Are we living in the best time in human history, and on the edge at the same time?

by Fernando 20 Replies latest jw friends

  • Mikado

    you know I am the product of dirt poor ancestors, not even working class...

    I have done things my ancestors couldn't dream of, I own and built my own home.

    i have travelled around the world, I have been able to safely control my fertility.

    i hve just this week been saved by 21st century antibiotics from an infection that I think would have killed me....

    to a certain extent I think we are the master of our own destiny.

    i am lucky to be alive here and now...

  • scotoma

    You simply cannot ignore the change that nuclear weapons have brought about.

    You may be able to eradicate a disease and confine it to a single sample in a test tube.

    But you can't eradicate the people who know how to make nuclear weapons.

    We forget that the USA used nuclear weapons 69 years ago because they felt that it was better for Japanese civilians to die than American Soldiers.

    The world ISN'T the same.

  • Fernando

    I liked your sumary and description, in bold, Focus.

    In "Physics of the Future" (2011) by Michio Kaku, in the Introduction, under the heading "Science as a Sword", on page 16, which I was reading this morning:

    "Of course, science is a double edged sword; it creates as many problems as it solves, but always on a higher level. There are two competing trends in the world today: one is to create a planetary civilisation that is tolerant, scientific, and prosperous, but the other glorifies anarchy and ignorance that could rip the fabric of our society. We still have the same sectarian, fundamentalist, irrational passions of our ancestors, but the difference is that we now have nuclear, chemical and biological weapons."

  • transhuman68

    we now have nuclear, chemical and biological weapons.

    LOL, we do indeed- but look at the current war in Iraq- which is being fought in the same way as World War I- with tanks, trucks & men with guns. War gives humans an outlet for their aggression- but if the weapons used are too powerful, then it just becomes extermination- which is not 'cricket', and usually happens more in natural disasters, where everyone feels sympathy for the victims. So there is a good reason why we haven't destroyed ourselves yet- technology has surpassed our basic emotional needs in the killing field. Boring, but true.

  • Magnum

    I think we are living in the best time because of the advances in science, medicine, and technology - also because it seems that humans (certainly not all) are becoming more aware of and less tolerant of things like torture and racism.

    It's baffling to me to hear JWs say we're living in the worst time in all history. A few years ago I mentioned that to a couple of elders and told them to go watch a few documentaries on the Middle Ages, the Little Ice Age, the Black Death (plague), etc. and then tell me we're living in the worst time in history. They both looked at me and laughed indicating they got my point and didn't disagree.

    I also think we're living on the edge for several reasons. One is the way many societies function now. Consider the U.S. During the Great Depression, many people could still live off the land. They had gardens and chickens. They knew how to can food, etc. Now, most people are dependant on grocery stores and fast food joints, so if something like the Great Depression occurred now, it would be disaster. People can't live off the land now. Many are crowded into areas where there is no available land. If something caused the truckers to stop rolling down the highways, maybe a strike or an economic crash, people would raid the local stores and they would be emptied in a matter of minutes. Consider what middle-class mothers will do at Christmas time to get those desirable gifts that are in short supply; I've seen videos of them turning wild. Imagine how they and others would act if it was food that was needed.

    Also, consider the way world economies are so connected now. In the past one economy could collapse and really not affect others, but not so now. For a while a few years ago when the downturn first started, it seemed that the world economy might collapse. If it did, who knows what would happen?

    Another thing to consider is population. The earth is a big place but its size is finite, and it can only sustain so many people. The more people, the more pollution and garbage. The more land that is stripped of vegetation. The more rivers that are dammed up. The more fossil fuels that are burned. When I hear people speaking of the need to increase manufacturing to produce jobs, I think the more manufacturing there is, the more stuff there is to throw in landfills. There are areas of ocean covered in floating garbage.

    So yeah, I think we're living in the best time, yet at the same time, on the edge.

  • prologos

    one reason we have kept from the nuclear, doomsday edge is people are scared to die. The Leaders with the finger on the button are scared to die.

    There are potential leaders that are yearning to die, if they ever get to have these weapons, --

    magnum I share your worries about our dependency. but we never had it so good. on average.

  • BizzyBee

    I worry abou the way of life my grandchildren will encounter.

  • Black Sheep
    Black Sheep

    My grandparents worried about the lives their grandchildren would have. Were they right to worry?

  • kaik

    I would say human race lives in the best time in history. Can you imagine living in Roman Empire, Dark Age, during the Reign of Terror, under Stalin or Nazi? I disagree with the wording of Dali lama, it is either taken out of context, or the guy is clueless due his advanced age locked within Ivory tower with the world around. Greed was always something to be complained all the way to the time of the Roman Emperor. Diocletian resigned as emperor- only one ever done it- due extensive greed and cunning policy of the Roman Empire. He lived happily at his retirement planting turnips. Big families are past due retirement, social security, emancipation of women, and low infant mortality. Back in the medieval times children meant very little. Parents seen them as free slaves working on their farmland. Women did not cherished their infants, they were lucky to survive child birth and back to work and producing another offspring. Small homes were often due economy, but for the middle class in Europe and Northern America, the size of the flat peaked either in 1920's or 1950's. Since 1980's there is trend world-wide for much smaller, energy efficient and cheaper homes. Big homes in suburbia was a domain of boomers, not other generation afterwards.

    While our time and our society has many problems, we cannot compare our life with the past.

  • Fernando

    Being able to search billions of pages on the internet in under a second gives ordinary folk like us the opportunity to connect with the greatest minds and thinking on any topic at any time.

    This, it seems to me, is part of what is fuelling and making possible change (for the better) in our day.

    Forums like JWN also create powerful virtual communities of people who voluntarily and powerfully support each other's life and career journeys, as well as lines of enquiry into an impressive array of topics, fields and disciplines.

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