Free «Western Civilization» UK Essay Paper
What are the future consequences of past and present political, social, economic, and environmental decisions?
Nowadays a lot of discussions and debates are held about the major trends of current civilization that were formed as a result of human activities in different spheres of life. There are different opinions on whether our current civilization is in the period of decay or flourishing, while the most reasonable statement would be that it is in crisis, in any case. The crisis does not necessarily have a negative connotation, and is to be treated as an opportunity of the growth. It means that old schemes and strategies will not work because they are no longer on time with the global changes that take place worldwide.
One of the key aspects of the crisis of Western civilization is related to environmental problems created by humans as a result of their technological activities and a strategy to change natural cycles and process. There is an environmentalist trend of resource and energy saving behavior, yet with the growing number of population and the ever growing needs they do not seem to be enough to prevent global deterioration of ecology, which results in climate changes and, hence increase of natural disasters.
Consumerism and globalization are other trends that cover such dimensions as politics, economy and the sociology. In fact, the above mentioned ecological issues are closely related to the values of consumer society, which is oriented in ever growing consumption of goods. Economy is based on these needs; actually, the necessity of buying new products and new gadgets provides the working places. If the values change, this chain is obviously going to break, so society and advertises make sure that this does not happen soon. Globalization is also a phenomenon that has both its positive and negative aspects. While boosting multiculturalism, it also switches on the forces that protest against it considering it a threat to their cultural identity. Besides, globalization is accused of providing huge corporations an opportunity to rule the world together with politicians, and for making the gap between poor and rich countries incurable.
What is western civilization? Explain the development of its major elements.
Western civilization is a broad concept, which encompasses a sum total of historical, cultural, social, political, ethnical and religious values and belief, as well as the material reality, created via these values. Historically, it is known to date back to the Ancient Greek epoch and Hellenism, as well as Ancient Rome. Antiquity, or the Classical Period, is the time where major beliefs about a human and society were born, to which value was attached by people. These values were absorbed and implemented throughout the following epochs. One of the major aspects of Western civilization is the focus on an individual as meaningful unit of all spheres, including cultural and political life. Ancient philosophers gave way to the anthropocentric model of reality that is the one, which places a human in the center of the Universe. Later on, when Christianity emerged, this philosophy was ousted for the period of Middle Ages; however, it was restored later during the epoch of Renaissance. In fact, Christianity is one of the main markers that defines Western civilization despite the fact that most European cultures are secular. The point is that Christian values in this case can be treated not in religious, but in cultural concepts as the ones which shaped humanism as one of the core values. Industrial revolution that began in the nineteenth century was a trigger to make technology an important element of civilization. However, even before the start of industrialization, Western philosophers promoted an idea of intellect as the highest value, which is still relevant today.
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Summing up the above said, it would be true to state that such values as humanism, intellect, materialism, liberalism and democracy are among the major aspects of Western civilization still today.
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