The Social Stages of Man: Hesiod's Five Stages expanded

Discussion in 'IntroSpectrum' started by Radium, Aug 1, 2009.

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  1. Radium

    Radium f k

    Mar 4, 2008
    Greek poet Hesoid proposed five stages to the development of man

    1: the golden age
    where man lives in perfect harmony amongst each other and with nature. there is no place for jealousy or hatred as all things are provided for to every man and as such he finds no reasons to react in these ways. man never aged and would spend his days absorbed in leisurely pursuits. animals would not eat each other and every living creature lived in perfect accord in respect to each other. death was never violent or sad but came as a sort-of natural, peaceful "falling asleep"

    this is the only stage where man doesnt cause harm and strife to each other and to nature

    2. the silver age
    man is removed from his ideal state and lives for 100 years as an infant before growing up and bearing the strain of a short and brutal adult life. Man worships no gods and exploits nature to sustain himself.

    3. The bronze age
    War becomes the purpose of man. this stage is particularly significant because it describes man's first exploits with technology and hence man's first step towards the manipulation of reality beyond the limits of his own body.

    4: the heroic age
    man - though still existing as a flawed creature that exploits nature to sustain himself and causes harm and strife amongst other - becomes nobler and less brutish. this is a stage of demi-gods and heroes suggesting a progression from the very primitive man of the silver age and technologically advanced, yet still primitive, man of the bronze age

    5. Iron Age
    an age of complete misery where babies will be born with gray hair and the gods will abandon man and earth. man will regress from his state in the heroic age which implicated organization amongst men to a state of total chaos amongst men. they will distrust each other and lie to each other and see nothing wrong in hurting each other so long as there is something to be gained from doing so.

    this is one of the earliest accounts of predicting the social stages of man.

    what we can gather from this seems to be the implication that man began in an ideal and hyper sophisticated way and then regressed becoming a brutal and primitive creature. then progressing from this to become gradually more advanced and complex before finally destroying himself. though Hesoid's account is mired with scientific inaccuracy there is still an uneasy truth to the things he describes

    firstly, man has indeed progressed from a very primitive creature incapable of technology (silver age) to one that begins to incorporate it as a way to accomplish his needs; chiefly to war amongst each other (bronze age). European history would seem to mirror this as europe since antiquity has been the most turbulent region on earth; its reigns of power shifting constantly through its history. other regions of earth experiencing similar turbulence through war and fighting though none as nearly as much as was the case in what was early europe. their jockeying for power ultimately culminating at the industrial revolution and the subsequent push to colonize the rest of the world. thus beginning the modern era and perhaps what can be said as being most like Hesoid's so called heroic age as jockeying for power (war) very gradually begins to subside in place of more order. this change towards more order could probably be best pin-pointed as starting at the unleashing of the atom bomb which signaled the end of protracted warfare amongst nations and thus perhaps the end of the bronze age. Which brings us to where we are now.

    the big question of course is what comes next. hesoid predicted a total annihilation of man though attributed this to a general degradation of qualities (men stop acting like men) instead of any large identifiable cause (like disease or mythical deluge)

    to identify this is important to any speculation at the progressive social stages of man since the implication to this going in is that there is a start and an inevitable finish just as there would be to anything else that patterns into a set of stages. Instead of five stages I propose 7:

    1. big bang (creation of a universe; or first cause)
    2. primitive life (this universe eventually creates life somewhere; microbes, plants, primitive animals)
    3. complex life (this universe eventually creates more complex life through the push of evolution that necessitates a creature to think in order to survive causing the inevitable creation of man or man-like creatures somewhere in this universe)
    4. bronze age (man, capable of thought, invents primitive technology to help him interface with reality in ways that his physical body could not thus changing the threshold of what man is capable of)
    5. Heroic age (man invents more complex technology pushing the boundaries of his interface with reality even further)
    6. Iron age (man invents hyper complex technology which pushes the boundaries of his interface with reality to the absolute maximum)
    and 7. The Golden Age (man enters a similar ideal existence as that described in Hesiod's account of the golden age of man)

    I believe this is the natural, uninterrupted course of man. Necessarily, if man is allowed to exist he will enter into each progressive stage one by one. This is a sort of reverse to Hesiod's five stages which start at the golden age and gradually deteriorate instead of arriving ultimately at the golden age through gradual increase in quality.


    i believe that man once entering into the golden age of existence becomes a creature of pure leisure. his existence then loses meaning as he is then no longer a man and more like a god. as such existing as a man at all loses its necessity.

    perhaps, as Hesiod proposed, man in the golden age indeed does frolic and play in the never ending fields of nature with the animals and the plants never aging or growing weary before one day closing his eyes and accepting his own death. then perhaps when he does this he becomes dead to this previous world and creates a new one of his own starting first at the big bang (or first cause) and gradually creating life too that progresses from primitive to complex, and then later that complex life creating technology that progresses from primitive to complex. ultimately following down a similar set of stages creatures of this world would naturally enter into a golden age of their own. thus each creature that is created and enters into the golden age would eventually die themselves and each create more worlds of their own. and on it goes this way spiraling exponentially through infinity.

    what I am implying should seem ready

    man begins his ascent primitively as he progresses gradually and eventually towards becoming a god instead of a man. once becoming a god he creates new universes to create more men who will eventually become gods themselves. and on and on this goes as infinity unravels with each step
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