General Question

hypeserver's avatar

Is mankind heading towards it's downfall?

Asked by hypeserver (442 points ) December 17th, 2008

It maybe safe to say that mankind has been in it’s peak within the last 250 years or so, but are we already heading towards our downfall? While humans are constantly growing smarter and learning from their surroundings we’re also making stupider mistakes than we have ever before. I don’t want to bring politics full frontal in this discussion, but without saying to much about the United States government I think most of you caught my drift. Politics, decision making, the economy, world crisis, overcrowding, global warming. It seems like mankind is facing many problems (although I’m not saying they’re all new ones). Is mankind heading towards it’s downfall? If you believe we are do you believe it will ever lead to a “judgement day” or will lead mankind back to the minds of a caveman?

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20 Answers

RandomMrdan's avatar

2012 anyone?

funkdaddy's avatar

I think mankind is at it’s peak right… now…

no wait… now… something new was just discovered…

maybe… now… there’s been progress on some killer disease…

just now… there was another step towards some unimagined technological marvel…

There have always been bad people, bad problems, and bad intentions, somehow we keep rising though and I think mankind as a whole will continue with that for a while yet…

Just one optimist’s opinion I suppose… doesn’t mean we can sit back and wait for others to solve the problems, just that I think we’ll find a way.

augustlan's avatar

I sure hope not. I think human beings will rise to the challenge, if global warming doesn’t kill us all first.

RandomMrdan's avatar

haha for the record, I don’t believe the world is going to end in 2012 (I’m not an idiot).

AstroChuck's avatar

I hope so. I just love entropy.

jessturtle23's avatar

I’m stoked that in the last 26 years of my life that we have progressed so much as a people. My best friend and Mam is 92 and when I think of the difference that has happened in her life it just makes me more excited for human kind. Yeah, we are having a shitty time in the politics of America and the world but it isn’t the first time, or the last. America is still an idea and I am happy about that because there is less pressure. Yay time!

madcapper's avatar

fuck this 2012 bullshit but we have about screwed ourselves…
As the dinosaurs went extinct so shall we…
the mistakes have been made and theres no going back :(

GAMBIT's avatar

Since the beginning of time man has been on a crash course with himself. He has taken up arms against his brother and he has been almost apocalyptic with himself. I think the modern way of thinking is that man has become worse in the last few centuries but history tells us that man has always been building up to his downfall.

wundayatta's avatar

Even if there were a full out nuclear war, at most, two billion people would die, leaving some four to five billion still living. It’s going to be hard to bring humans to a downfall, if by that, you mean death of all humans. If you mean death of a billion humans, then that is possible, but humans, like rats and cockroaches, will rally.

laureth's avatar

We keep getting into binds, but we (as a species) keep getting out of it with solutions that push the disasters later and later. For example, infections that hurt us for ages were held at bay with antibiotics, which were great until so many of the bugs became resistant, and now we have to think of something else. The problem is, we’ve pushed the envelope in so many ways, putting off the disasters until some other day… and now they seem to all be coming home to roost.

Whether or not we push back this collection of disasters remains to be seen. Either we’ll pull something amazing out of our sleeve, or we won’t. I hope for the former, but my belief in human nature compels me to believe the latter.

We sure live in interesting times, eh?

@daloon – I’m pretty sure that “death of all humans” wouldn’t be necessary for the standard of living we know to fall backwards quite a bit. That’s more like what I’m worried about – that, and the pain and chaos that would fill the interim between this stability and the next wave of stability.

wundayatta's avatar

We like to criticise FEMA for it’s poor response to Katrina and other hurricanes. Other disasters hit all over the world, as a result of weather, and movements of earth and water. Many lives are lost at the time. But rebuilding starts soon after and a few short years later, we are a long way towards using the land as we used to, and maybe a decade or so later, we don’t even know that anything ever happened.

hypeserver's avatar

daloon When I started talking about mankind’s “downfall” I didn’t mean the death to all humans or even a massive death to mankind. When I stated the original question I was talking about mankind killing out our resources and getting greedy over what’s left. Although I did mean to talk about mankind’s final descent that wasn’t my original intention for that to be the question.

pathfinder's avatar

I thing the time will be the real problem.Cheat the time and would be no problems.Is this a solution.The question is asking at something else.sorry.{never ending}

wundayatta's avatar

@hype: I’m sorry, I guess I misunderstood what you meant by downfall. I probably didn’t read the question carefully enough.

hammer43's avatar

I would say without a question yes we are…as a whole yes, just look at how things were ten, twenty, forty years ago and look at now we are in a mess and it looks like there is nothing that can be done about it. And please, please don’t it can’t go down any worse than this because there is always a worse.

laureth's avatar

On the other hand, remember history. After the Black Death killed off 30–60% of the population of Europe, it ended up being quite a boon for the survivors. Society went from being overcrowded, miserable and famine-stricken to being able to spread out (on lands where the owners had died) and claim higher wages for their work (because there was a lower supply of workers). It helped usher in the Renaissance.

hypeserver's avatar

hammer43 We were in a pretty big mess with Russia during the time you mentioned. What I’m referring to is the Cold War. So it was not like it was that much easier than. Never-the-less I get the point you were trying to make.
daloon No worries, I have a feeling the problem was in my error on how I phrased the question.

An8el's avatar

Life and population will keep increasing until everywhere will be Tokyo.

Imagine humankind being just a giant infestation of pestilence on the earth’s surface. ;) Just wait until the next massive pole-shift; then Gaia will shake us back to the stone age.

All history will be wiped, everyone will have to forget this arrogant “civilized” mess ever existed and if humankind survives, those kids have to do it all over again without technology. So, perhaps we could resurrect the info in all those old encyclopedias that tell you how to skin a rabbit, etc. because this is the level of info people are going to need to survive at that point.

Until then, either we get wiser or more inspired and reign in our impulse control; or not. It’s probably gonna be – not. No matter how well behaved some of us are, there are always the desperate opportunists. Nature abhors a vacuum.

This happens because we are built to adapt, and adaptation allows whatever we do to be taken for granted. It’s a design flaw that I don’t think humanity is going to get over anytime soon. I teach people impulse control and how to manage the ability to adapt intelligently, but it’s slow going and nobody is interested. (via Alexander Technique.)

Roby's avatar

No, it’s the USA thats going to hell in a hand basket.Spearheaded by Obama.

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