This blog intends to provide some balance in the religious debate by providing a counterpoint to Billy Graham's religious advice. On his website http://www.billygraham.org/ he responds to readers' questions by quoting from the bible. I am attempting to respond to those same queries by resorting to reason and rationality.

I must acknowledge a debt here to Jeff Hope who started in this vein but who has unfortunately taken a hiatus. His blog is http://atheistsanswer.wordpress.com/. Jeff has inspired me to continue.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

The Sky Is Falling

QUESTION: Today's comes from PF...
"My friend keeps sending me e-mails about what's happening in the world, and some of them are really scary. We seem to be headed downhill faster and faster -- economically, socially, morally, you name it. I don't see much of anything good happening in our country, do you?".

At first thought there appears to be so much wrong with the world today: terrorism; climate change; AIDS; economic crises; etc. It's easy to fall into the trap of thinking that civilisation as we know it is in decline. However, when you think back to earlier times, even though they didn't have the problems we have now, they still had other huge problems. In the last 100 years there have been: global pandemics; world wars; the great depression; the holocaust; etc. Before that there were: regular wars; rampant disease; widespread ignorance; etc.
How many times do you hear an old person (or a person old at heart) moan about how things used to be so much better? If you hear this, challenge the speaker to describe how things used to be and ask them exactly when this utopia occurred. Invariably they are unable to do so without resorting to selective memory. Other people say that the young people these days are dreadful and just don't care. I remember in the early 1970's when I was a teenager the older generations said the same about us. Everything old is new again. Things are different now, but not worse.
Furthermore there are sections within our society in whose interests it is to make us alarmed, such as politicians, media outlets, and religious leaders. Media outlets prosper by making us worried about disasters that befall us, so they sensationalise everything that happens to engender a reaction in their audience. Our news services are so efficient that the slightest calamity anywhere in the world is immediately broadcast into our loungerooms. Politicians and religious leaders want us to believe that society is degenerating so that we look to them for support and leadership by voting for them or by joining their congregations. My advice is to be concerned about society, do what you can to improve things, but don't waste your mental health by worrying.


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