why is it such a cruel, mad world?

People say its a beautiful world.
Now i dont want to sound like an ungrateful, gloomy person but its not is it. You only have to turn on the news to see what im talking about. All over the world people are killing each other over this, that and the other but mainly it all seems to be religion. Now it seems very odd that the source of all this madness is something that is supposed to symbolise peace, love and forgiving. If nobody was religious in the first place would this stop most of it, or would the madness derive from some other reason which is probably the case.
But anyhow it just seems to be the way life operates in this world. Nature itself is probably the most violent of all, everything eats each other in order to survive but in the most violent of ways often leaving them to die slowly etc… It is a cruel world really.
now i don,t mean to depress the life out of anyone just like some views on it. I mean whats going on??? why??? :slight_smile: :slight_smile:
I`m a very happy guy, just lots of questions, really!!

I doubt there’s a factual answer (D’ja read the forum descriptions?).

Power comes to those who seek it, and it can often be seized through brutal means. Thus, people interested in having power and disinterested the welfare of all their fellows attempt to use wickedry to achieve it.

It’s not total chaos because many are not interested in achieving control, and as well there are some environments where even those with the power lust are tempered by the societal norms as well as, perhaps, their own foresight in seeing that maintaining a healthy, non-fearful and productive constituency as well as a civil atmosphere in which to conduct affairs is in everybody’s interest.

That’s surely not the case everywhere, and there of plenty of seemingly intractable situations. In time, some of those do resolve.

You’re partly right in identifying a source of much of the world’s woes. While it’s not all religiously driven, zealotry of most any manner is what tends to drive a spike into the hearts of certain areas, and make it difficult for varied viewpoints to achieve some workable consensus.

I can see I’m not going to knock this down in 25 word or less, so I’ll leave it to the long winded sorts over in GD, once it gets kicked over there.

Just ask Mao Zedong, Stalin, or Hitler.

Seriously, people like power. Some people decide to use religion to achieve this goal, others use other techniques. Virtually all of these techniques require violence.

Simple: The world is full of people with their own ideas.

It is the exceedingly rare case (possibly non-existent) where two people will get along with each other absolutely all the time. Sooner or later people will get angry at one-another and that leads to conflict and the misery you complained about.

Don’t blame “religion” for the problems of society. The solution you were looking for when you pointed to religion as the fault is to remove all beliefs from every person. If no one thinks anything is right or wrong, everyone will get along because you can never do anything to offend.

This is called “Apathy”; if nobody cares, nobody gets hurt. This is also not practical because people think that what they believe is “right”. In short, conflict in the world is caused by differences of opinion. The only way you can solve the problem is to make everyone believe the same thing (everyone is trying at the same time right now), or to get rid of opinions altogether (everyone who has an opinion is against this idea).

In closing allow me to quote Arnold Schwarzenegger, future governor of California: “Stop whining!”

Dude, h’aint you never watched the HELLRAISER movies? Seriously! The premise of the horror is simply put: to know the ultimate in ecstacy, you must know the ultimate in agony.

The brutality of which you speak is meaningless unless you are able to perceive it as a touchpoint on the scale of horror & beauty. Peace is loved most by those who lack it. The balance, the relief, the range, the unpredictableness of life, the meaninglessness of it all in the grand scheme–THAT is what is beautiful! A pollen grain by itself is complex yet, to many, not a moving vision, but the rose! Now that’s something! And roses have the aphid to keep some special; and aphids have the lady bug (Ladybird beetle for you Brits) to keep them at bay.

Balance. Unfathomable balance. THAT’s the beauty.

Because people run in circles.

Hey, you can always look at things this way…100 years ago, things were even worse. :eek:

And it’s certainly true that “religion” isn’t in and of itself a problem or a threat, but let’s face it…a religion, like any other human organization, is still run by humans. And humans are far from infallible.

Plus, there’s what they always say about power… power tends to corrupt, and it also tends to attract the corruptible.
“The world only makes sense when you force it to.”—Bruce Wayne

The Master speaks. Well not Cecil, but God (via Gary Larson).

Bob, perfect choice!

Leighton, living a good life becomes a balancing act. You have seen how awful things can be. Do something to make the world a better place. It can be something on a big scale or it can be just a matter of supporting those organizations that try to do something about the mess. I think it was Gandhi that said, “Be the change that you wish to see.”

Also, take some time to notice the things that are good and beautiful. This is an especially nice time of the year to do just that. But there is always something at your fingertips to enjoy for a few moments.

So much depends on where you put your focus and for how long.

Change your perspective. It’s amazing that there are places where the weak are protected and allowed to thrive, where peace has reigned for decades, where decency is something most of society strives for, wher children are reasonably secure and have a chance at happiness. Any living thing is basically selfish, and that includes humans. It’s higher order thinking (about how things should be, how we should be better - more moral, ethical, just) that changes that, and which makes the world “better”. Religion plays a big part in developing a mindset that takes one from being purely selfish to thinking about bigger things. Obviously, it’s a work in progress, this whole civilisation of ours, and that’s why horrors like Kosovo, Congo, Rwanda, Afhganistan can occur. But don’t forget the things that are “as they should be” - from child labor laws to live aid concerts to elections for office - those are huge accomplishments, and simply awesome.

My first double post in 4 years! Yeah!

Off to Great Debates.

DrMatrix - GQ Moderator

Tomas Hobbs wrote something to the effect of: “the life of a man in nature is solitary brutal and short.”

Religion is a vehicle for “Rules for People living in cililization.” More people living closer to more people invites conflict.

Also the speed of comunication is greater. Today we can hear tune in and see live the burning pentegon and towers in New york. We can see vidio of car wrecks and mass graves hours after they are found.

Is there more violence or are we just exposed to the same amount just faster?

Tolstoy wrote in his diarys about the horrors of the younger generation and how they would destroy society.
The words used could be printed today and be just as accepted.

Lets face it we humans are interested in violence and sex.
They sell., they boost ratings/ Of course they are going to get lead time on the news.

My vote, to much information coming way to fast and we as a society have not learned how to cope with it in a positive way.


This post written after wisdom teeth removed. I shall check back and correct/defend/apologize as needed for my views.

If someone hasn’t already said it - News is all about reporting what’s wrong with the world.

There’s a hell of a lot right with the world that doesn’t get reported.

Good news is no news and bad news is good news.

If you are a pessimist - the world is shit.

If you are an optimist - the world is great.

If you are drunk - the world is usually no bigger than 3 metres in diameter.

The world only seems cruel and mad because we have an irrational expectation that it should be otherwise.

My notion (I started out calling it a hypothesis, but I can’t test it) is that man, as an animal, has wired in the need to compete in nature for scarce resources. In addition, we have the hierarchical instincts inate to social species.

The wonder isn’t the world has so much ugliness and brutality. The wonder is that we can, in our better moments, rise above the ugliness and brutality to appreciate the beauty of it.

I’d recommend a book by Howard Bloom called The Lucifer Principle. It presents (with a great amount of evidence) the hypothesis that “evil” as we know it is not a quality unique to man. That it is actually the driving force behind nature and all evolution. Nature throws groups of critters, be they people or bacteria, up against each other testing its chances of what will be the next big thing. It’s all about competition between subgroups and a pecking order within subgroups. This is why we have religion, war, politics and all the other nasty things that people do to each other. People are too caught up to understand that they are being played by Nature. Only once we all understand why we treat each other this way will we begin to control ourselves. People need to not think so much of themselves as christians, whites, americans or whatever, and start to think of themselves as Humans.
I hold no illusions that it might happen within my lifetime.

It is misguided to label competition as evil. Competition is one of the most essential forces in the evolution of life on earth. And we humans are a product of that process. We would not even exist if it were not for the competitive nature of living organisms. There would be no higher life forms on the planet if organisms didn’t strive to find to find new strategies for survival.

Humans now use civilization and government to try to regulate that competetive drive, and it is our responsibility to try to channel the it into postive efforts towards excellence, progress and a better society. If you were to outlaw competitive behavior, you would be embracing mediocrity and stagnation.