IG’s Peace Blog

Peace and its many aspects

Human nature and peace (I)

You gotta love the internet (for many reasons).  One thing I find fascinating is you can find pages that just seem to be there:  not part of something bigger, not really identified, no author…they are just there.  Here is an interesting essay on “Human Nature and World Peace”, that has (as far as I can tell) no attribution, no links to other things–just a good essay.

The essay is worth a read (whether or not you agree with the arguments put forth).  Here are a couple of passages to (hopefully) get you  interested:

“We all know humans have the capacity to be our own worst enemy. We can perform the most terrible acts of violence on their fellows. From before recorded history humans have killed humans, and violence is potentially present in every society. There is no escaping the fact that the capacity to develop a propensity for violence is part of human nature. But that does not mean that aggression is inevitable: temporary anger need not give rise to persistent hostility, and hostility need not give rise to acts of aggression. And people also have the capacity to care for the needs of others, and are capable of acts of great altruism and self-sacrifice. ”

“In some cultures aggressive behaviour is encouraged, in others harmonious relationships are valued, and in yet others harmonious relations with the in-group, but hostility to outsiders, is the norm. Such norms may differ between boys and girls, firstborns and laterborns, between social classes, and so on. Where individuals or groups see themselves to be in danger of being exploited, they tend to cultivate an image of toughness and irritability. Such a situation was found in the frontier regions of the United States of America in the nineteenth century, and in many modern cities. The mass media both reflect and create societal norms, and most studies show a consistent but not necessarily strong link between televised violence and the viewers’ aggressive tendencies.”

“The long term solutions to human aggression involve socialization and education of further generations. Adults must be educated in the use of parental styles that will lead to fewer aggression-prone individuals in the next generation. Education can also help minimize the effectiveness of war propaganda, and the mis-use of religion, and to increase understanding of other cultures and other beliefs.

Special attention must be paid to de-fusing old rivalries. It must acknowledge that old attitudes to war are not only immoral but have become outmoded by the technological advances in its destructiveness. We must invest in the teaching of tolerance, and cultural climates must be changed to glorify peace rather than war. Education must go beyond teaching and must aim to involve the succeeding generations in engaging in a process of re-cognizing that, at every level, violence is no solution. ”

IGbarb says:  “Good stuff…whoever you are!”

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January 30, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , ,

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