March 12, 2011

Only One Conclusion

Are we living in the 'Last Days' of Earth, as various sources claim? Or is it all hysteria induced by the stress and pace of change in this era? In this article, I aim to show how a constellation of
widely disparate indicators are converging in our present day, and point to one unavoidable conclusion-- that we are living in the last days.
This is a stretch for many readers; but if you want to be prepared for coming calamities, you've got to stare into the dark abyss!

Regardless of your views on ‘apocalypse,’ I think every intelligent reader will admit that we are living in unpredictable, unstable times. At any moment, the broadcast news could interrupt your regular rhythms to inform you of a deadly earthquake in such a highly developed place as Japan, or of civil uprising in Libya that suddenly jolts gasoline prices skyward, or the bankruptcy of a major company that may send your investment portfolio stumbling down; and so on. That's beside the personal messages that can burst into our lives, and change them forever, such as a diagnosis of disease, a road accident involving a family member, a job loss, and on it goes. We've all had brushes with these incidents. You might believe then, that people would be quite ready to accept new information that could help them prepare for the increasing contingencies of modern life. Instead, sadly, most people take the opposite tack! They are sufficiently harried by the things they can't control, that they blissfully tune out the news that they think they can 'safely' ignore.

For those who can handle reality, aware that foreknowledge is the best insurance they can have, I present this scenario.

In what can be called Jesus' Revelation, Matthew 24, he tells us: As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man (vs 37). Here, 'it' means the state of the world. So, what was the state of the world in those days of Noah? If we go back to the account of the Flood in the ancient book of Genesis (ch. 6, vs 5) we find this succinct and chilling statement: The LORD saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time.

Surely the degree of comparison expressed in that sentence cannot be missed-- 'every inclination' was 'only evil' and 'all the time.' These words outline a very bleak picture of the terrible moral condition of humanity at that time. Yet, here's the core of it-- and I think most persons of good will know this in their heart of hearts-- the world is today at that same degree of moral corruption that existed in Noah's day!

Our ubiquitous experts, the sage heads in the TV frame, assure us that not only is everything just fine, but society is progressing, just as implied in the dogma of Evolution. Right; just relax, folks; ignore those nagging nabobs of negativity who keep reminding us of the many indications that demonstrate a regression back to the Dark Ages. For those of us who are inveterate skeptics, let's take a survey of the factors that would validate the thesis of a moral regression that echoes the days leading up to the Deluge.

(1) Perhaps the most damning indictment of moral pretensions today is the clear fact that in this 'enlightened' 21st century, the gap between rich and poor is greater than ever, and is accelerating. This disparity occurs both within every country, as well as internationally. In the once-richest nation on Earth, the American dream has finally been definitively dashed, as millions have lost their home with no hope of regaining it.

After decades of donations of billions of dollars to the 'developing world,' (primarily Africa) nothing significant has changed. The poor in those countries are as poor as ever. And if we needed an illustration, we had the Haiti earthquake of 2010 where, a full year after the disaster, most people are still living in primitive tent cities, despite the billions of dollars of aid that was sent or pledged by concerned benefactors.

Most people take money for granted in the sense that they don't think about what it really means. We assume that coins and paper notes are convenient counters that represent a 'medium of exchange.' However, the true situation is that a small cabal of bankers devised a scheme, dating back centuries, to transform money into a debt-note, and by their machinations, that debt is owed to them. Virtually every bank in the world participates in this debt-money system, which means that most people, world-wide, hold debt owed to this monstrous system.

The financial meltdown that shook so many banks and investment houses on Wall Street in 2008/9 should have done what capitalism boasts it does-- shaken out the weak, and left the system stronger. Instead, the instigators skimmed off a goodly amount of the torrent of bail-out money, and the system is as shaky as ever. The bottom line of the world economic ledger has a big, red-ink entry for the poor, and a bloated, black-ink entry for the rich.

Each of the main 'degeneracy factors' entails subsidiary factors that exacerbate the main one. In the case of money, we have to delve into the issue of energy, since (whether we realize it or not) we live in an energy economy. What the 20th century accomplished was the total dependency of the entire world on one, vital substance-- petroleum! Regardless of all professed efforts to develop new energy sources, the petroleum industry has the world hooked on their 'black cocaine.' No alternative source could replace oil within even a decade. And the petrol-masters have no intention of helping humanity break its oil habit. On the contrary, there is evidence to demonstrate that any serious attempt to challenge the supremacy of petroleum with some new innovation is met with crushing opposition. For prime example, stories persist that the genius, Nicola Tesla, had found a means to tap the unlimited, ubiquitous energy of the universe, and intended to make it available freely to the world. He ended his days a discouraged, financial failure, and his discoveries have never seen daylight. Virtually free energy would have meant a huge step towards freedom from poverty for the world's masses. Instead, they are held in bondage to a financial prison run from Wall Street and the City of London.

(2) Another feature of modern society that betrays moral failure is the simple fact that the world is in a constant state of war, somewhere on Earth. How can we ever claim to be 'evolving' as long as this blot of warfare stains every page of human history, from the earliest records to the sorry present? Despite convening a world body, the UN, ostensibly to maintain peace, national armies have been getting ever more efficient at killing mankind. The 20th century, while bringing staggering technological advances, was the bloodiest period in known history. That century began with the latest, most efficient weapon being the machine-gun, and before it was half over, our brilliantly warped minds had devised the atomic bomb... and used it. Bravo! One bomb could now kill hundreds of thousands of our fellow humans at one blow. A true milestone of human ingenuity.

Terrible as it is, the nuclear bomb is not the last weapon to emerge from the fertile minds of military scientists. Oh no; they have been working feverishly on such things as 'directed energy weapons' (based on lasers), biological weapons (supposedly banned, but hey, ya gotta have some surprises up your sleeve), battle robots that can eliminate all worries over the political dangers of conscription, nano-weapons that can produce themselves in hordes, and of course, space-based weapons that can rain sudden destruction on targets that would have not the slightest forewarning. All of these 'advances' are ample proof of the inveterate evil-mindedness of our miserable race.

(3) Our ability to transform and apply any invention, no matter how beneficial it promises to be, into a new menace, is legendary. No doubt, the first spears were very helpful in killing game animals for food; and it's equally certain they were quickly used to skewer other humans. Dynamite was invented to facilitate mining, we're told; soon it was facilitating the murder of people. In the case of atomic energy, we managed to turn the weapon into an energy source... but without first figuring out what to do with the radioactive, spent fuel, and other risks. However, in true form, the military-industrial alliance have found a 'neat' solution to the problem: spent uranium fuel is now molded into munitions used by the US forces in their foreign adventures. First Iraq, and now Afghanistan are being changed into nuclear-radiated dumping grounds. Iraq has one of the highest rates of cancer and birth-deformities in the world. Mission accomplished, as Bush would say.

(4) A sick hallmark of the 21st century is the on-going destruction of our very environment. Everywhere one can tread, we can find the detritus of so-called civilization-- a trail of garbage marks our presence. In those giant metropolises we brag about, the air is poisonous and the known source of premature death for millions of inhabitants. In many places, the water is laced with either contaminants, or else chemicals used to remove those pollutants... a no-win choice. If the water happens to be fairly safe to begin with, our officials add sodium fluoride to it, to ensure that there's something toxic in our system (even if it takes decades to affect a given proportion of the populace). Toxic chemicals from poorly or un-regulated industries are dumped into 'tailings ponds,' or exposed mounds, and seep into the soil, down into the water table, and thence, into our bodies.

Moving away from cities with their manufacturing activity, into the countryside, other industries are extracting resources at a furious pace. Forests that took centuries to grow are torn down in mere weeks or months, leaving exposed slashes of land. Whole mountains are leveled in years by the steady carving away of their minerals by strip-mining. Cities expand by pushing roads and structures over former wilderness, destroying the habitat of the indigenous wild-life, or paving over farm land that would feed their own populations.

Sure, we 'need' space to grow; we 'need' raw material for producing 'goods;' we need industries to provide jobs. The point is that as societies, we have proceeded headlong into these activities with utter abandon. Almost two centuries beyond the start of the 'Industrial Revolution,' we have hardly raised our consciousness an iota towards conservation of the very ecosystem that, ultimately, nurtures our lives. Our leaders don't seem to 'get' that this is the only home we have; there are no more new continents to despoil. If there are cosmic spectators of this planet, they would have no alternative but to judge us insane!

(5) Transhumanism; a word that most people have never even heard of, yet its implications are eerie and far-reaching. Transhumanism intends the use of genetics, robotics, artificial intelligence and nanotechnology ('GRIN technologies') as tools that will radically redesign our minds, our memories, our physiology, our offspring, and perhaps even our very souls. This 'human makeover' includes among other things rewriting human DNA and thereby combining men with beasts. Such Frankensteinian meddling with our natural design harks back to dark myths of 'chimeras,' and forward to fantasies of cyborg hybrids. Either way, the implications are blood-curdling to God-fearing mortals, since it represents the creature arrogantly re-creating himself in his own juvenile image. Where such a path could lead is anyone's guess; but given our perversion of every other technical advance, my conviction is that it would end in horrendous disaster for the whole race. How far will we be allowed to pursue such insane interference with our very nature?

Surely it has to be clear that based on past patterns, if we continue on the present trajectory of human 'progress' we will surely destroy ourselves... and possibly, the planet itself. And there is not the slightest indication that a majority of decision-makers is prepared to reconsider our present course. When you put these characteristics of the modern age together, the inescapable conclusion is that humanity is a very sick species with an incurable death wish!

All of which brings me back to the original thesis: that the world today is in a similar condition as it was in the days leading up to the Deluge that destroyed that antediluvian society to the extent that only a few survivors remained to repopulate the Earth. Whether you believe in God or not, the outcome of present behavior is predictable. Either nature takes its course and humanity destroys itself; or, God/Nature intervenes in some manner or another, and terminates this wicked generation. I say one manner or another because God need not appear in the sky, an angry, old man swinging a celestial brick-bat against his tainted handiwork. No; He can surprise us with any number of natural calamities capable of extinguishing civilization as we know it. As part of the effort to defuse the 2012 doomsday speculation, scientists have compiled a list of ten or so disasters that they consider able to end life on Earth. It's true-- you can find them online. However-- they then assure the reader that none of the selections has much likelihood of happening anytime within eons at best.

God has other ideas about timing and probability, and can send a 'judgment' against us anytime He chooses, using any convenient phenomenon of the natural universe. At the time of the great Flood, God did not pull out a cosmic garden hose and shower the planet. There was a natural cause for that catastrophe, albeit one that so far remains a mystery to us (although some cogent theories have been put forward over the years).

Okay, some of you readers are stubborn skeptics, so there's more. You see, a calamity of the magnitude of the Deluge doesn't just strike one day 'out of the blue.' No; there had to be prior signals that 'something evil this way comes.' Perhaps there were widespread earthquakes; volcanic eruptions in diverse locations; strange formations of clouds and other atmospheric phenomena; maybe flocks of birds falling dead from the sky, and schools of fish floating dead on the shores. Hey, wait a minute-- aren't we seeing things like that happening today? Yes, my friends; that's exactly the point! Think about it... hard.

Death of an Empire

We read various historical accounts of the dying days of the Roman Empire, or perhaps, the Inca Empire, or the Egyptian or Chinese dynasties, and find it all quite fascinating, but remote from our experience. Many may be lulled into thinking 'that was then... we're a long way from those days.' But, not to fret--
we're seeing the unraveling of an empire-- nay, a civilization-- before our own, glazed eyes. The problem is, that most people don't have a clue that it's happening.

But the signs of decay and disintegration are all around us, constantly. If we would but open our eyes, our ears, we'd become all too aware of it. It's often in places we don't regard as having universal importance.

For example, hardly a week goes by when we don't hear a story in the news about bullying. There are earnest programs conducted in elementary schools, junior high schools, senior high schools... what next, kindergarten? Yet, for all the programs, the pink T-shirts, the tears, the bullying goes on-- often with tragic results.

The bullying mentality carries into every walk of life. As I write, another professional hockey player lies in hospital after taking a brutal hit in his last game. While the police are launching an investigation, and some game sponsors are making angry noises, the head of the hockey league dismisses the incident as a legitimate contact that went wrong. In the hey-day of the Roman Empire, they had gladiatorial combats to titillate the bored crowds; today, we have ice-hockey, the ritualized combat of young men for glory and lucre. Again, some parents, certain pundits, some physicians, have spoken out over the years against the violence that can leave a player with life-long injuries; but nothing seems to change.

If the criminal element has always been violent, and now the common man increasingly resorts to bullying, it's all the more sad to see the police become casual with the use of violence at any opportunity. In any interaction with the public, the police are apt to use force far in excess of what's required... simply because they can. For every story that gets into the media spotlight, who knows how many incidents go unreported? Since it's most often the police who investigate themselves, they are quite secure in figuring that they'll get away with it. The responsible chiefs-- after they've stonewalled for as long as possible-- assure us that it's only a few 'bad actors' who misbehave. Yet the stories have been getting more lurid all the time.

Every attempt to reclaim human morality in the face of the creeping brutality gets smothered in the all-embracing fog of modern hyperactive daily existence. Actually, it's more than that, because a cycle thru the TV dial will demonstrate that violence is woven into the fabric of modern, Western 'entertainment.' After watching years of virtual bullying and 'simulated' violence, is it really a wonder why the citizenry act it out almost by nature?

Indeed, an objective survey of modern entertainment should quickly convince anyone who can recall the dawn of the TV age that the trend is rapidly accelerating to total moral anarchy. In the early days it was enough to show a white sheet covering a 'dead body;' today, we have to be shown a naked cadaver on a slab, with part of it excavated for closer examination of vital organs. A passionate kiss used to convey the desired image of intimacy between lovers; today we are titillated with ‘soft porn’ to get the point across; tomorrow, expect hard porn on the regular dramas. And so it goes.

In sexual mores, it used to be sufficient for mainstream society to show tolerance towards homosexuals. Today, we must take 'pride' in their perversion, as it is paraded annually, in big cities across the Western world. The spectacle of men and women in various costumes and lack of costumes, waving from floats and strutting on the streets can't help but conjure up images of the Saturnalia and other Roman celebrations in which effigies of giant genitalia were paraded thru the streets to the delight of the throngs. Regardless of one's enlightened views, the on-going normalization of sexual deviation is a trend with bleak prospects, and historically, a signal of the breakdown of a society.

Another barometer of societal collapse is the craving for thrills among the youth. Sociologists may argue that the popularity of risky sports, such as sky-diving, bungee-jumping, extreme skiing and snow-boarding, base-jumping, and so on, arose as a substitute for the former 'normal risks' inherent in life before the comfort of modern, urban, artificial living. That idea has a certain ring of authority to it, but does not account for the on-going presence of war as an available outlet for youthful thrill-seeking. No; today's youth seem to be cramming as much 'living' as possible into what may be a limited life-span. Demographers are already predicting that the present generation in the under 30 age bracket will actually have a shorter life-span than their parents, due to the prevalence of obesity and other health factors that modern medicine has proved incapable to eradicate.

The reckless destruction of our environment-- despite the ostensible understanding bestowed by science-- is yet another clear sign of the mass insanity that precedes collapse. Sure, our slick industry spokespersons assure us that their company exercises good stewardship with resources; but after a few decades of hearing such baloney, while the ecosystems continue to be destroyed, the rhetoric sounds sickly hollow. According to pundits like Jared Diamond, this rush to grab all the resources before the next guys is a hallmark of an empire in a tailspin.

A primary characteristic of a civilization in rapid decline is the loss of moral direction, the lack of consensus on what constitutes morality. Western society, in the main, prides itself in having broken free from the shackles of religion. Unfortunately, society has essentially failed to develop a viable alternative. We threw off the mental fetters of corrupt religions, only to joyfully accept the invisible chains of the ersatz substitute proffered by our exalted science, the doctrine of Darwin. Instead of being the creation of a Divine being, we are now the descendents of apes... How great is that? Western man worships at the altars of the pseudo-religion of science, complete with its high-priests, its cathedrals, its credos and orthodoxies. In place of the gospel of Jesus, we have the Theory of Evolution. Instead of 'love thy neighbor,' we have survival of the fittest-- interpreted as the meanest, and most ruthless among us. You may not like the pretenses of religion (neither do I); but we may have done much better to reform religion than to throw it on the scrap heap of knowledge. I hope that the sincere atheist can screw up sufficient courage to acknowledge that the abandonment of traditional religion has come at a high price-- without an agreed ethic, we are at the mercy of whatever intellectual scam can be foisted on a majority of people.

To recap the thesis: signs of the collapse of civilization are everywhere, for those with the perceptions to see them. Every TV show you watch, every commercial message, every magazine and newspaper, all our cultural reflectors, they all encode the not-so-secret message that this is an empire in terminal declension. You can train yourself, like a latter-day shaman, to open your eyes; or you can continue to exist in dreamland-- the red pill or the blue-- the choice is yours.