Friday, March 7, 2008

Wars & Rumors of Wars

My son has been creating flash based video games and has discovered a new way to create and share this creativity. One of his games is called Galactic Dodge Ball and involves moving the Earth out of the way of incoming asteroids. If you move the earth too quickly you see people falling off the planet. If you move correctly you not only can dodge the asteroids, but you can capture them in the Earth's gravity and a laser beam shoots out from the Earth's surface and destroys the asteroid. If the Earth gets hit three times it breaks into pieces and is destroyed. One gets to view the end of the world. In the game the difficulty gradually increases so that the destruction of world is inevitable. Some seem to think this is true of this world as well.

One of the classical signs of the end of the world has been the increase of violence. Today we hear reported many horrible incidents of violence including wars, domestic violence, crime related, and violence from mental/emotional problems. There are also claims that violence in the entertainment we engage in, including video games, movies, books, and television, increases violence. All these "signs" have been pointed out in various degrees as evidence that we are getting more evil and the world is less safe.

In the following video Steven Pinker shares with us how violence has changed through out various periods of time...

In the documentary Bowling for Columbine Michael Moore postulates that one reason violence is greater in the US than Canada is that through our reporting we are increasing the amount of fear within society. It is the fear of violence that contributes to the increase in violence.

There has been a very popular book and movie series called Left Behind by Jerry Jenkins and Tim LaHaye. These books have fictionalized a battle between good and evil that will eventually lead to the destruction of the earth by fire. The implication is that evil has been steadily increasing on the planet to the point where God has to come down and destroy everything so that things can start over. One assumption in this story is that these events are inevitable and that there is nothing that can be done other than to make sure you are on the right side of the conflict. The cost of not being on the right side is being sent to an eternal hell.

One of the trends that I like to see is the trend toward seeking out and implementing solutions. This provides, at least for me, a sense of vibrant purpose and hope. I find this a much better place to be than fearfully waiting for the end of the world, resigning myself to an eventual decline into absolute evil.

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