I’m an anti-supernaturalist, so “prophecy” isn’t really a good word for me to use. “My Prediction” is a much title better but prophecy looks better on a website about religion, or lack thereof. You don’t have to believe in God to make a prophecy. It’s just an observation based on history and intuition in most cases.
I think the worst prophecy anybody ever made was “the meek shall inherit the Earth.” That to me is the wrongest statement anybody ever uttered and waiting two thousand years is long enough. So tell your Christians friends to cut the bull; Our Lord said some of the dumbest things ever heard outside a second-grade romper room.
Here’s my prophecy: (Bear in mind the population of the planet was XX billion a century ago.)
If we remember back just a hundred years to a 1914 New Year’s Eve Party, the champagne guzzling celebrants had no idea what calamity the new year would bring within a few months. World War I broke out in the end of July and lasted ‘til November 1918. Emperor Franz Joseph, the most conservative ruler since Cesar Augustus, allowed absolutely no reform in 60 years of power. When his nephew was assassinated his reflexive reaction was to teach the Serbians a lesson. He gave the order for five divisions to invade innocent peasant farmers in the neighboring northern borders—over thirty thousand, mostly women and children, perished. All to show how pissed off he was. By the time the war was over, rough estimates yield ten million militants dead, 21 million wounded, eight million missing, yielding a total of nearly 40 millions humans erased and “out of action.
As tragic and cataclysmic as WWI was, toward the end of the war, in 1918, the great H1N1 influenza pandemic broke out killing an astounding 50 to 100 million. Antibiotics and other defenses against disease weren’t discovered yet and people were left on their own. A “cytokine storm” developed where people’s own natural defenses overreacted and did as much damage as the virus itself.
When Lenin died in 1924, it was bad news for the Ukrainian kulaks, peasant farmers who refused to collectivize. In spite of the fact that Lenin despised his successor, Stalin became dictator and we all know what happened. By 1932, an estimated five million naysayers starved to death.
As wrong as the prophesy of Our Lord was, one prediction of the future was spot on. General John “Black Jack” Pershing was so dismayed by the Treaty of Versailles that he foresaw charismatic fanatics emerging from the throng to inspire the German people to renew old prestige and glory with hostile territorial grabs. He gave it twenty years and he missed the exact number by two weeks.
Several million more were lost in the Italian invasion of Ethiopia, the Spanish Civil War and the Japanese invasion of China in the mid- to late-1930s culminating in the gruesome Nanking Massacre of 1935.
But World War II broke out in September, 1939, and the catastrophic loss of life exploded. Over 73 million were killed and adding in the wounded and homeless the number soars to well over a hundred million. This was the worse cataclysmic event in human history.
Immediately after the end of WWII, the Kuomintang Revolution in China broke out with over three million killed, leading immediately to the Korean War where another three million was lost, mostly North and South Koreans and numerous Chinese foot soldiers.
Then, of course, the Viet Nam War came along with over two million dead by 1975, quickly followed within a few years by the AIDS pandemic, killing another 38 million with 35 million HIV carriers as I write this.
Here’s the mindblower. Guess the number in the XX billion numerating the world’s population a century ago. Continuing that multiplicative progression, we’ll have 30 billion insatiable mouths to feed by century’s end, which Catholic theologians predict will be a healthy and appropriate number. Remember the line from Mirror Reversal, “the more voices lifted in prayer, the more pleasing it is to God.” The only trouble is the entire planet will be degraded to a feeding trough for humans.
One and a half billion as compared to 7.3 today. That means that in spite of the cataclysmic events described above, one after another, the population of the world quadrupled with a billion to spare. Population growth curves show barely a ripple in any of the cataclysmic loss of life described above.
How come none of our leaders even mention this terrible danger? It’s as if head-in-the-sand denial of reality is the best way to deal with it. It’s crazy. As Joan De Nenoo pointed out in our last discussion, Congress is more concerned about who should be allowed to get married and should the rich pay the medical bills of the poor. To a humanist, what better way is there to spend money than alleviating pain and suffering and restoring good health to the less fortunate?
Leaving Mother Nature to solve our problems is a pretty stupid way to resolve this inescapable problem. War is nature’s way. There appears to be a social, economic or religious etiology, but overpopulation is the ultimate cause.
So my prediction is that before the end of the decade there will be a loss of life registering in the millions. I shudder to think about the rest of the century. The rate of change is accelerating such that more change occurs in a modern decade than in a millennium a millennium ago.
The last essay on my Pot Stories and Humanist Essays is “The Lament of Tieresias.” You’ll have to purchase the eBook (a big three dollars, most of which will be donated back to this important website. Just click on the pot plant) to find out the story. It has to do with seeing a prediction slowly come true before your eyes, but you can’t do anything about it.
Joan, I'm glad someone responded to this discussion because I believe it's an extremely important thread. Let's put future comments on the discussion board. I'm not sure which 20 billion figure you're referring to.
I pointed out that Catholic theologians estimated 30 people are possible to live on the planet. It's just something I read a long time ago that stayed with me because it bothered me that anybody could be so obtuse when dealing with the future of humanity. Could you cut and paste the quote so I know what you're referring to?
It's disturbing that important members of the Curia must believe the quote from Mirror Reversal: "The more voices lifted in prayer, the more pleasing it is to God."
Your prediction for the near future is supported by fact. Our species has become parasitic and verminous, using up the Earths resources so that with spiralling population growth it is a mathematical certainty that catastrophe will occur within a century.
With an augmented population everything will continue to get worse in relation to climate change, pollution, warfare and religious doctrine is an aggravating factor.
It is obvious to me that catastrophe will occur but perhaps some nations will survive through having good leadership, strong military and more resources.
Wow, thanks, Napoleon. I never heard my writing sound like that. There’s only one word for it. As we used to say in hippie days, “Far Out.” “Aux Obliés” is as avant guarde as can be.
The title “Prophecy” is a bit of a misnomer because there’s usually a religious connotation but I wanted to make the point that religion doesn’t have a monopoly on supernatural thought. Of course, “prediction” based on history and observation is a much better term.
The main idea is a corollary to a prediction in my first book "Mirror Reversal" written six years ago. My heroine Cynthia spills out her soul to her boyfriend…
“I see everything in terms of the Prime Directive and selfish gene theory. Picture a cruise ship sailing down the wide river of time: that’s really what the Earth is, a cruise ship sailing through space at 70,000 miles per hour with a precious cargo of life that required eons to evolve. Now picture one dominant species talking over the ship—some kind of mammal… a mouse, say. The reality is that he ship is heading straight toward a disastrous waterfall, bigger than Niagara. The entire population of the ship will certainly crash. The mice can feel something is wrong, but all they keep doing is carving out little niches in the ship so they can make more baby mice with the same fate. They work and fight and bark at one another. All they care about is their little territory and a place to raise a family. They aren’t evolved enough to understand what’s in store for them right around the bend in the river.”
She seemed in a half trance, as if spilling out pent-up feelings to her psychiatrist uncle. “But the scenario is even worse, from an existential point of view. It’s not a waterfall waiting around the bend, ‘cause the mice had nothing to do with the creation of the waterfall. The mice are heading for an ugly, poisoned and polluted lake that they created themselves with greed, stupidity, and arrogance. There’s no life in the lake at all: it’s filled with insecticides, mercury, and atomic waste—plastic milk cartons, electronic junk and disposable razor blades. It’s contaminated with run-off from robot phosphorus stripe mines—miles long—where money is the only thing that matters. The inhabitants of the ship unwittingly created their own deathbed.
The connecting line between the two predictions is, "They aren’t evolved enough to understand what’s in store for them right around the bend in the river.”
One thing is for sure: human population is going to quadruple again this century. That’s where I got the 30 billion figure. Judging by climate changes and 15 million people dying of starvation every year, Cruise Ship “Gaia” is running at maximum capacity right now.
That's good authorship.
Much of what will happen will be unprecedented in history. The Earths climate changes through time but the consequences of gross overpopulation are foreseen scientifically and not so clearly through an analysis of history.