The Moral Cycle and Societal Collapse

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Purple Knight
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The Moral Cycle and Societal Collapse

Post #1

Post by Purple Knight »

Question for Debate: Is it possible that the Moral Cycle described below is responsible for societal collapse?

The Moral Cycle: The basic idea is that in a structured society, morality becomes increasingly important because it grants status, and status becomes much more important as a factor for success than the ability to grow or gather food, produce houses or clothes, or any other tasks with an immediate beneficial result. These other tasks become less and less important until they are so unimportant that people no longer engage in them, causing a resource crisis. At that point morality will become null in importance, and getting food, water, clothing, and shelter will become paramount once again. But as people become more able to get these things, we have a society emerging again, and once again, status becomes more important than food, and it starts all over again.

Other things that don't grant food and do grant status may be just as much a part of this cycle as morality, but morality seems to be the main offender. People blame communism for societal collapse. People blame capitalism. People blame others, people blame racism. It seems though, that nobody is right. Not only are they all blaming opposite things, whatever their favourite scapegoat is, there has probably been a society without that, which has also fallen.

That's why my hypothesis is that the human nature to, in a prosperous society, go for status and forget about resources, is what has caused decline again and again. The particular sting is that as long as structure remains, it can make it the correct choice to go for status even when resources start to dwindle. When resources become scarce, in a structured society, the ones who get those resources will not be the ones who produce them, but the ones with the greatest status. People can realise the collapse is happening all they want, and the right choice will never be to produce resources as dominant individuals will just take the resources away. The right choice is to double down and go ever harder for status. This death spiral where individuals with prescience can't fix the problem is why I think this aspect of society may be responsible for most or all of societal collapses.

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Re: The Moral Cycle and Societal Collapse

Post #2

Post by nobspeople »

Purple Knight wrote: Mon Dec 06, 2021 4:01 pm Question for Debate: Is it possible that the Moral Cycle described below is responsible for societal collapse?

The Moral Cycle: The basic idea is that in a structured society, morality becomes increasingly important because it grants status, and status becomes much more important as a factor for success than the ability to grow or gather food, produce houses or clothes, or any other tasks with an immediate beneficial result. These other tasks become less and less important until they are so unimportant that people no longer engage in them, causing a resource crisis. At that point morality will become null in importance, and getting food, water, clothing, and shelter will become paramount once again. But as people become more able to get these things, we have a society emerging again, and once again, status becomes more important than food, and it starts all over again.

Other things that don't grant food and do grant status may be just as much a part of this cycle as morality, but morality seems to be the main offender. People blame communism for societal collapse. People blame capitalism. People blame others, people blame racism. It seems though, that nobody is right. Not only are they all blaming opposite things, whatever their favourite scapegoat is, there has probably been a society without that, which has also fallen.

That's why my hypothesis is that the human nature to, in a prosperous society, go for status and forget about resources, is what has caused decline again and again. The particular sting is that as long as structure remains, it can make it the correct choice to go for status even when resources start to dwindle. When resources become scarce, in a structured society, the ones who get those resources will not be the ones who produce them, but the ones with the greatest status. People can realise the collapse is happening all they want, and the right choice will never be to produce resources as dominant individuals will just take the resources away. The right choice is to double down and go ever harder for status. This death spiral where individuals with prescience can't fix the problem is why I think this aspect of society may be responsible for most or all of societal collapses.
Sure, it's possible. 'Most anything' is possible, especially with more and more people flooding the planet and living longer. Does being 'possible' and being 'probable' mean the same thing here?
And is this hypothesis responsible for all societal collapses throughout history, or only some? If only a some, why them and not others?
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Re: The Moral Cycle and Societal Collapse

Post #3

Post by Aetixintro »

[Replying to Purple Knight in post #1]

I don't think there's a moral cycle. Why should there be a moral cycle in the 1st place?

I think it's an achievement to get high in terms of character over ethics and morality.

If you don't believe in ethics and morality, it's like you deny yourself the best friend as well.

Loneliness resulting?
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Re: The Moral Cycle and Societal Collapse

Post #4

Post by William »

[Replying to Purple Knight in post #1]

Status is not so much about the overall structured society your writing here conveys.

If one can place oneself in a position where searching for the staples of life is not longer a priority which consumes one's daily activity, one has used one's intelligence wisely, because one has a better chance of survival than the beggar on the street has, or even those in more secure positions, which prove to be no more secure than the beggars, once society structured in this manner, collapses.

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Re: The Moral Cycle and Societal Collapse

Post #5

Post by Athetotheist »

[Replying to William in post #4]
If one can place oneself in a position where searching for the staples of life is not longer a priority which consumes one's daily activity, one has used one's intelligence wisely
It may be a use of one's intelligence, but it isn't necessarily wise or respectable use. Putting oneself in a secure position might be done through diligent work and careful planning, but it could also be done through force or manipulation.

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Re: The Moral Cycle and Societal Collapse

Post #6

Post by William »

Athetotheist wrote: Sat Dec 11, 2021 11:34 am [Replying to William in post #4]
If one can place oneself in a position where searching for the staples of life is not longer a priority which consumes one's daily activity, one has used one's intelligence wisely
It may be a use of one's intelligence, but it isn't necessarily wise or respectable use. Putting oneself in a secure position might be done through diligent work and careful planning, but it could also be done through force or manipulation.
It may be a use of one's intelligence, but it isn't necessarily wise or respectable use.
What is not wise about ensuring at least some folk invest in their survival while most do not?

Why is it disrespectful?
Putting oneself in a secure position might be done through diligent work and careful planning, but it could also be done through force or manipulation.
Force and manipulation is just the way things have been done since Adam was a lad. Nature itself does this. That in itself doesn't mean diligent work and careful planning are not also involved.

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Re: The Moral Cycle and Societal Collapse

Post #7

Post by Athetotheist »

[Replying to William in post #6]
Force and manipulation is just the way things have been done since Adam was a lad. Nature itself does this. That in itself doesn't mean diligent work and careful planning are not also involved.
Oh, quite. Diligent work and careful planning can be put into honest and honorable endeavors or into underhanded, self-serving ones. But making excuses for the latter would just be applying the proverbial Law of the Jungle to human relations.

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Re: The Moral Cycle and Societal Collapse

Post #8

Post by William »

Athetotheist wrote: Sat Dec 11, 2021 2:54 pm [Replying to William in post #6]
Force and manipulation is just the way things have been done since Adam was a lad. Nature itself does this. That in itself doesn't mean diligent work and careful planning are not also involved.
Oh, quite. Diligent work and careful planning can be put into honest and honorable endeavors or into underhanded, self-serving ones. But making excuses for the latter would just be applying the proverbial Law of the Jungle to human relations.
Well what examples can you point to.

Take Elon Musk. Do you think his life is an example of this underhanded self-serving Law of The Jungle thing?

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Re: The Moral Cycle and Societal Collapse

Post #9

Post by Athetotheist »

[Replying to William in post #8]
I have to admit, though I do so with absolutely no embarrassment, that I don't pay much attention to Elon Musk.

Closer to my attention is the hand-wringing in the pharmaceutical industry over the risk of covid vaccine patent waivers "de-incentivizing investment" in vaccine development. Are there actually people who would turn away from developing life-saving medicine desperately needed by millions of people in poor countries.....because a waiver on intellectual property rights would keep it from being a sufficiently lucrative venture?

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Re: The Moral Cycle and Societal Collapse

Post #10

Post by William »

Athetotheist wrote: Sat Dec 11, 2021 4:36 pm [Replying to William in post #8]
I have to admit, though I do so with absolutely no embarrassment, that I don't pay much attention to Elon Musk.

Closer to my attention is the hand-wringing in the pharmaceutical industry over the risk of covid vaccine patent waivers "de-incentivizing investment" in vaccine development. Are there actually people who would turn away from developing life-saving medicine desperately needed by millions of people in poor countries.....because a waiver on intellectual property rights would keep it from being a sufficiently lucrative venture?
If you pay attention to what Musk is doing, it is about trying to find ways to preserve what can be preserved. He cannot prevent those practices you speak of. They will play out as they will, but even that the investors in life-saving meds rake in profits, those profits are re-invested into that failing economy and eventually even if they will be left with banks full of money there will be no place to spend it - even on their own survival....lack of foresight.

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