More Modern, More Civilized?

It has been over 600 years since the passing of the dark ages, and civilization has seen a lot of advancements: exploration of new continents, more books that bought knowledge to more people, people talking to others in different countries thanks to the telegraph, then the telephone, and now cell phones and computers. We can now talk to anyone around the globe thanks to technological advancements like the internet. But, do those advancements lead to a more civilized society, one where people are treated with respect, less discrimination, and more kindness? Something that a lot of people like to say about society today is, “We are thankful we live in a society of more freedoms and more knowledge, and not the dark ages, those were uncivilized times.” This is said a lot because people are no longer thrown to the lions in the Coliseum, or because people in Western society have much more freedom today. On the other hand, some people still get killed for their race, religion, and political beliefs, and some people still enjoy their violent entertainment, and bullying someone who they do not like. If anyone actually took the time to look around at “modern” society, what would they see?
People may not be thrown to the lions anymore, but that does not mean that people do not enjoy their violent entertainments. The Ultimate Fighting Championship, or UFC is one of the most popular sports of the modern era; the masses cheer on as two combatants beat each other to a pulp. Bones are broken and blood is spilled in the name of entertainment. One woman even died in the ring, but that does not seem to deter the popularity of this sport. Kids are still being beaten with belts and other implements by their parents and it is often looked upon as an acceptable form of discipline. Wrestling is not like it used to be; people want more highflying action and violence, or they will tune out. Is this a more civilized form of entertainments?
People today seem to like hurting other people just for the sake of their own enjoyment. Take a look at Facebook were anyone can cyber bully a person they do not like, and there are people who cheer on this type of bullying which has even led to victims committing suicide. Isn’t this just as barbaric as the Romans throwing the Christians to the lions? The only difference is people are hurling insults at someone, not throwing them to lions, but the result can be the same, someone loses their life. It is not as primal, but that does not make it any less barbaric. When George Zimmerman was found not guilty for the murder of Trayvon Martin lots of people went onto Facebook mocking Martin and celebrating the Zimmerman verdict, mocking his death, and sending his family harassing messages.
Discrimination also still plays a major role in society today. Examples include the Zimmerman verdict, to religious bigotry against Muslims who face death threats, and the Mathew Shepard case. He was killed just for being gay. People are being killed for their political beliefs in North Korea, and ISIS is beheading American Journalists. This type of behavior sounds like something out of the Dark Ages, not a more civilized and advanced society.
Technology has become more advanced. Some people have become a little more open minded, and have received more rights. The one thing that does not seem to change is a lot of people’s barbaric nature. A lot of people seem to get enjoyment out of hurting others or watching people get hurt. People are still murdered for being different, some still enjoy violent entertainment, and people still enjoy torturing people, whether through war, social media, school, work, or home. If people do not learn to treat people with more dignity, respect, and kindness, then society is no more civilized, it is just more technologically advanced.

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2 thoughts on “More Modern, More Civilized?

  1. Human nature has changed very little. Civilisation is a thin veneer : we are smartly suited barbarians. Robert Hare suggests there are about three million psychopaths in America compared to only a hundred or so serial killers.

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