Published: Wednesday, Dec. 12 2012 12:00 a.m. MST
Very true. I don't know if professor Davis has a book out but I've
read some of Steven Pinker's works and it's amazing that our
pessimistic assumptions are so natural yet they are completely wrong.We are safer than humans have ever been, be happy about it. Now there's a
subject, happiness has remained flat for all our progress and lack of running
from lions. We could learn a lot about that subject and start measuring gross
national happiness like Bhutan does. Isn't that the goal?
In both conservative and liberal op eds you hear how worse it is. Walter
Williams and in some instances Cal Thomas celebrate things like that. Thing is
I think much of it is selective memory. People have been talking about how much
worse there children and grandchildrens morals are for centuries. If that is
true then we would be real bad now.Thing is since Cain killed Abel
there always has been evil in the world. But also good. I think most people go
to school and work unharmed. We just hear about the harm. There are bad people
but I don't think it has gotten worse as a whole. More and more young
people serve, aren't embarresed to hug each other after a competition and
are great kids. I hear whats on tv 20 years ago would not be on today. Any
proof or does that sound good. Discovery, Nasa, Learning and history channels
on. With few stations soaps and sleazy talk shows were on frequently.As it is getting worse that sounds good to say but is not based on bias. When
I teach High priests we will be nobler compared to our grandchildren.
Professor Davis must have left out Detroit, Washington DC, New York and Chicago
in his study. Not pessimism, just honesty.
Mountainman: thank you for that example of "Some anecdote offered as
evidence" to prove Prof. Davis point.Or, if you really were trying to
make an argument, perhaps you can provde some supporting arguments or evidence,
as Prof Davis requests. Do you have the figures for Detroit, DC, NYC, and
Great letter!Agreed.I don't suppose it has anything to do
with what radio or cable TV shows one views to for their opinons...Thosee that report the news of reailty, orThe one's that
skew, mis-report, sensationalize, and entertain -- for the sake of the highest
ratings and the most $$$.
We're probably not much worse off than we ever have been. But if the GOP
is allowed to have their way, we WILL be.
@ Omni Scent. Google "cities in America that have the highest murder
rates". Things may be getting better in some places, but not everywhere.
That was my only point.
Thank you, Professor Davis.I think that focusing in the negative
displays a lack of gratitude to God.And Mountanman, according to New
York's police commissioner, homicides in New York are at a low not seen
since the Kennedy Administration.
What does Professor Davis know? I happen to have it from very reliable sources
that EVERYTHING is getting worse. I saw it on Fox News and read it in
Krauthammer's columns. The sky is falling, the sky is falling!
"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of
wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the
epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness,
it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything
before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to heaven, we were
all going direct the other way." --Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities
Statistics can be made to say the darnedest things; examine them carefully,
including those in this article. See what they say and don't say, how
conclusions were reached, from whence the figures and what the just
conclusions.I must say that I heartily endorse the statement of
Thomas S Monson regarding the great disparity between church standards and the
world's standards, a disparity that previously did not exist. I also noted
the reference made by Melvin Ballard that today's women, nationally, aged
thirty and under, had babies when unmarried. These certainly are great changes.
We are 16 trillion dollars in debt with 87 trillion dollars of unfunded
liabilities. I believe this is not good.
“We have every reason to be optimistic in this world,” President
Gordon B. Hinckley has said. “Tragedy is around, yes. Problems everywhere,
yes. You can’t, you don’t, build out of pessimism or cynicism. You
look with optimism, work with faith, and things happen” ~ President Gordon
B. Hinckley: Stalwart and Brave He Stands,” Ensign, June 1995.“Things will work out’ may well be President Hinckley’s most
repeated assurance to family, friends, and associates,” noted Elder
Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. “‘Keep
trying,’ he will say. ‘Be believing. Be happy. Don’t get
discouraged. Things will work out’” (Ensign, June 1995, 4).========= Fine - whatever:You follow your Prophets of
Gloom and Doom on the AM radio.I will listen and follow the true and
Living Prophets in the Ensign.
What an outstanding letter! I'm so grateful for the good sense and wisdom
Professor Davis has chosen to bless us with.
@Mountanman"cities in America that have the highest murder
rates".Two things:1. Having the highest murder rates now
doesn't necessarily mean those cities aren't improving compared to
where they were 20-30 years ago.2. Chicago's homicide rate spiked 40%
after the Supreme Court swiped at gun bans. Thanks a lot gun wingnuts.
I think Professor Davis cherry picked his data points.For example,
Unemployment rates look great at 7.8%, however, when you consider that over the
past 4 years we have had a steady decline in the Labor Participation rate. That
has dropped about 3% during the same time.How about those marriage
statistics? Marriages are measured in marriages per 1000 people. If the number
of marriages decreases, the number of divorces will decrease also. Plus, the
statistic he quotes is bad because if you look at the past 70 years, the number
of divorces is increasing.Teen sexual activity has increased, when
compared with 1970's rates when it was at 40%.The professor is
instigating lies or half truths at best. Either way he is not being honest even
with his own examples.
To "LDS Liberal" i have a few questions for you since you "will
listen and follow the true and Living Prophets in the Ensign." Why
don't you?The prophets have stated that Socialism and Communism
are of the Devil, yet you support those.You also believe in Moral
Relativism, another thing that the prophets have declared as a false
teaching.You believe that drug use should be legalized, eventhough
the Prophet has stated that we should fight for legislation to curb drug use.Maybe you should say that you follow the prophet when you agree with
him.In 1998, President Hinkley let us know that rough times were
ahead and that we needed to be prepared for future conditions to worsen. If
things are better now than they were before, why do we need to be better
prepared for things to get worse?Also, that quote you use does not
say that things will get better or were better than they appeared to be, only
that we should look at the prophecies being fulfilled and look forward to the
Great Day of the Lord.
OK, let's look at this:1. Teen pregnancy rates lower than in
the 40's? Is it pregnancy that is bad? We all know that birth control
has increased exponentially and married teens, are, generally, having smaller,
or no, families. How many of the teens were married that were pregnant? That
statistic is more pregnant with meaning. That wasn't mentioned in the
article of course.2. "The percentage of teenage girls who have
had sex has declined from 51 % to 42%". How do / would you know that? you
have given no attribution even of your source.3. "The abortion
rate among teens has been falling dramatically in recent years".
Don't people use the "morning after" pill these days. Who
wouldn't avail themselves of a pill rather than endure an abortion?What else have you got professor? Bring it on!
Re: ". . . things are not getting worse"Here's betting
the stats are from 2008 or 2009. It normally takes that long for statistics to
become available.Since then, though, we can all attest to the fact
that incomes have remained flat. The local housing market is up only a little.
The local unemployment rate -- not as bad as the national average, but not good,
either -- has not fallen substantially.But -- National
debt? Nearly doubled.Taxes? Going up substantially, even if there's a
GOP surrender regarding the "cliff."National bond rating? Down.Children born out of wedlock? 40.8%Medical care, student loans, home
loans, the auto industry? Expropriated, in whole or in part, by a bloated,
unaccountable government.Real protections of real people regarding
government debt limits, religious freedom, military readiness, defense of
marriage, environmental extremism, illegal immigration and our traditional
freedoms? All under attack.It may be comforting to fixate on that
rose-colored rear-view mirror, Doc, but, for most of us, it's not the past
we worry about.It's the ever-more uncertain future.
"Criticism, faultfinding, evil speaking—these are of the spirit of the
day. To hear tell, there is nowhere a man of integrity holding public office.
Criticism is ...the cultivator of rebellion...I come to you tonight
with a plea that we stop seeking out the storms and enjoy more fully the
sunlight. I am suggesting that as we go through life we try to "accentuate
the positive." ...that you turn from the negativism that so
permeates our modern society and look for the remarkable good among those with
whom you associate, that we speak of one another’s virtues more than we
speak of one another’s faults, that optimism replace pessimism, that our
faith exceed our fears. When I was a young man and was prone to speak
critically, my wise father would say: "Cynics do not contribute. Skeptics do
not create. Doubters do not achieve." ~ President Gordon B. Hinckley ==============vs.Everything being broadcast by
Limbaugh, Hannity, Beck, Levin, KRNS ect. and sometimes even MSNBC - [...I've integrity to admit it happens on both sides.][There's a reason it's called hate-radio. I remember some said the
LDS church had apostisized when KSL dropped airing them.]
DeseretNews.com encourages a civil dialogue among its readers. We welcome your thoughtful comments.— About comments