Where Will Human Morality Be In 100 Years? (Part 2)

How do you see morality and societal norms changing over the next 100+ years?

Some of my predictions:

-The accumulation of ridiculously enormous personal wealth and possessions will be looked upon in the way that “hoarders” are today. For anyone with more wealth than they could reasonably spend in their entire lifetime (or even multiple lifetimes), there will be tremendous social pressure for them to donate their extraneous wealth to charity, or in some way put it to use in a way that will benefit society more than it would just sitting in a bank or an investment fund.

-As more people realize and understand that physical attractiveness has no relationship to the quality of an individual as a person, prejudice towards those who don’t fit society’s standards of physical beauty will become as socially unacceptable as sexism and racism are today. Depictions of “villains” in works of fiction will no longer overwhelmingly consist of people that society considers to be physically “ugly” (nor will they be chronically afflicted with dermatological issues) and the disproportionate use of “ugly” actors in comedic relief roles will become rightly regarded as prejudicial, much in the way that ethnic stereotyping in casting is seen today.

-As minors become vastly more intelligent, educated, and worldly than in generations prior, they will eventually be granted greater rights and political power at increasingly younger ages, with minors having fractional votes as they approach adulthood (for example, 1/4 vote at age 12, 1/2 vote at 14, 3/4 vote at 16, 1 vote at 18+).

-As written forms of electronic communication become more prevalent in our lives, we will see a corresponding shift in attitudes towards the inherent advantages of written communication. Eventually, the notion that face-to-face communication is the “best” or “most efficient” form of communication will seem completely outdated.

-Similarly, society will eventually reach a state of total “agnosticism” with regard to various forms of written communication, in the sense that none will necessarily be seen as being inherently more or less “formal”, or more or less inherently appropriate for any particular message to be conveyed. And the notion that online communication is somehow “less real” or inherently less meaningful simply by virtue of being electronic in nature will disappear.

Where Will Human Morality Be In 100 Years? (Part 1)

Where Will Human Morality Be In 100 Years? (Part 3)

Where Will Human Morality Be In 100 Years? (Part 1)

How do you see morality and societal norms changing over the next 100+ years?

Some of my predictions:

-The phenomenon of “word inflation” will become so extreme that hyperbolic language and superlatives will lose virtually all of their impact, yet paradoxically will result in their greater use (since use of non-hyperbolic language will seem so weak by comparison). This will create a “downward spiral” whereby the more weakened hyperbolic language becomes, the more people will struggle convey what used to be achievable through “normal” language, which will result in people using even more increasingly hyperbolic language out of necessity (think about how much rhetorical value some words have already lost through rampant over/misuse, e.g. “fraud”, “scam”, “racket”, “cult”, “treason”, and “literally“). Eventually this will reach a breaking point when it becomes such a hindrance on basic day-to-day communication that there will be a huge backlash, and eventually the use of hyperbole and exaggeration in everyday language will become taboo in the way that outright lying is today.

-Lying will become vastly more rare and vastly more socially unacceptable, in large part because technology will make it far harder to lie and get away with it (thereby dramatically increasing the social consequences for lying while dramatically reducing the potential benefits). This will happen primarily in two ways:

Pervasive electronic recording and documentation will make it far easier to verify what someone said or did. Even today, home surveillance systems which record everything in their vicinity (audio and video) and store everything instantly to the cloud are commonplace, as are in-car dash cameras which record everything said inside the car at all times. And even now the ability to continuously record audio everywhere you go is cheap and readily available. Eventually it will become trivial to record (both audio and video) every waking moment of your life, and to instantly recall any moment on demand (imagine an inconspicuous Google Glass-type device with virtually unlimited storage capacity, GPS, and real-time voice recognition/commands, and so cheap that virtually everyone–even children–wears one around at all times).

Fact-checking of potential lies will also become vastly easier, even automatic and instantaneous. Imagine that the aforementioned device is also an always-on cloud-based voice recognition assistant, which constantly analyzes everything you hear and alerts you instantly if you hear something which is verifiably untrue (something which is already entirely possible with today’s technology).

Widespread use of the above technologies could create a “virtuous cycle” whereby the more ineffective lying becomes, the more rare it will become, which will lead to it becoming even less socially unacceptable, thereby making it even more rare (ad infinitum).

The effect on “white lies” would be similar as well; the more socially acceptable it becomes to forego a white lie in favor of the truth, the less offensive doing so will become, thereby encouraging more people to do so and making it more socially acceptable.

Eventually, society will become something like this.

Where Will Human Morality Be In 100 Years? (Part 2)

Where Will Human Morality Be In 100 Years? (Part 3)