In resulting in shorter life expectancies and more wear

In Jared Diamond’s essay, “The Worst Mistake
in the History of the Human Race”, Jared Diamond defines civilization from an
archaeology point of view that society controls the natural environment
(agriculture) and establishes a type of social arrangement/classification into
different groups. He states that the idea of civilization has developed over
millions of years through different discoveries including the transition from
gathering to the adoption of agriculture. The central argument of Diamond’s
article is that agriculture did not deliver the glory of civilization society
intended it to and the transition intensive agriculture produced profound
changes in human social relations. Diamond explains his argument through the
following quote, “…the adoption of agriculture, supposedly our most decisive
step toward a better life, was in many ways a catastrophe from which we have
never recovered. With agriculture came the gross social and sexual inequality,
the disease and despotism, that curse our existence” (Diamond, p. 1). Diamond discusses
the differences in life expectancies between. He mentions that there were
benefits to a sedentary lifestyle compared to the nomadic hunter gatherer
lifestyle. For obvious reasons, a nomadic hunter gatherer lifestyle causes more
wear and tear on the body, resulting in shorter life expectancies and more wear
and tear on the body.


I do agree with Diamond’s argument,
agriculture increased calories and wear and tear on the human body. This
journal is an example of how and why complex societies developed from simpler
ones. I believe that the invention/transition of/into agriculture contributed
to complex social systems. After reading the journal, hunter gatherers had the
necessary skills and knowledge to “manipulate” the environment (plants and
animals) but at the time, it was not necessary to.

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Diamond portrays religion in a settled
agricultural society as people who were forced, “…to clump together in crowded
societies…which then carried on trade with other crowded societies…led to the
spread of parasites and infectious disease” (Diamond, p. 3-4). In small settled
agricultural societies, there was, “…malnutrition, starvation, epidemic diseases,
farming heled bring another curse upon humanity: deep class division” (Diamond,
p. 4). The nomadic hunter gatherer lifestyle was egalitarian, which provided
equal access to resources and equal decision-making powers that favored the
group rather than one individual. In the hunter-gatherer’s lifestyle, there was
no class division that was seen in the agriculture lifestyles. As people
settled into agriculture and larger social groups, life became harder because
of poor nutrition, prevalent diseases, growing family sizes and decreased
leisure time. If life then was anything like it is today, the more marginalized
and underprivileged social groups are, the more religious they tend to be. In
conclusion, Diamond’s portrayal is both a positive and negative one. Crowded
societies became famished and turned to religion for guidance.


There are several societal benefits of
religion discussed in Loyal Rue’s article, “Religion is Not about God”. Rue
discusses that all humans have a similar goal in life, “…to achieve personal wholeness
and social coherence” (Rue, p. 9). This goal allows humans, “…to develop
healthy and robust personalities while at the same time constructing harmonious
and cooperative social groups” (Rue, p. 9). Humans are focused on personality
and sociality. Humans achieve their goal by, “…formulating explicit on-site
meanings about how things are in the world around us, and which things matter
for advancing our individual and collective interest” (Rue p. 9). Religion
gives people a sense of togetherness and understanding that provides, “…an
orientation in nature, society, and history, and thus provide us with resources
to negotiate our way through the many challenges to a full life” (Rue, p. 9).


In “Article Name” Author’s Name discusses
several societal benefits of religion.


Do you think in Jared Diamond’s essay, “The
Worst Mistake in the History of the Human Race” the decline health and increase
in environmental degradation (during the transition to agriculture) was associated
with a degradation in the quality of social relations?

In your opinion, is it better to have a few
people who live very well or a lot of people who live very poorly?

After reading the following quote and focusing
only on national events, do you think your life has been a long tale of
progress? “Now archaeology is demolishing another sacred belief: that