reply to post by colin42
We went from simple tools to, in comparison complex painting and carvings in a relatively short period of time. Some claim aliens did it.
I would argue that due to time being relative, as you seemingly Freudian-eskly slipped in your statement, it (time) is really no measure of
significance when speaking about the evolution of communication. In my opinion, it started out very 'organically' and only progressed so evidently
"quick" due to necessity, and each advancement compounded with the previous creating a structure that through reiteration and self-similarity has
now become our current means. The apparent 'complexity' of our creativity is all simply derived from the latter, which ultimately is dictated by
what we have been consciously aware of, this being nature. There's much evidence of this even found in many canons and/or bodies of religious texts
and doctrines. The most evident of this can be found in the 'Bible', and the references to seasons, water(s), etc. Also, there's further evidence
of this through out most religions in the forms of parallels with agriculture, which may find root in the significant advancement for humanity,
When did we see ourselves living on through our children? You would have to realise you were going to die to have that thought so the way you see your
family and its importance would be changed.
In regards to mortality awareness, I would have to think that this took place very, very early on, before the evolution of communication was on the
level of language and symbolism. But, as to the behaviors stated in the adage "living on through our children". This mentality wasn't necessarily
always present, and is more of a cultural thing. We forget that even today, there are families that sell their children for the money. Which can be
a win - win, I suppose... although rarely, much of it is slavery masquerading as potential better lives for the children and parents.
As to when this paradigm may have came into practice. It would seem to me that it started from the beginning. Almost in a parallel evolutionary
means, as in empathy and morality which are both heavily connected with mortality awareness. Some maintain that empathy can and does remain the
scopes of self-interest, which encompasses parallels with parents realizing that their children play a role in their own self-preservation. Which has
much to do with them being viewed as assets, or contributing members that aid in the survival of the parents(self-preservation) and also the
group(self-preservation of species).
So yes, mortality awareness played a pivotal role in the interaction and structure of our behaviors, especially that of how one would treat family and
children. It would be my guess that the ability of empathy and altruism, finds its origins of perspective-taking driven by conscious awareness of
return-benefits for self. Once a value or benefit is attributed to the offspring, it becomes instinctive to take care of them, show them the ropes
and build off that. Cooperation is the means through which we find to be the most conducive towards our one's survival, no better place to start
than with your children.
Knowing when you took a life of any animal and now with the knowledge of the finality of that action would result in guilt. We see this still today
with many discussions about the morality of eating meat.
The advancements of our capabilities and situational awareness(especially the acknowledgement that animals feel pain with our necessity to inflict it,
to even the dietary needs) have created these questions and allowed for the forming of this paradigm. There's only guilt if one's adopted
philosophy and/or culture has created it. It's like slavery in a way... Many through out history have enslaved others, including the execution of
them. It wasn't the awareness of the 'finality of that action', people knew they were killing people and making them suffer. It was a culture, a
change in paradigm that created the movement away from traditional slavery.
Of course evolution plays its part but the way we interact with the environment influences the selection evolution describes and denying evolution is
not what this thread was meant to be about. I know that is not what you inferred but I wanted to make that clear.
I'm not necessarily referencing evolution in a biological sense, although I think to go that direction is the best rabbit hole there is. But in my
opinion, evolution in the sense of emotions and emotional states is important in this conversation There are surely adaptive qualities, survival of
the fittest type implications and other parts of the theory of evolution that I find accurately explain paradigm changes through out our history.