A Definition of Civilization

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A Definition Of Civilization
by Philip Atkinson
All Human inventions are first thoughts before they become things. So the creations of communities such as cities, governments, armies, as well as communal achievements such as conquests and discoveries— everything that goes to make a civilization — must spring from a community's thoughts. Hence: Civilization: is the tangible expression of a communal understanding. Communal Understanding: is that single understanding allowed by the set of values common to each member of a community. For example it is this influence that decided one community to persecute the scientist Galileo and suppress his notions, while another community to honour the scientist Isaac Newton and embrace his notions. It decides what the community thinks and does. Expressed And Refined By Conversation

Communal Understanding exists, as it is expressed, in the unique language of the citizens, who mould it by their conversation. Conversation: is the daily expression and exchange of individual opinions; a mechanism that refines communal understanding by promoting popular, while suppressing unpopular, notions. That is, all those ideas which match common feelings of right and wrong, will be repeated and magnified into reasons to act, while those which receive little or no support will inevitably be ignored; which makes conversation the ideas filter, or the mind, of the community. A Community: is that group of people sharing a common understanding who reveal themselves by using the same language, manners, customs and law: tradition. A Communal Mind: is similar in operation to an individual mind, except that audible conversation replaces silent thoughts; but the mechanism of understanding is the same—ideas, expressed in words, which are filtered by a code of values to determine which should become reasons for action. If a man is an irrational vegetarian crank whose conversation is mainly tirades against imaginary persecutors, then it is this process that will decide the man's future— whether as a despised social outcast, or as an absolute monarch, like Hitler. This does not mean that everyone believes what is popular, but unpopular concepts are ignored. Consequently: |1. |By sharing the same process of thought as individuals, communal minds are subject to the same shortcomings of understanding as | | |individuals: | | |i. | | |Understanding appears only after the formation of a basic set of values (morality), which become an essential and immutable part of | | |the creature. | | | | | |ii. | | |Personality As the understanding of an individual confers a personality, so does the understanding of a community, and this the | | |culture of the community. | | | | | |iii. | | |Honesty depends upon their nature, if unselfish, they will revere truth; otherwise truth will be discarded in favour of convenience.| | |(See the two modes of communities.)...
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