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Humanity and Violence


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#1    Verneph

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 08:46 PM

So, I've been thinking about this lately. I have been considering all of the conflicts and violence throughout human history and I've been wondering what is it about us humans that drives us to want to kill each other. I've developed a theory on this, and now I believe firmly that war and violence are not only integral parts of human nature but also, ultimately, necessary.

"But wait, Verneph!", you scream, pointing angrily in my general direction. "You can't honestly believe that! There are so many peaceful people throughout history! After all, does anybody really want war?" Well, that's the thing. A lot of people can say they don't want war and some, Gandhi for example, are extremely good at it. But that does not change what is fine-tuned in our nature and only proves that humans are good at controlling their urges, not eliminating them.

Think about it just for a second. How many wars have humans fought since we first existed? A ton. Why have we fought them? The reasons for war have varied throughout history and have ranged from the justified (WWII: Hitler is trying to take over the world) to the not really justified (Crusades: The Christians go to invade the Muslims because they exist). But we can't really say that, can we? After all, to those fighting the Crusades they seemed completely justified in what they were doing. It's that willing ignorance that allows we humans to revert to our primal natures and fight each other. We will literally go to war over anything if we really want to, and as I said I think it's necessary.

Yes, I said that. I think war among the human race is completely necessary and before you jump all over me just hear me out. I don't think war is good. I don't think war is justified. I just think that from an evolutionary standpoint it's necessary. Yes, I believe we have actually evolved to be oppositional towards one another. Why? Because it's the only sure-fire way to control our population. As a highly intelligent species, we stand at constant risk of overpopulation. We can't rely on plagues or predators to control us. Medical science and weaponry is at the point where those factors are a minor threat at best. No, the only thing that keeps our population from growing out of our control is our primal urge to fight one another.

"But wait!" again you cry. "There are other means to control our numbers! What about China's one child per couple law? That's working for them!"  Okay, see, that's China. With their Communist government and their disciplined culture that kind of thing does work. A Fascist country could pull that off too. But what about America? Not only would such a law be relatively unconstitutional, but we can't even convince young teenagers to avoid having kids before their ready. Are you suggesting we tell happily married couples to stop making families of their own? Are you insane?

Please, I stress, I'm not suggesting we go to war or that we start purposely killing each other to quell our numbers. All I am saying is that I think that there is a violent part of our core nature and that I think there is a very good reason for it. In addition, I believe it will always be inevitable that humans will go to war against one another for any reason that society (or those in charge) feel is good enough.

Opinions? Comments? Insults?  :unsure:


#2    and then

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 09:50 PM

I agree with the points you make.  I would add that the causes for war with the (possible)exception of the crusades has usually been about land and or wealth.  The current conflicts are different I think.  They are (ostensibly) about true belief in God.  The historic rationales no longer hold for beginning and ending wars.  THIS warfare is never ending and insoluble except by eradicating one side or another.  It is qualitatively different and it should scare the hell out of everyone concerned.  On the bright side though, after about 80% of the population is gone, the lines at Walmart will definitely be shorter. :w00t:

  We've cast the world, we've set the stage,
  for what could be, the darkest age...

#3    The Id3al Experience

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 12:42 AM

View PostVerneph, on 15 February 2012 - 08:46 PM, said:

So, I've been thinking about this lately. I have been considering all of the conflicts and violence throughout human history and I've been wondering what is it about us humans that drives us to want to kill each other. I've developed a theory on this, and now I believe firmly that war and violence are not only integral parts of human nature but also, ultimately, necessary.

"But wait, Verneph!", you scream, pointing angrily in my general direction. "You can't honestly believe that! There are so many peaceful people throughout history! After all, does anybody really want war?" Well, that's the thing. A lot of people can say they don't want war and some, Gandhi for example, are extremely good at it. But that does not change what is fine-tuned in our nature and only proves that humans are good at controlling their urges, not eliminating them.

Think about it just for a second. How many wars have humans fought since we first existed? A ton. Why have we fought them? The reasons for war have varied throughout history and have ranged from the justified (WWII: Hitler is trying to take over the world) to the not really justified (Crusades: The Christians go to invade the Muslims because they exist). But we can't really say that, can we? After all, to those fighting the Crusades they seemed completely justified in what they were doing. It's that willing ignorance that allows we humans to revert to our primal natures and fight each other. We will literally go to war over anything if we really want to, and as I said I think it's necessary.

Yes, I said that. I think war among the human race is completely necessary and before you jump all over me just hear me out. I don't think war is good. I don't think war is justified. I just think that from an evolutionary standpoint it's necessary. Yes, I believe we have actually evolved to be oppositional towards one another. Why? Because it's the only sure-fire way to control our population. As a highly intelligent species, we stand at constant risk of overpopulation. We can't rely on plagues or predators to control us. Medical science and weaponry is at the point where those factors are a minor threat at best. No, the only thing that keeps our population from growing out of our control is our primal urge to fight one another.

"But wait!" again you cry. "There are other means to control our numbers! What about China's one child per couple law? That's working for them!"  Okay, see, that's China. With their Communist government and their disciplined culture that kind of thing does work. A Fascist country could pull that off too. But what about America? Not only would such a law be relatively unconstitutional, but we can't even convince young teenagers to avoid having kids before their ready. Are you suggesting we tell happily married couples to stop making families of their own? Are you insane?

Please, I stress, I'm not suggesting we go to war or that we start purposely killing each other to quell our numbers. All I am saying is that I think that there is a violent part of our core nature and that I think there is a very good reason for it. In addition, I believe it will always be inevitable that humans will go to war against one another for any reason that society (or those in charge) feel is good enough.

Opinions? Comments? Insults?  :unsure:

Although I do agree with it being in a human beings nature, I do not beleive it is nessary.

War is very primitive, as we humans beleive we are above this, sadly we are not. Physically we have an animals body, genes and natural repsonses to situations. As humans we have evloved to the point that we are consious of our actions. Sadly most humans or the humans that are in control are still very much an animal.

The way I see it is, you either beleive you are a human being/animal soley here to reproduce and keep your species alive. Or you beleive you are a spiritual being just using now the only vessel we have to experience everything. Our primitive animal bodys.

The law survival of the fitness is hardwired in all of us, we get hurt and then it hits out pride and we react in the only way our animal bodys are wired to do, we fight in either anger or defence as you have been attached personally.

I just beleive we react naturally to our phyical universe as all processes do. Be consious of the actions.

I think musicans tool sum it up very nicely - Lyric - Right in two

Angels on the sideline,
Puzzled and amused.
Why did Father give these humans free will?
Now they're all confused.

Don't these talking monkeys know that
Eden has enough to go around?
Plenty in this holy garden, silly monkeys,
Where there's one you're bound to divide it.
Right in two.

Angels on the sideline,
Baffled and confused.
Father blessed them all with reason.
And this is what they choose.
Monkey killing monkey killing monkey
Over pieces of the ground.
Silly monkeys give them thumbs,
They forge a blade,
And where there's one
they're bound to divide it,
Right in two.

Monkey killing monkey killing monkey.
Over pieces of the ground.
Silly monkeys give them thumbs.
They make a club.
And beat their brother, down.
How they survive so misguided is a mystery.

Repugnant is a creature who would squander the ability to live to light a heaven conscious of his fleeting time here.


Fight over the clouds, over wind, over sky
Fight over life, over blood, over prayer,
overhead and light
Fight over love, over sun,
over another, Fight...

Angels on the sideline again.
Been soon long with patience and reason.
Angels on the sideline again
Wondering when this tug of war will end.

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#4    redhen

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 02:06 PM

View PostVerneph, on 15 February 2012 - 08:46 PM, said:

So, I've been thinking about this lately. I have been considering all of the conflicts and violence throughout human history and I've been wondering what is it about us humans that drives us to want to kill each other. I've developed a theory on this, and now I believe firmly that war and violence are not only integral parts of human nature but also, ultimately, necessary.

Great minds think alike, so they say. Robert Malthus thought the same thing 200 years ago. According to Malthus, war is just another positive event that limits human overpopulation.

"Malthus believed in "positive checks", which lead to 'premature' death: disease, starvation, war, resulting in what is called a Malthusian catastrophe. The catastrophe would return population to a lower, more "sustainable", level.[1][2] The term has been applied in different ways over the last two hundred years, and has been linked to a variety of other political and social movements, but almost always refers to advocates of population control."

http://en.wikipedia....i/Malthusianism

Malthus is despised by those who believe there are no limits to human growth; politicians, land developers, clergy. Malthus showed that in the animal world these checks or traps are necessary in order to stop unsustainable, exponential population growth. Everyone actually agrees with that, but when it comes homo sapiens, somehow they figure it doesn't apply.

So, in our modern age we can overcome these Malthusian traps, with medicine, agricultural breakthroughs, etc., but that only leads to further unsustainable population growth. This is what happened in places like Africa during the "Green revolution of the 1960's". Now they face the consequences of an artificially induced population explosion.


#5    Verneph

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 03:43 PM

View Postredhen, on 16 February 2012 - 02:06 PM, said:

Great minds think alike, so they say. Robert Malthus thought the same thing 200 years ago. According to Malthus, war is just another positive event that limits human overpopulation.

"Malthus believed in "positive checks", which lead to 'premature' death: disease, starvation, war, resulting in what is called a Malthusian catastrophe. The catastrophe would return population to a lower, more "sustainable", level.[1][2] The term has been applied in different ways over the last two hundred years, and has been linked to a variety of other political and social movements, but almost always refers to advocates of population control."

http://en.wikipedia....i/Malthusianism

Malthus is despised by those who believe there are no limits to human growth; politicians, land developers, clergy. Malthus showed that in the animal world these checks or traps are necessary in order to stop unsustainable, exponential population growth. Everyone actually agrees with that, but when it comes homo sapiens, somehow they figure it doesn't apply.

So, in our modern age we can overcome these Malthusian traps, with medicine, agricultural breakthroughs, etc., but that only leads to further unsustainable population growth. This is what happened in places like Africa during the "Green revolution of the 1960's". Now they face the consequences of an artificially induced population explosion.

Wow! Thank you for sharing that! I'd never heard of Malthus prior to now and a lot of this stuff is spot on with what I've been thinking about as of late. The only thing I really don't agree with is the connection to eugenics (I despise eugenics with a passion).

My main point is that war is something that's always going to be a part of our nature as long as we're human. I see a lot of environmentalists and human rights activists talk about how much better the world would be without war. Perhaps it would, at first, but at this point war is all we've really got to keep our population under control. Either way there is death, it's a fact of life. The natural order of things needs to us to fight each other to avoid overusing the Earth's resources.

Plus, I don't believe that world peace is an unattainable goal. Humans enjoy fighting far, far too much to stop. All it takes is one person with poor impulse control and enough power to start a conflict, and sometimes it doesn't even take that. If it's that easy to get humans to kill each other, and call me a pessimist if you must, I can't see global peace being feasible at any point.


#6    d e v i c e

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Posted 17 February 2012 - 06:00 AM

True, man is always at war with his fellow man and its no secret that his nature has something to do with it. But what isn't so obvious is that it doesn't have to be this way. People can in fact change - many do. For world peace to occur humanity just needs to change his way of life - but this is easier said than done - just as going to war is not an easy decision to make. As Gandhi put it "You must be the change you wish to see in the world".






#7    Jessica Christ

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Posted 17 February 2012 - 09:25 AM

While competition is  a constant for mankind so is cooperation. War is not just about two powerful leaders and what they decide but also the many people who understand that we have to live with each other before, during,  and after a war, thus there are people in any war helping each other.

War might have as  consequence population control but this is not the primary function of war. War is another means for two parties to work through relational issues.

It is the same with any relationship. Issues have to be worked out between both parties. While violence is not the most adequate tool for this it remains part of the toolbox.

The point though is that war is an extension of relational issues and since violence in other relational issues does not have as a goal poulation control then it cannot be the main function of war.


#8    Verneph

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Posted 17 February 2012 - 02:58 PM

View PostDevice, on 17 February 2012 - 06:00 AM, said:

True, man is always at war with his fellow man and its no secret that his nature has something to do with it. But what isn't so obvious is that it doesn't have to be this way. People can in fact change - many do. For world peace to occur humanity just needs to change his way of life - but this is easier said than done - just as going to war is not an easy decision to make. As Gandhi put it "You must be the change you wish to see in the world".

As much as I respect Gandhi, I believe that world peace is an unattainable goal. Even if everyone could overcome the violent part of human nature, the fact is not everyone is going to be able to. Hell, I don't even believe everyone would be willing to try as the definition of right and wrong is completely varied from person to person.

View PostUnseelie, on 17 February 2012 - 09:25 AM, said:

While competition is  a constant for mankind so is cooperation. War is not just about two powerful leaders and what they decide but also the many people who understand that we have to live with each other before, during,  and after a war, thus there are people in any war helping each other.

War might have as  consequence population control but this is not the primary function of war. War is another means for two parties to work through relational issues.

It is the same with any relationship. Issues have to be worked out between both parties. While violence is not the most adequate tool for this it remains part of the toolbox.

The point though is that war is an extension of relational issues and since violence in other relational issues does not have as a goal poulation control then it cannot be the main function of war.

I disagree. My point is that because we're such an intelligent species we need that conflict in order to keep us in check. Sure, to us a war is meant to resolve, as you say, "relational issues" or to go on some kind of moral quest of justice or whatever reason anyone can come up with, but from an evolutionary standpoint conflict serves a much different purpose. Of course not every argument leads to death, but enough do that I believe population control is part of the equation otherwise it wouldn't have been part of our nature for so long.


#9    karmakazi

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Posted 17 February 2012 - 04:42 PM

I think that everything moves in cycles including the population.  Whether it is famine or war or a comet hitting the planet, there are checks and balances that wipe out a lot of us, we repopulate, and get wiped out again.  Everything we build will eventually fall apart because nothing is permanent.

I agree that it is necessary in the way that all the difficulties that befall mankind are.  The greater our numbers get the more self-centered and destructive we become... or rather the more those traits of ours are able to affect everyone / everything else.

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“One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure it’s worth watching.” – Unknown

#10    G3N0M3

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Posted 17 February 2012 - 05:32 PM

I like the points you had but would also like to add some: For example we would not be at the point we are scientifically or technologically if we did not develop warfare. We created many things through funding that was provided by warfare and we have to have dualities in cultures to become "better"

If all people looked the same and shared one culture we would not be the human race, we would be something else. We as a people are defined by our differences, and all though those differences clash, the clash is for good.

The only thing is, we do not need this to be a problem. People always talk about "overpopulation is a problem for the world", well I look at it as government and corperations are the problem of the world.

We could have 11 billion people on this planet and be able to sustain them with TECHNOLOGY alone. If nearly the same amount of effort was put into our future as we put into our wars there would be a utopia. With the amount of money spent on WWII alone there was enough resources to have solved all the worlds hunger issues, deseases and poverty... With just that one point in time alone...

We even now are able to build Utopian cities and completely change our way of life...

But whether or not people accept it, we are being controlled to think what they want us to think... We don't need to watch Paris Hilton go milk a cow... we don't need someone paying her to do that... Donald Trump or Roseanne do not need all the money in their bank accounts... If those two people wanted to, they could change the ENTIRE WORLD! They could put their money into everything that effects us as a species.


THAT is the reason why these things are lead to believe to be "good", we think, oh, well since that we have nothing we will kill other people who have nothing so that the people with all the money and wealth of the world could keep getting rich off us, to control us, to manipulate us...

Instead we could have the entire world working as one giant machine. Why do we import things that we could manufacture or farm here? Who gets PROFIT from the necessities of life for all beings on this planet? All these things should be free, no one person is better than another. No one person should decide that one person starve to death and another die of obesity.

Then people ask... But how could this just be 'FREE'?

Easy... robots.

We have the technology, the entire worlds manufacturing industry is 70% machines... The rest of the labour industry is going to go the way of the robot anyways, they are cheaper, do not make mistakes and can work 24/7 and also have no rights.



Technology people... send a letter to Trump and ask why he does not lead the human race into a new golden age...

**End Rant**

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#11    karmakazi

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Posted 17 February 2012 - 06:39 PM

I agree with Verneph, it's an unsolvable situation.  I think most people recognize this, which is why there's such a strong interest in 2012, apocalyptic scenarios, even religion.  We look to something big to force change because as individuals with different viewpoints we do not know how to bring about change ourselves.

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#12    Jessica Christ

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Posted 18 February 2012 - 06:06 AM

I believe the interest in doomsday scenarios coincides with an increase of the number of those who feel personal dissatisfaction. There are other factors but it seems to me those not happy with their environment wish to see it destroyed on some level, consciously or more likely, subconsciously.


#13    karmakazi

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Posted 19 February 2012 - 01:06 PM

View PostUnseelie, on 18 February 2012 - 06:06 AM, said:

I believe the interest in doomsday scenarios coincides with an increase of the number of those who feel personal dissatisfaction. There are other factors but it seems to me those not happy with their environment wish to see it destroyed on some level, consciously or more likely, subconsciously.

And the only time people seem to not have this personal dissatisfaction is when they aren't in a strict society format, like nomads and people newly settling an area.  They have constant challenges thrown their way and that actually seems more satisfying to people than being comfortable.

Hmmm I never thought about it that way, but it's another way that human duality can be expressed... we simultaneously work towards having a more comfortable, easy lifestyle yet we also crave challenge and are happier when we have something to overcome.

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#14    Mystic Crusader

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 01:07 AM

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fascism
http://dictionary.re...browse/nihilism

Gangs think like that.

Drunk with blood..
Dangerous cult leaders
Jewish gematria # 1162:
Who is like God
The epitome of evil

#15    psyche101

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 06:03 AM

View PostVerneph, on 15 February 2012 - 08:46 PM, said:

So, I've been thinking about this lately. I have been considering all of the conflicts and violence throughout human history and I've been wondering what is it about us humans that drives us to want to kill each other. I've developed a theory on this, and now I believe firmly that war and violence are not only integral parts of human nature but also, ultimately, necessary.

"But wait, Verneph!", you scream, pointing angrily in my general direction. "You can't honestly believe that! There are so many peaceful people throughout history! After all, does anybody really want war?" Well, that's the thing. A lot of people can say they don't want war and some, Gandhi for example, are extremely good at it. But that does not change what is fine-tuned in our nature and only proves that humans are good at controlling their urges, not eliminating them.

Think about it just for a second. How many wars have humans fought since we first existed? A ton. Why have we fought them? The reasons for war have varied throughout history and have ranged from the justified (WWII: Hitler is trying to take over the world) to the not really justified (Crusades: The Christians go to invade the Muslims because they exist). But we can't really say that, can we? After all, to those fighting the Crusades they seemed completely justified in what they were doing. It's that willing ignorance that allows we humans to revert to our primal natures and fight each other. We will literally go to war over anything if we really want to, and as I said I think it's necessary.

Yes, I said that. I think war among the human race is completely necessary and before you jump all over me just hear me out. I don't think war is good. I don't think war is justified. I just think that from an evolutionary standpoint it's necessary. Yes, I believe we have actually evolved to be oppositional towards one another. Why? Because it's the only sure-fire way to control our population. As a highly intelligent species, we stand at constant risk of overpopulation. We can't rely on plagues or predators to control us. Medical science and weaponry is at the point where those factors are a minor threat at best. No, the only thing that keeps our population from growing out of our control is our primal urge to fight one another.

"But wait!" again you cry. "There are other means to control our numbers! What about China's one child per couple law? That's working for them!"  Okay, see, that's China. With their Communist government and their disciplined culture that kind of thing does work. A Fascist country could pull that off too. But what about America? Not only would such a law be relatively unconstitutional, but we can't even convince young teenagers to avoid having kids before their ready. Are you suggesting we tell happily married couples to stop making families of their own? Are you insane?

Please, I stress, I'm not suggesting we go to war or that we start purposely killing each other to quell our numbers. All I am saying is that I think that there is a violent part of our core nature and that I think there is a very good reason for it. In addition, I believe it will always be inevitable that humans will go to war against one another for any reason that society (or those in charge) feel is good enough.

Opinions? Comments? Insults?  :unsure:


Except for Christians invading Muslims ( I have been reading lately that the Muslim Crusades predate the Christian ones by about 400 years and it is hard to find a reputable source to dispute that claim) I do agree with everything, and I think this goes far beyond written record. Just looking at all the cases of settlement where the natives always lose, harsh tribal laws have always existed in every land, and even further back, looking at the fossil record sapiens outcompeted Neanderthal, and possibly the Denisovian species. The murdered people found in the peat bogs, the mass graves of the Aztecs, the Incan's, even their creations stories are bloody ones of war.
It is not better today, at Moradabad, near New Delhi a loose pig caused a religious conflict that resulted in 200 deaths. I think you are right, it is hard wired into us to outcompete those around us, and I think this would be more driven by instinct to survive.

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