The perception of causes of natural disasters from primitive to modern societies


It is usually said that the past human generations in their "primitive stages" of evolution have been dominated with magic and superstition (e.g. Frazer, 1890; Malinowski, 1948), which implies that the idea of nature was a social and political creation. Within this mindset, and in search of explanation, every disaster had its meaning, and someone to blame (see also Diamond, 2012). Therefore, traditional societies invented mysterious connections between moral transgressions and illnesses, and natural disasters. This means that nature was also "heavily politicized in the past", while modern societies, due to the advancement of science, view nature as "morally neutral" (Douglas & Wildavsky, 1982, p. 29).

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