From H. G. Wells, “The anti-progressives of the early twentieth century loved to assert that “Human Nature” never altered; to imagine that the men of the Stone Age felt and thought like bank clerks picnicking in a cave, and the ideas of Confucius and Buddha were easily interchangeable with the ideas of Rousseau, Karl Marx or De Windt. They were not simply ignorant, but misinformed about almost every essential fact in the past experiences and present situation of the race.”
The New Utopians by Robert Boguslaw: “As Norman R. F. Maier (and others) point out years ago, the term “Human Nature” is characteristically used as a screen to hide our ignorance about man in general. And one of the more elementary oversights made in discussions of human behavior consists of ignoring the fact that the actions of men are set in motion by external as well as internal forces.”
As Arthur C. Clark and many other forward writers have pointed out, anyone who brings up the human nature question is naïve.
From the book Looking Forward, by Jacque Fresco:
“When little was known about cultural anthropology, sociology, and psychology, it seemed quite valid to resist proposed reforms by saying, “it won’t work. It is against human nature.” It is difficult for many people to appreciate the fact that what they call “human nature” just doesn’t exist. People are like mirrors they largely reflect their surroundings. If people were to come into the world with a fixed “nature” consisting of automatic responses, civilization would be impossible. Like the ants, we would live out our lives in patterns that are modified but little with the passing of time. The wonderful thing about us is that we come into this world with maximum flexibility.”
From The Best That Money Can’t Buy, Page 89, by Jacque Fresco
Bigotry, racism, nationalism, jealousy, superstition, greed, and self-centered behavior are all learned patterns of behavior, which are strengthened or reinforced by our upbringing. These patterns of behavior are not inherited human traits or “human nature” as most people have been taught to believe. If the environment remains unaltered, similar behavior will reoccur. When we come into the world we arrive with a clean slate as far as our relationships with others are concerned.
In the final analysis, any judgment regarding undesirable human behavior serves no purpose without an attempt to alter the environment that creates it. In a society that provides for most human needs, constructive behavior would be reinforced, and people who have difficulty interacting in the community would be helped rather than imprisoned.
Aspiring to a particular ethical behavior has to do with human aspirations and ideals. Functional morality is the ability to provide a process level to achieve a sustainable environment for all people. By this, we mean providing clean air and water, goods and services, and a healthy and innovative environment that is emotionally and intellectually fulfilling. It is difficult to conceive of any solutions that would serve the interest of the majority in a monetary-based system. None of this can be accomplished without a comprehensive redesign of our social system and eventual replacement of the monetary-based system by a resource-based economy.