Is the purpose of a Christian life to enjoy the material affluence that technology has delivered, the few crumbs that have fallen off the table of the elites? Or, at least until it ends, since the lesson of history is that all civilisations collapse, and why should this one be any exception? Or, is life about struggling against the odds, as Jesus did, who did not live a life of affluence and materialism, to demonstrator to the cosmos, faith under adversary (recall the Book of Job), and strength of character? Could it be that battle ground Earth is the reality, not the consumer supermarket? Well, psychology has something to say about this, the famous mouse utopia experiment, indicating that consumer affluence in the longer term is dysfunctional, and here is a great article on this, pre-digested for our consumption:
“I reported two years ago on the famous “Mouse Utopia” experiment that seemed to suggest that ideal conditions for humanity might, paradoxically, lead to societal collapse. And now there is the most striking evidence yet that this apocalypse may well be coming to pass. According to research in British medical journal The Lancet, we are transitioning into a worldwide collapse in fertility. In 2017, there were 2.4 children born per mother worldwide. But we will be well below replacement levels—of 2.1 children—by the end of the century. By then, there will be just 1.7 children per family [Fertility, mortality, migration, and population scenarios for 195 countries and territories from 2017 to 2100, by Stein Volset et al., The Lancet, July 14, 2020]. This will result in a catastrophic population implosion. Which is exactly what the “Mouse Utopia” scenario appears to predict. This shocking experiment took place at the University of Maryland between 1968 and 1973. Led by the extraordinary creative scientist John B. Calhoun (1917-1995), its aim was to understand what would happen if intense Darwinian selection dramatically weakened [Death Squared: The explosive growth and demise of a mouse population, by John B. Calhoun, Proceedings of the Royal Society of Medicine, 1973]. In creating this “Mouse Utopia” the experiment replicated post-industrial conditions in the West, where child mortality has fallen from 40% to about 1% since 1800, due to dramatically improved medicine and living conditions.