Was 536 the Worst year in history

by pistolpete 21 Replies latest social current

  • truth_b_known

    I am sensing that the metric that determines a "worst year to be alive" is based on life expectancy or rather the lack thereof. Here is a quick factoid -

    Life expectancy in the U.S. for the year 1860: 39.4 years

    Life expectancy in the U.S. for the year 2020: 78.9 years

    Conclusion: Life expectancy has doubled

    I am of the belief that life is the greatest of all miracles. Even a life of only 39.4 years can be a wonderful experience. External factors do no change your happiness. Your attitude does. Jehovah's Witnesses have a bad attitude towards life. They are ungrateful for the wonderful experience of life in the here and now because they selfishly desire something more. Life is only precious to them if it is eternal and free from pain.

  • road to nowhere
    road to nowhere

    Life expectancy? Are childhood deaths factored in? Life expectancy at age 20 may be a better metric. I always figured the 70 to 80 Bible thing always holds true. Someone here did point out to me that in Rome lots of skeletons were around 40.

    I just watched some Civil War and 2% of the male population was killed. That would certainly be sobering. And skew the tables.

  • fulltimestudent

    To declare any year as 'the worst year in history.' we need to look beyond a Eurocentric view, and beyond West Asia.

    I havn't the background knowledge to check what was happening in North and South America, or Southern Africa or the Australian continent. Although I imagine that the Icelandic volcanic eruption would certainly affect all the northern hemisphere, But I can comment reasonably on Eastern Asia especially China. This area too was affected by both climate and political events. The authors of this article suggest that the political events in that year (and that time period) around China were related to climate events.

    See, "Natural Disasters in the History of the Eastern Turk Empire,"

    Link: https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-030-00728-7_8#Sec9

    The article Abstract reads, "This article analyzes the effect of climate extremes on the historical processes that took place (AD 536, 581, 601, 626 and 679) in the Eastern Turk Empire (AD 534–745) in Inner Asia. Climate extremes are sharp, strong and sometimes protracted periods of cooling and drought caused by volcanic eruptions that in this case resulted in a negative effect on the economy of a nomadic society and were often accompanied by famine and illness. In fact, many of these natural catastrophes coincided with the Black Death pandemics among the Eastern Turks and the Chinese living in the north of China. The Turk Empire can be split into several chronological periods during which significant events that led to changes in the course of history of the nomadic state took place: AD 534–545—the rise of the Turk Empire; AD 581–583—the division of the Turk Empire into the Western and the Eastern Empires; AD 601–603—the rise of Qimin Qaghan; AD 627–630—the Eastern Turks are conquered by China; AD 679–687—the second rise of the Eastern Turk Empire. The research shows that there is clearly-discernable interplay between important historical events and climate extremes in the history of the Turk Empire. This interplay has led us to the conclusion that the climatic factor did have an impact on the historical processes that took place in the eastern part of Inner Asia, especially on the territories with a nomadic economy."

    And the article's authors conclude: "Though much discussion is going on at present among researchers concerning the problem of the influence of climate changes on nomadic society, we hold to the opinion that the historical events that took place in the Turk Empire in AD 534–551 and in AD 679–687 developed in a line parallel to the unfavorable changes in climate which may be considered as an additional factor that led to changes in the regional situation. Historical sources show that in the year AD 534 the Turks had already become stronger—a fact that happened prior to the climate extremes, but the discontent of the Turks with Emperor Gaozong’s (AD 650–683) policy grew during the whole period of his reign and it is this that led to the rebellion of AD 679. Nevertheless, the sharp changes in the economic and political situation in the Turk Empire in AD 581–583, in AD 599–603 and in AD 627–630 totally coincide with the extreme changes in climate in these periods, a fact that may be looked upon as indirect proof of the interplay of historical processes in the region with climate dynamics."

    For anyone that is interested in examining this issue further there's a need to establish what was happening in the Southern hemisphere, and I suggest in India.

  • Foolednomore

    Every World event is according to a Jw is the "Last Days". But when it passes it's ooh , it's not time yet. My Jw brother got into it with me that the world is getting bad and I really need to return to Geehovah. I asked him. Things are really Bad? The world has Tech advancement, in science, health care, human rights. You must be living under a rock.

  • TonusOH

    I don't think most JWs could explain what makes these the worst times, aside from pointing to a few current events and claiming that we simply cannot sustain our current course. But complaining about how bad things are is a human pastime, and there are examples going back centuries of people wondering if they were living in the last days, as the problems of the world had gotten so out of hand as to be unresolvable.

    But if you are part of an end-days cult, every day seems worse than the one before. You ROOT for things to get worse, because that's when you know god will finally put his plan into action. After all, why destroy the world when things are looking up? I'm thinking that god is sitting there, watching the price of a gallon of gas. "At $15," he tells his army of angels, "unleash hell. Err, I mean, unleash heaven. You know what I mean!"

  • slimboyfat

    Unfortunately, I think 2022 has the potential to be the worst year in history, by some margin. Because humans have capabilities for harming ourselves now more than at any time in the past, and we have a crisis that could lead us down that path. So it’s true, so far 2022 is nowhere near the worst year in history, but it’s got over eight months yet to go.

    If we survive this year, the coming decades are looking pretty precarious too, because we have a changing climate that produces migrations that fuel wars that worsen climate change that produces migrations that fuel wars …

    For one thing I’ve read that Russia actually stands to benefit from a warmer climate because it will increase their arable land area. So they have little incentive to curb carbon emissions. Other countries, such as India with well over a billion people, lying on the equator, and also a nuclear power, could become virtually uninhabitable. How will that play out?

    Who knows what this century holds for humanity? If there is a God in charge maybe this is a time to intervene in history.

  • fulltimestudent

    TonusOH commented: "I don't think most JWs could explain what makes these the worst times"

    How true, many of the older JWs had little education, and as a result had a shortfall in thinking ability. I recall one unbelieving husband complaining to me, every time I ask my wife why she believed something, she gets hysterical.

    I felt sorry for him, but also for his wife, faced with trying to explain complicated issues, just could not explain JW beliefs.

    Maybe that's why (according to what I read here) few young people, who presumably have a better education, stick to what they are told, 'is the truth!'

  • vienne

    Oh, I read Tuchman's book. Once when I was 12 and last year. Brilliantly written. I add my recommendation.

  • vienne


    I've had the same experience. My Grand Uncle can tell you exactly what he believes and why. But my aunt cannot. To her "it's the truth and that's all I need to know." I don't know if that's a function of her age - about 80 - or her stroke. But it may be that she was once convinced and does not want to face the possibility of error.

  • fulltimestudent

    vienne: "But it may be that she was once convinced and does not want to face the possibility of error."

    I agree with your assessment. The woman I spoke of, had become a JW after a study with another older woman, and that likely was the first intellectual effort in her life. I doubt that school would have provided her with any skills, outside of reading and writing. She was a similar age to my own parents, and my own parents had had only 5/6 years of school. My father learned (himsself) basic surveying skills which he needed in his govt. job, my mother became a seamstress and both had productive lives. I'm sure that the Jw woman I posted about also had a productive life, but (like my parents) her education would not have prepared her for analysing arguments.

    So having met some other nice jw ladies, and perhaps finding a social circle for the first time in her life, she became disturbed when challenged to 'prove' something.

    I saw a similar situation when pioneering. In this small country town in NSW to which the Branch (with divine wisdom) assigned me, there was a small congregation. One sister had had a tragedy in her life. Some years after her husband had left her and their only son, the boy had an accident and required a blood transfusion. Others supported her in refusing the transfusion (as no doubt I would've done had I been there in her crisis). The boy died and this woman lapsed into depression, eventually choosing to end her life. A very sad story, and I should say that no-one in that small congregation was equipped to help her. In talking to her, I realised that she had no thinking skills, and had made her decision to refuse the transfusion simply on 'faith.' And, I guess her eventual suicide was also predictable. I was about 22 y.o and had no training that may have helped, nor, I venture to say, would any person in J's 'amazing' organisation have the training necessary to return that woman to mental health.

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