence has been geared up.

peace
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Mister Agenda
06-24-2011, 03:02 PM
Originally Posted by Ramadhan

This caught my eye as it presents with many questions:
1. what is the definition of absolute poverty according to the UN?
2. is the criteria of absolute poverty the same for every century?
3. how was the measurement taken 200 years ago?
4. last but most important: is wealth criteria for being "civilized"?
Less than 2 dollars a day, adjusted for inflation. The criteria is adjusted regularly to account for changes in the value of currency, so it is close to an absolute measure. Absolute poverty is highly correlated with subsistence farming and 200 years ago almost everyong was a subsistence farmer.

I don't regard wealth as a criteria for being civilized, but I do regard low poverty to be one positive measure of 'how civilized' a civilization is. Of course the poorest person can be more civilized than the richest in terms of personal conduct, it is society I am talking about.
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Ramadhan
06-24-2011, 03:48 PM
Originally Posted by Mister Agenda
Less than 2 dollars a day, adjusted for inflation. The criteria is adjusted regularly to account for changes in the value of currency, so it is close to an absolute measure. Absolute poverty is highly correlated with subsistence farming and 200 years ago almost everyong was a subsistence farmer.

AFAIK, this 2 dollars a day is quite random, and even today it varies on all countries as it has to be adjusted on PPP basis.
Can we know how this 2 dollars a day is calculated as the baseline for poverty?

And how did the 2 dollars served as a yardstick for poverty 200 years ago in, say, Indonesia?
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Ramadhan
06-24-2011, 03:50 PM
Originally Posted by Mister Agenda
I don't regard wealth as a criteria for being civilized, but I do regard low poverty to be one positive measure of 'how civilized' a civilization is. Of course the poorest person can be more civilized than the richest in terms of personal conduct, it is society I am talking about.
Does this mean that you think the standards of poverty 200 years ago the same as it is today?
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Who Am I?
06-24-2011, 05:54 PM
War will always be a human problem, so I don't think you can use war (or lack of) as a basis to say we are "civilized".

This is a total unrelated nitpick, but World War I in my opinion should be considered a 19th century conflict, as it was very much a 19th century war fought with 20th century technology. The prevailing attitudes and tactics even during the first few years of the war were still those of the 19th century Victorian Era. That is why the casualties were so horrendous. It took a few years for generals to realize that a glorious bayonet charge into an enemy trench lined with barbed wire and machine guns and supported by artillery was a bad idea. Unfortunately by then, millions had already died in such fruitless maneuvers.

To me, the 20th century did not really begin until after WW1 started.

OK, nitpick over. That was my inner history nerd coming out.

I now return control of K09's back to his normal self.
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AabiruSabeel
06-24-2011, 08:36 PM
:sl:


Civilization is defined by:
1. Ethics and Morals
2. Social dealings and transactions
3. Culture and social life
of a society, tribe or nation.


Civilization is not defined by technological and material advancements.

I believe, the Sahabah RadhiyAllahu 'anhum ajma'een were the most civilized people on earth.
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Trumble
06-24-2011, 10:33 PM
Originally Posted by Ramadhan



And these 20th century numbers did not even include the democides by Stalin and co. which could easily in hundreds of millions.
I think that is a little suspect, certainly as a trend indicator, because of the 'mid-century' population of the 20th century - which more than doubled by the end of it. Certainly the percentage figure would have been significantly lower towards the second half of the century. I'd certainly agree that is hardly an indication of increased 'civilization', though; just churning out more people exponentially. If that carries on it will come back and bite us later this century as more die from starvation and wars over ever scarcer resources.

Overall, it's hard to call. The vast majority have always been 'civilized' in just wanting to be left alone to live their lives peacefully. In any century it's own the few who send the others to their deaths.
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Eric H
06-24-2011, 11:03 PM
Greetings and peace be with you MSalman;

I think you can judge how civilised the world is, by the way we treat the weakest people in the world.


About a billion people live on less than a dollar a day.
About half the worlds population lives on less than two and a half dollars a day.
About eighty percent of the world population live on less than 10 dollars a day.


About 22,000 thousand children die every single day from grinding poverty, preventable diseases and starvation, this figure does not include all the adults who die from grinding poverty.


If you have the privilege of earning more than a hundred dollars a week, that puts you in the richest ten percent of the world’s population, that makes you richer than about five billion people.


If you read through the following link, you will find more horrible statistics on poverty, starvation, education and quotes from UNICEF


http://www.globalissues.org/article/...acts-and-stats


A civilised society would not allow this imbalance to happen.


In the spirit of praying for justice for all people

Eric
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UUSeeker
06-25-2011, 06:36 AM
Wow. great thread and discussion.

In line with what Eric posted, I have always believed that, as a society, we should be judged on how we treat the least among us, not the best.

Ignorance and poverty are great indicators of how we treat the least amongst us.

Moreover, while I personally don't believe in sin per se, if I did, chief among the list of sins would be avarice and bigotry. These two have caused many of the conflicts that have plagued this world.

To be truly civilized, I believe we must all strive to leave this world a better place then we found it, regardless of our religious or spiritual background.

Peace,

Seeker
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Futuwwa
06-25-2011, 09:03 PM
I'd have to seriously doubt those figures for war casualties as % of total world population per century. How reliably can one even count casualties from wars too long back in history? Numbers of soldiers killed are fairly easy to estimate, and even civilians killed directly. However, when it comes to secondary causes like civilians starving because their food got looted or freezing because their homes got burned, it's harder to get figures that are even ballparked correctly. And those are quite significant contributors to civilian deaths during historical wars. During the 17th century alone, the Thirty Years War killed off about a quarter of Germany's population in that way, and right afterwards, one third of Poland's population in the Deluge. Those are staggeringly high death ratios even compared to 20th century wars.
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Mister Agenda
06-25-2011, 09:26 PM
Originally Posted by Ramadhan

Is there any statistics or data for this?
Because I remember reading somewhere that in terms of percentage population, the world war I killed more population of the warring countries than any other previous war.
Also in speaking of oppressions, who could forget a combined of upwards of 100 millions people killed by stalin, mao, khmer rouge, etc? Not to mention civil wars in many countries?

And after I checked, you actually were wrong. last century, more people killed directly or indirectly from conflicts even by percentage of population than ever.

Here's some statistics:
And these 20th century numbers did not even include the democides by Stalin and co. which could easily in hundreds of millions.
Sorry to take so long to reply, I didn't have much time to be on the forum yesterday. I got my information from books, and I sometimes forget the source. In this case I remember one of them was http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_Before_Civilization

That book by itself didn't form the entirety of my opinion (and it's just an opinion, I'm not a historian) but it was up there. The premise is that previous research didn't take tribal conflicts into account, and so the number of conflict deaths in the past have been significantly underestimated.

I know I have another book around here somewhere that has more to say on the subject but I can't find it and don't remember the title or author. I'm afraid my memory isn't a good as it used to be. I could certainly be wrong in my claim that the 20th century had the fewest conflict deaths of any century on record (as a percentage of world population). My opinions are always subject to revision given new information. But I am certain the 20th Century doesn't hold the record for highest percentage of world population killed. The An Lushan Rebellion in China in the year 755 supposedly cost 35 million lives, which I think is an error due to breakdown in the census, but even at 15 million lives it would have been about 7% of the world's population at the time. A low estimate of the death toll of the Mongol Conquests would be a little over 7% of the world's population, spread out over two-and-a-half centuries, the high estimate is over 17% (the range is 30 million to 60 million). In the 1600s the Qing Dynasty's defeat of the Ming Dynasty killed about 25 million people, around 4.8% of the world's population. And these are specific wars, with no attempt to add up all the casualties around the world in a given century.

But whether it was the worst or the best, I hope we have much fewer such deaths in this century, acknowledging that we are not off to a good start.
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Mister Agenda
06-25-2011, 09:30 PM
Originally Posted by Ramadhan


AFAIK, this 2 dollars a day is quite random, and even today it varies on all countries as it has to be adjusted on PPP basis.
Can we know how this 2 dollars a day is calculated as the baseline for poverty?

And how did the 2 dollars served as a yardstick for poverty 200 years ago in, say, Indonesia?
Wikipedia has a good article on poverty that may be helpful to you.
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SFatima
06-28-2011, 02:35 PM
What is the relation of poverty to happiness?

People were more happy being happy content farmers than they are now being looked as poor farmers who don't have a lifestyle which is all about electronics and consumerism.

And Lol savery has ended? what is prostitution? Just because it is legal now doesn't mean it is not cruel anymore! And by the way I find the lifestyle of today pretty much enslaved to the govt. It is just that its done in a way that we have accepted it as Liberation, which in fact it is not. Every person is a slave of the system, and that is the essence of modern civilization, be so consumed in the struggle for survival, maintenance of your fake lifestyle based on hand picked advertising, that you neither have a stable family, nor some peace of mind. Abandoned children, children being put up for adoption because the parents cant support them, unwanted babies and etc, abusive parents and disrespectful kids, that is the true face of the modern day civilization

Over 400,000,000 abandoned children live on their own on the streets of hundreds of cities around the world. They subsist hand to mouth. They struggle to just survive the day.

Authorities estimate that child pornography is a $20 billion a year industry; too many abandoned children end up as victims of this deviant activity.

UNICEF estimates that nearly 1,000,000 children enter the sex trade every year.

Experts also estimate that nearly 10,000,000 children are working as prostitutes, with nearly 90% of them girls.

According to the World Health Organization, malnutrition is the single biggest contributor to child mortality rates worldwide.
Many street children use a number of inhalants (glue, gasoline, lighter fluid) and illegal drugs (marijuana, cocaine and heroin).
Street children are routinely detained illegally, beaten and tortured and sometimes killed by police in some countries.

Source ISk org.

Just because these issues are not highlighted on bbc and cnn doesnt mean they don't exist, and they don't look like any impressive statistics of a developing world which is becoming a better place everyday.
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Mister Agenda
06-28-2011, 02:50 PM
I don't think the developing world is getting to be a better place every day. Every decade, maybe. Absolute poverty rate in the developing world (about $1.25 a day American) has gone from about 28% to 20% since 2001. It would be nice if it were a bigger change, but it is a change in the right direction.

We're not built to be happy when we have enough stuff. I'm sorry if farmers were happier when a fifth of their children died of preventable diseases but they were too busy trying to survive to be depressed. If happiness is not a product of civilization that's a shame, but low infant and child mortality is a product of civilization that is worth sacrificing a little happiness for. Hunter Gatherers tend to be happier than farmers, it doesn't mean we should have stuck with wandering the countryside in small bands, eating what we could dig up or catch.

Slavery still exists and those are dismaying examples of it. What has changed is only its prevalence and acceptability. It is in reach to drastically reduce these numbers, although we will never be able to fully control what people do in secret. The general trend is towards less slavery, especially as a percentage of global population.

If your definition of civilization is 'perfect global society without any problems', I don't think we'll ever have that. Which is okay, as long as it doesn't make us chuck the idea of having a civilization that is making progress, however slowly. That would be a shame, because the imperfect civilization we've got is still better than the even more imperfect civilizations we've had in the past.
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May Ayob
06-28-2011, 03:35 PM
Salaam
No we are Not Civilised
and whoever says we are, then they probably do not understand the meaning of civilization-
I think the word comprehends a lot of sentiments such as-
Education
Health
Morals and Ethics
..etc
If You mean By Civilization Opression then Yes we are " Civilized" to an extent that it is Normal to be massacaring millions of people and getting away with your crime by claiming that you now are old in age and that you don't quite remember the events that happened.
Western Countries usually in one way or the other try to propagate that their country's are 'civilized' I am not sure if i agree with that because I believe that this so called civilization only came after... the years and years of Slavery and Labour it was primarily what made their Economy-- I think it quite clear that the western Economy/State/ or 'Civilization' wouldn't have been the same was it not for these two factors.
The West also arranged a set of 'Moral' Codes that The "Civilized" European Union goes by...

I would be more interested into how we can make our planet a better place to live on for everyone and how we can really become more 'Civilised' than to talk about the causes of this Dilmna our world is facing right now?
How can we make a difference , I think would be a Good Question as well

Salaam
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GuestFellow
06-28-2011, 04:52 PM
Originally Posted by MSalman
A chanting parade that I hear often: "we are finally civilized humans or live in a civilized world". Some of the reasons given are following:

1) we no longer burn the witches
2) we have liberty and democracy
3) we have freedom and human rights: some rights for women & homosexuals, freedom of speech, public nudity & promiscuity
4) slavery is abolished
5) technology and science advancements
6) better educated

Discuss....
:sl:

It depends on what you mean by civilized. So how would you define civilized?
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Who Am I?
06-28-2011, 10:13 PM
Originally Posted by Guestfellow
:sl:

It depends on what you mean by civilized. So how would you define civilized?
We have sporks and bendy straws now. If that's not civilized, I don't know what is. ;D
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Ramadhan
06-29-2011, 02:54 AM
Originally Posted by King of Nines
We have sporks and bendy straws now. If that's not civilized, I don't know what is.

Has the definition of civilized changed?
I thought sliced bread was the standard of civilization
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Who Am I?
06-29-2011, 04:24 AM
Originally Posted by Ramadhan


Has the definition of civilized changed?
I thought sliced bread was the standard of civilization
Wait, bread comes in slices now? :omg:

This changes everything...
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Trumble
06-30-2011, 12:39 PM
Originally Posted by Ramadhan
I thought sliced bread was the standard of civilization.
It is. Everything started going downhill when thin-sliced disappeared in favour of that that ghastly medium-sliced stuff. The end of the cucumber sandwich as we know it.. :exhausted
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Who Am I?
06-30-2011, 03:28 PM
Originally Posted by Trumble
It is. Everything started going downhill when thin-sliced disappeared in favour of that that ghastly medium-sliced stuff. The end of the cucumber sandwich as we know it.. :exhausted
Good riddance to cucumber sandwiches. The PBJ is where it's at anyway.
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sister herb
07-01-2011, 06:35 PM
Sure we are very civilized today as we have many international laws and agreements for example how to protect civilians at the war time, like Geneva Conventions.

Unfortunately some countries have decided they have no need to follow any of them - if they donĀ“t want.
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SFatima
07-01-2011, 07:42 PM
yeah we're so advanced in civilization that we impose wars on countries without even alarming the world at large or the invaded country for that matter, we can go kill innocent people inside any country without their puppet governments raising as much of an eyebrow.
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Who Am I?
07-01-2011, 07:56 PM
Originally Posted by SFatima
yeah we're so advanced in civilization that we impose wars on countries without even alarming the world at large or the invaded country for that matter, we can go kill innocent people inside any country without their puppet governments raising as much of an eyebrow.
It's like I've said for years, there is no honor in modern warfare. At least back in the old days (WW1 and to a lesser extent WW2) you could expect some semblance of decorum, like an official declaration of war to whoever you're invading. Nowadays you just push a button and blow some stuff up and call it a day, and all because the general public of some nations (USA) can't handle a few casualties.

If WW2 happened today, we would lose.

But that is a debate for another day.
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SFatima
07-01-2011, 08:53 PM
hmm didnt the Russians loose the war in afghanistan decades ago? They were quite loaded as well. On ground, isnt it taking the US so long to win win anything in Afghanistan? those people have hand made arms if nothing else : p
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sister herb
07-01-2011, 09:02 PM
Afghanistan is a grave yard of any foreign armies but I think this topic is not concern about it.
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Lynx
07-01-2011, 09:15 PM
Originally Posted by SFatima
hmm didnt the Russians loose the war in afghanistan decades ago? They were quite loaded as well. On ground, isnt it taking the US so long to win win anything in Afghanistan? those people have hand made arms if nothing else : p
Well it depends on what constitutes as "winning". The Taliban have lost control of the north, Al qaida is essentially dead, and there is a US friendly government in place even though the parliament is almost as bad as the Taliban were. I don't think it's possible for the US to completely eradicate all insurgents as they will continually spawn as long as the belief that US should not be in Afghanistan is there. Once the US withdraws I don't think there will be much animosity towards it from the Afghan people. The south will be the way it is (similar to what the taliban wanted all of afghanistan to be like), the taliban will never seize the north and both sides will be happy.
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Who Am I?
07-01-2011, 09:22 PM
Originally Posted by sister harb
Afghanistan is a grave yard of any foreign armies but I think this topic is not concern about it.
This. Ask the British, ask the Soviets, ask the USA.

Never fight a land war in Asia.

Never go against a Sicilian when death is on the line.
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Woodrow
07-01-2011, 09:31 PM
Can we call ourselves civilized as long as we spend more on the Military, than on education or health care?
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Samiun
07-02-2011, 12:34 AM
:sl: wr br,

According to Shed Naquib al-Attas, civilization is the achievement of high ethics and noble culture by a society. This has been also supported by Richard Sulllivan which states that the spiritual element is really important in concept of civilization.
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