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Decadence: The Meaninglessness of Modern Life (2006)

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Decadence: The Meaninglessness of Modern Life is a six-part Australian television documentary series hosted by Pria Viswalingam. The series examines the decadence and meaninglessness of modern, western life. It is also posed the question: 'If we live in such a great and prosperous world, and we are living longer, better, and healthier than before, why are we so unhappy?' There were interviews with prominent experts and leaders in their fields throughout the series including John Tirman, Avner Offer, Susan Greenfield, Phillip Knightley, Kishore Mahbubani, Noam Chomsky, and John Spong.

Part One: Money - examines the growing greed of society and the 1980s ideal that greed is good. It also looks at the growing disparity between rich and poor.

Part Two: Sex - Viswalingam interviewes New South Wales Police Commissioner Ken Moroney about the extent to which many cases of rape have become particularly violent and gruesome, and asked why sex crimes are growing in number in society. The link between violent pornography and sex crimes is also examined in this episode. A medical ethicist Dr. Amin Abboud noted that sex had been trivialized and needed to be placed back into the context of emotional connections and intimacy and that sex should be rediscovered as part of love. In an interview, Orthodox Rabbi Shmuley Boteach stated that modern relationships collapse when people lose interest in the sex and that sex has become the sole measure and importance in a relationship.

Part Three: Democracy - The nature of modern democracy is examined in this episode and the question was asked, 'Do we really live in a democratic world any more?' The erosion of democracy, media control and the use of public money for advertising was reviewed.

Part Four: Education - The continuing undervaluing of an education in western society is considered. The lack of government funding for primary and secondary education was reviewed. There's discussion about the transformation of universities from great learning places into businesses competing for students' money, who only want a fast-tracked easy course into a high-paying career.

Part Five: Family - The modern western family is discussed, as is what really is a family in the west. The gradual decline in the importance placed on families and the disintegration of the idea of a family and people preferring isolation is reviewed.

Part Six: God - The nature of religion and religion in western society is reviewed. The growing number of irreligious people in Western countries is considered and it's asked whether this had any effect on our happiness or morals.

 

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