What should be the life-goals of a human*?
I can answer that for me, a result of a lot of thinking and rethinking of late. All from my own individual pov, within the limits of my brain and the mind within, so minuscule against the complexities of the world. I can give advice to my kid, no doubt un-intentionally tailored to my hopes and goals for him more than his own values and insights into his possibilities. Beyond my pov, your mileage may vary.
To specify life-goals is to presume values at an individual level. Either you generalize to meaninglessness (‘maximum self-actualization’, ‘fulfillment’) or annoy people → screw up the evolution of your social system. To the extent of your success, you won’t like the consequences of ideology-based movements, they must crash and burn, and always have to date. The West is merely the latest.
Ideology cannot work for very simple reasons : words are inherently less precise than our best models of reality**. We can so easily form insane sentences and fantastic visions with words, they are so un-linkable from reality, we should be very careful about making decisions using words and reasoning. Even clean math decisions are not easy, we have to expect good decisions about physical and social issues to be expensive in time and thought. Also, reality never turns out to be what you thought it was, large strategic errors appear to be falling-off-a-chair easy, judging from history.
Imho, our civilization is faltering, as measured by eternally-Conservative human values of warm and loving family and community.
Still don’t buy it? Easy to convince yourself : Have you gotten enough food, sex, drugs, exercise, excitement, calm, serenity, ecstatic elevation of spirit, thrill of insight into a new problem, mental stimulation from new learning, conversation, communion and entertainment this week? Have you demonstrated a recently acquired expertise of at least social worth and several older expertises of economic worth? Do something for the community? Did you feel warm to a fellow human and help them out? Did you touch a friend you hadn’t talked to for a long time? Gossip with a different old friend and pass along the information?
You call that a civilization? Certainly not one oriented to ageless human values, as we Conservatives claim to base our ideas on. Certainly not one making best use of the wealth we see around us. I don’t believe this world has made full use of my talents, do you think it of yours? Even if most of us are wrong about ourselves, I see others’ talents wasted, so many flawed decisions (from my point of view, of course) that I am powerless to even speak to anyone about, and doubt that it would do any good if I could find someone. Never has.
It is a lousy civilization if you can’t spend a lot of time being human, not a mentat or robot. I mean, mentats and robots have their fun, but it isn’t being normal-range homo sapiens sapiens human, biological beings with minds and culture and science and knowledge and wisdom. Ageless wisdoms like this. Youtube to check out your fellow humans in all their variety, such variety.
No one would deny that things have gotten much much better for the average person, in ways easily measured. Also no one would deny that they have gotten worse in more than a few ways easily measured. Our suicide and senseless killings by young men rates are one example, drugs another***. Or that many serious people, some without obvious conflict of interests, have a long list of risks to the human race and its prospects here on earth they think we should be insuring against, most often via acquiring knowledge.
Rumba was so primitive it had no use in serious human values such as sex, drugs, entertainment, food or drink. Work was the only thing left.
*Being a thinking conservative of known and unknown mental limitations, I acknowledge the possible existence of beings greater than myself, and also lesser than gods. Some of those may see fit to include us in their category, call it ‘X’. ‘human’ in this is homo sapiens sapiens X.
**15 links at least on this site, I need a category, will do when I get around to it. Hard to be organized while saving the world from bad thinking. !!Do read the many disclaimers warning about liking authors, it is a standard technique to own your soul. Same as honesty like this. Trying to be a mentat bastard, failing. Appeal to sympathy, etc.
***Note that Amish don’t have these problems? Such a primitive thing, to reject modernity, how can it produce better results at anything than our vaunted science and reason and scholarship? How can they know why, while we don’t have a clue?