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195.3.9 Gives a eye opening list of problems


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#1 -Scott-

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 09:07 PM

I thought this would be a fun excersize. Of these issues that were the demise of Rome, how many of them do you guys see in our North American society. I don't want to be a debbie downer about this haha, but I think its an important issue in the u.b. Also I added a few from the preceeding paragraph in the same paper.

2074.3) 195:3.8 The spiritual impetus of nominally accepting Hellenized Christianity came to Rome too late to prevent the well-started moral decline or to compensate for the already well-established and increasing racial deterioration. This new religion was a cultural necessity for imperial Rome, and it is exceedingly unfortunate that it did not become a means of spiritual salvation in a larger sense.

(2074.4) 195:3.9 Even a good religion could not save a great empire from the sure results of lack of individual participation in the affairs of government, from overmuch paternalism, overtaxation and gross collection abuses, unbalanced trade with the Levant which drained away the gold, amusement madness, Roman standardization, the degradation of woman, slavery and race decadence, physical plagues, and a state church which became institutionalized nearly to the point of spiritual barrenness.


I will make my own checklist- Note the following is just my opinion. I am not stating it as fact.

1. Amusement madness -If that is not reality television I don't know what is more "amusement madness" than that haha. Do you guys think that our societies obsession with sports could be considered "amusment madness". I would definitely consider our societies obsession with famous people "amusement madness".

2. Degradation of women- I think that is still alive and well.

3. Slavery-?? hmm not sure, I don't think so but some peoples jobs sure look like slavery.

4. Race decadence- Yes

5. Physical plagues- Not as bad as it used to be

6. Standardization- This one is interesting. Something we as a society don't often consider evil. But when you really think about how it handcuffs freedom I could see how this is made the list

7. Unbalanced trade- Obviously yes

8. Paternalism- Yes

9. State Church which has become so institutionalized to the point of spiritual bareness- Yes

10. Lack of individual participation in the affairs of government- What happened to "change"? Hahaha Definitely a lack of individual participation.

11. Overtaxation- You bet, I live in Canada so I have to say yes. Though I don't mind paying for universal health-care and schools in all communities haha.

Also have to remember a few issues from the preceeding paper 12. Secular Totalitarianism- Yes

13. Materialism- Yes

14. A belief in magic- Yes

15. An unwillingness to raise our own children- Yes

16. Family life in trouble- Yes

17. True Monogomy- Wait what?! Haha

18. Delusions of the divine right of national sovereignty- Yes

195.4.4 And this same Christianity is now present in the civilized world of Occidental peoples and stands face to face with a struggle for existence which is even more ominous than those eventful crises which have characterized its past battles for dominance.


Edited by -Scott-, 11 January 2013 - 10:08 PM.

If one man craves freedom -- liberty -- he must remember that all other men long for the same freedom

#2 Bonita

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Posted 12 January 2013 - 09:16 AM

71:1.22 The great weakness in Roman civilization, and a factor in the ultimate collapse of the empire, was the supposed liberal and advanced provision for the emancipation of the boy at twenty-one and the unconditional release of the girl so that she was at liberty to marry a man of her own choosing or to go abroad in the land to become immoral. The harm to society consisted not in these reforms themselves but rather in the sudden and extensive manner of their adoption. The collapse of Rome indicates what may be expected when a state undergoes too rapid extension associated with internal degeneration.

It was the supposed liberal attitude toward youth that helped to bring Roman civilization down. The Western world has had a liberal attitude toward youth for 50 years now. I think we're seeing the unintended consequences of the folly of allowing our youth too much freedom too quickly.

Again, it goes back to the quote about evolutionary brakes. Progress will have to give back a little in order that wisdom and spirituality catch up with these premature liberties.

118:8.6 The slowness of evolution, of human cultural progress, testifies to the effectiveness of that brake — material inertia — which so efficiently operates to retard dangerous velocities of progress. Thus does time itself cushion and distribute the otherwise lethal results of premature escape from the next-encompassing barriers to human action. For when culture advances overfast, when material achievement outruns the evolution of worship-wisdom, then does civilization contain within itself the seeds of retrogression; and unless buttressed by the swift augmentation of experiential wisdom, such human societies will recede from high but premature levels of attainment, and the “dark ages” of the interregnum of wisdom will bear witness to the inexorable restoration of the imbalance between self-liberty and self-control.

#3 Bradly aka/fanofVan

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Posted 12 January 2013 - 09:35 AM

Interesting list. Now far be it from me to sound nationalistic, as I am cosmic citizen first, planetary second, and then American by birth location and experience. First, the "list" of attributes, priorities, and behaviors is hardly limited to America (a rather egoistic term used by those in one country of two American continents, eh?). But, the U.S. is seriously "infected" by much so listed to be sure.

The "decedance of prosperity" is a curious phenomenon that seems persistant, regardless of the culture which prospers. The "rise and fall" is a cycle of humanism which grips the leisures and pleasures delivered by prosperity and abandonment of those skills and values which created the wealth prosperity affect. Are there any examples of a great culture which rose and did not fall by its own weight of wealth? Each by a different combination true, but by some combination of those ills listed above.

While I have little patience for those who always say "it's different this time", allow me to do so in this case and in the following ways:

1. The rapid changes Bonita notes are a danger....but the fact is change is accelerating and has been now for 200 years at least....constant acceleration by innovation and structural changes within our relationship with new technologies and material capabilities and capacities. America has been the spear point of this accelerating change and, as a result, Americans have dealth with more total change more rapidly than any culture in history. We adapt in the critical moments and apply changes to culture like no other. So, perhaps, by crisis to come, America will reprioritize significantly.....but then, maybe not.

2. No culture on Urantia is as isolated as has been true throughout our history. While there have been mighty kingdoms, they were dominated by one culture subjugating the many nearby. Now, its global for the first time. All are becoming more and more interdependent and responsive which, in my mind, may come to act as a "governor" if you will and providing greater diffusion of wealth, power, progress, experimentation, and relationship that is new and unpredictable but offers some potential toward a different outcome "this time". (I know, may be pure naivity on my optimistic part).

3. The angels of progress and other agents of planetary upliftment are working on behalf of those who rule in the kingdoms of men, no? Circular progress is hard to track and measure but over time progress is built upon the ruins of failure. Are things the same now as Roman times? No. Are they the same as when the cotton gin and steam and steel came to be? No. Is religion the same? Hardly.

I care not to defend or equivicate the American experience, built on slavery and the company store and child labor and the subjugation of women and the greed of capitalists and avarice of our elected ones. We're a sorry mess. And yet.......

Edited by Bradly aka/fanofVan, 12 January 2013 - 09:38 AM.

Peace be upon you."

#4 Rick Warren

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Posted 12 January 2013 - 10:12 AM

Excellent topic and comments. It's going to be a rough road ahead on Urantia, fortunately most people are good hearted, no matter their origin, and goodness always wins in the end. But you know what may be a little talked about factor in bringing Urantia around right? The weather! We could be more or less forced to face a common global "enemy" soon. From Paper 81:


P.900 - 3 For about thirty-five thousand years after the days of Adam, the cradle of civilization was in southwestern Asia, extending from the Nile valley eastward and slightly to the north across northern Arabia, through Mesopotamia, and on into Turkestan. And climate was the decisive factor in the establishment of civilization in that area.


P.907 - 1 At the opening of the Andite era there were only two extensive and fertile open hunting areas in all the world. One was in North America and was overspread by the Amerinds; the other was to the north of Turkestan and was partly occupied by an Andonic-yellow race. The decisive factors in the evolution of a superior culture in southwestern Asia were race and climate. The Andites were a great people, but the crucial factor in determining the course of their civilization was the increasing aridity of Iran, Turkestan, and Sinkiang, which forced them to invent and adopt new and advanced methods of wresting a livelihood from their decreasingly fertile lands.



If the equatorial band becomes uninhabitable by century's end, there will be a great, great resettling, and consequently newly formed global alliances, all propelled by what will surely be a chastened and humbled populace.


P.906 - 8 1. Natural circumstances. The nature and extent of a material civilization is in large measure determined by the natural resources available. Climate, weather, and numerous physical conditions are factors in the evolution of culture.



Buy land in Greenland :D Kidding!

#5 -Scott-

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Posted 12 January 2013 - 11:25 AM

I agree with all the points you guys made. It seems that when a society stops progressing the system has built in it a little off switch. I believe deity had a checklist and as they were checking off things they noticed they decided to put out this revelation in order to prevent a big collapse. One point that they mentioned that surprised me was "roman standardization" I never really considered standardization a bad thing. Also "amusement madness" was something that got my attention because with the digital age and the Internet it seems people have more access to amusement that may be "madness". I imagine all the violent games children play could be considered "amusement madness". God knows what cheap thrills the youth are getting these days with all this digital stuff out there.

Edited by -Scott-, 12 January 2013 - 11:30 AM.

If one man craves freedom -- liberty -- he must remember that all other men long for the same freedom

#6 brooklyn_born

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Posted 12 January 2013 - 11:33 AM

There are similarities between Rome and the West, especially the US. Is history repeating itself?

Edited by brooklyn_born, 12 January 2013 - 11:34 AM.


#7 Bonita

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Posted 12 January 2013 - 11:45 AM

Retrogression doesn't mean the Dark Ages, it's just the natural ebb and flow of evolution. But we have become an embarrassingly secular society almost totally marginalizing religion. And here's what TUB says about that:

195:8.13 The complete secularization of science, education, industry, and society can lead only to disaster. During the first third of the twentieth century Urantians killed more human beings than were killed during the whole of the Christian dispensation up to that time. And this is only the beginning of the dire harvest of materialism and secularism; still more terrible destruction is yet to come.

#8 Rick Warren

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Posted 12 January 2013 - 12:02 PM

Good point Bonita. And Bradly's term "circular progress" rings the truth bell, doesn't it!

#9 Bradly aka/fanofVan

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Posted 12 January 2013 - 12:30 PM

I think of progress like a slinky with the corkscrew effect.....there's far more lineal motion around and around than actual or measureable progress relative to the length of the whole or there is always far more experience than progress itself. We learn certainty by repetitvity of error less and less over time so, to Bonita's point, there is reversal, regression, and failure in the foundation of progress. This is true of the pilgrim and the collective civilizations. (Think of the slinky lying on the floor and not dangling vertically to better picture the up and down within the round and round, herein lies regression within circular progress - and then view that there is more and less distance between the blades or slices of circular experience to illustrate that all progress is not uniform in its lineal length compared to its progress lengths.)

And, Rick, I agree on the climatology issue and said so on another thread, planetary priorities are not always in the hands of governments, religions, or the citizens and for over a century now, we have collectively begun to focus energy, attention, and capital at a diversity of displaced populations. It feels like a training mission and an inevitable redeployment of collective priorities to come. This may very well become bitter lemons for us and them who face the challenges to come but the lemonade to come by such may be but another stepping stone of planetary progress and a refocused and energized population of religionists. Is this not the way of planetary progress everywhere? The response is what matters. The response to every situation and circumstance amid changing intersections of potential and relationship. From what time unit of perspective or through what lense do we perceive and ponder our future? Is it optimistic to patiently expect the inevitable? Or just realistic? B)

Edited by Bradly aka/fanofVan, 12 January 2013 - 12:37 PM.

Peace be upon you."

#10 Nelson G

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Posted 12 January 2013 - 11:44 PM

3. Slavery-?? hmm not sure, I don't think so but some peoples jobs sure look like slavery.
_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
I think that successful people may fit into this category.
Life often gives us our greatest gifts brilliantly disguised as our worst nightmares.

#11 Bradly aka/fanofVan

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Posted 13 January 2013 - 10:38 AM

Material progress/succes is important for it is within "liesure" time that both religion and art may find greater voice and time and attention. But as the finer arts of expressing truth, beauty, and goodness are provided for by such social success, there is always, it seems, a counterbalance of indolence, vice, amusements, and pleasure seeking. Many pursue pleasure thinking happiness may be found therein. But while pleasure may be found within happiness, happiness is not "found" within pleasure. We become so attached to our pleasures and amusements, that we are distracted from the real value of liesure.....which is found once food and shelter do not take up 18 hours a day. Back to the superior choices and the inferior ones presented to us daily, eh? We cannot progress without liesure and material success but that very success delivers us the means of destroying that success and moving away from Godliness to the pleasures of the flesh and the material/evil choices made thereby.
Peace be upon you."

#12 -Scott-

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Posted 13 January 2013 - 11:28 PM

There are similarities between Rome and the West, especially the US. Is history repeating itself?


Yes it would look as though it is. With one exception. The Romans did not have the Urantia Book. IMO this book has the potential to heal all these essues. This may sound bizzare but I think it is up to those who read the urantia book to be pioneers of this book. One day the Urantia Book is going to get huge attention and there are going to be a large throng of people asking about it, its up to us to help these people when that day comes IMO. Luckily there are people like Chris out there to make the book easier to understand :). Whether our society crumbles may very well depend on whether people are willing to give the urantia book a chance IMO. "Fingers crossed" haha, but the book does say that "Jesus religion will triumph" so one day we will make it to light and life but that may take 30 thousand years lol.

I get a sense that because there are soooo many issues we are dealing with that it really is going to take a revelation to help right the ship. A society collapsing does seem to be like a safety valve though. There are IMO 2 ways this goes down, everyone gets really cold and hungry from a soceity collapse and they change their perspective on everything that way, or they find revelation and everyone changes their perspective that way. I don't think much else will happen other than those 2 scenarios. There hasn't been any progress IMO for the past 60 years.

Edited by -Scott-, 13 January 2013 - 11:36 PM.

If one man craves freedom -- liberty -- he must remember that all other men long for the same freedom

#13 Bradly aka/fanofVan

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 08:54 AM

Depends on your definition of progress or that which is being measured. Secular progress is evident by simple global communications and the emerging economies and the interconnected world economies and energy development by and off the grid and genetic medicine and disaster relief (to name a few). Religious progress would include the voices and forces of change Mandela and Martin Luther King and others have brought to the world and the rising voice of women as racism and sexism are now in the forefront and out of the closet of history. And then there is the Revelation itself, now published in many languages and available to all 24/7 around the planet and the explosion of a new christianity in the East and the continued branching of the protestant limb and the rising tide of spiritualisms or "nones", believers and seekers without proscribed creeds and dogmas. But then, my perspective includes the whole 60 years...and I see progress on every level every direction I turn....if many challenges remain for the coming generations to leverage our past into our potential. It won't be pretty to watch.....unless you're watching the right things and understand the inevitable to come eventually.

Edited by Bradly aka/fanofVan, 14 January 2013 - 08:55 AM.

Peace be upon you."

#14 Bonita

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 10:12 AM

Sorry, I don't see much spiritual progress. Spiritual insight has not caught up with secular progress, therefore we have to slow down in order for it to catch up. With all the leisure we now have, you would think that people would be working diligently on step 4: The quest for knowledge and wisdom. Honestly, I think civilization is stuck on step 3: The material-comfort era. We have yet to learn how to subjugate "pleasure-seeking weaklings".

50:5.6 3. The material-comfort era. After food problems have been partially solved and some degree of security has been attained, the additional leisure is utilized to promote personal comfort. Luxury vies with necessity in occupying the center of the stage of human activities. Such an age is all too often characterized by tyranny, intolerance, gluttony, and drunkenness. The weaker elements of the races incline towards excesses and brutality. Gradually these pleasure-seeking weaklings are subjugated by the more strong and truth-loving elements of the advancing civilization.

We are told over and over again that pleasure-mania is a detriment to civilization:

84:8.1 The great threat against family life is the menacing rising tide of self-gratification, the modern pleasure mania.
84:8.2 And this overindulgence, this widely spread pleasure mania, now constitutes the greatest threat that has ever been leveled at the social evolutionary institution of family life, the home.
68:2.11 Vanity contributed mightily to the birth of society; but at the time of these revelations the devious strivings of a vainglorious generation threaten to swamp and submerge the whole complicated structure of a highly specialized civilization. Pleasure-want has long since superseded hunger-want; the legitimate social aims of self-maintenance are rapidly translating themselves into base and threatening forms of self-gratification. Self-maintenance builds society; unbridled self-gratification unfailingly destroys civilization.
68:2.2 While the level of intelligence has contributed considerably to the rate of cultural progress, society is essentially designed to lessen the risk element in the individual’s mode of living, and it has progressed just as fast as it has succeeded in lessening pain and increasing the pleasure element in life. Thus does the whole social body push on slowly toward the goal of destiny — extinction or survival — depending on whether that goal is self-maintenance or self-gratification. Self-maintenance originates society, while excessive self-gratification destroys civilization.

Yet TUB tells us that we've earned a certain amount of material-comfort and pleasure. We are encouraged to enjoy our leisure and find our pleasures as long as they are well-balanced and do not destroy marriage, family and home. Unfortunately, that is exactly what is happening in 21st century United States. I sincerely don't think that what happens with world trade is nearly as important as what is happening in our homes and families. It is frightening to watch. Very frightening.

84:8.6 Let man enjoy himself; let the human race find pleasure in a thousand and one ways; let evolutionary mankind explore all forms of legitimate self-gratification, the fruits of the long upward biologic struggle. Man has well earned some of his present-day joys and pleasures. But look you well to the goal of destiny! Pleasures are indeed suicidal if they succeed in destroying property, which has become the institution of self-maintenance; and self-gratifications have indeed cost a fatal price if they bring about the collapse of marriage, the decadence of family life, and the destruction of the home — man’s supreme evolutionary acquirement and civilization’s only hope of survival.

#15 -Scott-

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 11:15 AM

Yea I was referring to the progress of human beings cosmically. Nothing IMO has progressed in a while with the individual and when that happens a society crumbles. IMO it's impossible to progress as an individual without some large concept of god. The u.b provides us with this massive god concept that could help everyone. I don't see any way around this god in the u.b for our society. The small god concept that secularism has will not do anymore, it may have been enough in Jesus age but not ours.
If one man craves freedom -- liberty -- he must remember that all other men long for the same freedom

#16 Nelson G

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 11:28 AM

Roddenberry was thinking about this. Captain Picard more than one time stated - with reference to the replicators that provide everything one would want in an environmentally correct manner - "All that we have to do with our lives is improve ourselves"
Life often gives us our greatest gifts brilliantly disguised as our worst nightmares.




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