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Old 08-03-2015, 07:02 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Trollheart,

I think you might be being a little unfairly dismissive of his answer.

Organized warfare didn't take place until King Sargon in Mesopotamia just 12,000 years ago. Maybe someone will post another example but it's something like that. Then you have all the non-human life on earth that also doesn't have warfare in the contemporary human sense. So with that short a time on the evolutionary scale doesn't it make sense that involvement in warfare is more something that is "soft-wired" or learned instead of something that's deeply embedded in our DNA? It seems like that's a fair answer to your question...
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Old 08-03-2015, 08:37 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Trollheart,

I think you might be being a little unfairly dismissive of his answer.

Organized warfare didn't take place until King Sargon in Mesopotamia just 12,000 years ago. Maybe someone will post another example but it's something like that. Then you have all the non-human life on earth that also doesn't have warfare in the contemporary human sense. So with that short a time on the evolutionary scale doesn't it make sense that involvement in warfare is more something that is "soft-wired" or learned instead of something that's deeply embedded in our DNA? It seems like that's a fair answer to your question...
Lord.
I'm not saying someone specifically wired us up inside or anything like that. But whatever about organised warfare, we've been kicking the living **** out of each other since we learned to jam a nail through a club. So what I'm saying is that, all down Man's history, there have been wars. So maybe not organised wars, but raids on the territory of others and attempts to expand our own living space, steal the livestock/women/material goods of our neighbours and basically be *******s to each other.

So, with all that in our history, we are surely hardwired (mostly by our own experiences and the way we perceive ourselves and others, and our supposedly god-given right to everything we think we have a right to) to think in terms of war, for as long as we exist. We play wargames, videogames, paintball, quasar. Some of us join the military, some the police, some of us rebel against the establishment and some of us try to bring down the government, be it a fair and just one or not.

What I've been saying is (take the hardwiring idea out, as it seems to be confusing some of you and it's only semantics anyway) that Man is predisposed, by virtue of his experiences and his history, towards conflict with basically anyone he can be in conflict with. Take a period of peace, if we should get one, and wait just a little while. You can be sure someone somewhere will be fighting someone else. Sometimes even during ceasefires fights break out. That's what I'm saying; we're kind of slaves to our past and it really doesn't look as if we will ever evolve beyond that. I hope we do, but I would not bet on it.

Mr Charlie's answers are too evasive. Yes, we are hardwired (to use the term again) to do other things, like think, sleep, get laid, be creative etc, but among those other, better and more important and necessary qualities is I believe the need, the vital need and the imperative to fight our brothers. It's just who we are.

Maybe I'm wrong; that's why I asked the question. But the whole of human history seems to suggest that everything humans make is built upon the bones and the blood of other humans. Empires grow because others are conquered and enslaved. Politicians and despots rise to power over the bodies of their enemies. Nations are "secured" by force of arms, almost always. Everyone from we Irish to you Americans (don't know if you are American, just assuming so forgive me if not) owe our freedom, rather sadly, to conflict, war and conquest, or if not conquest, to a struggle to drive out the invader, which still equates to war, be it open or of a more guerilla sort.

An old joke, but it's true: put three Irishmen in a room together and sooner or later two will gang up against the third.
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Old 08-03-2015, 09:25 PM   #23 (permalink)
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I think you're changing the question when you don't agree with the answer. In your original post you said "genetically predisposed to war, fighting, and conflict". Then it kind of softens to is it just human nature or just our way.

I agree with Sagan as I posted above.

If another way to phrase your question is "is peace possible?" I'm going to say in my opinion yes. Step one is understanding that we are biological creatures that have been evolving for billions of years. Understanding what our human and pre-human ancestors had to overcome for us to make it this far is essential. Step two is understanding that technology cannot be held in a vacuum. As we progress into the future our ability to destroy will grow and grow and the ability to destroy on a massive scale and even global scale will become more and more prevalent. This forces humanity to acknowledge that our species will not be able to continue unless violent solutions are taken off the table. Step three is a paradigm shift where mankind universally rejects violent problem solving.

Like I posted earlier we're essentially alligators with hydrogen bombs. Is the utopian scenerio mentioned above unlikely? Yes. But it's impossible for humanity to go much further in our current mindset. So chances are we don't make it. Maybe that happens to all intelligent species in the universe. But maybe we can get past all this and profoundly change the way we interact with each other. Maybe technology will play a positive role. Maybe there will be human genetic engineering in the future that will temper our hostilities.

I like to dream of humanity, colonizing planets, reaching other stars, and exploring the universe thousands of years from now. I hope it's possible. We'll have to do it ourselves unless you think the invisible sky man is going to come down and save the day.
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Old 08-03-2015, 09:50 PM   #24 (permalink)
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My answers may seem evasive, even vague, but language is limited. For example, words can never describe the smell of a rose. Doesn't matter how articulate the description, the only way to know the smell of a rose is to experience it.

Similarly, when I say to know whether we are hardwired for conflict just look inside your heart (or empty your mind - which is a less hippy way of saying the same thing), the words don't answer the question, but what they point to will.

Edit: Maybe the following well known story better describes what I'm trying to say:

The nun Wu Jincang asked the Sixth Patriarch Huineng, “I have studied the Mahaparinirvana sutra for many years, yet there are many areas I do not quite understand. Please enlighten me.”
The patriarch responded, “I am illiterate. Please read out the characters to me and perhaps I will be able to explain the meaning.”
Said the nun, “You cannot even recognize the characters. How are you able then to understand the meaning?”
“Truth has nothing to do with words. Truth can be likened to the bright moon in the sky. Words, in this case, can be likened to a finger. The finger can point to the moon's location. However, the finger is not the moon. To look at the moon, it is necessary to gaze beyond the finger.”
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Old 08-03-2015, 10:22 PM   #25 (permalink)
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I think moral values are generally improving in our society.
EDIT: haven't we had the discussion of the subjectivity of morals before?
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Old 08-03-2015, 11:05 PM   #26 (permalink)
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x2.

I feel its quite the opposite Tore.
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Old 08-03-2015, 11:17 PM   #27 (permalink)
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Trollheart,

I think you might be being a little unfairly dismissive of his answer.

Organized warfare didn't take place until King Sargon in Mesopotamia just 12,000 years ago. Maybe someone will post another example but it's something like that. Then you have all the non-human life on earth that also doesn't have warfare in the contemporary human sense. So with that short a time on the evolutionary scale doesn't it make sense that involvement in warfare is more something that is "soft-wired" or learned instead of something that's deeply embedded in our DNA? It seems like that's a fair answer to your question...
The whole "animals don't make war" trope is old and tired. JWB just pointed out the other day that male lions actively take over prides by killing or driving off the male, and then kill all of the cubs. Just because they don't do so with an M16 doesn't make it not warfare.

And just read this nice little article about chimpanzees waging war against rival groups.

NY Times: Chimps, Too, Wage War and Annex Rival Territory

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When the enemy is encountered, the patrol’s reaction depends on its assessment of the opposing force. If they seem to be outnumbered, members of the patrol will break file and bolt back to home territory. But if a single chimp has wandered into their path, they will attack. Enemy males will be held down, then bitten and battered to death. Females are usually let go, but their babies will be eaten.

Adorable.
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Old 08-03-2015, 11:33 PM   #28 (permalink)
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The whole "animals don't make war" trope is old and tired. JWB just pointed out the other day that male lions actively take over prides by killing or driving off the male, and then kill all of the cubs. Just because they don't do so with an M16 doesn't make it not warfare.
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Old 08-03-2015, 11:49 PM   #29 (permalink)
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x2.

I feel its quite the opposite Tore.
kind of funny to me that you would say so, roxy. seeing as if it was 40 years ago when your husband raped you it wouldn't be considered a crime. 60 years ago in the south you could be lynched and killed without retribution. and of course you know what would have happened if it was 200 years ago...
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Old 08-03-2015, 11:56 PM   #30 (permalink)
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kind of funny to me that you would say so, roxy. seeing as if it was 40 years ago when your husband raped you it wouldn't be considered a crime. 60 years ago in the south you could be lynched and killed without retribution. and of course you know what would have happened if it was 200 years ago...
And a counter example is that 200 years ago, Christianity in China was discouraged. Now, anyone suspected of being Christian is sent to secret facilities, away from the prying eyes of the media, and are tortured until they recant.

There are no ****ing rights in China, and it gets worse by the damn day. It is an observable slippery slope that nobody seems to care about. China has discovered the secret to keeping their deeply flawed government intact, and that is by not allowing the media to roam free.

Last edited by Wpnfire; 08-04-2015 at 11:07 AM.
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