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Is humanity in the decline?

I know that past generations are different to the future ones. Human beings have made significant technological advances, social changes and cultural exchanges throughout history. However these were not done by all. Humanity today is the result of a handful of people who were explorers, people who wanted to not just go forth into the world but to understand and change it. To make the world a better place for all. Humanity was a brave few people working to advance the species, pulling or pushing the majority along toward a new horizion.

But I feel as if our ancestors may be disappointed with us. This generation is still making progress but it seems as though it's slowing down. So many people are more concerned about petty things like political opinions, celebritiy opinions, etc.

When I was younger I wanted to be a scientist. Because scientists are constantly pushing the boundary of human knowledge. Trying to learn more and explore. I still feel this way but I don't understand why some people prefer to tear down monuments, burn buildings and stop others from working to create a better world.

Is it just me or do other people feel as though humanity's progress has slowed recently? People have changed significantly, we have become less mature over time, we concern ourselves with the smallest of things; hate crime is an example. Why can't people toughen their minds and hearts to learn to live in an imperfect world so they can better prepare it for the next generation?

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Lancer 7 Mar 16
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27 comments

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21

One pathetic indication of a declining humanity is when a man of great intellect such as Stephen Hawking dies, he is relegated to page 40 of a major New York City metropolitan newspaper.If any useless nitwit like a Kardashion or famous rapper had died it would have been on the first or second page.It's is a sad commentary when a culture worships and rewards the dregs of society.

juli15 Level 6 Mar 16, 2018

Very true. It's a big problem when people who do so much to advance humanity are treated with so little attention and respect that's due.

I don't think we are sliding into idocracy but we are going to brush against it.

Even more pathetic is the fact that many people are unaware of who he even was.

@Medicdad I think we're brushing, brother.

At least what the news reports is a worthy memorial/honor for Hawking: [nytimes.com]

8

I believe Humanity is on the rise through a very slow and methodical process. The main problem I see is over population and the steadfast holding onto beliefs that are contrary to science and common sense, reason and logic.

I know that raising the idea of regulating population is basically political suicide. But if we keep growing unsustainably then we will end up waging wars over resources.

I mean we already do that but this time I mean water and food, not oil.

@Lancer I would argue all the warring going on now is over resources. Ask Russia, Syria, Libya, and Venezuela how that works. There are a number of experts who would also argue there is no food shortage or over population to fear at this time. They would argue that the present management and food distribution is the cause of hunger around the globe. Trade deal have killed small farming communities around the world adding to hunger in their areas, forcing prices up and migration. If there was a water crisis we wouldn't be allowing companies to make billions each year depleting our water sources. There are means to solve the apparent water crisis within technology that are being held back on purpose.

@William_Mary

That makes sense. It's unfortunate that large corporations control the supply of food and water in the modern world. Because in the event that they decide to increase prices, there will be no alternative source of food.

7

The racial hatred that trump has perpetrated is damaging the world.

Trump hasn't perpetrated hate. That was Obama who put everyone at odds.

I still have yet to find conclusive evidence that Trump is a racist.

@Lancer Very fine people on both sides...

White privilege is not about how much money people have. Both of my parents are from Appalachia; I spent my childhood until 12 years there; had relatives without an indoor bathroom; while I always lived in a house with running water, we didn't have a phone, often no power for up to a week, and was very food insecure

And I STILL recognize that I benefit from white privilege simply because I do not fear being arrested for driving down the street in a nice car, or walking in an affluent neighborhood, How I am not treated as liar or scammer when I return items at a store, how security ignores me in a store, and the list goes on.

Edited immediately to remove a double word.

@ArtemisDivine, bullshit. Trump is backlash to Obama, a half black man, being elected to office; let's not kid ourselves, sister. What about the "birther" crap; and the "shithole" countries remark? Not racist? Please.

@jorj, so you don't believe the reports that DJT and his father conspired to keep Blacks out of their apartment buildings years ago? That he obviously couldn't care less about the DACA kids, except to use them as pawns? That he never said that the judge ruling on Trump University couldn't be fair because he was Mexican (which he isn't btw)? Don't believe any of that, huh?

@jorj, if it acts like a duck, and walks like a duck...guess what?

Salvador, Haiti and parts of Africa are shitholes. What's racist about that remark? It's not a nice remark but it's not racist. As far as Obama's birth certificate goes.....documents are forged every day. Questioning someones place of birth is not racist. We weren't there when Obama was born, so how do we know?
Look I'm not a big fan of how Trump conveys things all the time. He is blunt, brash and sometimes rude. He is definitely not an eloquent speaker but I don't believe he is racist.

6

Growing pains. It never stops.

godef Level 7 Mar 16, 2018
5

All civilizations rise and fall under what Paul Bohammon called "the curse of culture." Every belief, nrom, practice, way of thinking that comes into existence in a culture limits that which follows and channels it. When the burden of that cahnneling becomes so restrictive or wrong'headed, in leads people to act disfunctionally, leading to the downfall of the culture. Thee is a real danger that it is happening now, unless we can act with wisdom, independence of thought and action, critical thinking, and constructive action in new directions.

New, and let's hope, better directions.

5

One would need a crystal ball to tell where we are going. It's easy to draw conclusions from certain events, and predict that, if this or that persists and nothing intervenes to stop it, we will end up moving in a certain direction, which may, or may not be for the betterment of humanity.

Right now, there is much to indicate we are going backwards, but this may be simply a phase of an awakening. Look at what appears to be a trend over the last few months of Democrats winning Republican seats; of kids becoming vocal and demonstrative regarding slaughter in schools; of graft and corruption being exposed on a wide scale; the "me too" movement, etc., etc.

These are hopeful signs to me. There is still an immense amount of work to be done, but if the aforementioned trends are sustained, and good, capable people step forward to maintain the momentum, I think we have a chance to accomplish unprecedented progress in many of these areas.

I mainly agree with you. But there is an invisible hand guiding the way people think and feel.

Until we can control ourselves and our emotions, we will not be able to solve these problems using logical analysis or implement any effective solutions.

@Lancer I think that's where religion comes in.

@Lancer You are so right about the invisible hand part, and disturbing it is.

@SpikeTalon
To be honest it seems like it should be "invisible hands" since there are so many people manipulating others from the shadows.

@Lancer Indeed, that be true.

4

Our innate negativity bias will distort our perception if we are not aware of it. If we allow negativity bias to dominate, we become pons to those who profit from it. There has not been a better time than now (recent history) to be human. Authoritarianism is on the rise again (which has always tried to dominate the species), but I don't think it will last although humans have had the propensity to not learn from the lessons that history has to teach. This slows progress. I can assure you that as a woman, I wouldn't want to live in any other time period, although I am fully aware that women are still considered subhuman in many parts of the world.

Looking at the poll, with the majority of the votes saying humanity is in decline (sigh), it seems apparent to me that we have a need for intelligent optimism, otherwise we just become a self-fulling prophecy of apathy and doom.

[singularityhub.com]

4

In any generation, most people are useless dead weight.

...problem is, in a democracy, that doesn't bode well..

@Varn You read my mind. We had 2 elections here yesterday, mankind failed them both. Bad news for the planet, our economy, lifestyle and especially the Great Barrier Reef. Oz will be the most unpopular country in the world the way we are going.

4

I think we have only evolved technologically, the human still acts barbaric. There is so much hate and violence in the world it just makes me sick. You would think by now there wouldn't be anymore wars but here we are. I just don't understand.

People are selfish, controlling and cruel. That's why we have hatred and war.

There is a reason for the illogical nature of war.

Those who understand the meaning and purpose of life are fully aware of why was are have continued throughout the ages.

It's because we have not evolved biologically. Deep down we are no different than our cave man ancestors. To understand why humans act the way we do just look at chimps. They are social, political, can use primitive technology, have a language of sorts, are capable of great compassion to members of their troop, but also capable of great cruelty to members of other neighbouring troops. Humans simply add greater IQ to the equation, which allows for planning and technology. We can use this for the greatest acts of kindness, such as charities, disaster relief etc., but can also use it for the greatest acts of cruelty, such as war and genocide.

@ArtemisDivine As they were thousands of years ago. We haven't evolved. We are still the same on the inside.

@Nomad I concur.

@Nomad I agree; we have not evolved as quickly as our technology has.

4

I see humanity as too successful… Overpopulation consuming resources at an unsustainable rate.. Living in a rural area, it’s so apparent, the closer you get to an urban environment ..the less you’re worth. You’re in the way - and a dime a dozen…

The religious don’t apparently care, cuz in their fanticy, once they’ve consumed the resources of this planet … their invisible sky god's going to give them another one. Or, if ‘they’re good’ (which apparently includes paying off a porn star to hide her from your wife/ life), you’ll be ‘raptured’ out of here in the nick of time!

Humanities doing what humans do, compete & consume ~

Varn Level 8 Mar 16, 2018

Very true. I'm sure it's "Gods will" what we should all be good little consumers, think less and buy more.

@Lancer Unfortunately, ‘America’s’ capitalist consumption appears to have molded world-wide expectations… Communistic drab didn’t do it 😉

@Varn haha yeah.

3

When I consider our advancement in technology to how we are still stuck in the same structure of society, we are as a species in decline. Power, wealth, government and social status still working to keep the majority of the planets population in check. Technology itself is being used against itself to limit advancement and growth towards a better society. Purposely to benefit an entity prolonging the use of what should be outdated obsolete means.

3

I haven't really paid attention to that aspect, but if it is, I would think that it is just part of the natural ebb and flow of things.

marga Level 7 Mar 16, 2018

Another "swing of the pendulum," so to speak?

2

I think at every age people think it is both the best and worst of times. After all, it is all they/we know and technology was better than previous times. However, it took millions of lives,lots of suffering and untold destgruction to advance. That is our lot.

A year ago I saw a TED talk about exponential growth curve and how technology was able to raise the upper limit. It was shown that technology had to come faster and faster to keep up with human population growth. My question is at what point will technology cease to be able to keep up. In many parts of the world that day has come!

2

I think we have been in a constant decline where we will eventually destroy ourselves and our planet ?

2

Humans are overbreeding in general at an unbelievable rate unchecked taking natural habitat and anything in the way out of the system to be replaced by very foriegn objects and life. on the cusp of greatness only to die out because of our greed and need.

That sounds just like us. Human beings are so short sighted, just like governments. I mean I'm looking a few centuries ahead but if I die at the age of 100 then that was all worth nothing.

I'm not sure honestly if there are a few centuries left for us. I think we have tipped the balance already way past the save the plant part really but just aren't truly feeling the effects yet but there are little hints or big hints I think myself. I think as long as humans are safe in there little happy bubble its all good and it just isn't.

1

I don't know how it is in many other countries, but I think one area where most Americans agree is that educational standards have declined. If we could raise the standard of education, provide needed funding, make eduction available for all, and teach students better thinking skills, that would help with many Americans overcome to some extent the divisiveness in our country. It would also help and motivate more people to be informed citizens and to be able to work together better to solve our problems. I don't know if tose goals will be achieved, but I think it would help a lot.

It’s not our youth - it’s us. Education standards have nearly surpassed our students ability to achieve them. The state I’m most familiar with had set ‘the most rigorous HS graduation standards in the nation.’ Not only did my 2 struggle to achieve them, but many of the brightest boys in their classes fell behind … which worked well - as their school was also the #1 military recruiting HS in the state.. Year-round school, smaller class sizes, and deemphasizing ‘sports’ is what it will take to compete with the world … though I’ll not hold my breath ~

1

No I don’t think humanity is in decline. After all didn’t we just elect Donald Trump as president!

Haha, good point indeed.
I would say that's 1 big step in the right direction. But I was mainly thinking of the world as a whole. America is looking like it'll make a moderately good recovery but Europe doesn't look too promising. Nor does Africa.

I think that as time goes on, we will see a significant amount of change throughout the world but for better or worse, no one can tell.

1

Humanity is advancing. We are advancing in scientifically and social. We can cut and paste genes now. Renewable energy is getting cheaper. We have gay marriage in every state. Trans genders don’t can now be who they really are.

1

Well yah and I'm not to happy about it

0

To paraphrase Calamity Jane from Deadwood, people are people and that's the tragedy of it. Western civilization has climbed to the top - the very acme, in fact - of the pile so we can just ease off on the accelerator and enjoy Game of Thrones and the endless amount of waste that we produce. Is that decline? I don't think so; it's just how we roll. What we need is an alien invasion which will give us all a collective slap upside the head.

Fair enough. We should have that common enemy in about 300 years if everything goes according to plan.

0

Yes. And not rapidly enough.

We don't need to die out, we just need to regulate ourselves better.

@Lancer We've shown we cannot.
Luckily, we've also shown we're inherently self-destructive, so the problem will rectify itself soon--quite possibly in our lifetime.

@WileEQuixote
That's quite pessimistic but I can't say I disagree with you on that.
I like to take the pragmatic approach. Prepare for the worst but hope for the best.

0

In the age gizmos and don't give a damn, we are going in the other direction. That is one of the reasons I became an atheist, seeing the light,etc. I don't think there will good change in the near future considering who the president of this country is.

Well at least Trump puts America first. Not many other countries politicians or leaders give a damn about their people.

I live in australia and I'm considered a 2nd class citizen because I live in the West. The eastern states take all of our wealth from mining and we get I think $0.33 for every dollar we make. That's 67% of our wealth leaving and it's never coming back.

So as a "white priviladge male" I get to pay more than other people in tax so that it can improve the lives of people in Melbourne, Sydney and Canberra. Which I'm fine with as long as they keep the terrorist attacks and gang culture over there. It's a small price to pay in that respect.

0

Humanity is what we make it. Goodness or badness are values of intent Humanity really has no intent. Based on population growth the numbers show no decline. If you focus on the earth and its carrying capacity for all this human life, population is this inverse of resources. The earthly decline will follow in proportion to human growth.

I suppose.
It won't matter in 300 years if my plans go well. But we will probably have a big revolution in the near future, probably within the next 2-4 decades. Where the cities of western nations will experience large amounts of violence. Working class killing working class, so that'll probably balance out the population.

0

I feel that humanity is not in decline. I think of humanity as a child in its adolescence. A teenager racked with intense growing pains. We as a people will learn to coexist in peace.

Gohan Level 7 Mar 20, 2018

I dream of a day in which all men and women can look at each other as friends and family. But until that day I will continue to be vigilant of those who may do me harm.

Someone should put that in the bible. (Just kidding)

@Lancer Martin Luther King Jr got it from the bible and put on the table for us to savor.

0

We could be dooming ourselves because of our greed out of which comes fear.

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