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Is the world going mad?

SciencemikeSciencemike Posts: 28
edited November 2016 in The cake stop
Watching the news with Mrs Sciencemike a few days ago, reports on the Nice truck attack, Turkish coup, murders and bombings around the world, crazy politics in Britain:

Mrs Sciencemike: What's going on? The world's going mad
Me: It's always been like this, look back over the last hundred years; First World War, Fascism, Depression, Second World War, Cold War, (the relatively peaceful 1990s), 9/11 and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Syria.
(I could also have mentioned the ongoing Middle East problems, various wars in Africa...)

So, a couple of questions against this background.
Are we now living in particularly troubled times?
Were the 1990s between the end of the Cold War and 9/11 a particularly peace period?

Any thoughts?
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  • veronese68veronese68 Posts: 25,278 Lives Here
    It does feel a bit like the world's gone mad at the moment, even more so if Trump gets in. But as you say there have certainly been darker times. You are probably right in that we've just had a more peaceful period in which to get comfortable.
    Here's a question: Remember immediately after 9/11 pretty much the whole world was sympathising with the US. Can you imagine if they'd invested all the money spent waging war since then on aid for the areas causing problems now? what kind of place would the world be now?
  • mamba80mamba80 Posts: 5,032
    I dont think so, until 1989, we lived under the shadow of the cold war and nuclear stand off's, plus in the 50's suez and Korea, 60's Cuba and Vietnam, 70s wars in Palestine, in the 80s we were at war in the Falklands, russia in afgan, china in Tibet, the 90s didnt get any better, just the same old story.

    Last night in a local Hospital saw and heard siblings argue over the contents of a Will BEFORE their mother was even dead, one brother trying to get their drugged up and dying mother to change her Will....... people make the world mad and it was ever thus.
  • TheBigBeanTheBigBean Posts: 16,098
    Were the 1990s between the end of the Cold War and 9/11 a particularly peace period?

    Wikipedia has a list of wars in that time

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_w ... %80%932002

    A few notable entries:
    - Rwandan genocide
    - Bosnian genocide
    - First Iraq war
    - Sierra Leone Civil War
    - Algerian Civil War

    They were all widely report, there were many others too.

    In terms of terrorism we had the United States embassy bombings attributed to Osama bin Laden. Probably many others too.
  • Yes, there are some terrible wars there. How could I forget Rwanda. Maybe not such a peaceful decade.
    Did the end of the Cold war Alliances allow more long standing greivances break out into violence and war?
  • tangled_metaltangled_metal Posts: 4,021
    The world isn't mad just the humans living on it.
  • drlodgedrlodge Posts: 4,826
    I don't think politics, ideologies or religion have changed much (some would say Islam has a lot to answer for right now), but what has changed is the ability to communicate world wide, instantly. Add to that the ability to easily acquire modern weapons and its a potent force for evil.

    So to sum it up - we have ancient barbaric ideologies coupled with modern technology.
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  • TheBigBeanTheBigBean Posts: 16,098
    Hypothesis: these days something is much worse than it used to be

    Throughout history this has often been fairly easy to disprove.
  • lostboysaintlostboysaint Posts: 4,250
    drlodge wrote:
    I don't think politics, ideologies or religion have changed much (some would say Islam has a lot to answer for right now), but what has changed is the ability to communicate world wide, instantly. Add to that the ability to easily acquire modern weapons and its a potent force for evil.

    So to sum it up - we have ancient barbaric ideologies coupled with modern technology.

    Some would argue that Christianity's actions over the last 20 years or so (both Blair and Bush are god-botherers) haven't helped. ;)

    Religious extremists of any persuasions are scum.
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  • oxomanoxoman Posts: 10,441
    Absolutely nothing has really changed other than the birth of the internet / social media and subsequent over reporting of everything whether or not news worthy.
    Too many bikes according to Mrs O.
  • drlodgedrlodge Posts: 4,826
    Some would argue that Christianity's actions over the last 20 years or so (both Blair and Bush are god-botherers) haven't helped. ;)

    Religious extremists of any persuasions are scum.

    Two issues with that:
    - Bush and Blair might be Christians, but they didn't do what they did in the name of Christianity.
    - Not all religious extremists are scum, it depends on the fundamentals of the religion. Jainism is an extremely peaceful religion, in fact extremist Jains would be the most peaceful people you could imagine. The problem with Islamic Fundamentalism is the fundamentals of Islam.
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  • secretsamsecretsam Posts: 4,904
    Religion of any persuasion is in itself a stimulus of evil

    FTFY

    It's just a hill. Get over it.
  • kingstongrahamkingstongraham Posts: 19,853
    drlodge wrote:
    Some would argue that Christianity's actions over the last 20 years or so (both Blair and Bush are god-botherers) haven't helped. ;)

    Religious extremists of any persuasions are scum.

    Two issues with that:
    - Bush and Blair might be Christians, but they didn't do what they did in the name of Christianity.
    - Not all religious extremists are scum, it depends on the fundamentals of the religion. Jainism is an extremely peaceful religion, in fact extremist Jains would be the most peaceful people you could imagine. The problem with Islamic Fundamentalism is the fundamentals of Islam.

    You don't think that if people tried to follow the Bible to the letter, they would be just as bad?
  • drlodgedrlodge Posts: 4,826
    You don't think that if people tried to follow the Bible to the letter, they would be just as bad?

    If people followed the old testament to the letter, they might arguably be worse. What's your point?

    People can be good or bad. People might believe in one or other religion, or no religion. But when people do bad things *because* of their religion, that's when it gets difficult and we need to push back on the fundamentals of their religion and call them out. There's no way Jains could do bad things because of their religions - it simply doesn't allow it. Christians could, but they've been through a reformation and largely jettisoned all the bad stuff that's in the bible. Islam is different and that makes it problematic.
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  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,123
    drlodge wrote:
    Some would argue that Christianity's actions over the last 20 years or so (both Blair and Bush are god-botherers) haven't helped. ;)

    Religious extremists of any persuasions are scum.

    Two issues with that:
    - Bush and Blair might be Christians, but they didn't do what they did in the name of Christianity.
    - Not all religious extremists are scum, it depends on the fundamentals of the religion. Jainism is an extremely peaceful religion, in fact extremist Jains would be the most peaceful people you could imagine. The problem with Islamic Fundamentalism is the fundamentals of Islam.

    You don't think that if people tried to follow the Bible to the letter, they would be just as bad?

    Yep, there's plenty of stonings, beheadings, smiting the unbelievers and general eye-for-an-eye type violence to be misconstrued there. Look at the nutters in the States who take the line "take up serpents" literally. It's generally understood to mean musical instruments, but this lot collect and manhandle rattlesnakes, occasionally with fatal consequences...
    But it's like all supposedly sacred texts. Those who have an unshakeable belief that they are the very word of a prophet / God / other deity will never be persuaded otherwise, and many are convinced they should be taken literally.

    In the case of the bible, it appears to me be a collection of folk tales, written hundreds / thousands of years ago and translated from the original archaic language with varying degrees of accuracy. Occasionally there's a good story / lesson about how we should treat our fellow humans, but it's not an instruction manual for running a planet in the 21st century
  • ProssPross Posts: 31,538
    TheBigBean wrote:
    Were the 1990s between the end of the Cold War and 9/11 a particularly peace period?

    Wikipedia has a list of wars in that time

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_w ... %80%932002

    A few notable entries:
    - Rwandan genocide
    - Bosnian genocide
    - First Iraq war
    - Sierra Leone Civil War
    - Algerian Civil War

    They were all widely report, there were many others too.

    In terms of terrorism we had the United States embassy bombings attributed to Osama bin Laden. Probably many others too.

    You can add in Irish terrorism both in Northern Ireland and the mainland for the first half of the decade at the very least.

    The mid to late 80s were relatively peaceful, the Cold War was still ongoing but no longer really felt like a threat and there was quite a lot of Irish terrorism but generally worldwide didn't feel too bad. That's probably just because I was young and carefree though, there was always something going on in Africa and the Middle East plus the Iran / Iraq War but other than the Irish stuff nothing really seemed to affect us too directly.

    I think the problem now is that there are individuals / small groups who aren't part of organised terrorist groups but pledge allegiance to them and that makes things harder to control. There's also a feeling of simmering tension just below the surface which I feel is deliberately being stirred by the terrorist groups, they can achieve far more if they incite violent public disorder than they will from individual gun and bomb attacks. It feels like a particularly unpleasant period at the moment for all sorts of reasons.
  • pinnopinno Posts: 45,279
    drlodge wrote:
    Some would argue that Christianity's actions over the last 20 years or so (both Blair and Bush are god-botherers) haven't helped. ;)

    Religious extremists of any persuasions are scum.

    - Bush and Blair might be Christians, but they didn't do what they did in the name of Christianity.

    I'd argue with that.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/religio ... entor.html

    We have the Christian 'fundamentalists' on the one side in the New World and the fundamentalist Muslims in the Old world. I don't see the difference - one does it under the banner of 'freedom and democracy' even if that freedom and democracy is imposed on other cultures and the other under a warped interpretation of the Quran.
    The cold war kept a lid in everything. As soon as the Berlin wall came down, the world was thrown into uncertainty.

    Some places missed on that list:
    Sudan
    The Wars in Central America
    Somalia
    Afghanistan
    Gulf War (1990)
    Sierra Leone Civil War - '91 - '02
    Algerian Civil war - '91 - '02
    Georgian Civil War - '91 - '93
    Burundian Civil war - '93 - '05
    Iraqi Kurdish Civil War - '94 - '97 etc etc...

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_wars_1990–2002
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  • meursaultmeursault Posts: 1,433
    http://newsthump.com/2016/07/15/reality-continues-to-crumble-in-the-wake-of-david-bowies-death/

    Staff at CERN have taken to playing Space Oddity down the LHC really loudly to try and pull things back together, and will report on their findings. :lol:
    Superstition sets the whole world in flames; philosophy quenches them.

    Voltaire
  • pinnopinno Posts: 45,279
    meursault wrote:
    http://newsthump.com/2016/07/15/reality-continues-to-crumble-in-the-wake-of-david-bowies-death/

    Staff at CERN have taken to playing Space Oddity down the LHC really loudly to try and pull things back together, and will report on their findings. :lol:

    Yay it's Meursault. Putting philosophy back into BR?

    Your take on this?:

    viewtopic.php?f=40088&t=13066897&start=20#p19922425
    seanoconn - gruagach craic!
  • bendertherobotbendertherobot Posts: 11,684
    Munich now so, yes.
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  • BelgianBeerGeekBelgianBeerGeek Posts: 5,226
    If you are over 40, reading this (and not reading this in Wetherspoons) then yes, the world has gone mad. Fortunately, we are surrounded by people whose opinions are delivered with great certainty. Thank the gods for those amongst us who have certainty and faith in their respective gods. For the rest of us, ride your bike, tend your garden, cook for the family, brew beer for friends, enjoy good company, look after your friends and neighbours, raise a glass to those who have gone (lucky buggers, they are well beyond this) and relax. Almost, if not everything, is beyond your control.
    Love and peace to all.
    Ecrasez l’infame
  • meursaultmeursault Posts: 1,433
    Pinno wrote:
    meursault wrote:
    http://newsthump.com/2016/07/15/reality-continues-to-crumble-in-the-wake-of-david-bowies-death/

    Staff at CERN have taken to playing Space Oddity down the LHC really loudly to try and pull things back together, and will report on their findings. :lol:

    Yay it's Meursault. Putting philosophy back into BR?

    Your take on this?:

    viewtopic.php?f=40088&t=13066897&start=20#p19922425

    LOL, ty though I take your welcome back in the spirit it was intended! Not everyone is pleased to hear from me...

    Thanks for the link will have a read through now, and probably post some worthless babble there.
    Superstition sets the whole world in flames; philosophy quenches them.

    Voltaire
  • team47bteam47b Posts: 6,424
    No, of course it's not, nothing has changed, or will do.

    You may be experiencing a problem with your perception, have you tried a tin foil hat?
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  • ballysmateballysmate Posts: 15,903
    21st century and the Catholic church is creating another saint.
    Mother Teresa FFS!
    Is the Vatican trying to show that IS don't have the monopoly in a middle ages mindset?
  • pinnopinno Posts: 45,279
    Ballysmate wrote:
    21st century and the Catholic church is creating another saint.
    Mother Teresa FFS!
    Is the Vatican trying to show that IS don't have the monopoly in a middle ages mindset?

    What is wrong with Saint Theresa of Calcutta?
    seanoconn - gruagach craic!
  • Two miracles are needed for canonization. These have to pass muster with a special committee by not being capable of being explained by other means. So two people in India with incurable diseases suddenly got cured some time after her death and they put it down to mother Therese. How about a misdiagnosis that cleared up by natural or human intervention?

    Sorry but canonization I believe has kicked in big time over the last decade or so. There's an agenda there for sure and if you believe it good for you. Please don't give your bank account details to a former Nigerian government minister trying to get his.billions out of the country. It is a scam!

    PS that Nigerian scam was a British invention where British scammers scammed Nigerians back in empire days. That's the reason that it's popular among Nigerian gangs, they've got long folk memories!
  • pinnopinno Posts: 45,279
    Perhaps canonisation shouldn't be about miracles in this modern world, more; good, selfless deeds.

    Anyway, the world was a lot more peaceful under Pax Britannica. I'm not beating myself with a stick for past sins when we were the best at it and moral relativism is flawed.
    seanoconn - gruagach craic!
  • If you turned the idea of saints into the Vatican's version of knighthood for good service then I'd believe it's a good thing. She was undoubtedly someone who did immense good but she was doing it with a crisis of faith apparently. I think I heard she had a 30 year discussion with her religious mentor or whatever he was called which was described as a crisis. Not a saint in the old way IMHO but were the old saints really miracle workers if they had been seen in.modern eyes.
  • pinnopinno Posts: 45,279
    I don't disagree with you TM. It's a very valid point.
    seanoconn - gruagach craic!
  • PS that Nigerian scam was a British invention where British scammers scammed Nigerians back in empire days. That's the reason that it's popular among Nigerian gangs, they've got long folk memories!

    Do you have a source for this? Genuinely interested.
  • One for you.

    http://europe.newsweek.com/origins-nigerias-notorious-419-scams-456701?rm=eu

    Not the one I read about it in because the news or opinion piece I read it in.played more on the idea of the victims being in Nigeria not Ghana. If you wiki it you get earlier examples but the 419 scam from Nigeria apparently comes more closely from this Brit I heard.
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