So you think we live in a “broken” world…

Christians love to describe our world–the same world they presumably believe their God has provided for us–as “broken”, “fallen”, or some other such hyperbolically spiteful adjective. And yet that world–specifically the world we live in right now, in the year 2012–happens to be, by virtually any objective metric, the best world that humans have ever lived in throughout the entirety of our existence. By an enormous margin.

And not only is our current world superior to that of any historical period for the obvious reasons–unprecedented advances in science, technology, and medicine–but also in terms of education, standards of living, life expectancy, human rights, and lack of violence (from both crime and war).

The odds of a person being killed in a violent death today are a fraction of what they were just a century ago, and a miniscule fraction of what they were just a few centuries ago. Since Medieval times the odds of being murdered in England, for example, have plummeted by a factor of 50 times (Steven Pinker’s “The Better Angels of Our Nature” discusses countless more examples).

Even here in the US, which saw a rise in crime after the 50’s (and a huge spike in the late 80’s, largely due to crack cocaine), crime rates–particularly violent crime rates–have plummeted to levels that we haven’t seen in 30+ years, and have continued to decline even throughout the recession (the first time that has ever occurred in U.S. history).

The fact that someone would be privileged enough to live in this day and age (a privilege that less than 1% of all humans who have ever lived have been fortunate enough to claim) and yet have the gall to label our world “broken” is absolutely astonishing.

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