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> but all of them (and those around them) suffered personally from their dire fatalism

That is factually false. I know many people whose lives have been greatly enhanced by a dawning understanding that the current dominating superstition will lead to disaster, and have felt freer in consequence to choose more satisfying (less consumerist etc) lives. Sadness about our species' inability to meet global challenges need not lead to personal dysfunction, but handling the understanding well does depend on a willingness to let go of standard narratives.






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