1. Joined
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    15 Feb '15 01:17
    The United Kingdom today is in deep decline. Social and economic trends and the UK crime statistics reveal a nation beset by rising crime, family breakdown, infertility, drug-taking, debt, indecency, profligacy and perversion.

    Why has this happened? What responsibility is to be borne by Parliament, church and Monarch? Her Majesty the Queen promised in her Coronation oath on 2nd June 1953 to “Maintain the Laws of God and the True Profession Reformed Religion established by Law.” We have now passed the Golden Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth. Have her governments honoured her solemn undertaking?
  2. Joined
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    15 Feb '15 01:41
    Originally posted by Hugh Glass
    The United Kingdom today is in deep decline. Social and economic trends and the UK crime statistics reveal a nation beset by rising crime, family breakdown, infertility, drug-taking, debt, indecency, profligacy and perversion.

    Why has this happened? What responsibility is to be borne by Parliament, church and Monarch? Her Majesty the Queen promised ...[text shortened]... ed the Golden Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth. Have her governments honoured her solemn undertaking?
    The United Kingdom today is in deep decline. Social and economic trends and the UK crime statistics reveal a nation beset by rising crime, family breakdown, infertility, drug-taking, debt, indecency, profligacy and perversion.



    In which alternative reality?


    "I reject your reality and substitute my own." AS
  3. Cape Town
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    15 Feb '15 07:01
    Originally posted by Hugh Glass
    The United Kingdom today is in deep decline. Social and economic trends and the UK crime statistics reveal a nation beset by rising crime, family breakdown, infertility, drug-taking, debt, indecency, profligacy and perversion.

    Why has this happened?
    I think you should start by establishing that it has happened.
    The easiest to start with would be crime statistics. Can you present a link to these statistics, or did you make it up?
  4. Standard memberavalanchethecat
    Not actually a cat
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    15 Feb '15 09:58
    Originally posted by Hugh Glass
    The United Kingdom today is in deep decline. Social and economic trends and the UK crime statistics reveal a nation beset by rising crime, family breakdown, infertility, drug-taking, debt, indecency, profligacy and perversion.

    Why has this happened? What responsibility is to be borne by Parliament, church and Monarch? Her Majesty the Queen promised ...[text shortened]... ed the Golden Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth. Have her governments honoured her solemn undertaking?
    Do you live in Britain? I do. I don't recognise your version of it though. Perhaps you should put less store in the media and actually visit the place?
  5. Joined
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    15 Feb '15 11:06
    Originally posted by Hugh Glass
    The United Kingdom today is in deep decline. Social and economic trends and the UK crime statistics reveal a nation beset by rising crime, family breakdown, infertility, drug-taking, debt, indecency, profligacy and perversion.

    Why has this happened? What responsibility is to be borne by Parliament, church and Monarch? Her Majesty the Queen promised ...[text shortened]... ed the Golden Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth. Have her governments honoured her solemn undertaking?
    You really must check your information. It could not be more inaccurate. For the record the monarchy has no political power in the UK.
  6. Joined
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    15 Feb '15 16:25
    http://www.repentuk.com/sin.html
  7. Joined
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    15 Feb '15 16:29
    Originally posted by josephw
    http://www.repentuk.com/sin.html
    http://ons.gov.uk/ons/taxonomy/index.html?nscl=Crime+and+Justice#tab-overview

    http://ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/crime-stats/crime-statistics/year-ending-september-2014/sty-stock-take-of-crime-statistics.html

    The latest estimate from the CSEW is that 7 million crimes were committed against households and resident adults in the last year, compared with a peak of 19 million in 1995. This is lowest level since the survey began in 1981 and continues a downward trend seen since the mid 1990s. This is not unique to England and Wales; there have been similar trends across the western world
  8. Joined
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    15 Feb '15 17:00
    Originally posted by googlefudge
    http://ons.gov.uk/ons/taxonomy/index.html?nscl=Crime+and+Justice#tab-overview

    http://ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/crime-stats/crime-statistics/year-ending-september-2014/sty-stock-take-of-crime-statistics.html

    The latest estimate from the CSEW is that 7 million crimes were committed against households and resident adults in the last year, compared wit ...[text shortened]... not unique to England and Wales; there have been similar trends across the western world
    Do you think the decline in crime can be attributed to incarceration, or are people getting nicer?
  9. Joined
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    15 Feb '15 17:05
    http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/stats/Crime/Total-crimes
  10. Cape Town
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    15 Feb '15 17:08
    Originally posted by josephw
    Do you think the decline in crime can be attributed to incarceration, or are people getting nicer?
    Amoungst other things, people are spending more time on the internet.

    Funny how that Christian voice article doesn't give a source for that chart. I suspect they either made it up or took it out of context (deliberately so).
  11. Joined
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    15 Feb '15 17:11
    SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2014
    The Most Dangerous World Ever?

    By Christopher A. Preble
    In February 2012 Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, declared, “I can’t impress upon you [enough] that in my personal military judgment, formed over 38 years, we are living in the most dangerous time in my lifetime, right now.”

    One year later, he upped the ante: “I will personally attest to the fact that [the world is] more dangerous than it has ever been.” But General Dempsey is hardly alone. Dire warnings about our uniquely dangerous world are ubiquitous. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper testified in early 2014 that he had “not experienced a time when we’ve been beset by more crises and threats around the globe.”

    Members of Congress agree. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), born before World War II, explained in July 2014 that the world is “in greater turmoil than at any time in my lifetime.”

    Is it? Do we actually live in a uniquely dangerous world? And, if we do not, why do we believe that we do?

    In his magisterial study of the decline in violence worldwide, Harvard’s Steven Pinker posits that “we may be living in the most peaceable era in our species’ existence,” even as he concedes that most people don’t believe it.

    If our perceptions aren’t entirely accurate, if the world isn’t, in fact, more dangerous than a decade ago, or a century ago, we could blame our 24/7 media. After all, reporters don’t write about the planes that land safely; the 11 o’clock news never leads with the murder that didn’t happen. Likewise, the stories about the personal information not stolen by identity thieves, the wars that aren’t fought, and the trade and commerce that flows uninterrupted, are rarely told. Moreover, we lack perspective. There is little focus on the threats that no longer threaten. Few talk about the dangers no longer looming. It is rare, even, to find people putting today’s threats in context with the recent past. Or the distant past. Few even bother to ponder the question.

    However, is not an easy task. From wars between states to wars within them, from crime and terrorism to climate change and cyber-mischief, we are beset by a seemingly endless array of threats and dangers. How canone compare them to past threats, especially given that the judgments of what should or should not frighten us are inherently subjective?

    It remains true that the only existential threat to the United States comes from a prospective thermonuclear war — the stuff of countless novels and Hollywood films during the dark days of the Cold War. Who is to say that this event, which has never occurred, is, or should be, more frightening than the very real acts of violence that do take place every day? And does society benefit if our fears of very low probability, high-impact events (e.g., global thermonuclear war) were merely supplanted by fears of slightly higher probability, low-impact ones? Some might say that it is better to be safe than sorry. That we should worry about all potential threats. By this logic, it is better to fear things that aren’t real than to take too lightly those that are.

    Perhaps the tendency to take seriously even seemingly modest dangers has been programmed into our DNA, a product of thousands of years of natural selection. Our distant ancestors who correctly perceived a fourlegged creature charging at them from a distance to be a dangerous predator had time to either flee or defend themselves, and thus lived to procreate. By contrast, their threatdeflating neighbors, who believed the approaching beast to be harmless, realized their error too late and were mauled to death.

    But while we have learned to take threats seriously, we are also taught to differentiate the real from the imaginary. Fallacious claims of impending danger will erode one’s credibility, to the point that the congenital fearmonger is no longer taken seriously. The parable warns of the dangers of crying “wolf” when there are no wolves, but it doesn’t teach us to stay silent when we see one. In the parable, the wolf eventually does come, and the dishonest boy is eaten. The moral of the story is not that all dangers are inflated, but rather that the phony ones should not be.

    In truth, we should be on the lookout for both kinds of errors. The business world punishes both the imprudent optimist as well as the too-gloomy pessimist. The financial analyst who rated all tech startups as “strong buys” in 2000 or the housing speculator who bought multiple condominiums in Miami in 2007 could rightly be cast as too optimistic. On the other hand, extreme risk aversion can blind us to possibilities. And excessive fear can be harmful to both our physical health and emotional well-being. The National Institute of Mental Health explains that “excessive, irrational fear and dread” are key symptoms for one of several anxiety disorders, which according to one estimate, afflict 18 percent of Americans.

    FEAR IS THE HEALTH OF THE STATE
    But there is a political harm as well. Individual liberty is often threatened during periods of heightened fear and anxiety, a fact that informed the very structure of the U.S. government. James Madison, in making the case for restraining the new government’s war-making powers, warned the delegates to the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia: “The means of defence against foreign danger, have been always the instruments of tyranny at home.”

    He went on: “Among the Romans it was a standing maxim to excite a war, whenever a revolt was apprehended. Throughout all Europe, the armies kept up under the pretext of defending, have enslaved the people.” A decade later, Madison returned to this theme in a letter to Thomas Jefferson. Madison knew that there was already some demand for a standing military, and that a few would use fear of foreign threats to whip up public sentiment in favor of a more powerful state. Indeed, Madison postulated “a universal truth that the loss of liberty at home is to be charged to provisions against danger real or pretended from abroad.”

    Others since then have stumbled upon similar ideas about popular notions of threats, and of how the fear of threats has been used to grow the power of government. For example, the noted writer, social critic and satirist H.L. Mencken declared “the whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, most of them imaginary.”

    Madison and Mencken’s warnings remain relevant today. Recall how in November 2008 incoming Obama chief of staff Rahm Emanuel called for swift government action to deal with what he said was an urgent threat. “You don’t ever want a crisis to go to waste,” Emanuel explained in an interview, “it’s an opportunity to do important things that you would otherwise avoid.”

    While Emanuel was talking about an economic crisis, an increasingly powerful state can be used in many different ways, regardless of whether it was precipitated by fears of foreign or domestic threats. The same sorts of powers that allowed the Justice Department to go after suspected terrorists allowed the IRS to harass suspected tea partiers.

    NEW TECHNOLOGIES, NEW FEARS
    Because inaccurate or misleading characterizations of threats pave the way for the growth of government, it is crucial to understand their true nature.

    Thus, is the world more dangerous than ever before? In a word, no. Americans, especially, enjoy a measure of security that our ancestors would envy, and that our contemporaries do envy.

    This is not to say that there are no dangers in the world today, as the residents of Tel Aviv and Gaza City will attest. Nor can we say that circumstances will not change for the worse in the future. No one would have predicted that a single act of violence in late June 1914 would precipitate a series of events that culminated in the First World War. Could the 21st-century successors to Gavrilo Princip deploy cyber-weapons to wound, or even kill, their chosen targets? Could they do more than simply kill a single head of state, but do grievous harm to millions? Or could their actions, as Princip’s did, lead to a major war, which in the nuclear era would result in the deaths of hundreds of millions?

    The possibilities cannot be ruled out. But, for now, they are only that: possibilities, and unlikely ones at that. Since their inception, nuclear weapons have been the one true weapon of mass destruction. And following the 9/11 attacks, many believed that they would inevitably fall into the hands of terrorists or other nonstate actors inclined to use them. Still others worry that more nation-states will acquire them. The fear of proliferation is not new. In either case caution is warranted, but excessive fear is not. Few countries have ever seriously aspired to possess such weapons, and many of those who did eventually gave up. In a few cases, countries actually turned over their weapons entirely. In fact, for nearly every country in the world, nuclear weapons are more trouble than they are worth.

    Terrorists and nonstate actors have, so far at least, come to a similar conclusion. Contrary to the apocalyptic predictions immediately after 9/11, al Qaeda and others have relied exclusively on conventional weapons–chiefly bombs and bullets–to terrorize their victims. They seem to be heeding the advice found in a memo on an al Qaeda laptop seized in Pakistan in 2004: “Make use of that which is available … rather than waste valuable time becoming despondent over that which is not within your reach.”

    NATION-STATES VS. NONSTATES
    What of the more traditional threats posed by states? While Vladimir Putin seems to be trying to restore Russia to its place at the top of the enemies list, China is the one country with sufficient size and potential wealth to directly challenge the United States in the future. But it is premature, to say th...
  12. Cape Town
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    15 Feb '15 17:11
    Originally posted by josephw
    http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/stats/Crime/Total-crimes
    Go here:
    http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/profiles/United-Kingdom/Crime

    And look down at the charts next to the 'violent crime' items. All falling.
  13. Cape Town
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    15 Feb '15 17:12
    Originally posted by josephw
    http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/stats/Crime/Total-crimes
    They list as one of their sources:
    http://www.numbeo.com/crime/

    Which specializes in perception of crime, not actual crime.
  14. Joined
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    15 Feb '15 17:14
    MORAL DECLINE AHEAD

    2002 July-August Douglas S. Winnail

    Comment on this article
    One of the most surprising developments of the last 50 years has been the dramatic shift away from Judeo-Christian moral values that provided the foundation of Western civilization.

    One of the most surprising developments of the last 50 years has been the dramatic shift away from Judeo-Christian moral values that provided the foundation of Western civilization. Older generations wonder why this is happening and where it will lead. Younger people seem oblivious to the concern. What goes unrecognized today is that dozens of prophecies are coming alive right before our eyes! While some analysts realize why this is occurring, most have no idea where these changes will lead—yet the Bible reveals what lies ahead! God predicted this incredible turn of events—and the resulting consequences—long ago. Moses warned our forefathers that "after my death you will become utterly corrupt, and turn aside from the way I have commanded you. And evil will befall you in the latter days" (Deuteronomy 31:29). In recent decades, America—while claiming "In God We Trust" on its coinage—outlawed the posting of the Ten Commandments in public places. The Western media has become increasingly hostile to Judeo-Christian values. Public schools demand value-neutrality. Religious leaders are increasingly prone to ambiguity and compromise in vital areas of doctrine and morals. The result has been a surge in divorce, cohabitation, sexual promiscuity, perversion, teen pregnancy, abortions, child abuse, drug abuse, rape, cheating, shoplifting, embezzling, bankruptcy, incivility, and violent crime—the very things God prophesied would happen to nations that forsake His laws (see Hosea 4:1–3; Malachi 2; 2 Timothy 3:1–9). The intellectual elite of America and Western Europe—academics, writers, filmmakers, television producers, liberal politicians and theologians—have promoted this "do-your-own-thing morality". William Bennett, former U.S. Secretary of Education, charges that "over the last two decades they have waged an all-out assault on common sense and the common values of the American people… we thus appear to be witnessing the gradual abdication of the… traditional underpinnings of American culture" (The Devaluing of America, Bennett, 1992, pp. 13, 26). Yet God prophesied that "those who lead you cause you to err" (Isaiah 3:12; 9:16; Jeremiah 23:13). Educator Vincent Ruggerio bluntly asserts that "popular culture has been infected by nonsense—nonsense about truth and reality, nonsense about self, nonsense about thought and feeling. These false views have had a devastating effect on peoples lives" leading to the breakdown of the family, self-indulgence, and undermining the pursuit of excellence (Warning: Nonsense is Destroying America, p. vi). Yet God foresaw: "My people are foolish, they have not known Me. They are silly children, and they have no understanding" (Jeremiah 4:22). Even theologians have been affected. Bennett remarks that at a time when people needed strong moral guidance, "the church establishment took a hike" by downplaying sin and the importance of marriage while condoning promiscuity, easy divorce and homosexuality (Bennett, pp. 222–223). Yet God prophesied that "those who handle the law did not know Me... the prophets have become wind… [they] prophesy lies in my name" (Jeremiah 2:8; 5:13; 23:25). Scripture reveals that misguided leaders will call "evil good, and good evil" (Isaiah 5:20). Today liberals assert that homosexuality and adolescent sexual activity are normal, and that traditional marriage is oppressive and confining. Former judge and acting Attorney General Robert Bork notes that many now want "the deviant to be normalized" and the normal made deviant (Slouching Toward Gomorrah, pp. 3–4). God warned that our society would become like Sodom and Gomorrah—sick from head to toe (Isaiah 1:2–10). Modern entertainment is so saturated with sex, violence and anarchy that normal relationships, respect for law and order and the value of human life are disappearing—especially in the young. Author Jim Nelson Black notes journalist Barbara Walters' conclusion that many young people today have "no sense of discipline. No goals. They care only for themselves… they are becoming a generation of undisciplined barbarians" (When Nations Die, p. 19; see Isaiah 3:4–5, 12). Theologian Carl Henry described the reemergence in Western culture of a "pagan mentality" that believes "there is no fixed truth, no final good, no ultimate meaning or purpose, and that the living God is a primitive illusion… it champions mysticism, occult forces and powers, communion with nature and exotic religions" (The Twilight of a Great Civilization, p. ix). God prophesied of His rebellious people, "they have begotten pagan children" (Hosea 5:7) and turned to worthless gods (Jeremiah 2:11). Black notes that "like Germany, France, Great Britain, Canada and Australia before us, the United States has finally entered the post-Christian age" and that, by rejecting Christian principles that have supported Western civilization, we are rejecting "the ideals that lifted the West above ancient paganism" (Black, pp. 11, 178). The light that God intended the Israelite nations to provide to the world is going out (Deuteronomy 4:1–10). But just why should we be concerned? For America and other Western nations, the handwriting is on the wall. Many scholars see sobering parallels between the decadence of ancient civilizations in their decline and the decadence of Western culture today. In ancient Egypt, Carthage, Greece and Rome, "the collapse of society began each time with a period of obvious moral decay" (Black, pp. 186–188). Black warns that "every one of the symptoms of decline [lawlessness, degenerate art and music, overspending, corruption, decline in religion, education and traditional values, materialism, abortion, murder, focus on self, immorality, divorce and sexual perversion]… are present in this nation today… to ignore such lessons is to court disaster" (p. 4). Journalist Morris Berman warns that "as the twenty-first century dawns, American culture is… in a mess… the system has lost its moorings, and, like ancient Rome is drifting into a dysfunctional situation" (The Twilight of American Culture, pp. 1–2). Bork cautions that "our trajectory continues downward… we are on the road to cultural disaster" (Bork, pp. 2, 11). Peter Hitchens laments of Britain, "a great civilization… is on the edge of extinction and… we have very little time to save it" (The Abolition of Britain, p. ix). Black quotes Bennett's assertion that in light of the coarseness and vulgarity of our time, "there are just too many signs of decivilization; that is, civilization gone rotten" (Black, p. 7). Yet God prophesied that our people "have perverted their way, and they have forgotten their God" and have become a "degenerate plant" (Jeremiah 3:21; 2:21). So what lies ahead? Bible prophecy reveals God will punish our nations because of our sins. God warns "If you do not obey… I will break the pride of your power… bring a sword against you… send pestilence among you… lay your cities waste… scatter you among the nations… I will stir up your lovers against you… I will deliver you into the hands of those who hate you" (Leviticus 26:14–34; Ezekiel 23:9, 22–35). Ezekiel reveals one third of our populations will die by pestilence and famine, one third by the sword and one third scattered to the wind—meaning a future captivity (Ezekiel 5:12; 4:13). Our punishment will be a lesson to the whole world (Ezekiel 5:14–17; Deuteronomy 29:24–29). This period of national chastisement is "the time of Jacob's trouble" and will occur in "the latter days" (Jeremiah 30:7, 24). Our peoples will be restored, but only after real repentance. To learn more about this sobering topic, request our free booklets What's Ahead for America and Britain? and Who Controls the Weather? —Douglas S. Winnail
  15. Joined
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    15 Feb '15 17:24
    Is science or religion to blame for moral decline?
    Introduction
    It is widely believed that modern society is in sharp decline. Among the ills cited are skyrocketing rates of crime, divorce, teenage sex, teenage births and drug abuse and a general decline in personal morality and religiosity.

    Religious fundamentalists frequently pin the blame on modern science in general, and on evolution in particular. For instance, at the Creation Museum in Petersburg, Kentucky (a suburb of Cincinnati, Ohio), one display, warning of the consequences of a scientific worldview, features photos of a nuclear explosion, a collection of skulls from the Holocaust, and what may be a photo of a woman undergoing an abortion. Another exhibit in the museum, named “Graffiti Alley,” displays news clips about birth control, abortion, divorce, mass murder, stem cells and war.

    Not to be out-done, numerous secular writers blame religion. Christopher Hitchens declares that religion is “violent, irrational, intolerant, allied to racism, tribalism, and bigotry, invested in ignorance and hostile to free inquiry, contemptuous of women and coercive toward children” [Hitchens2007, pg. 56]. These writers also note the numerous wars in Europe and elsewhere that have been fought in the name of religion [Atheists].

    So do these claims (from both camps) have any substance? What are the real facts here?

    Some examples of decline
    There are certainly some aspects of society today that most observers would agree represent moral decline. Internet fraud and porn are clearly a problem. For example, matrimonial lawyers report that excessive interest in online porn is a factor in half of all U.S. divorce cases [Divorce2010]. And even though some progress has been made recently in thwarting spam, 70.5% of all email is now spam [Liebowitz2011].

    Another area of grave concern in modern society is the rising percentage of children born to unmarried women. In the U.S., this percentage has risen from just 10.7% in 1970 to 18.4% in 1980, to 28% in 1990, to 33.2% in 2000, and to 41% in 2010 [Health2010]. Social problems such as this are exacerbated by the growing level of income inequality, especially in the U.S. Average after-tax, inflation-adjusted household income of the top 1% of the population grew by a whopping 275% between 1979 and 2007; for the bottom 20%, incomes grew by just 18% [Ventura2009].

    Other statistics: Where is the decline?
    But beyond items such as the above, it is difficult to identify any clear-cut instances of significant decline in morality. Here are some of the latest statistics:

    Crime. It is widely believed that crime, from minor burglary to serious violent offenses, is growing worse every year, and is prima facie evidence of societal disintegration and a wholesale breakdown of morality. Yet the facts point in quite the opposite direction. Indeed, the latest U.S. crime data has stunned even the most optimistic of observers. In the wake of the worst economic slowdown since the Great Depression, where millions were thrown out of work or homes, the 2011 violent crime rate was 4.5% lower than in 2010, which in turn was 5.5% lower than in 2009. Similarly, the 2011 property crime rate was 1.3% lower than in 2010, which was 2.8% lower than in 2009. In fact, the 2011 overall U.S. crime rate is the lowest in 40 years, and is down by more than a factor of two since peaking in 1994 [FBI2011; Oppel2011]. Interestingly, the largest cities have seen some of the largest declines. In New York City, from 1990 to 2011, homicide dropped by 80%, burglary dropped by 86%, and auto theft dropped by 94% [Zimring2012].
    Similar declines have also been seen in many other major western nations, although not quite as dramatic as in the U.S. Among the G-7 nations of Europe, robbery rates declined 21% from 1995 to 2010; homicide rates declined 32% (from already low levels); and vehicle theft fell 46%. In England and Wales, for instance, 400,000 cars were stolen in 1997, but only 86,000 in 2012 [Economist2013a].

    This decline in crime has confounded criminologists worldwide. Some of this decline is undoubtedly due to demographic factors (fewer 16- to 24-year-olds). But crime continues to fall in some areas, such as London, where this age bracket has recently started to grow again, and the sheer magnitude of the decline in places such as Los Angeles and New York City cannot be ascribed merely to demographics. Others have suggested that the legalization of abortion in the 1970s has reduced crime, by reducing the number of youngsters growing up in poor environments. But crime rates have continued to fall in the U.S. long after the post-Roe-vs-Wade cohort passed through the 16- to 24-year-old age bracket, and they have also fallen in Canada and the U.K., where abortion was legalized long ago. Better policing and law enforcement may be helping, but again cannot be more than a partial explanation [Economist2013a]. Harvard social scientist Steven Pinker argues that people worldwide, especially in major first-world nations, are becoming fundamentally more averse to crime, especially violent crime [Pinker2011b] (see Violence for additional discussion). But whatever the explanation, the breadth and magnitude of these statistical facts can no longer be ignored.

    Divorce. One of the most commonly mentioned ills of modern society is a soaring rate of divorce. But here too the facts say something different. In the U.S., the divorce rate per thousand people peaked in 1981, and has declined ever since. Indeed, the divorce rate in 2005 (3.6 divorces per 1000 population) was the lowest since 1970. It is true that the marriage rate has also been declining, but even if one computes the number of divorces per married couples, here too the rate has fallen, from a peak of 22.8 divorces per 1,000 married couples in 1979, to only 16.7 in 2005 [Stevenson2007]. These figures are based on a 2007 study and data only up to 2005, but U.S. divorce rates since 2005 have continued the pattern of slow decline, according to the latest federal government data [National2011.
    Teenage sex and birth. It is also widely believed that teenage sex and birth rates are exploding out of control. Yet a 2009 report from the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics reported that the percentage of American high school students who have had sex (2007 data) is somewhat lower than in 1991 (47.8% versus 54.1% ) [Parker2009]. More recently, in 2011, the U.S. teen birth rate fell to 31.3 births per 1000 women aged 15-19, a record low. This is 25% lower than 2007, and only half the rate in 1991, when the rate was 62 births per 1000 teens [Loehrke2013].
    College campus “hookup” culture. Along this line, many decry the “hookup” culture on college campuses, and cite this as clear evidence of moral disintegration. Yet in a study published in August 2013, University of Portland researchers found that the percentage of college students who reported having sex at least weekly in the past year declined from 65.2% in 1988-1996 to 59.3% in 2002-2010. Further, the percentage who reported having more than one partner in the previous year also declined slightly over this time, from 31.9% to 31.6%. These researchers concluded, “Our results provide no evidence that there has been a sea change in the sexual behavior of college students or that there has been a significant liberalization of attitudes towards sex.” [SD2013f].
    Abortion. Some say that the teen birth rate is lower only because more young women are getting abortions. But the number of abortions in the U.S. peaked in 1991 at 24 per 1000 U.S. women aged 15-44, and has dropped since then to 16.1 [CDC2008].
    Teenage alcohol, cigarette and drug use. Here again, the latest facts differ sharply from public perception. According to a 2011 report by University of Michigan researchers, only 12.7% of 8th graders reported any alcohol usage in the prior 30 days, which is down by nearly half from the 25.1% level in 1991. Among 10th graders, the figure is down from 42.8% in 1991 to 27.2% in 2011, and among 12th graders, it is down from 54% in 1991 to 40% in 2011. Even more dramatic declines have been seen in teen smoking — in 2011, only 6.1% of 8th graders, 11.8% of 10th graders, and 18.7% of 12th graders reported any smoking in the prior 30 days, which are down from 14.3%, 20.8% and 28.3%, respectively, in 1991. Cocaine and crack usage have also declined sharply — in the 2011 report, these rates were at the lowest levels since the study began tracking them. One area of concern is marijuana usage: in 2011, 7.2% of 8th graders, 17.6% of 10th graders, and 22.6% of 12th graders reported some usage in the previous 30 days, which figures are roughly the same as in 2003. But even these figures are down from 1997 when these rates peaked [Johnston2011]. Along this line, the prevalence of drinking and driving among youth 16-19 has dropped by more than half since 1991 — from 22.3% to 10.3%, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [Brown2012].
    Conclusions
    In short, there is absolutely no substance to the claim that science is responsible for the perceived large-scale decline in morality. And there is absolutely no substance to the claim that religion is responsible for this perceived decline either. This “decline,” by all objective measures, simply does not exist, or at least certainly not to the extent that it is typically pictured in commentaries of the secular left and the religious right. It is a regrettable consequence of the media’s fascination with bad news, and the overall scientific and mathematical illiteracy of the public.

    On the other hand, there is no room for complacency. Just because progress has been achieved in crime and other social ills for the past 15 years or so is no guarantee that these declines will continue — they may reverse!

    This is an arena where both science and religion can join hands in benefiting society. Science can study ...
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