Jerry's Blog

Is the World Getting Better?

Human nature is either basically good or basically bad. Those who chose to think of mankind as basically good also tend to think that mankind is naturally getting better. We might call this outlook getting-better-ism. I want to avoid the popular “E”-word, because it has so many emotional connotations attached to it. Getting-better-ism teaches that hydrogen stars explode all over the universe as they create heavy metals that ultimately result in people or other advanced life forms. This is an intrinsic property of matter that causes it to naturally get better everywhere in the universe. So we should expect to find life on other planets. It seems logical when we see that Millennials have Smart Phones and their grandparents didn’t. I’m being cynical, of course, but many people actually confuse improvements in technology with the natural tendencies of matter, and it’s more complicated than that.

 

The traditional alternative believes that the universe was once as good as it gets and has been naturally breaking down ever since. We might call this getting-worse-ism. It teaches that improvement comes from hard work that purposely and intelligently overcomes the natural tendency of things to break down. There are, of course, religions that teach that we are born into a caste system and very little changes. We could call that staying-the-same-ism. Lets just look at the first two. Do we naturally get better or worse?

 

For most of my life, I have been carefully considering this question by examining the facts to see where they lead. I’ve been on both sides of the issue, so I’m trying to evaluate new discoveries and opinions with the utmost objectivity, and so should you. Far too many people hear just enough to support their initial opinion and stop there. Our view of human nature, origins, and tendencies are behind everything we believe and do. Everyone should want to know what they believe and why. Here are some areas that I have studied and will be writing about in the future:

 

  • Cosmology: The Big Bang theory is a fascinating and popular scenario which is extremely difficult to understand because of its reliance on advanced physics. I’m becoming more skeptical of fantastic new theories because they are based on mathematics rather than experimentation. How much is certain?
  • Archaeology: History began with an explosion of cities in Sumer. Many new finds are currently being examined and interpreted. DNA is helping to explain human migration. Old theories are being overturned. Origins is perhaps the real final frontier that needs to be explored.
  • History/Sociology: Ancient empires have risen and fallen, but we know little about their kings and almost nothing about the common people. We have more questions than answers. One aspect that is often overlooked is the moral responsibilities of nations. How did their morality affect their history?

 

Facts from many different disciplines contribute to answering the question of whether or not matter has a natural tendency to improve and whether or not mankind has a natural tendency to become more moral. This is my quest, and I would be glad to have you join me.

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