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Civilization vs. Barbarism

May 4, 2009

I’ve recently come across an interesting piece about social experiments (and it kills me that I can’t find it anymore, sorry folks). The thesis was something like: If you could create your own independent, self-sustaining closed system, and there was no need for you to interact with your environment, not for money or food or anything, would you and the people lucky enough to live with you still conform to the rules of society? Maintain civilization, even if there was no practical use to it? Meaning, is there an ethical background to civilization at all, or is pragmatism all that keeps us from barbarism?

The experiment said yes. Yes, we are pragmatically civilized barbarians. I thought I had a faint feeling about that ;).

(Imagine the orgies those people were throwing! Not pretty.)

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