We have advanced technology, but has humanity become more compassionate?
Do we (humanity) have more heart? How have our institutions evolved? Have spiritual leaders made a qualitative difference in our relationships? Are we more centered than counterparts in earlier centuries? What is your overall impression of man's advancement, over the centuries? Please flesh out your argument with examples that back up your conclusion.
It's a tough call. During the Industrial Revolution, the increase in technology seemed to decrease employers' compassion for their workers, with long hours, low pay, child labor and unsafe working conditions. On the other hand, these conditions still exist, they have just moved to Asia. People also seem less compassionate toward one another. I wonder if anyone would yell, "Let them die!" in reference to someone without health insurance even 30 years ago. It seems that somewhere along the line we as a country forgot the difference between being tough and hardworking and being a sociopath.
I would say "yes." I belong to a world Buddhist organization called Soka Gakkai International, a non-Governmental organization within the United Nations, where there are 12 million practicing Nichiren Daishonin's Buddhism. Our premise is about compassion for humanity. We help ourselves and others and both goals help change our karma. President Ikeda has changed the world by making his annual peace proposals, and many of his ideas have been adopted. For example, SGI is involved in awareness-raising and public education focusing on peace, disarmament, human rights and sustainable development. The organization came up with Victory over Violence due to the tragic killings at Columbine High School shootings that occurred on April 20, 1999. With technology and the internet, we have websites full of reading materials so that nobody really needs to buy any books if they don't want to. All of Nichiren Daishonin's writings are online for free, but one can purchase them all at the centers' bookstores. Because this practice is based on actually proof, it is encouraging to see efforts made through out the world regarding individual changes called "human revolutions" versus world changes. President Ikeda has been a person with over 300 honorary degrees and he has created dialogues with controversial leaders and countries in order to forge ahead and improve humanity. In the mid90s I went to London. Before I went, I asked my friends to contact their friends. I had great insight into a Londoner's life and Buddhist practice that I would never have received if I were an average tourist, particularly from a country full of people who meet one another at pubs rather than people's homes.
I cannot say for other organizations, but from what I see on CNN heroes, there are many organizations that are helping humanities in all sorts of ways.
No, we become slaves of technology because so focused and so needy of it. Our fellow human beings become commodities or means to get to more money or more materialistic things. I know, not everybody is like that but when you notice that kind of behavior for years in your own family and entourage, you realize you need to move on and make sure you never become so inhibited.
Technology also allows people to reach information and people who can help them become more conscious and peaceful beings...in that technology is there.
We have to remember to keep the control, be the master of our lives...nothing and nobody else, let us shape the technology we use not the contrary.
Every nation is different. The US population is slipping into a cultural and social dark age where literacy, the humanities, and self-actualization are going extinct. These disciplines are being replaced by frivilous values that bring physical and emotional gratification, but that do nothing to develop the mind. Consumer technology represents a good portion of these things. As a result, people generally stop caring about others because they don't know anything and don't understanding anything other than what they want for themselves.
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