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Thread: War and Humanity

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    War and Humanity

    Hitler wrote war was is a natural human trait. Is humanity fundamentally conflict? It is in most other higher species. Conflict for food, territory, and mating rights.

    Is war a crime against humanity or is war a natural result of genetic programing, like procreation?

    War is not banned, it has rules in the Geneva Convention. Nobody really adheres to it in full, probably never did. Civilian populations were targeted by all sides in WWI and WWII. The first terror bombings began in WWI with Zeppelins.

    The Jews carved out a nation by force, as did Turkish nationalists. Immoral?

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    Contributor ruby sparks's Avatar
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    Yes, humans, along with a number of our other ape cousins, have a propensity for aggression and conflict, and in humans this includes war. It's mostly a male trait.

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    Veteran Member seyorni's Avatar
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    Ruby's right. We're aggressive, tribal apes. It's inborn.
    When we can't find a tribe to join, and another to oppose, we'll create them, so intense is our drive. Think of our love of team sports.
    "Civilization" is a thin veneer.

    "our righteous minds are designed to... Unite us into teams. Divide us against other teams. And blind us to the truth." -- Jonathan Haidt. (italics mine)

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    Veteran Member PyramidHead's Avatar
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    Contributor ruby sparks's Avatar
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    I've recommended this book (written by a British Primatologist) before, and can only recommend it again:



    This, apparently (written by a French philosopher of Social Science) is supposed to be very good too, though I haven't read it:


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    Quote Originally Posted by seyorni View Post
    Ruby's right. We're aggressive, tribal apes. It's inborn.
    When we can't find a tribe to join, and another to oppose, we'll create them, so intense is our drive. Think of our love of team sports.
    "Civilization" is a thin veneer.

    "our righteous minds are designed to... Unite us into teams. Divide us against other teams. And blind us to the truth." -- Jonathan Haidt. (italics mine)
    Nice brief summary.

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    Chimps do make war of a sort. I expect to her horror Goodall discovered her beloved chimps from one troop would single out one from another troop, hunt it down, kill it, and eat it.

    When fed at a staion with food left out fights break out, there is stealing.

    NATO appears to be a solution but today is a bit shaky. The Europeans decided post WWII that mutually assured prosperity and security centuries of repeated destructive wars.

    Russia and China reject the idea. Both are trying to expand territory. You would think with the regional welth the Arabs and Persians, Iran, would figure out how to end conflict and enjoy wealth.

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    Contributor Trausti's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PyramidHead View Post
    LOL. The ghost of Lysenko haunts us still.

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    Sapere aude Politesse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by steve_bank View Post
    Hitler wrote war was is a natural human trait. Is humanity fundamentally conflict? It is in most other higher species. Conflict for food, territory, and mating rights.

    Is war a crime against humanity or is war a natural result of genetic programing, like procreation?

    War is not banned, it has rules in the Geneva Convention. Nobody really adheres to it in full, probably never did. Civilian populations were targeted by all sides in WWI and WWII. The first terror bombings began in WWI with Zeppelins.

    The Jews carved out a nation by force, as did Turkish nationalists. Immoral?
    I feel that "war" and "conflict" are not necessarily the same thing. Justifying state violence with the social inevitability of interpersonal conflict is, in my opinion, grouping apples with oranges and insisting that if both are fruit than all are oranges. Conflict is inevitable and necessary, but specifically resolving it with either diplomacy or violence, dueling or genocide, is a sociocultural choice. Different peoples at different times have cultivated very different attitudes toward war, and justifying any particular standpoint as more "natural" usually involves a bit of cherrypicking across space and time to find antecedents. I wrote a piece a while back on primate violence and what the conversation looks like in that arena; that post was inspired by a read of the Demonic Male, the book Mr Sparks references above.

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    Mazzie Daius fromderinside's Avatar
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    War is for social beings to exercise rationalized value execution. It is one thing to be a fighting fish driven by squirts and twitches. it's quite another for humans to fight in the name of rationalized justice.

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