Earth is nothing like it was initially. Humanity has morphed in ways never thought of before. When a person today takes a glance of their surroundings, they will see change. They will see growth. They will see advancement. Certainly, I agree with Smith’s claim that referring to our ancestors to validate modern activity is invalid. Although our ancestors, at times, are used as a foundation and guidance for today, individuals should not use our forefathers’ policy as an excuse to repeat regulations of the past, because natural selection and adaptation have advanced modern way of life and ideology. Therefore, reiterating an excess amount our past life would result in chaos and failure.
Today, the complexity of the human mind is immense. Policies and beliefs that our ancestors have lived by have been adapted because we’ve learned from our faults; For this reason, standards of the past are not justifiable with the present. Slavery was present in America even before European exploration and grew as America established its independence. People of color were simply not seen as human beings. Henceforth, they were taken and forced to work in brutal conditions with nothing in exchange.
Slavery was a way of life in America. It was how the economy flourished, so many citizens didn’t see the moral problem. However, in 1861, The American Civil war erupted with the issue of slavery being the prime cause. War broke out because people finally opened their eyes and saw that slaves were human too and the oppression they faced was unethical. Citizens learned of and from the wrongdoings of before, and through the thirteenth amendment, slaves were free at last. Their ancestors may have not seen what was wrong with slavery, but that didn’t make it acceptable for them to continue the cruelty. Growth only occurs when there is a will to change the flaws that came before us.
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Similarly, the current human race has advanced not only through our ethical beliefs but also through physical means as well. Technology is the craft of new industries, machinery, and knowledge which aid the human lifestyle. Technology is the reason behind our Earth’s expansion and advancement. Technology makes life easier and results in prosperity and comfort for people across the globe. In 1994, Jeff Bezos created Amazon. Amazon is today’s most used online shopping outlet. Amazon makes it efficient for shoppers to quickly search and buy a wide range of goods but also gives other vendors a platform to effectively sell their goods.
This creation has made Jeff Bezos one of the richest men in the world and Amazon one of the largest online retailers. Jeff Bezos’ work is a success because his technological advances provide something new that was never achieved in the past. Bezos sought a way to change the world and pursued it regardless of the normality of the past that others believed should be sustained. Essentially, in support of Smith, our ancestor’s past should not be a basis for modern ways, because humans now are evolved and have different necessities which can only be set if advancements dissimilar from those before take place.
On the other hand, past lives have created a foundation for today because of experience. People do rely on the guidance of their ancestors to avoid previous mistakes or adversity faced. In Native African cultures there is a stress on the importance of elders and ancestors. In the novel “Things Fall Apart” by Chinua Achebe, the Igbo people have a strict culture. Members are punished when customs and laws against their ancestral history are broken. This is how the main protagonist, Okonkwo, is exiled. Their traditions revolve around the experience of their elders and satisfying them.
People retrieve guidance from their ancestors, the egwugwu spirit, through the masked ceremonies. The experience of those of the past helped their village thrive, because the adversity their ancestors faced, like the weakening crops, were not repeated. Therefore, in this case justifying behavior of the ancestors is valid. However, at the end of the novel things truly fell apart when their tribe leader, Okonkwo, hung himself after being exiled for breaking customs. The experience is great to have, but not evolving the insight of the ancestors to fit modern times may lead to a disastrous ending in disguise.
In numerous households across the globe, people are more than likely taught to “respect the elders” and remember the people that came before you, including their principles and lifestyle. This is due to the generalization that experience is the mold for intelligence and success, but that is not the case. In conclusion, I agree with Smith and his belief that our actions today shouldn’t be substantiated by activity of our ancestors. I agree with Smith because humans have evolved and can not survive in a world like our past. The people of today are independent; Individuals now have different, multidimensional beliefs and can expand through new technologies and insights. It wouldn’t be a problem to take our ancestry into consideration. However, using the past as justification for today is delusional.
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