Doomsday Dread: The End of Civilization, with Phil Torres

Oct 14, 2016

October 4, 2016

Host: Josh Zepps

phil-torresPhil Torres is an author, contributing writer for the Future of Life Institute, and an Affiliate Scholar at the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies. His writing has been featured in numerous publications such as Time, Motherboard, Salon, Huffington Post, and our very own Free Inquiry. His book is The End: What Science and Religion Tell Us About the Apocalypse.

Since the beginning of civilization, people have worried about its collapse. Pockets of people across the world have long warned that the end is near, and as it turns out, their warnings of apocalypse might be closer to the truth than we think. Torres joins Point of Inquiry host Josh Zepps to discuss just how close we are to experiencing catastrophes that have the potential to fuel our demise. With everything from climate change and biodiversity loss to uncontrollable technologies and the greater accessibility of advanced weaponry, Torres predicts that the human race is going to have some major hurdles to overcome if we want to survive the coming century.

Click here to listen to this episode of Point of Inquiry.


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5 comments on “Doomsday Dread: The End of Civilization, with Phil Torres

  • Sorry to see the antipathy of folks here to Phil Torres. His excellent book, dunned here for his appropriating the word eschatology for more general use, is recapped usefully in this talk.

    Early on it shows the usefulness of understanding the real motors for behaviour and burgeoning threat of 400 million psychopaths.

    Our essential and current problem in civilisation is in recognising and better managing psychopaths.

    The dog-whistle politics of “combatting evil” is a hostage to fortune. Its getting into the sty to wrestle with pigs.



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  • ‘Dunned’, Phil? Don’t see where ‘antipathy’ is showing here. Anyway, I haven’t the patience to listen for 53mins to something I could read in 15. 400 million psychopaths- interesting how he’d arrive at such a figure but for me, irrelevant.

    “just how close we are to experiencing catastrophes that have the potential to fuel our demise”

    Agree, totally- we don’t have the time left to avoid all possibilities. Overpopulation- blindingly
    obvious [to me, at least] as I recall so many ‘experts’ in the 60’s/70’s waffling on about 10, 12,
    even 20 billion being supportable; whilst ignoring or being ignorant of resource depletion and
    the inevitable competition for land, water, food and the impossibilities of equitable sharing and distribution. We will most likely go out with a whimper unless Yellowstone or another super volcano decides it’s time to blow…



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  • Read thru it, yes there is criticism of Phil Torres’ ideas, mainly based on ‘nothing new here’
    arguments. Also read the review of his book which is mainly a compilation of existing
    ‘hypotheses’ of The End & well put together.

    In demographics, the world population is the total number of humans currently living. As of August 2016 , it was estimated at 7.4 billion. The United Nations estimates it will further increase to 11.2 billion in the year 2100.



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