Has the world really become chaotic as some believe?

This is my first thread on this site, so please be easy.

I recently watched a segment about Nostradamus and his predictions or I should say, theorist interpretations of his quatrains on the history channel. This show was primarily focused on these “newly” found pictures that they “believe” to be his. Through most of the show, the focus was on Dec 21, 2012, ( the day the earth will either end or change catastrophically.) During the show, they used what was supposedly scientific facts that are really going to happen in the year 2012 such as the three eclipses of the sun (which I myself can not find anything factual about it online.)

They also used the Myan calender, and other past philosophers to support their claim.

During the view of this show, and all shows alike. I commonly hear about how the world is going up “Pooh’s” creek. From family to friends and strangers to passerby, they all seem to state (in one way or another) that this world has become the Devil’s playground and we’re glad to have him.

Now I myself am not a religious person nor do I practice a belief. I was born a baptist and with a mother who practices Buddhism and many friends who follow different beliefs…along the way into adulthood I became agnostic. So, lets not make this about religion…please.

Any how, watching this show made me wonder as I do often why people think we have not progressed from savagery to socialism. History has shown progression or should we too add that to the list of a conspiracy theories.

Why do people believe the world to be worse off than anytime in human history? This is not from just the religious but from environmentalist to humanitarians.

Does the world today as we know it, not share more compassion for life and others than the days of old? Do we not enforce and influence “many” rights in our way of life and work that supports live and let live?

Do we not perform charity whether through money or physical help to strangers that we will never know? Try finding that in our worlds history books other than folklore.

Even creatures of today have gained from the fruits of our progression. Some would disagree and say they have suffered greatly because of it…and I would agree to an extent. But, I would also like to add that many of the negative affects was through ignorance and again, we still have evolved in understanding.

Yes, humanity can get ugly. The dark side of humanity will probably never change or go away.

Someone help me out here. Am I delusional? Have I given our present more credit than it deserves?

My short answer:

  1. Take everything you see on the History Channel with a large shaker of salt. They are in the business of garnering ratings, not producing accurate treatises on things historical.

  2. The world, and humans on it, have always been chaotic. This, IMHO, will continue unabated.

  3. Your question may be better suited for the “Great Debates” section. I’ll ask if the GQ mod agrees.

Welcome to the Dope, dedmonwakin. A mod may decide this question should go into Great Debates, since it probably doesn’t have a factual answer, but it takes some time to get a feel for what goes where.

I don’t know how old you are, but I’m old enough to remember both the Cuban Missile Crisis and the horror year of 1968. I assure you we thought things were going to hell in a handbasket back then also. Sure we didn’t have to worry about global climate change, but when I was a kid we practiced hiding in the hallway for when the Russians nuked us, and if you look at the sf in 1968 - 1972, you’ll see that the consensus was that by 2009 we’d all be living in a nearly dead and totally polluted planet.

As for the world, there were famines in Europe until the 19th century, and they were pretty much a fact of life until the 18th. Today a famine even in Africa is news, and they are usually due to politics, not a lack of crops. The number of babies born dead or dying early is increasing, and lifespans are increasing. We tend to take the good things for granted and only concentrate on the problems. So, I think we are a lot better off in general than we were. That doesn’t mean we can’t screw it up of course.

Isn’t there a Socrates quote where he says something to the effect of, “The world is becoming worse off than any time in human history,”?

P.S. Nice job for a first OP!

gave me some relief.

You are not delusional. We are indeed at the best point in human history thus far. The reason why people perceive things to be so horrible is because we are also at a point when real-time information about what is going on in the world is readily available to all. The effect of mass communication (with the current climax in the form of the internet) means that we are ultra-aware of all the horrible things taking place all over the world.

We are right to be outraged at how horrible things are for so many people today, and at how much injustice and irresponsible behavior exists in the world today. There is no doubt that we need to do something about all of our many problems. But to suggest that things are “bad and getting worse” is to be entirely oblivious of the pattern of history. Things are actually “bad but much better than they have ever been before and still going in the right direction.” We could move things along even more quickly if we all saw this progression and understood what it meant.

Somewhat related: http://www.reason.com/news/show/130861.html

(Incidentally I just finished writing a book on the topic.)

The Nostradamus was on the History Channel? Yikes. I guess I don’t rue not having cable after all.

A couple of reasons, IMO:

  • Too many people are teenage drama queens. Current events are <ditzy blond voice>the worst evah!</voice> It makes us feel better to imagine our problems are unprecedented.

  • Partisanship. One’s argument sounds more impressive (and more important!) if it is couched in hyperbole. For some environmentalists (of which I am one) the impact of AGW will be the worst environmental disaster we’ve ever seen. For some skeptics, the cost of solving AGW will plunge our economy into a despair never seen.

There hasn’t been a major European war in 67 years, nor one in North America going back to…the American Civil War? That has to be some sort of record for Europe, depending on how you classify the various atrocities and such in the former Yugoslavia.

Ask my mother and she’ll tell you that the world is more unsafe than it ever has been. Nevermind that she lived through WWII and the Cold War. More unsafe than when you were caught under an air bombing? More unsafe than when the whole world stopped breathing during the Cuban missiles crisis? Really? If I mention that, she… well…she pretty much ignores it and goes on explaining how worrying the current state of affairs is.

Not to say that we don’t have any reason to be worried, of course.

I thank you all for the welcoming replies. I agree this probably would have been suited elsewhere with in the subcategories of the “General” forum since this didn’t really command a factual answer. I do think I received what I was looking for. In my life, when ever these discussions arise, I seem to be the out cast in my views. No matter what I throw at the opposition, I am deemed wrong and one sided. I put it right up there with religion and politics. But I supose it deserves to be treated as such, since it involves one or the both.

It’s good to know that I am not the only one who can see the good as well as the bad and walk down the middle of it with both eyes open.

I do understand that what we watch and read can be manipulated to strike a certain mood into viewers and readers. The form of entertainment comes in all shapes. Things that seem matter of fact may be merely factual or outright fictional.

I can only measure things in degree’s of good and bad, and even that is based by my own perception of it’s definition.

Thank you all again for welcoming me, I think I’m gonna love this place.

Definitely agree with this. I’ve always said, I’ll start worrying when homicide/suicide by vehicle becomes a regular event.

Always remember this:


That means if it gets reported on by CNN or your local news station or even your local newspaper, it’s an unusual event far enough outside of the norm journalists pricked up their ears and took notice. It takes an unusual event indeed to make that happen.

I agree that this would be better served in Great Debates than GQ.

General Questions Moderator

Well, sure…she survived WWII and the Cold War, and she doesn’t know if she’ll survive now. Therefore now is more dangerous because she has a chance of dying. :slight_smile:

That’s because there aren’t going to be three solar eclipses in 2012. There are going to be two, on May 20 and November 13. Two solar eclipses in a year (usually both of them aren’t visible from the same places) is quite normal.

Ok…let me get this straight…

2012 is the new doomsday?

My God, there is always another one, isn’t there?

What will it be after 2012 passes? (serious question).

Well, 2038 will be the next Y2K. Don’t know if there’s a doomsday sooner.

  1. 2^10. The digital millennium. That’s when things are REALLY gonna fall apart!

Exactly, that is all that I’ve found in NASA’s Lunar eclipse data base.

But…Some theorists and doomsday foreseer’s claim that the third eclipse will not be lunar but contributed to the alignment of the milky way during Earths recession to the equinox. Blah, blah…

I won’t get into it as though I know about astrology and anything that pertains to the rotation of Earth and any planet. All that I know is that, some speculate that this was the cause of the Ice Age, and may again be the harbinger during 2012 DEC, 21. There were many other things that stated to possibly happen, during Earths supposed Axis shift, (which happens all the time, but supposedly this will happen like none other) Everything that relies and produces GPS from missiles to Tom Tom’s will be worthless, Quakes like no other will occur, The North pole will totally be gone,… Again,blah blah.

I actually never heard of it before until I seen the show. So after typing the simple year of 2012, it seems to be the new Y2k except this time around, people are trying to use more science to support a scare.

I agree with the BlinkingDuck, what happens after 2012?

All, I know is,…the Bill’s will still keep coming and I’ll still have to pay them:p.

From another thread on end-of-the-world events.