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Would you say that we are generally moving forward in the scheme of things or backwards. Why?
A good question for some serious thought. What I hear these days is the negative. Even if you are looking for the positive you hear the negative from people. In my country we are looking at a year of big elections and elections are big for us. So people naturally focus on the politics and politicians. It just is a natural fact that a great deal of politics is pointing out the negative. Either what is wrong with another or what is wrong that needs to be fixed. Blaming and finger pointing is just a big part of the process. We do not spend half the time building up our people as we do tearing down the opposition.
So in essence the bad stuff is most of what is in our news and being talked about. So our attitudes are moving backwards.
But in reality our lives are getting better all the time. Our land air and water are getting cleaner. In my large city crime is going down not up. My children all have great educations. There is work to be had. Looking around it is clear we are eating just fine ;-). And now I do not agree with all the new rights being provided our citizens, but I can see that in general it is for a more tolerant and just society. Religious freedom flourishes and it seems that more people are more open about spiritual practices than before.
So this question is under Religion and Philosophy. So it seems to me that maybe there are less people attending formal organized religious activities that are traditional. But there are more that are searching out spiritual aspects of their life on their own.
We are moving forward in the scheme of things even though our focus is too much on the negative. Kind of like reality is doing good but perception is doing bad. I think the attention to and contribution to HP Religion and Philosophy shows that it is on people's minds and that is a very good thing indeed.
It is convoluted and confusing at best IMHO. I ‘feel’ it is two steps forward and one step backward on many even thousands of fields. Those fields impact individuals, cultures, sub-cultures, the larger society – global, and its societies within while not always are central to nationality. For instance also is consideration of religion, forms of government, business, and etc.
There is a theory for the speed of darkness perceptually can be quicker than light. From that some ‘thinker’s propose that ignorance is exponential with new knowledge. In other words we know less when something new is learned. So, if that holds true, then we are not moving forward.
As an example look or imagine how many have a smartphone today compared to ten years ago. Most have access to the internet of perceptually infinite knowledge. But, take a look at available apps today. Google Play alone has over 1,600,000 different apps. Confounding at best to even know how to search for a particular app that suites application needs.
It's impossible to turn the clock backwards.
We have no choice put to move forward even if we feel unhappy with the way things are progressing in the moment.
On a very broad scale, we are going backward. Hans Rosling's TED talk is an excellent source on this, showing life expectancy rising, infant mortality dropping and average incomes rising worldwide though at different rates.
For most of human history the percentage living on the equivalent a day was 95%+, life expectancy in the 40s, 2 out of 3 kids died before age 18. Now less than 20% of the world lives on less than a dollar a day, fewer than 1 in 6 die before age 5, life expectancy world wide is improving.
And economically, development for those at the lowest level is actually accelerating. (Bono's discussion on how capitalism is raising the bottom billions out of poverty is also a great TED talk on this.) Skip the landline telephones, get cell phone towers in months. Skip power plants and power lines that take years to build, put in an efficient power plant burning biomass or solar panels, now people can charge the phones. The biggest remaining hurdles are local production of clean drinking water and waste disposal, and Bill Gates actually funded a machine that dries and burns poop for power, leaving behind great fertilizing and reclaimed water for use in agriculture.
Then there's the fact that slavery ended worldwide (ignoring ISIS sex slaves) over the past 200 years though it was a world wide institution for all of human history. Democracy has spread, though it must be defended.
Scripture will be "fulfilled!"
"For the time will come when they will not endure "sound doctrine;" but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having "itching ears;" And they shall turn away their ears from the "truth," and shall be turned into fables" (II Timothy 4:3-4)!
But, "Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight" (Isaiah 5:20-21)!
If IT IS WRITTEN and will be fulfilled, how can we go in any other direction but backwards ("Spiritually")?
Yes, many nice answers. Tamara ends well but I edge towards Eric's. In particular his last two paragraphs has done it for me. Thank you all.
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