Wednesday 31 December 2014

The year 1800 - the Beginning of the End (Times)

1800 was when people began to notice that the world had changed - first in England, Scotland, Wales - then rapidly visible through Western and Central Europe and the United States.

It was the industrial revolution, it was modernity - the escalation of functional specialization in social functions; within a generation it was the permanent and progressive rise of secularism, nationalism, leftism, and the occasional temporary secular backlashes against leftism.


1800 was the inflection point for human biology - when birth rates (fertility) progressively became more important in population growth than death rates (mortality) - when the demographic transition began to sweep across the world, with self-suppression of fertility lower and lower, until from the 1960s it became sub-replacement.

Productivity of food and other essentials grew; trade and communications expanded in scope and speed; public health and medicine made breakthroughs upon breakthroughs which were implemented...

World population began to increase more rapidly up to seven-fold the 1800 level, and is still rising - with perhaps another 20plus additional percent to be born (whether or not they live); as the modernized world intervened in the un-modernized world to reduce mortality while fertility remains sustained above replacement.


In Christian terms, 1800 was the point when it became clearer and clearer that the end times had begun; the latter days.

And about 1800 was when Joseph Smith the Mormon prophet was born, and by 1830 the Book of Mormon had been discovered and translated, and the CJCLDS organized as a sign of arrival of the latter days; and the Mormon church has since waxed in size and devoutness and range of influence as mainstream Christianity has waned - a glowing beacon in these ever-more-gloomy times.


Of course, human free will, agency, continues to operate (at least, it operates wherever humans 'believe in' it, and do not deny its reality). So destiny is fixed - and God works to ensure that all will turn-out as prophesied; but the time-scale and specifics are not fixed - and the end times can be delayed, and even temporarily reversed, by human choices and actions.

Yet, in these times constraints are established and grow, certain possibilities dwindle and die, the mass suffers decline - the consequent features have been described and can be observed: they are indeed overwhelming in a worldly sense.  

But not overwhelming of our souls - unless we choose to allow to accept them as such.


For each of us as individuals, these tidal civilizational changes must be regarded as temporary and transitional; in the context of hope for, and expectation of, an eternal life of happiness.

And this eternal happiness will, if we let it, spill-over and back into this earthly mortal life - to encourage and heal and maintain courage.

So we live in a Mouse Utopia of declining fitness and capability, of existential exhaustion seen in an ageing, cowardly, hedonistic society characterized by declining marriage, near zero children, and endemic corruption, distraction and dishonesty.

All this must be recognized and repented. But that is not the whole story. For those who make the choice to accept it; there is courage, faith, hope and love germinating, growing and thriving here-and-there, even among the darkening ruins.


1 comment:

Bruce Charlton said...

@NF - wrt Free Will, I have explained several times on this blog, on posts where you have commented, that science cannot refute Free Will, cannot discover that free Will does not exist or is an illusion, because science is set-up such that free will is already excluded, excluded a priori.

Science is a subject that has no place of Free Will, the assumption is built in that Free Will is not-part-of-science, not an explanation that science can consider.

This is not a problem - all subjects are constructed on the basis of inclusion/ exclusion criteria - but it sets a limit on what science can and cannot discover - science cannot discover, or measure, anything which science has excluded. God is another thing.

Free Will is as real as anything can be to us, realer than any 'science' or any other kind of 'evidence' - it is primary experience.

If we nevertheless choose to deny its reality, the psychological, existential, consequences are very serious, very damaging - because when Free Will is rejected, so necessarily is almost everything else - we become uncertain about everything: solipsism, then nihilism become almost inevitable.