Is “progress” merely a notion?


In other words, is human progress just a nice idea or is it true, is it real?

I am curious to hear your thoughts.  I have been thinking about this quite a bit recently.

Please share your ideas!

Thank you kindly,

-Paul

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11 thoughts on “Is “progress” merely a notion?”

  1. I think there’s no such thing as HUMAN progress. If you think about it, we’ve been doing the same thing since the dark ages. We just wear different clothes and have a different type of technology. But we’re still essentially the same, which is why the human race is bored out of its skull, and we are addicted to material things as a result of that boredom. What DOES progress is the soul growth along the spiritual, invisible paths. Once we advance along that, our perception changes, and then eventually we go onto other types of reality because our new vision allows us to perceive that there are choices in the matter.

    That’s my opinion! You asked!!!

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  2. Why aren’t people commenting? Human history seems to me to be cyclical, empires rise and fall. Treasures are buried and whole civilizations, and then unearthed and replicated by later generations and peoples. I think we make progress, but that we regress and always digress only to return to a few essential truths such as “don’t steal from your neighbor” I don’t know, my mind is already moving on to other thoughts, it’s the coffee, please excuse my morning rambling 😉

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  3. IMO, some is not real – such as genetically modified stuff, pesticides, etc…. some is debatable (but I’m beginning to suspect is also not real) – such as autos, planes, nuclear power plants… some is real – such as spiritual awakening as well as environmental awakening.
    …just a thought

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  4. I do not believe progress is merely a notion, it all depends on what you are using to measure it. We have progressed in terms of science and technology but were I to think in terms of compassion, empathy, kindness, open mindedness etc. as a race, I think we are moving backwards. It’s sad really, here we are in the information age and yet so clueless.

    This is not to say that as individuals we are not progressing and growing. I “progress”, every time I let go of a prejudice, every time I give a new idea the time of day, every time I see the person and not the colour of their skin or the religion they choose to follow.

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  5. While we have made scientific progress we are way behind on the spiritual front. Scientists have brilliantly leverage the discoveries of previous generations and continuously built upon the wealth of knowledge.
    On the spiritual front, we have been unable to take forward legacies of old thinkers and hence are stuck in a rut.
    Scientific progress without equally matched spiritual advancement has brought about the mental and emotional conflicts most of us find ourselves in today.

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  6. Well, it depends of what You understand by “progress”. I found Raunak’s last comment pretty awesome: “Scientific progress without equally matched spiritual advancement has brought about the mental and emotional conflicts most of us find ourselves in today.”

    I fully agree. And: I’d say mankind hasn’t made progress towards a happier life. Only a few people have.

    Thanks, Richard

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      1. Well, changes can be good, bad, or neither. My main point is that progress is movement along a progression of some sort, let’s say from point a to point b. Before we can discuss progress, you must specify what sort of progress, what is point b. It could be trivial, like for me to say that we progress through time, towards tomorrow.

        But the general, broad use of the word “progress” usually refers to some sort of trend towards overall improvement of the human condition, often of a transcendent sort. Progress could be towards the end of warring, the establishment of peace and justice, a cure for the world’s pain, judgement day and heaven, etc. Any of these concepts of progress could warrant a pretty in depth response on its own, but there is a general question of: do we believe in a broad trend towards improvement of the human conditioning? and is it happening now? To those questions, I would likely say “no.” Suffering loses a face and finds three more.

        If progress is as many currently view it, we are making progress through science and technology (just look at all our new toys!) and that by this progression the human condition will be improved substantially. If this is progress, than we must be progressing exponentially, given the advancement of technology in the past few centuries. The world changes every day, and change is good!

        However, if alternatively one were to view progress in terms of sustainability, the long-term stability of our culture, our way of living, our species, then what we done in the past few centuries marks a severe regression. Given the deterioration of the environment, the depletion of resources, the extinction of species, the explosion of our own population, and so on, it seems obvious that we as a species stand on less stable ground than we did for the many millennia that preceded modern history, living by “primitive” means.

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