Is society getting gradually better or worse? (Over the course of all history.)
It actually goes in cycles, and I'm actually writing my first-ever Hub-novel on that subject exactly. But right now we're at a cross-roads, and we can either fall into decay and ruin, or wake up at last, have that spiritual awakening, and unite the Globe in peace, so that our galactic neighbors could finally come say hi.
He he, sorry - got a little carried away there.
I can see your point about cycles. Do the cycles, overall, head somewhere linear?
O tempora o mores!
Isn't it all ending later this year anyway? I really don't understand why those GOP candidates are running - the world will be gone before the inauguration, right?
But to answer your question: yes. Although there are still pockets of ignorance, I'd say we have progressed quite a bit and continue do so. When I was a boy there was still legal discrimination in many States, very limited acceptance of homosexuality, great prejudice against Jews and so on.
We are better today in all those areas. Though I bet I immediately get voted down because we do still have those who won't consider any of that as progress!
It is cyclical in nature and I'm writing a hub on the question. However, essentially I believe American society today is in decline overall. Althought there are some very wonderful honorable individuals, however the selfish immorality of society is declining.
Better, we become more tolerant more accepting and less hatefull, the negative effects of relgion are starting to fade a bit etc etc. We just have to keep working at it.
I have not lived in the course of all history........so , I can't honestly testify in a world view.
However, in my lifetime, and limited world view.................today's society stands for little and falls for anything new or shiny.
It is not enough, to hide behind any progresses that might have been made.
We simply are not yet, what we were meant to be.
Following extensive and intensive pondering involving many books and a navel, I've come to the conclusion that social quality is a zero sum progression. To get something, you have to give up something else, for example the health and peace of agrarian life in exchange for the economic efficiency and variety of urbanization. We haven't changed one iota from the dawn of history. Only our tools and circumstances have. We are happy or forlorn as we choose, ignorance and complacency remain the norm as all successful politicians well know, and eighty percent of folks are people you won't convert to your faith because you wouldn't want to spend eternity with them.
Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose.
I think it depends how you look at it. Financially things aren't goin great for people. In terms of social justice I would say that society is improving.
That's easy. Would you rather have gone to the dentist a few hundred years ago or now? How about surgery? Can you imagine being around when fight or flight involved pre-historic creatures. Even in social terms I believe it's better now especially with freedom of religion and speech, this country at least, and other hard fought for rights. We've progressed a great deal but it's obvious we are just half way there.
In opinion it is getting worse - people are more selfish and greedy these days then they used to be. Most people are focused on material well being rather than social well being.
I have come across people who would rather earn that extra £100 per week then spend valuable time with their family and friends week in week out. They say that money will bring them things which simply spending time with family won't.
I know money is important but having a caring attitude towards others and spending time with your family especially if you have kids has more worth than chasing money.
it's getting worse..we are in the time of "disposable" like marriage can be so easy just like that..and get a divorce right away and get marry again..abortion is so rampant..it makes u want to ask always..what is the value of life right now???..morality is in the lowest state..where in some of the people likes what is illegal,immoral and chaotic..
That I am answering this question itself is a proof that it is getting better. Why! My parents never thought of being able to converse across the globe with people who you can consider friends even though you have never met them. Soon the walls will be lowered further and yes, galactic conversation may not be sci-fi!
As westerners, we live in a selfish society primarily interested in our own financial gain. Many of us look after number one and view those less fortunate than ourselves as 'not our problem'. Despite the risk of future generations suffering due to lifestyle choices of ours ie eating meat the way we do, we simply choose not to think about it. Our lifestyle is comfortable nowadays but the family unit, feeling of community and humility seems to be vanishing at an alarming rate. We may have a better standard of living these days but at what expense?
Better. We are less superstitious, less dominated by belief systems unconnected with physical reality, more accepting of each other, better organized, less brutal, and less prone to careless use of violence.
On the other hand, our powers hand us greater responsibilities: we are now at a technological level where we can radically degrade the habitability of the planet--for most of its current life forms, at least. (A large-scale nuclear exchange would be a disaster at the global level, and not only for humans. It's less likely than during the Cold War, but by no means impossible.)
Indeed, it's quite possible that we are currently so degrading our planet, through carbon emissions leading to serious climate change. While the public 'debate' continues (funded by Big Energy, among others), the debate among climate scientists is largely over, on the 'big questions'--it continues on important details, such as tightening estimates of climate sensitivity, or improving understanding of how specific regions will be affected by probable changes.
So, though many things are much, much better, both materially and spiritually, there is still a long way to go.
society as a whole is definitely getting worse. people are drawing away from each other. look at the midevil times, when it was common practice to gather in large groups and dance and sing and tell stories. some of those things came to america, and can be seen in the pioneer days, but now neighbor has no idea who their neighbor is. if you go next door to borrow a cup of sugar or an egg, you are looked at with suspicion if the door is even opened in the first place. the only time great compassion is shown is during a crisis or catastrophe.
I think things are pretty much the same. You have the rich and the poor. It just so happens that the "rich" are blotched together at the national level instead of having rich "pockets" of people in every country like in times past. Globalization of wealth and all that.
Take slavery as a 'for example'. There may technically be less people who are "owned" by someone else, but if you broaden the definition of slavery to include anyone who is given just enough to satisfy basic requirements of survival in exchange for labor (which is what traditional slavery was) then we have more slaves in India and China today than at any other point in history.
We're smarter, we have more technology, more toys, but the condition of the human race as a whole is pretty much the same as it was when Jesus Christ was walking the earth.
I would like to think society is improving, but when I hear remarks, as I did one day in the gym, I have my doubts. I was walking the treadmill to warm–up. As two guys walked by me, I heard, “We need to get rid of all these f_ _ _ing politicians from the head (N word) down.”
Now, I’m not an admirer of politicians in general but the sting of the racist part of the remark sickened me. It made me wonder, 'Are we evolving as a society? Or, are we still so deep rooted in bigotry and egocentricity that we can’t function as a group?' Obviously, there are people that can’t accept our President or respect the Presidency because they are colorblind and can only see the world in black or white. Sure, I believe in having an opinion, but why not with courtesy and respect for others and ourselves.
Intolerance of differences probably goes back to when humans were living in caves in small tribal units. So have we evolved socially? I don’t think so. Some people are still primitive emotionally. Oh, we’ve evolved scientifically, so instead of killing each other one at a time with clubs, we now have the ability to kill in mass. AND, what is it all about? It’s all about Intolerance— intolerance of differences, intolerance of opinions, intolerance of whatever we as human can contrive.
Neither. Conflicts, discrimination, class divide, rich-poor divide, exploitation and numerous of other ills faced by society continue to exsist. Mankind has progressed in various fields like medicine, technology, etc and we deceive ourselves this as the progess of society.
Consider this analogy, maybe California was created out of the residue from the Eastern European tidal wave, that scattered remnants of people unto land, while their parents went to party in the airtight space of the Titanic at the bottom of the ocean, as to keep a low profile, while somebody else watchs the children. This question is begging for moral judgement, when like a zen koan, the answers are limitless.History will repeat itself, but for most hoi poi loi, the people will party on struggling for a foothold on a unstable life path leading to destruction. Ask yourself, who's watching the children of today, and is the next generation doomed to make the same mistakes. Honestly, you will have to decide this issue individually, just use an open mind as your compass and I'm confident you will see the light of truth. It may only appear once every couple thousand years, but, it's worth the wait. Just remember that the imagination is sometimes the key to the universe hidden within our moral imperatives, before anyone points the finger.
I also think we are in decline and repeating the same mistakes in some areas such as the economy and government. In some areas such as medicine and science I think we are getting better and increasing our knowledge and contributions to society.
There is a theory that stipulates that society matures the same way human individuals do: by having an infancy,a childhood, an adolescence, an adulthood and then full maturity. You could argue that the Middle Ages of Western culture where much like our teenaged years--impulsive, emotional, driven by hormones and selfishness.
But how to then characterize the Classic Age of Rome & Greece? It seems more like we have bouts of growth followed by setbacks, rebirth, growth, etc etc etc. And where are we now?There are societies on the planet still in infancy (Somalia comes to mind, and North Korea), others in adolescence (the Middle East), others acting in adult ways (the US, most of Europe).
Only when a society agrees to see itself as part of the whole and acts in charitable, thoughtful ways will it be fully mature, and I see that no where in the world right now. In the US I'd say we are at the moment struggling with a political dichotomy in which a percentage want us to return to acting like selfish teenagers who turn their back on the elderly,the ill, the poor. We will be judged forever by how we treat those in need.
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