General Question

spresto's avatar

Do we live in a dangerous world?

Asked by spresto (898points) May 15th, 2009

A thought from another question. The media projects a lot of false images. Setting what the media said aside. In your own personal experience. Is this world dangerous to live in?

I think no. I have never experienced anything like the news projects. Bad things have occurred but that is life.

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44 Answers

lillycoyote's avatar

I don’t think it’s any more or less dangerous than it’s always been.

Facade's avatar

I haven’t experienced anything dangerous (except crazy drivers of course).

MattFM's avatar

No. I never feel like I’m in danger. Most things happen for a reason.

spresto's avatar

@loser Why do you say yes?

loser's avatar

@spresto I’m paranoid?

spresto's avatar

@loser That’ll do it! : )

lillycoyote's avatar

Are you talking about the “world”, I mean the whole thing? Because there are a lot of places that are pretty damn dangerous.

spresto's avatar

I mean your world.

lillycoyote's avatar

@spresto I was the victim of a major assault where I thought the guy was going to kill me. That was a long time ago and I feel generally safe most of the time now but something like that does permanently change your perspective on how safe the world in general actually is.

spresto's avatar

@lillycoyote So the answer is yes?

lillycoyote's avatar

@spresto I already answered the question up top. But if you’re really looking for a yes or no then I would say yes, there are dangers in the world.

willbrawn's avatar

No! As long as Chuck Norris lives. I’ll be fine.

spresto's avatar

Go Chuck Norris!!

willbrawn's avatar

Really though, no we dont. The world always has some kind of evil to combat.

It was no different hundreds of years ago. And if anything it is safer because of modern medicine. I just think that all the weirdo’s are made more public because of the media. It happened before, just now everyone hears about it outside the neighborhood.

Les's avatar

Yes, of course we do. But that isn’t to say that there is no way to avoid danger. Everyday we do things that could potentially be hazardous to ourselves (driving, cooking, etc), but most of us are capable of dealing with these dangerous situations and doing what we can to reduce our risk.

DrasticDreamer's avatar

I agree with Les. The world is dangerous. “Survival of the fittest” proves this. If you’re not strong or capable of thinking of ways in which to survive, you’re pretty screwed.

whatthefluther's avatar

The potential for danger is always out there. Considering that at one moment you can be wrapped up in your work in a cubicle in a magnificent high rise with a beautiful view of the NY skyline and the next moment find yourself inexplicably in the flight path of a huge jet airliner, yes, the potential for danger always exists. But you can’t live in fear of situations you can not control. In situations you can control it is wise to stay aware, exercise care and practice due diligence.

spresto's avatar

I want to try and redirect this question. I was curious about personal experiences. Not what you have seen on the news. Unless of course you actually were sitting in a NY skyline and the next moment found yourself inexplicably in the flight path of a huge jet airliner. That would totally suck.

whatthefluther's avatar

In my little world, now confined to a couple hundred square feet of a safe secure home, I feel very safe and don’t fear danger. My pets, who are in danger of getting tangled in the wheels of my wheelchair, might feel differently. I hope I’ve answered your redirected question.

tinyfaery's avatar

There will always be danger, but there is no need to focus one’s attention on it at all times. Constantly feeling fearful and paranoid (sorry @loser) is no way to live.

Fyrius's avatar

Dude.
Of all the species of life that live on this planet, we’re by far the safest.
We’re so safe in fact that if we do ever find ourselves in mortal danger and survive it, we remember that day for the rest of our lives. Compare that to the life of a sparrow or an antelope. So many wild animals narrowly escape death multiple times every day.

With that in mind, the only way to consider this world dangerous to us is by having bizarrely high standards for safety.

cookieman's avatar

OK, so you specified “your world”. So, what is my world…

I’m a street-smart, foot-player-sized white guy, living in a suburb of Boston in the US.

Yup, “my world” is pretty damn safe compared to the treacherous shit-holes some folks are forced to live in on this planet. Frankly, anyone living in a similar situation to mine is paranoid (sorry @loser) if they think otherwise.

It’s a shame really. I think we’re very lucky comparatively.

dynamicduo's avatar

No we don’t. Most fears are overblown and not probable in the least. Please read Risk: The science and politics of fear for a great analysis of this.

That is, unless you actually believe what the media shoves down your throat. Then yes we do live in a fucked up world where everyone wants to rape/sell drugs to/murder everyone you know.

CMaz's avatar

Always has been. We are just becomming more ignorant to it.

julianalulu's avatar

Yes, the world has had a majer in cris in population and crime.

Fyrius's avatar

*Major increase?

DarkScribe's avatar

Yes, there is no doubt of it. I am journalist and I know for sure that there is a higher risk of violence, more likelihood of assault now than when I started my career. There are places that were quite safe when I was young, that are now universally considered high risk. Children now cannot travel or be left alone in way or places that were commonplace and absolutely safe when I was a child. At age eight I would travel via train to school, a trip involving changing trains at an inner city station. Nowadays a parent can be charged with child endangerment for allowing a child to travel alone on some forms of public transport – trains in particular. Yes, we live in an increasingly dangerous world.

oratio's avatar

@DarkScribe And yet violent crimes has dropped since the early 90’s in the us. I feel that the dangers of the world depends on the perception of it.

ragingloli's avatar

yes, the world is a dangerous place.
BUT compared to the past, we live in the safest time in human history.

DarkScribe's avatar

@oratio Hmmm. Would you like to ask the casualty/ER staff if they believe violence has dropped? I know that it has in NYC, but not universally according to your own government stats. In some areas it has climbed by quite a large factor. The type of violence of most concern is teenage, that was not common here in the past.

oratio's avatar

@DarkScribe No I wouldn’t, cause all of their days are filled with violence, and thus the world is a violent place. I actually think that they would be less objective to a question like that. A librarian would probably have another world view.

But I am sure you are right in that some places are much more dangerous, and some much less.

jbfletcherfan's avatar

As a whole, yes, the world is a dangerous place. But in answer to MY little world, no, I’m safe as can be. I live in a little town of 400+ & I’m very safe here.

ccbatx's avatar

I think people think that the world is this horrible place because the news reports almost ALL bad things. I mean they aren’t going to say ‘hey, this person saved a cat from a tree’ there. I think there is—and hopefully always will be—more good in the world than there is bad.

Dorkgirl's avatar

I am safe in my world. I live in a safe city and don’t feel afraid.
I would disagree somewhat with the comments about people in other places in the world being/feeling less safe than those of us in the US (or Europe?).
We were in S.E. Asia recently and no one seemed concerned about locking their doors (if they had them), walking their children 100 yards to their school, etc. In many ways I think their sense of safety was greater than ours. Sure, there’s crime, but it did not seem like the thing these people were focused on day in and day out.
I’m only speculating here.

Supacase's avatar

The world has always been a dangerous place. In some ways we are safer now than, say, the Middle Ages when raping and pillaging were rampant; However, I believe there is the potential for more danger because worldwide travel is so common now. You don’t just have to worry about the dangers you know because the dangers you have never even heard of could impact your life within hours.

Medically, the world is considerably safer.

As for my little slice of the world? I would like to think I am safe, but I think many victims of violent crimes would have said the same thing. We tend to think things always happen to the other guy, never to us.

rooeytoo's avatar

My partner and I often discuss this. I wonder if the dangers in today’s society were always there but we did not have access to the news of it the minute it happens as we do now with 24 hour cnn etc. and the internet. And the news we heard was what we read in our local paper and not the news of the world. Probably it is some of both, if the population increases, crime will too.

I read recently that there are no more child abductions now than there ever were, it is just that you hear more about them now.

I think you have to live smart but not let fear rule your life. I lived that way in NYC and DC and Sydney and now in the wild bush of the NT of oz and I am obviously here to tell the tale.

Dlucido13's avatar

Yes unfortunately but that’s what makes life exciting!

augustlan's avatar

I was born into a dangerous environment. I am in less danger as an adult that I ever was as a child. That said, the world is a dangerous place, but I don’t think it is (statistically speaking) any more dangerous than it used to be.

bright_eyes00's avatar

My uncles talk about walking to kindergarten by themselves through a particular part of town, then talk about how they themselves do not feel comfortable in that same part of town nowadays. I think once upon a time the world was a much safer place but things have changed.

Fyrius's avatar

I doubt that, @bright_eyes00. I’m more inclined to believe they’ve just become aware of dangers that used to elude them.

Moreover, some (most?) people have a tendency always to think of the past as a lost Arcadia where everything was perfect, even if it wasn’t. I know I involuntarily embellish my memories the moment they stop being experiences and start being memories. That way, the past always seems more beautiful than the present just by virtue of being the past.
Maybe it’s the romance of the unreachable, or maybe it’s just a quirk of the brain that experiences recalled memories different than direct stimuli.

Nostalgia addiction isn’t just for old people. You should hear the people at 4chan rant on about how everything was better and funnier and more original a few years ago. Most of them are around my age.

bright_eyes00's avatar

@Fyrius In actuality where I’m from the downtown area was considered the “safe” part of town back then. About ten years ago the “bad” part of town got a bunch of money from the city and the cops cleared out a ton of the homeless and confiscated a bunch of weapons and changed everything well the bums and gangs and stuff only moved to anotehr part of town defeating the purpose that the city council had in mind. now the downtown area where my uncles had lived is now a scary place that i wont even go. its all relative. you’re scary/dangerous will be completely different than mine. i have lived in a lot of places and i can reassure you that the area where i once lived is not all peaches and cream. by no means is it like some parts of detroit or chicago but the danger there is comparable when an 20 year old is terrified to be left alone in her home because of the neighborhood and the gun shots and the gang fights that took place in front of my house in the street and the tire slashings. i honestly doubt the dangers that my uncles talk of now were near them when they were younger. that kind of danger eludes no one. just saying is all.

Fyrius's avatar

Fair enough. So places do change.

But your own story also tells that while one area became more dangerous, another one became less so.
This idea introduces a little complication: if we’re going to think of danger as something that can move from one place to another (1), how can one tell that the danger in the world has increased, and not just moved more to their place?
We’d have to look at the world as a whole. Which, if you want to do it properly, is a huge load of work that we probably both lack the means to do ourselves.
Once again, we need a statistician in here.

(1) Of course it doesn’t really work that way, but it’s not a bad simplification.

bennihan's avatar

If you live in Mexico you live in a dangerous world. They’re about to be declared a “Failed State”

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