I Believe in War

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  • Quote from magicmonkey

    I think you have a good point about war being a major part of our development, that's certainly true from a scientific point of view, take the jet engine for example, and the entire Roman empire! The question we have to ask is 'should violence be the driving force and therefore the focus of our development?'

    Or indeed need it be.

  • Quote from Joel

    This isnt a debate as to the rights and wrongs of war, death or particular pragmatic problems, i dont want this to turn into a debate of the ethics of war, but rather a discussion of war and its relasionship to our innate nature as conflict causing beings. You cant not discuss an idea purely because in the real world people die...that is just inintellegable.



    I'm not saying you can't discuss the idea, but if you are suggesting that war is an inevitable part of being human and necessary for progress then you can't ignore the consequences of war. Wars have seldom been about progress, more usually about one state or group of states making a grab for the resources or territory of another, or as an excuse for squashing dissent.

    You can't ignore the fact that people die when you discuss an idea like war.

    Are you saying that if we find ways to resolve conflict and move beyond violence and war we will be less human?

  • Quote from dode

    I'm not saying you can't discuss the idea, but if you are suggesting that war is an inevitable part of being human and necessary for progress then you can't ignore the consequences of war. Wars have seldom been about progress, more usually about one state or group of states making a grab for the resources or territory of another, or as an excuse for squashing dissent.


    You could theoretically see war as a means of accelerated "survival of the fittest"; winnowing out the less ruthless and organised (as almost allways they are more effective in power struggles than others).

    "The only rules that really matter are these: what a man can do and what a man can't do."

  • Quote from Atomik

    Given that the vast majority of people seem able to live entirely happy and contented lives without the need to kill or even hit other people, I would suggest that violence is about as 'human' as living up trees and picking fleas off each other. It may be in our nature, but its no more integral to who we are than any number of other redundant evolutionary tendencies.


    yes, however we're still prone to conflict, even if it doesnt result in violence, which is still a mild formulation of violent urges. Plus the existence of war, violence, town thuggary, etc etc etc still holds to my point that violence is an inherent aspect of humanity. whilst other parts of the population have suppressed that urge doesnt mean that it doesnt exist.

  • from reading your first post in this thread i could agree in part. yes i believe social friction is useful, disagreement is important because it leads to us questioning ourselves and others and generally trying to improve our lives and others lives on this earth. however war is avoidable and also completely unnecessary.

  • Quote from Joel

    yes, however we're still prone to conflict, even if it doesnt result in violence, which is still a mild formulation of violent urges.

    Wrong. Conflict and violence are not the same thing. Conflict can lead to violence, but it doesn't inherently do so. That's like saying that sexual urges inherently lead to rape.


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    Plus the existence of war, violence, town thuggary, etc etc etc still holds to my point that violence is an inherent aspect of humanity.

    Why? Does the existence of paedophilia mean that paedophilia is an inherent aspect of humanity?


    Quote

    whilst other parts of the population have suppressed that urge doesnt mean that it doesnt exist.

    By which definition we're all inherently rapists too. Your argument doesn't track: the only case you're demonstrating is that people have the capacity for violence (which is self-evident), not that it's a fundamental part of our nature.

  • Quote from Atomik

    Wrong. Conflict and violence are not the same thing. Conflict can lead to violence, but it doesn't inherently do so. That's like saying that sexual urges inherently lead to rape.


    Why? Does the existence of paedophilia mean that paedophilia is an inherent aspect of humanity?


    By which definition we're all inherently rapists too. Your argument doesn't track: the only case you're demonstrating is that people have the capacity for violence (which is self-evident), not that it's a fundamental part of our nature.


    i disagree


    your first point only works if you accept that violence is always a negative thing, i dont see it as that, it can be negative, but also has largely possitive attributes. be those social, political or culturally based, or even in the expelling of our own animality.


    its you who are generalising violence to all sorts, im saying that violence is a part of our humanity, however not everyone expresses it the same.


    Therefore we may have violent thoughts or actions, another person may murder, another person may rape etc etc etc...

  • Quote from Joel

    your first point only works if you accept that violence is always a negative thing, i dont see it as that, it can be negative, but also has largely possitive attributes. be those social, political or culturally based, or even in the expelling of our own animality.

    Very interesting thoery, but it has absolutely zero to do with the point to which you refer: which was that violence and conflict are not the same thing. Whether violence is or isn't negative has absolutely no bearing on that.


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    its you who are generalising violence to all sorts, im saying that violence is a part of our humanity, however not everyone expresses it the same.

    That sentence barely makes sense. Can you point me specifically to where I've made such a generalisation please?

  • Quote from Atomik

    Very interesting thoery, but it has absolutely zero to do with the point to which you refer: which was that violence and conflict are not the same thing. Whether violence is or isn't negative has absolutely no bearing on that.


    YES! sorry! violence, conflict and war etc are all part of the same thing, single parts to a whole. War and violence may be the externalised extremes of conflict, conflict can be both violent and non violent. Violence can be peaceful and nonpeaceful, therefore what i suppose ist hat violence and conflict are the samething, because they have a distinct interrelation. A lot of people who have replied to me have come from the presumption that violence is always a negative externalised action. I disagree with that, because of its interrelation with the friction of human drama.


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    That sentence barely makes sense. Can you point me specifically to where I've made such a generalisation please?


    "Does the existence of paedophilia mean that paedophilia is an inherent aspect of humanity? "


    This is largely a minor point so i dont want to dwell on it too much, but i'd say that that that was a generalisation. Violence etc, whilst being subjective in who they externalise in, have an objective underlying trait which stems from our primality as animals. :D

  • Quote from Joel

    "Does the existence of paedophilia mean that paedophilia is an inherent aspect of humanity? "


    This is largely a minor point so i dont want to dwell on it too much, but i'd say that that that was a generalisation. Violence etc, whilst being subjective in who they externalise in, have an objective underlying trait which stems from our primality as animals. :D

    How can that be a generalisation? I'm asking you a question. If I'm not offering an opinion, it's impossible for me to be generalising.


    You seem to be confusing the fact that violence is an aspect of human nature with the notion that it's a fundamental part of human nature. We all have primal urges based on our underlying biology, but they're not fundamental to our nature since we rarely suffer through failing to act upon them. Nor do the majority of us even feel a need to act upon them.

  • Quote from Atomik

    How can that be a generalisation? I'm asking you a question. If I'm not offering an opinion, it's impossible for me to be generalising.


    You seem to be confusing the fact that violence is an aspect of human nature with the notion that it's a fundamental part of human nature. We all have primal urges based on our underlying biology, but they're not fundamental to our nature since we rarely suffer through failing to act upon them. Nor do the majority of us even feel a need to act upon them.


    surely i could just take those two things to be two parts of one whole? a fundemental aspect? or am i just playing with semantics for my own benefit? prehaps


    However violence and primal urges i'd say were fundamental to our nature, even if we might not realise them in our everday lives, they still define us, they still form the basis for who we essentially are, and if placed in a dangerous situation we would still act upon our primal instincts for survival etc.


    The majority has ignored our primal instinct mainly though the illusion of development, however thats possibly a different subject.:eek:

  • Quote from Joel

    surely i could just take those two things to be two parts of one whole? a fundemental aspect? or am i just playing with semantics for my own benefit? prehaps

    I think you're just confused. ;)


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    However violence and primal urges i'd say were fundamental to our nature, even if we might not realise them in our everday lives, they still define us, they still form the basis for who we essentially are, and if placed in a dangerous situation we would still act upon our primal instincts for survival etc.

    Now who's generalising? Our reaction to an extreme circumstance doesn't define our nature - it reflects an aspect of us. I'd drink my own piss if I was dying of thirst, but I don't think that makes scat an essential aspect of my character!


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    The majority has ignored our primal instinct mainly though the illusion of development, however thats possibly a different subject.:eek:

    Tosh. We've evolved to a point where our primal instincts are governed by our reason and our own internal ethical structure. You still seem to be confusing the fact that violence is an aspect of our nature with your supposition that it's fundamental to our nature.

  • Quote from Atomik

    I think you're just confused. ;)


    dont be patronising;)


    Quote


    Now who's generalising? Our reaction to an extreme circumstance doesn't define our nature - it reflects an aspect of us. I'd drink my own piss if I was dying of thirst, but I don't think that makes scat an essential aspect of my character!


    scat is a sexual fetish, however i'd say drinking your own piss to stay alive marked a large instinct and primality toward survival which i would say was an essential aspect of your character.


    Quote


    Tosh. We've evolved to a point where our primal instincts are governed by our reason and our own internal ethical structure. You still seem to be confusing the fact that violence is an aspect of our nature with your supposition that it's fundamental to our nature.


    [/quote]


    this is just a subjective belief tho, internal ethical structures are not set in stone, they arnt eternally relivent! during the 60's homosexuality was evil, nowerdays its acceptable, ethics and morality changes.


    As for saying our instincts are governed by reason thats simply a subjective point of view, personally i'd say that we are still very much subject to our instincts, but thats been clouded by a haze of superiority and seperation from our animality, a want to make humanity grand and distinct. just because we're not mentally aware of the impact of our instincts doesnt make them anymore apparent. We still hold urges to survival, procreation and defence when threatended...i'd say that we had three of our biggest primal urges covered right there.


    Fundementality and aspect are part of the one whole, the whole that formulates itself in my existence


    therefore violence is both an aspect of myself and a part of my fundemental nature, it simply manafests itself in different ways.

  • Quote from Joel

    dont be patronising;)

    I've not pointed out your spelling mistakes yet. :harhar:


    Quote

    scat is a sexual fetish, however i'd say drinking your own piss to stay alive marked a large instinct and primality toward survival which i would say was an essential aspect of your character.

    Exactly. Thus survival is the driving, fundamental aspect of our nature in your earlier example, not violence. ;)


    Quote

    this is just a subjective belief tho, internal ethical structures are not set in stone, they arnt eternally relivent! during the 60's homosexuality was evil, nowerdays its acceptable, ethics and morality changes.

    Very true, but entirely irrelevant. The point isn't the specifics of our internalised moral structure, but rather the fact that it exists and takes precedence over the supposed 'fundamental' violent aspect of our character.


    Quote

    As for saying our instincts are governed by reason thats simply a subjective point of view, personally i'd say that we are still very much subject to our instincts, but thats been clouded by a haze of superiority and seperation from our animality, a want to make humanity grand and distinct.

    Tosh. I agree that our instincts drive us more than most realise, but the very fact that we're largely able to co-exist peacefully on a day-to-day basis kinda demonstrates that animality is subject to reason.


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    Fundementality and aspect are part of the one whole, the whole that formulates itself in my existence

    That sentence is entirely meaningless.


    Quote

    therefore violence is both an aspect of myself and a part of my fundemental nature, it simply manafests itself in different ways.

    You've taken a meaningless sentence and constructed a non-argument from a linguistic knot of nothingness. An aspect of character is a mere shard of one's being - not a fundamental of one's nature. We all have many aspects of our character, each of which contributes to a larger whole without individually defining us.

  • I think it's curiosity and inspiration rather than conflict that drive us forward, I see conflict as more of a stage in the process of change than a catalyst for it. After all, conflict is usually a reaction to change, or the proposal of change and as such can only occur when two parties disagree on the necessity or value of a proposed form of change.


    To say that war is the natural result of conflict is like saying domestic violence is the natural result of marital disharmony. Conflict can end in violence or war, but it doesn't need to, any more than discussion needs to end in argument. Cultural development (and identity) would be much better served by form of conflict resolution based on logic and respect than who has the bigger guns or more power to annihilate the other culture.


    What really defines us (in my opinion) either as individuals or cultural groups are the things we define as sacred and important, war is usually born of a desire to force those things on others who hold different values, and as such rather than defining us it forces us to fit definitions that aren't our own by destroying our own truths and/or the symbols that represent them.
    Look at the effect the coming of the Romans had on the cultural identity of this island, or how the coming of the whites affected the indians/aborigines.
    That's not the birth of culture, it's the destruction of one.


    I don't believe it's our instincts that drive us to commit acts of war, I think it's our arrogant belief that we can prove our own values true by forcing others to accept them.

    It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.


    Jiddu Krishnamurti

  • Quote from Atomik

    We've evolved to a point where our primal instincts are governed by our reason and our own internal ethical structure.


    That might be overstating it a little, perhaps “strongly influence” would be a better term… I think the fact that we all still have a strong adrenaline response, and that a key part of (primarily) male genetic identity is found in testosterone, does actually hint that violence is a fundamental part to human natures….

    Quote from Joel

    As for saying our instincts are governed by reason thats simply a subjective point of view, personally i'd say that we are still very much subject to our instincts, but thats been clouded by a haze of superiority and seperation from our animality, a want to make humanity grand and distinct. just because we're not mentally aware of the impact of our instincts doesnt make them anymore apparent. We still hold urges to survival, procreation and defence when threatended...i'd say that we had three of our biggest primal urges covered right there.



    Gotta say I agree with that :)

    Humans do so often like the idea of rising above “base” animal nature….


    Quote from Firinne

    Cultural development (and identity) would be much better served by form of conflict resolution based on logic and respect than who has the bigger guns or more power to annihilate the other culture.



    Not necessarily…. By not “finishing off” another culture it often does leave a “festering wound” that poisons and complicates for many years/decades/centuries afterward.


    Quote

    I don't believe it's our instincts that drive us to commit acts of war, I think it's our arrogant belief that we can prove our own values true by forcing others to accept them.



    [FONT=&quot]Conflict is fundamentally about security and perceived insecurity – it’s a means of countering the latter by establishing the former through control of the environment. War turns up when the perceived insecurity is endemic – before that, sure conflict happens but its rarely anything like as nasty as war (which is primarily about annihilating your opponent – a crusade if you will).[/FONT]

    "The only rules that really matter are these: what a man can do and what a man can't do."

  • Quote from Firinne

    I don't believe it's our instincts that drive us to commit acts of war, I think it's our arrogant belief that we can prove our own values true by forcing others to accept them.



    It could be our instincts on one level. It could be the herd mentality manifesting itself - WWII for example was started because Hitler wanted more territory for the Germans.
    We humans are semi evolved primates - and war is simply an extension of primate territorial aggression - even so called 'ideological' wars fall into this category because the realm of ideas is also 'territory' in a sense.

    Maybe one day we'll evolve as a spieces to a point where we can collectively see the utter futility and wholly negative nature of war. Until then, idiots like the OP of this thread will no doubt continue to cling to their outmoded and anti-life beliefs.

    reconsider what you have learned about life - choose to listen to nature's broadcast - the voice of earth....

  • Quote from Shaman


    We humans are semi evolved primates .... Maybe one day we'll evolve as a spieces to a point where we can collectively see the utter futility and wholly negative nature of war.


    Are you using the term "evolve" as being about a path from an inferior state to a superior one?

    "The only rules that really matter are these: what a man can do and what a man can't do."

  • Quote from Coyote

    That might be overstating it a little, perhaps “strongly influence” would be a better term…

    I disagree.


    Quote

    I think the fact that we all still have a strong adrenaline response, and that a key part of (primarily) male genetic identity is found in testosterone, does actually hint that violence is a fundamental part to human natures….

    No, it hints that it's part of our nature. Nothing fundamental about it. If we're not constantly going around hitting and killing one another, then violence can hardly be a fundamental part of our character. And adrenaline can trigger flight as well as fight. ;)

  • Quote from Coyote

    Are you using the term "evolve" as being about a path from an inferior state to a superior one?



    I mean evolving from semi-consciousness to consciousness.
    Seeing the value of the individual rather than the 'tribe' - that sort of thing.

    reconsider what you have learned about life - choose to listen to nature's broadcast - the voice of earth....

  • Quote from Atomik

    If we're not constantly going around hitting and killing one another, then violence can hardly be a fundamental part of our character.


    Really? Or is that the case more because of a policing strata that does not undo the physical violence but simply suppresses it?


    Quote

    And adrenaline can trigger flight as well as fight. ;)


    Indeed it can...however that typically depends on environmental factors; we rarely run unless we really are "outgunned" as to run can often mean to abandon precious things (loved ones, home, resources etc) which are not so mobile.

    "The only rules that really matter are these: what a man can do and what a man can't do."

  • Quote from Atomik

    I've not pointed out your spelling mistakes yet. :harhar:


    i suffer from a popular learning disability called "dyslexia" so if you want to point that out...then go for it i can deal with it, it takes nothing away from my point ;)

  • Quote from Shaman

    I mean evolving from semi-consciousness to consciousness.
    Seeing the value of the individual rather than the 'tribe' - that sort of thing.


    Aha :)

    "The only rules that really matter are these: what a man can do and what a man can't do."

  • Quote from Coyote

    [FONT=&quot]Conflict is fundamentally about security and perceived insecurity – it’s a means of countering the latter by establishing the former through control of the environment. War turns up when the perceived insecurity is endemic – before that, sure conflict happens but its rarely anything like as nasty as war (which is primarily about annihilating your opponent – a crusade if you will).[/FONT]


    There are better ways to feel secure than through brute strength though.
    It's far more rewarding to learn to understand a person and coexist peacefully through mutual respect than it is to simply control them and force them to accede to your demands, that's as true on a cultural level IMO.


    At the end of the day control over anything or anyone aside from yourself is an illusion - you can create circumstances wherein proceeding with a given course of action will rain down dire consequences, but that doesn't offer any assurance that they'll never do so anyway. Just as a battered spouse can wake up one day and stab their partner to death, an enslaved culture can rise up and rebel. There really is no such thing as complete control.

    It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.


    Jiddu Krishnamurti

  • Quote from Firinne


    It's far more rewarding to learn to understand a person and coexist peacefully through mutual respect than it is to simply control them and force them to accede to your demands, that's as true on a cultural level IMO.


    For some its more rewarding, yes. But can that be uniformally applied to all or even most of humanity - the presence of war in the history of civilised humanity seems to suggest that is not a uniform; power is addictive by its nature....


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    At the end of the day


    *SLAP* :harhar:


    Quote

    control over anything or anyone aside from yourself is an illusion - you can create circumstances wherein proceeding with a given course of action will rain down dire consequences, but that doesn't offer any assurance that they'll never do so anyway. Just as a battered spouse can wake up one day and stab their partner to death, an enslaved culture can rise up and rebel. There really is no such thing as complete control.


    I'd agree to an extent; however in practice a lot of people are very affectively controlled - yes some break free from time to time but it continues to be the overwhelming factor of civilised living.

    "The only rules that really matter are these: what a man can do and what a man can't do."

  • Quote from Coyote

    For some its more rewarding, yes. But can that be uniformally applied to all or even most of humanity - the presence of war in the history of civilised humanity seems to suggest that is not a uniform; power is addictive by its nature....


    It's still an illusion though, because it's power drawn from a percieved dominance that in actuality is impossible to achieve.


    Quote

    I'd agree to an extent; however in practice a lot of people are very affectively controlled - yes some break free from time to time but it continues to be the overwhelming factor of civilised living.


    Again, it's just the illusion of control.

    It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.


    Jiddu Krishnamurti

  • Quote from Coyote

    I'd agree to an extent; however in practice a lot of people are very affectively controlled - yes some break free from time to time but it continues to be the overwhelming factor of civilised living.



    That's one good reason why we need a new 'civilization' - or at least a new culture on a global level.
    The old power/war games can only lead us to destruction.

    The old values on which war is based have to go, that includes things like nationalism. religion etc.

    reconsider what you have learned about life - choose to listen to nature's broadcast - the voice of earth....

  • Quote from Joel

    i suffer from a popular learning disability called "dyslexia" so if you want to point that out...then go for it i can deal with it, it takes nothing away from my point ;)

    You called me patronising. I responded by being more patronising, thus recognising my own patronising comment for what it was. It's called self-effacing humour. Stop being so uptight. :rolleyes:

  • Quote from Coyote

    Really? Or is that the case more because of a policing strata that does not undo the physical violence but simply suppresses it?

    Really. Detection rates, prosecution levels and punishment for violent crime are laughable. The law's no real deterrent to punching someone.


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    Indeed it can...however that typically depends on environmental factors; we rarely run unless we really are "outgunned" as to run can often mean to abandon precious things (loved ones, home, resources etc) which are not so mobile.

    But property is hardly fundamental to our nature, is it? If we're talking about the natural human condition, then we wouldn't own "things" to worry about leaving behind. In our natural state, we'd be more likely to run in the face of danger. Sure, we'd fight to defend ourselves or our loved ones, but that's survival rather than aggression.


    Personally speaking, I'm not shy about using violence when strictly necessary, but it's something I'd far rather avoid. It's part of my nature, but not a fundamental part. It may be a fundamental part of your nature, but it ain't a fundamental part of human nature.


    If you like, we can throw together a poll and see how many people would choose violence as a first option in the absence of penal deterrent. When it proves my point, you can then argue that you know more about people's nature than they do themselves, and thus we'll no doubt end up going round in circles yet again. :sleep: