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Revisionist History

Freeman
Posts: 1,239
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7/14/2010 8:14:31 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
The Myth of The Social And Moral Decay of American Society

It is often said by certain people that society was better off 25, 50, 100 years ago. Of all the things that could said about people who think like this, one thing seems more obvious than everything else: these people are detached from empirical reality. They have a fundamentally distorted understanding of history that springs from their distorted understanding of morality, science and sociology.

The fact of the matter is that virtually every society on Earth has made positive gains in their moral and social development. For example, virtually all major developed nations have made positive gains in their society as indicated by levels of life expectancy, adult literacy, per-capita income, educational attainment, gender equality, homicide rate, and infant mortality. Steven Pinker, the Harvard psychology professor, points out in a TED talk that, among other things, societies on Earth have consistently gotten less violent than they used to be. If my memory serves me well, something close to 1/3 of all men used to die a violent death back when we still hunted down our food. And over time, that fraction has consistently gotten smaller. Very few countries in the 20th century, with perhaps the exceptions of North Korea, Iraq, and Iran, have actually gone backwards in their economic, social and moral development.

So, if your chief concerns in this universe are God, guns, gays, sex, and you happen to be awaiting the rapture, then I suppose you might be justified in concluding that society is going backwards. If, however, you share a wider range of ideals, then it hardly seems appropriate to think that the social or moral fabric of our society is decaying.
Chancellor of Propaganda and Foreign Relations in the Franklin administration.

"I intend to live forever. So far, so good." -- Steven Wright
innomen
Posts: 10,052
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7/14/2010 8:28:59 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
I think you are being fairly selective in your statistical presentation. How many people are incarcerated now per capita versus 150 years ago? Number of unwed mothers, number of broken homes, number of abortions? Are we less violent? Probably, but we also have perfected the ability to wipe out populations beyond the imagination of most people 150 years ago. Have we stopped in this development? No, we continue to spend billions upon billions of dollars in the r & d of weapons that can do more damage better. Have the risks of war diminished? No, i don't think so. Most of Africa is a disaster, and the cruelty is horrific on a daily basis. The 20th century was our species most violent of all centuries, and the cruelty that was extended to both population and individual in that century has only proven that we are capable of harming more at a greater scale.

We see what we want to see.
Freeman
Posts: 1,239
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7/14/2010 8:33:25 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 7/14/2010 8:14:31 AM, Freeman wrote:
The Myth of The Social And Moral Decay of American Society

It is often said by certain people that society was better off 25, 50, 100 years ago. Of all the things that could said about people who think like this, one thing seems more obvious than everything else: these people are detached from empirical reality. They have a fundamentally distorted understanding of history that springs from their distorted understanding of morality, science and sociology.

The fact of the matter is that virtually every society on Earth has made positive gains in their moral and social development. For example, virtually all major developed nations have made positive gains in their society as indicated by levels of life expectancy, adult literacy, per-capita income, educational attainment, gender equality, homicide rate, and infant mortality. Steven Pinker, the Harvard psychology professor, points out in a TED talk that, among other things, societies on Earth have consistently gotten less violent than they used to be. If my memory serves me well, something close to 1/3 of all men used to die a violent death back when we still hunted down our food. And over time, that fraction has consistently gotten smaller. Very few countries in the 20th century, (e.g., North Korea, Iraq, and Iran), have actually gone backwards in their economic, social and moral development.

So, if your chief concerns in this universe are God, guns, gays, sex, and you happen to be awaiting the rapture, then I suppose you might be justified in concluding that society is going backwards. If, however, you share a wider range of ideals, then it hardly seems appropriate to think that the social or moral fabric of our society is decaying.

Minor Correction
Chancellor of Propaganda and Foreign Relations in the Franklin administration.

"I intend to live forever. So far, so good." -- Steven Wright
Freeman
Posts: 1,239
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7/14/2010 8:42:33 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 7/14/2010 8:28:59 AM, innomen wrote:
I think you are being fairly selective in your statistical presentation. How many people are incarcerated now per capita versus 150 years ago? Number of unwed mothers, number of broken homes, number of abortions?

All of those things have gone down.

Most of Africa is a disaster, and the cruelty is horrific on a daily basis.

Things have gotten progressively better. If you think 21st century Africa is bad, look back at society 100, 200, 300 years ago.

The 20th century was our species most violent of all centuries, and the cruelty that was :extended to both population and individual in that century has only proven that we are :capable of harming more at a greater scale.

That's completely false, just watch the lecture.


We see what we want to see.
Chancellor of Propaganda and Foreign Relations in the Franklin administration.

"I intend to live forever. So far, so good." -- Steven Wright
innomen
Posts: 10,052
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7/14/2010 8:57:34 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 7/14/2010 8:42:33 AM, Freeman wrote:
At 7/14/2010 8:28:59 AM, innomen wrote:
I think you are being fairly selective in your statistical presentation. How many people are incarcerated now per capita versus 150 years ago? Number of unwed mothers, number of broken homes, number of abortions?

All of those things have gone down.
Sources?


Most of Africa is a disaster, and the cruelty is horrific on a daily basis.

Things have gotten progressively better. If you think 21st century Africa is bad, look back at society 100, 200, 300 years ago.

The 20th century was our species most violent of all centuries, and the cruelty that was :extended to both population and individual in that century has only proven that we are :capable of harming more at a greater scale.

That's completely false, just watch the lecture.
Can't and don't need to.


We see what we want to see.
Freeman
Posts: 1,239
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7/14/2010 9:10:25 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 7/14/2010 8:57:34 AM, innomen wrote:
At 7/14/2010 8:42:33 AM, Freeman wrote:
At 7/14/2010 8:28:59 AM, innomen wrote:
I think you are being fairly selective in your statistical presentation. How many people are incarcerated now per capita versus 150 years ago? Number of unwed mothers, number of broken homes, number of abortions?

All of those things have gone down.
Sources?

The United Nations Human Development Report (2005): http://hdr.undp.org...


Most of Africa is a disaster, and the cruelty is horrific on a daily basis.

Things have gotten progressively better. If you think 21st century Africa is bad, look back at society 100, 200, 300 years ago.

The 20th century was our species most violent of all centuries, and the cruelty that was :extended to both population and individual in that century has only proven that we are :capable of harming more at a greater scale.

That's completely false, just watch the lecture.
Can't and don't need to.

Uhm... Ok... But what you said still isn't accurate.


We see what we want to see.
Chancellor of Propaganda and Foreign Relations in the Franklin administration.

"I intend to live forever. So far, so good." -- Steven Wright
Freeman
Posts: 1,239
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7/14/2010 9:22:34 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 7/14/2010 8:14:31 AM, Freeman wrote:
The Myth of The Social And Moral Decay of American Society

It is often said by certain people that society was better off 25, 50, 100 years ago. Of all the things that could [be] said about people who think like this, one thing seems more obvious than everything else: these people are detached from empirical reality. They have a fundamentally distorted understanding of history that springs from their distorted understanding of morality, science and sociology.

The fact of the matter is that virtually every society on Earth has made positive gains in their moral and social development. For example, virtually all major developed nations have made positive gains in their society as indicated by levels of life expectancy, adult literacy, per-capita income, educational attainment, gender equality, homicide rate, and infant mortality. Steven Pinker, the Harvard psychology professor, points out in a TED talk that, among other things, societies on Earth have consistently gotten less violent than they used to be. If my memory serves me well, something close to 1/3 of all men used to die a violent death back when we still hunted down our food. And over time, that fraction has consistently gotten smaller. Very few countries in the 20th century, with perhaps the exceptions of North Korea, Iraq, and Iran, have actually gone backwards in their economic, social and moral development.

So, if your chief concerns in this universe are God, guns, gays, sex, and you happen to be awaiting the rapture, then I suppose you might be justified in concluding that society is going backwards. If, however, you share a wider range of ideals, then it hardly seems appropriate to think that the social or moral fabric of our society is decaying.
Chancellor of Propaganda and Foreign Relations in the Franklin administration.

"I intend to live forever. So far, so good." -- Steven Wright
innomen
Posts: 10,052
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7/16/2010 11:09:44 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 7/14/2010 9:10:25 AM, Freeman wrote:
At 7/14/2010 8:57:34 AM, innomen wrote:
At 7/14/2010 8:42:33 AM, Freeman wrote:
At 7/14/2010 8:28:59 AM, innomen wrote:
I think you are being fairly selective in your statistical presentation. How many people are incarcerated now per capita versus 150 years ago? Number of unwed mothers, number of broken homes, number of abortions?

All of those things have gone down.
Sources?

The United Nations Human Development Report (2005): http://hdr.undp.org...

I didn't read all 300+ pages, but from what i skimmed, i found nothing that negates what i said at all.


Most of Africa is a disaster, and the cruelty is horrific on a daily basis.

Things have gotten progressively better. If you think 21st century Africa is bad, look back at society 100, 200, 300 years ago.

The 20th century was our species most violent of all centuries, and the cruelty that was :extended to both population and individual in that century has only proven that we are :capable of harming more at a greater scale.

That's completely false, just watch the lecture.
Can't and don't need to.

Uhm... Ok... But what you said still isn't accurate.
The 20th Century was the most violent in our history in both number and method. Never have governmental regimes systematically killed so many of their own citizens not to mention foreign citizens in the history of man. That is accurate.


We see what we want to see.

You want to reduce domestic crime? Introduce a highly authoritarian government, i hear that North Korea has low crime rates. The truth about who we are cannot be seen by myopic snapshots of selective statistics.
Reasoning
Posts: 4,456
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7/16/2010 12:32:52 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
The 20th century was the worsy century in human history.
"What we really ought to ask the liberal, before we even begin addressing his agenda, is this: In what kind of society would he be a conservative?" - Joseph Sobran
I-am-a-panda
Posts: 15,380
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7/16/2010 2:23:33 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 7/16/2010 12:32:52 PM, Reasoning wrote:
The 20th century was the worsy century in human history.

Of course, what with the significant technological process and progressive ideas.......

This is strange coming from you, since Rothbard lived in the 20th century.
Pizza. I have enormous respect for Pizza.
Reasoning
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7/16/2010 3:41:24 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 7/16/2010 2:23:33 PM, I-am-a-panda wrote:
This is strange coming from you, since Rothbard lived in the 20th century.

"Who would want to repeal the twentieth century, the century of horror, the century of collectivism, the century of mass destruction and genocide, who would want to repeal that! Well, we propose to do just that." - Murray Rothbard[1]

[1] http://www.lewrockwell.com...
"What we really ought to ask the liberal, before we even begin addressing his agenda, is this: In what kind of society would he be a conservative?" - Joseph Sobran
Reasoning
Posts: 4,456
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7/16/2010 3:44:35 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 7/16/2010 2:23:33 PM, I-am-a-panda wrote:
At 7/16/2010 12:32:52 PM, Reasoning wrote:
The 20th century was the worsy century in human history.

Of course, what with the significant technological process and progressive ideas.......

This is strange coming from you, since Rothbard lived in the 20th century.

"In the 20th Century alone, war has murdered more than all previous deaths; taxes and inflation have stolen more than all wealth previously produced; and the political lies, propaganda, and above all, "Education" have twisted more minds than all the superstition prior; yet through all the deliberate confusion and obfuscation, the thread of reason has developed fibers of resistance to be woven into the rope of execution for the State: Libertarianism.

Where the State divides and conquers its opposition, Libertarianism unites and
liberates. Where the State beclouds, Libertarianism clarifies; where the State
conceals, Libertarianism uncovers; where the State pardons, Libertarianism accuses.

Libertarianism elaborates an entire philosophy from one simple premise: initiatory
violence or its threat (coercion) is wrong (immoral, evil, bad, supremely impractical, etc) and is forbidden; nothing else is." - SEK3, The New Libertarian Menifesto
"What we really ought to ask the liberal, before we even begin addressing his agenda, is this: In what kind of society would he be a conservative?" - Joseph Sobran