TED Conversations

This conversation is closed.

Considering the violence that occurred during the previous century, can the Western ideas of science and reason be considered "progress"?

The twentieth-century witnessed the most technologically advanced nations in the world (i.e. Britain, Germany, France, Japan, and Russia) engage in two World Wars which killed millions of innocent civilians. Not only did the wars itself create unprecedented destruction, but atrocities such as the Holocaust were perpetrated by advanced, "civilized" nations. Although we have not had a major world war in seven decades, the most powerful nations in the world have created nuclear arsenals with the potential to destroy ever inhabitant on the planet. Finally, the Western lifestyle, perfectly exemplified by the United States, is warming the planet and destroying fragile natural ecosystems. Can this be considered progress?


Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • thumb
    Mar 3 2013: The atrocities correlate to the rise of psychology.

    The world has steadily become less violent over the past 100 years


    The last year or so show reports that the world is now cooling.
    • Mar 4 2013: Can you explain what you mean by the "rise of psychology"?
      • thumb
        Mar 4 2013: Psychology came into existence starting in the late 1800's

        The communist countries said that they learned everything they knew from Woodrow Wilson who learned everything he knew about manipulating the masses from Edward Bernays, Sigmund Freud's nephew. Incidentally old Woodrow is the president who brought us income tax, the federal reserve, and the most crippling of all the 17th amendment, rather dubious accomplishments for someone who has America's best interests in mind don't you think?

        Hitler employed 10s of thousands of psychologists to implement eugenics, which was the reason for the atrocities. I wonder how hard it is to plant a seed regarding eugenics in a mad man?

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.