Friday, August 10, 2007

Human Potential Is Everywhere the Same

Human potential is everywhere the same. What varies from one society or culture to the next are the ways in which it is repressed.


Ashwin said...

Do you really think so?
What makes the West so different than the East?

Why has the West been at the forefront of technology and art for so long then? I don't recall it ever being repressed in India, China, or Japan.

Anonymous said...

Astrology 101

Paul said...

Hi Ashwin! I'm not sure what you're saying here. Are you suggesting that human potential is significantly different in China and Europe, for instance?

Repression comes in many forms. Some forms are more subtle than others. You do not need to put a jackboot on someone's throat to repress them. There are many subtle ways in which some cultures have repressed technological innovation.

Faisal said...

One of my lecturers--he is a hindu--told me that the difference in knowledge between the West and East is that the East used to pass knowledge secretly amongst them generation after another, but people in the West used to spread knowledge to everyone.

Therefore, the West as a whole earned the current position, and i really respect and admire their love for knowledge and sharing it with others as this resulted in developing themselves because they shared what they know with others and could get from others what they really want.

I'm also very gratful for one female euorpean scholar because she was the first one who discovered an old arabic book for a great islamic scholar in Al-andalus (Spain currently) and his name is Ibn Hazm, and this book is a collection of stories about love and the experince of the writer about it and how it affected him, his friends and the society at that time.

decrepitoldfool said...

Feotal alcohol syndrome, child abuse, badly-run education systems, gender and race discrimination, religious conservatism, and just plain cultural stupidity come to mind. Being constantly flooded with media that is aimed at the lowest common denominator holds back human potential. Commercialism is oppressive; to advertisers, we're "consumers" which is a very different thing from "humans".

Webs said...

I just love the quote of this post. No matter how many times I read it, it never gets old.

Paul said...

That's a good point, Faisal, and it's certainly true that the West early on developed a tendency to make knowledge public. That tendency accelerated with the Enlightenment and the rise of science.

DOF, I'm glad you point out that consumerism can be repressive. It seems to me a lot of people have yet to recognize that about our sacred right to consume products and services.

Thank you for your kind compliment, Webs -- you just made my day!

Rambodoc said...

Human potential, is by and large, the same everywhere, as you say. This does not refer to individual brilliance that is far above what you see in general (that exception deserves mention). Potential expression and utilisation is lower in the rest of the world compared to the West for one simple reason:
the capitalist economy and the culture of freedom allows and encourages you to do the best.

Paul said...

In general, I agree with you Rambodoc, but I do think the capitalist economy can be taken to an extreme. Right now we are rapidly moving towards a two class society here in the States in which a few people own almost all the wealth and most people own very little of the wealth. That poses a threat to our culture of freedom, and we are going to need to find some means of correcting that situation.