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Not grateful 4 anything Hate US instead of loving it
Debate Score:4
Total Votes:5
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 Not grateful 4 anything (1)
 Hate US instead of loving it (1)

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Hobbes(48) pic

Not grateful 4 anything

Side Score: 2

Hate US instead of loving it

Side Score: 2
1 point

It is not just Democrats who are ungrateful.

I see worldwide indications that people in general lack the required perspective to feel the appropriate gratitude for being alive at this amazingly wonderful point in history.

We all have crap we complain about, despite the fact that standard of living worldwide is higher than it has ever been.


Nearly everywhere in the world, all the accumulated advantages of agricultural, philosophical, scientific, technological, and economic developments make life easier and better than they have ever been for people from the top to the bottom of the socio-economic spectrum.

Yet most of us still complain and are unaccountably unhappy.

Historical Context

For most of the history of our species, we had either no more, or only barely more, possessions than other animals. For the balance of the rest of it, most people had insufficient resources to stave off hunger, disease, infection. Most of our ancestors were illiterate, had no access to reliably clean water, and had difficulty keeping their stuff dry.

Moreover, until the eighteenth century, the most effective response to disease was the same response all animals have always had: let it run its course. Most treatments before the acceptance of germ theory actually made illness and infection WORSE.

Some of Our Current Advantages

An astounding 84% of the 7 billion people in the world are literate. That means that a larger number of people can currently read and write than ALL the people who could read or write their own names over the entire course of pre-twentieth century history.

In the industrialized world, for three hours of work at minimum wage, anyone can go to a drug store, and purchase medical care of higher quality than kings could access at any point before the mid-nineteenth century.

Vaccinations have made diseases that routinely killed significant portions of populations, left people scarred, blind, or crippled, into rarities.

Valuable Garbage

Consider how much wealth we have in our garbage. I don't mean how much wealth it represents. I mean how much wealth that garbage actually IS.

Think about any discarded plastic two liter soda bottle. Just one of those at any point in time before 1900 would be valuable, especially if it still had its screw cap. Just by virtue of what you could do with such a durable and sealable vessel, it would make its owner rich.

Just think about how much a black plastic trash bag, which we routinely use as a disposable CONTAINER FOR GARBAGE, would have improved the quality of life for anyone anywhere before the1800s!

A used but intact zip lock bag would be valuable for the same reason. It could keep things dry and protected from insects or dirt in a way NOTHING else could at the time. A discarded Kool-Whip container and lid would be as valuable than the bag for the same reason.

Just by virtue of their rarity, standard empty steel soup can, or an aluminum soda can, or a length of copper wire could make anyone wealthy in most parts of the world at any point before the industrial age.

Even a couple square inches of broken mirror would be of incredible value.

Yet this is not our main material wealth, but merely our refuse.

Our Mistaken Perceptions and Attitudes

The 84% literacy statistic is often phrased as a negative, as if we should be dissatisfied, unhappy, and even ashamed that 16% of the world cannot read.

We feel cheated and victimized and disadvantaged if we cannot access the most up-to-date medical care for whatever we can pay without feeling economic distress. This attitude is common despite that fact that average lifespan continues to grow worldwide.

None of us looks at what we throw away, and feels a sense of satisfaction and gratitude that we can afford to discard so many things that are so useful, and represent so much wealth.

Gratitude Demonstrates a Sense of Perspective

Very few of us are aware enough to be thrilled by how wealthy even minimum wage makes us. Sure, we all want our lives to be better. We all want more. That has NOTHING to do with how much we have. It merely indicates the endless scope of our appetites, and a limitless desire for improvement.

Worse, we tend to evaluate our situations by comparing to what we want, or to those who are doing better that we are.

Were we to compare our individual circumstances to all the billions of other people who were always in worse circumstances, we would see things differently.

If we understood how much we have, we would all be awash in nonstop gratitude, and delirious happiness at being alive now.

Side: Not grateful 4 anything
Hootie(932) Disputed
2 points

Very few of us are aware enough to be thrilled by how wealthy even minimum wage makes us.

Thank you for your bread, master. I am incredibly thrilled by how wealthy and privileged I am to be your slave.

Change the record mate. You've been playing this one for the last ten thousand years.

Side: Hate US instead of loving it
marcusmoon(580) Clarified
2 points

Hello, Hootie.

I am incredibly thrilled by how wealthy and privileged I am to be your slave.

The fact that you are on a computer is a pretty clear indication that you are indeed wealthy and privileged.

In what way are you my slave?

How do I have any slaves at all?

Change the record mate.

Watch a single episode of Naked and Afraid.

Notice how critical a knife or a pot is . Then consider how many hundred thousand years humans were without the wealth of those things.

When I worked for minimum wage, I had to work far less in order to have far more than any of those folks on Naked and Afraid.

I owned many knives and several pots. I ate every day. I had a safe, warm, dry place to stay, complete with hot and cold running water.

I could not afford to have children, but I could afford the means to avoid becoming a parent.

I had a good life, and I knew it.

After seeing an episode of Naked and Afraid, I realized how very rich I was.

I am even richer now, and I am grateful for it.

You seem to be the one listening to a recording of ingratitude. I recommend that you change the record you listen to.

This is a WONDERFUL time to be alive. Be happy about it.

Side: Not grateful 4 anything
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