Is there more evil in society today?
I ask because of watching a documentary on TV about Scotland in the 1960's and how parents were confident about letting their kids walk to school on their own, people left their doors open without fear of being attacked or robbed, kids played on the streets seemingly safe. I remember in the 1960's and 70's being able to do this as a kid. So is there more evil today or is it that we're just more aware of the nasty things in life due to modern technology, the media and so on?
I think that there are more people of many different backgrounds. We knew everyone in our village, we walked 2 miles to school and back on our own. Very different now. Children were more strictly disciplined too. Todays kids seem to have little respect for elders or anyone else for that matter
I think there aren't greater numbers or frequency, I think that being a more modern society we are frequently in contact with greater numbers of people than our ancestors which increased the likelihood of crossing paths with unsavory and dangerous people.
Also, with the media's focus on reporting dangerous happenings and negativity in general, we see and hear more of these things than our ancestors.
I think there is probably the same amount of evil per head or population but we hear about it more through the media and also because the population is so much larger than even 20 years ago there will be more evil, just because that is statistically likely with more people around.
I find it ironic that kids are prevented from playing out for fear of 'stranger danger' when they are statistically in far greater danger from their family. According to home office statistics "In almost two thirds (65% on average) of all cases of children killed at the hands of another person, the parent is the principal suspect."
In the UK around 56 children are murdered per year (so approx 19 killed by strangers), which sounds awful when you think that's one each week however there are 13,111,023 under 18s in the UK, so the percentage murdered is minuscule (my calculator comes up with a number so small I can't even understand it) and the percentage killed by strangers is tinier still.
Hi Nettlemere, that's a good point about kids being harmed by their own families as opposed to strangers. I know, men in particular, around my village are put off talking to kids who pass them just in case people think they are are perv! This is sad!
Men I know have said that too - they're understandably afraid of being thought to have alternative motives. Hard to know how to prevent that. It can't do children any good growing up believing that all men might be bad.
Seeker7: I read of a guy here in the UK who was photographing Squirrels and the people in the park called him a pervert. But that is normal stupidity: also in the UK, a mob trashed a surgery as they confused "paediatrician" with "peadophile"
Evidence is that, in the short term, the level of emotional intelligence is going down, and the level of violence is going up, every ten years. And it's been doing that steadily since the 1950s. One quick measure of this is the ages at which violent crimes (in the US, with guns) are committed. The age of the youngest violent offenders keeps going down.
On the other hand, long term prospects look good. Many ancient practices, such as cannibalism and chattel slavery (owning people as property) seem to go down over the centuries. Capital punishment, too, is rarer, and only for more serious crimes. So it all depends on your time frames, and which issues concern you most.
There have been good and evil from the beginning of time. Is there more evil now, or with the technology of today do we here of it on a daily basis all over the news, the internet, etc. Saying that, I do believe there is more evil today and only getting worse. The kids of today are watching movies, playing video games that contain so much violence. One has to wonder if this is desensitizing their young minds to the value of human life. Of course in the movies, those killed brutally are actors. The video game can be reset. But, the taking of a human life cannot be rewound or reset.
Is there more evil? We know there are more people - a tremendous amount more. When I was a lad there were around 2.5 billion people worldwide, now there more than 7 billion, so even if 'evil' kept up at a normal rate per capita there would be more of it, albiet spread among the greater number of people.
The newsmedia can be held responsible for the paranoia that has gripped the Western World as far as children be molested and sexually abused. It's always happened but a up until the a decades ago it wasn't 'fashionable' or deemed too 'tabu' to make the newspapers, radio or television. Now, of course, it causes traffic jamns well beyond the normal peak hours as frightened Mums (and Dads)
escort their offspring to and fro.
Is there more evil? Well, we don't have gladitorial fights with men expected to fight to the death to entertain the crowds. Now its footballers in body armour, so that's and improvement. Neither do we torment bulls or bears by setting the dogs on them (though I believe they still torment bulls in Spain and Mexico)
No, the world has about the same amount of 'evil' in it as it ever did, I suspect. Maybe a little less. Humankind learns but slowly, it seems.
Most likely no. It's just that technology with the Internet and television brings so much information, both good & bad, to us so much faster now.
I think we are more aware and that the evils in society have evolved. Even in the 60s my parents never left the doors unlocked.
There is probably less violent crime and a lot more financial crime. Bank Robber still exist but the smart ones moved to the internet.
I could probably give more examples given time.
I believe their isn't more evil, just that people are more apt to behave openly in that fashion. I believe that less people fear God, have faith or religion in their life and that is backed by statistics to be true. Kids have no respect for authority. People take joy in destroying marriages and families (saw a lot of that as a military wife). There is more materialism, outwardly overtly sexual themes in society and is vulgar and everywhere. I don't think its all necessarily wrong, but its more aparent nowadays. You have sexual perverts online stalking girls and teens and women. Heck, boys too. You have more materialism and more individualism. Less concern for humanity as a while and more concern for oneself
Evil is affected by the environment and society.
If you are being brought up the proper way with the right teaching, there will be no evil. It is always the wanting and not having tend to bring out the evil side. But with the right teaching, you will not be lure into such feelings.
No, I do not believe so - I do believe, however, that there is a perception of more evil - probably because of the exposure we get about it in the media - web – etc. Also, as noted in some other answers, we do not know our fellow citizens (our neighbors) as well as we use to, so we may be more suspicious. Still, the crime rate in this country is the lowest it has been since the early 1960’s and all evidence points to that rate continuing to decline. Also, with a good portion of violent crime, the victim knows the perpetrator. I know a couple of cops – by far, most of their calls are domestic incidents – they get really frustrated “babysitting” families that cannot get along with each other. Regardless of the real state of evel (the stats and our perceptions), we still do need to be careful – there has always been evil and there always will be.
There is a larger population so proportionately speaking - probably there are more evil acts being committed, however the same can be said for "good" as well. Evil has always and will always exist. I believe our society borders on paranoia these days because so much attention is given to outrageous and shocking cases. These things always occurred, but we didn't always have multiple shows etc. devoted to gore, violence, and shock value that keeps people on a constant state of high alert. Paranoid, afraid people tend to be the best consumers of stuff though. Think about how often everything plays on a fear to get people to buy into it... I think we are overloaded with information and too much of the wrong focus and therefore it appears we are "more evil" than ever etc. I think it's untrue.
I think it's a combination of both...people seem to be more evil now and also that we hear about it more.
I concur with the thoughts of Tusitala Tom. There's not much more evil going around more than there was back in time. It has all to do with the evolvement of the society. Societies thrive on culture. it is what gives each one of us a sense of belonging and more so, what keeps them intact. Because culture establishes boundaries and responsibilities and limits. Those cultures put shame on those who had the guts back then to do something treacherous or evil. But time has elapsed and our cultures eroded, so our limits are no more and our responsibilities to the society have been ignored and are no longer relevant. There is no longer shame in doing evil because it stopped mattering. It stopped being relevant to us whether we are living and doing things within boundaries or not. Nothing is black or white anymore. It's Grey. To the point that everything has become a matter of opinion rather than the core fact. An example of this is a man stealing to support his family is a man being responsible and doing what he must to keep to provide for his blood. But he stole. whether it was for 'a good cause' or for selfish reasons. Stealing is wrong. it is evil, is it not?? wait... or are we going to go to the reason behind his stealing??
see?? Culture placed limits. such that whether you did it for a 'good cause' or not, it was wrong. it was evil in nature. but nowadays, we barely know our roots and most don't want to remember them. Those roots that gave us shame every time you stole something or harmed someone.are gone. so really, evil has not become more. it has not increased in quantity. perhaps in quality. We have better more creative ways to do evil but it has always been there. Just that those that lived before us, had a sense of shame and guilt to whatever wrong they did. We, the world we live in today, do not comprehend the need for shame.
It is impossible to be categorical and answer either yes or no, as we have no way of measuring the amount of evil present in the world in the 1960's as compared with today.
I would say, the following factors are contributing to the perceived change:
1) the number of people in the population is greater today than in the 1960's,
2) there are more people in debt and in financial difficulty today than decades ago,
3) the framework of society has changed considerably, in terms of freedoms and legislation,
4) what is taught in schools is not the same as what was taught some 60 years ago, i.e. both the overt and hidden curricula are different,
5) what is broadcast by the media has changed over the decades,
6) societal values have also changed and are related to all of the above.
Of course, I would not believe everything that is portrayed in TV documentaries. The media, in all its forms, influence people's thoughts and behaviour. By highlighting stories, it feeds people ideas and can manipulate minds.
I am sure that it is in the Government's interest to have us all feeling less secure living in our current society. That way they can introduce yet more measures to increase 'security' and 'improve' society, measures such as bringing in more CCTV, more surveillance in general and yet more legislation to impose greater restrictions on our freedom.
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