Can humans ever achieve peace?
Hey there everybody,
I was doing some thinking for the past week or so in light of the current developments in the middle east and I was just curious to get some feedback: Do you think humans are capable of living in peace between one another on a global (or at least significant) level? Please elaborate as much as you care to, I’m curious to hear your ideas!
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@adobb, No we cannot. You cannot have cultural/religious/ethical beliefs & practices as diverse as our race’s and maintain universal peace. It just can’t happen. Beliefs and practices aside altogether, as products of Nature, we are inherently hardwired to fight over resources, food, shelter, etc (just like every other animal!) Given our intellect and use of tools, we have evolved to create many creative and nightmarish ways of conducting those fights.
Embrace conflict as part of a greater balance–a means of controlling the population of a species which has the capability to entirely deplete Earth’s resources singlehandedly–you may just find peace in that!
I think it’s all a question of wether we can learn to tolerate each other – i don’t care what peoples beliefs are – as long as they don’t bother me, and if they do I try to imagine what made them do that, and once I get to the conclusion that there must always be a reason of some kind it get’s easier to forgive them. If everyone had this mindset I couldn’t see how an actual war could come about. Sadly this kind of mindset takes sacrifice of your pride and resources, something a lot of people aren’t too fond of. Right now I can’t really see it. but then again though the world is so intricate the answers are so damn simple!
I’d say it would take too long for that change. I believe that a superior sense of respect and love should be brought to EVERY single human, above other beliefs, like a real big change in the whole society, an unconscious one. But that’s not the way it works…
Maybe it can begin on a small scale such as in a closed habitat on Mars!
Every “Immigrant” would have to pull his/her fair amount of weight! No guns/no bombs and WMD. Those kinds of things are not needed to conquer the Martian,. because there aren’t any! Their mission would be to terra form Mars and see how they can achieve it without killing one another! :-)
@adobb, I don’t know if we can ever achieve total, complete peace, but I do think that a lot of violence and crime ultimately has its roots in lack. If everybody had enough stuff to survive, I think a lot of the violence would go away. I mean, there’s probably going to be assholes who are never satisfied always wanting more, and bullies, and just plain crazy people who enjoy hurting others, but then, we’ll just have to get to the roots of those psychological conditions. I saw a video shortly after the Embassy attacks in North Africa this year by the Amazing Atheist on YouTube, something about giving the Middle East an Ipod. Basically he said everyone there is so pissed off because religion is all they have, and they don’t have any other distractions like all the modern stuff we’ve got in the first world. Kind of like how in the inner cities here, there’s not much else for people to do but join gangs, society doesn’t provide a more attractive alternative. So yea, I agree. I’m not saying consumerist culture is the answer at all, I’m just saying if you give people something to do, they’ll probably choose that over violence.
Everyone has one thing in common, a motivator, and end game, something they want to attain. It is all well and good if a people only want the opportunity to earn that themselves, that is only fair, but when you have people who want to bypass all those steps that earn, to believe that something is owed them by right, you have a problem. People deserve an education, you cannot deny them such and expect them to be relatively self-sufficient and a valued contributer to society. Then they deserve the opportunity to put that education to work, to earn what ever it is they want as compensation for their contribution.
But when people do not feel this duty to contribute to a system that freely offers them those deserved tools, that is the issue. But if you are looking at the Middle East, is it because we do not offer these deserved tools, or is it because the regime they are under reject our offer?
As far as the U.S is concerned, I see a country that even denies its own citizens these deserved tools, how can we expect the same system to offer these tools to those who are the focus of cultural resentment? I single out the U.S, but only as example due to significance of strength and interaction, but this is by far not the only guilty party in the world, all nations have their degrees and shares of blame, be it xenophobia or greed.
Do we ever get over the invisible/conceptual borders we draw up? Be it national borders or social borders? This is how we move to peace, but even still, we will always fall short of the absolute, there will always be those who ask too much and there will always be those who do not offer enough.
You have a good point! Believing in God is not the problem; trying to force another person to believe in a certain way or doctrine at gunpoint IS THE PROBLEM!
Years ago, the people of Ireland were murdering each other’s kids in the name of Jesus the Prince of Peace! To me that is the height of insanity! Because every individual’s brain is unique, each person is going to see The Universe differently!
Once you accept this concept, then it becomes a no-brainer! Actually, many groups use religion as an excuse to pursue a particular political/economic agenda and use religion as a tool. It ain’t got nothin’ to do with God!
For sure! Nicely said in a more summed up comment than I could possibly put in so little words. I have to write a book to feel like I’ve gotten my point across but well put indeed. Even with peace life is challenging though, as it should be, after all I enjoy a challenge as should most, for it helps to build strong characters in people who know no better.
so the question is can we live in a world where we can eat with people of a different culture or religion or even race i mean a one being is afraid of what might come of this change thats perfectly fine be afraid because if u are not afraid then u will not know what “we” as a civilization can accomplish i mean its just like school (speaking of school I graduate june 10 4pm at fresno savemart center) we all had that teacher that we didnt like so we didnt even bother to talk to or even GET TO KNOW that person because “we” were afraid to hear their reaction. Thats what we have to do to bring peace to this dominated world and let our peace be brought by those of a higher knowlege (qoute) : “IF NOT NOW THEN WHEN” DELEON
If people can somehow conquer their own battles with being at peace with themselves – maybe. Considering the most good human beings in history couldn’t be in permanent peace with themselves, and their goodwill was punished, it’s fair to say not every human can build an airplane from scratch or become an astronaut.
Well, what kind of peace do you mean? We have temporary peace for the most part in most parts of the world. If you are talking about universal peace, no more war at all…well alot of that may be tied into resource competition. Michio Kaku talks about this out here on HE where he explains the future of nanotechnology. (If we ever create a “replicator” similar to what is featured on Star Trek, resource scarcity will vanish. There will be 100% recycling, homes will become resource self-sufficient, there will no longer be a need for money…)
So ultimately, peace might be a result of physical abundance. But that would not guarantee absolute peace. As long as people still face the prospect of death, peace will be elusive. Nanotechnology may eliminate and reverse the aging process as well…
Michio Kaku also has a video out on YouTube where he talks about the two great cultural trends currently clashing on earth. One is the insular, backward looking ideology of fundamentalism (both Islamic and Christian…) which supports oppression and intolerance. The other is the inclusive, democratic, forward looking Western view. Whichever of these wins out on the planet may determine the fate of humanity.
(Its not necessarily a given that the Western view is better. The Western view promotes advancing technology, which may ultimately lead to the destruction of all life on earth).
No, I dont think peace is ever achievable. If peace is the goal, if you are trying to attain peace, you will never get there. No one is ever satisfied when they hit their goals. Think of professional athletes who train their asses off because they want to win the championship. What happens when they win? They celebrate, they feel amazing & accomplished for a bit, & then its back to work again to win another championship because having just one isnt enough.
As long as you are trying to reach something, you will never permanently be satisfied. Sure there may be peace for a moment, a week, a few years but eventually that won’t be enough.
In order for there to be peace, we have to become peace (if that makes sense). Peace can’t just be something that you attach to within your mind. Then it is just another identity that can change. Its not permanent.
In Yoga, this is the path toward Enlightenment. The Buddhist philosophy is similar… In Christianity, it is reaching a state of perfection where you are purified of all sin past, present and future.
I think humanity has acknowledged to itself in one form or another, for thousands of years, that it possesses inherent flaws. We’ve come up with ideals, ways of eventually overcoming these flaws.
But likely, in the meantime, we will degrade towards the opposite end of the spectrum. Religion again teaches this. The Bible states that the human race is ultimately headed toward genocide, and unless God intervenes personally before it happens, “no flesh will be saved alive”…
I can remember reading in a book that chronicled the early development of nuclear weapons, that some scientists envisioned a day where every American family would have its own nuclear, ballistic missile in its back yard for protection and security… Imagin that. We can’t even keep handguns out of the hands of the insane in this country, and they once thought it was a practical, good idea, to spread nuclear bombs around like candy…
Considering the fact that America has been at war for over 220 years of the approx 240 years that it has existed, I would say yes. The problem is not with the people, the problem is with the guys upstairs and the corporations, war is a money making machine like no other. Anyone recall American President Eisenhower’s speech on military industrial complex? Boom there you go. Michio Kaku predicts NWO by 2060 anyway, it’ll be war on the classes rather than countries.
I remember President Eisenhower making that speech. Want to read something crazy?
I sometimes think that JFK was killed because he was going to pull the U.S. out of Vietnam; but the military industrial complex stopped him. What did the Vietnam War accomplish? Thousands of GI’s got killed and wounded, a million Vietnamese people got killed! And the gun-makers and military suppliers made tons of loot out of the blood of people. Vietnam got what it wanted- independence and Communism.
I’m not sure the south Vietnamese ever wanted communism imposed on them by the north. That’s why they fought by the millions to prevent it.
At the same time, the war in Vietnam modernized US fighting capability, more than likely making the losses in Gulf Wars I and II far lighter on the US side than they otherwise would have been. (Remember, at the time Iraq had the fourth largest army in the world).
I’m not arguing in favor of the Vietnam war here however it looks that way. I’m just saying that even war can have positive aspects for the future of humanity.
Where would we be today without Cleitus the Black? Who even knows who he is? Yet he single handedly changed the course of human history – especially in the west, by saving the life of Alexander the Great’s life in his first pivotal battle… And how was he rewarded for this? Alexander killed him in a drunken rage not long afterwards…
Sometimes life doesn’t make sense. Suffering leads to advancement, noble acts lead to betrayal…
As long as there is mass poverty and starvation and there is not enough living space on the planet, humans are going to be in some type of conflict. What does the average human want? A nice home, plenty to eat, clean water; he/she wants good neighbors, wants to be a good neighbor. Safety in his home and community. Safety in being able to go to the church of his/her choice without being blown up. He/she wants a good steady job to support him/herself and the family. First secure these things. Then War will not be viewed as necessary.
I actually think that world peace is becoming more and more likely and possible with the way the world is developing. I know plenty of reasons why lots of people will disagree with me but here’s why. War requires a very strong identification with something, whether it’s a religion, race, nationality or possibly culture. Without this identification there can be no them and us, and without them and us there can be no different sides and no war.
The way the world is developing with communication, ease of travel and mass migration and mixing of cultures those clear lines of identification are getting more and more blurred. Inter racial and inter cultural relationships are becoming more common. Eventually we will truly become one race, the human race. People frequently move from country to country and begin to lose their identification with
” their” country. Communication is so efficient and instant now that, particularly on the web, you get to hear ideas from so many different perspectives, people are becoming much better informed and accustomed to different world views and so fear of ” others ” is diminished and most of us can relate to other people in many more ways than just being the same culture or religion. We hear it often the term global community and gradually over time this will become the case. Already we see unions of countries like the European Union and the United Nations, and already it is very difficult to imagine Britain going to war with Germany or, can you imagine an American Civil War nowadays? Of course war is much more likely still in developing countries but given enough time the effects of easy travel and cheap technology will begin to have an effect. Borders are becoming blurred and it is a good thing in terms of world peace. We all need to begin to identify ourselves as citizens of planet earth.
The biggest threats to world peace are religion and resources. The problem of resources might eventually be eased by new technology, that is our biggest hope, imagine a world where oil was no longer needed! Immediately so many corrupt influences would lose their power and the threat of war based on greed would ease so that would be a winner on every level, environmentally, economically and politically.
Religion is a little harder because religion has it’s own ego, a massive need to be RIGHT and for “others” to be wrong. And as we know ego’s have a particularly die hard property, they fight for survival.
Actually this is why religion has become so dangerous in recent years, it feels under threat and it is fighting for its life. We should all of us treat religion as the enemy rather than the people who are in the grip of it. Extremists have the commonality that they shout very loud but are still a tiny minority, the rest of us should remember that and try to relax a bit. What you resist persists, and calm passive resistance works much better here because we know all ego’s feed off of energy especially negative energy, ask Eckhart!
Lucy, you’re talking about the dichotomy of fundamentalism vs. the open society that I mentioned. Keep in mind that you are looking at this from the view of open society and we in the west are biased and conditioned into thinking that is the path to utopia, but we may be wrong.
Also, the majority rests on the other side. There are more Muslims in the world than anything else, and they tend towards closed societies, no equal rights for women, tight control on human behavior. Also, they restrict the effect of the global community. You see this both in Middle Eastern nations, and places like China where the Internet is strongly regulated and filtered.
Developments like cheap solar, practical fusion (which would make energy virtually free and limitless) would also radically change things, but these inventions have their downsides. Replicators would also make it very easy to manufacture land mines, hand weapons, disposable explosives of all types…
We need to keep in mind that science can be the enemy to human survival as much as religion can, yet science likes to paint itself in the light of a “white knight” coming to the rescue.
Without western science would we ever have had nuclear weapons, chemical weapons, biological weapons? In the future we might have weapons that can alter space and time itself. Think “The Forever War” by Joe Haldeman.
The Bible spoke about a time like this where people would flee into a paradise before them, with a wasting and destruction behind (likely something like a regional nuclear war)…
Hmm, hands up I write from a totally western perspective……and although everything I have written is true from this perspective, I can completely accept that from a different one, this world view may seem laughable.
It’s interesting though how a few hundred years ago people only saw the immediate world that they lived in and for the most part were unaware of other peoples “reality”. Our reality as citizens on this planet have been altered simply by our “awareness” of other realities. Is our own private reality the only one that we need to worry about, or is it our responsibility to worry about everybody else’s reality as well. As a responsible person I would have to say it is, but my knowledge of these other perspectives is purely intellectual, it has no bearing ( or seemingly) on my actual day to day life. The biggest impact of WAR on my actual life is that my best friends husband is in the navy and when he has, in the past had to go front line, I have tried to keep her from worrying and getting depressed. But, he has always come back safe and then we go and have a celebratory meal somewhere nice, big deal. I wish everyone, every human on this planet could have my reality and then there would truly be no war.
You know, we live in a golden age in the west right now. But few people ever realize they live in a golden age until it is past. Did Caesar truly realize Rome was about to fall when he saw the Visigoths swarming over the seven hills? Did the allied powers realize their glorious views of the future of science and technology were about to collapse under worldwide war right before Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assasinated on June 28, 1914, almost exactly 100 years ago today?
The CIA estimates that world oil supplies will be gone by 2039. That’s only 25 years away. The US couldn’t survive for three days without a steady supply of gasoline and diesel fuel…
I don’t know. Its easy to think that society is stable and that our children will grow up better off than we were. But we already see that that’s not the case. The middle class is on the decline and its harder for young people to make a living now than it was 30 – 50 years ago.
I just read an article Lucy where scientists now estimate that there are potentially 100 million advanced species alive on worlds in the Milky Way galaxy, out of an estimated 17 billion earth-like worlds that could have life.
For a long time, there has been this debate in science as to why we have never detected or heard from any of these species (at least formally). And one of the likely answers is that when any species reaches a certain basic stage of technological development, it may simply self-destruct through various means (global war, pollution, pandemic…resource depletion). So maybe if we ever do get into deep space, what we might find on these earth-like worlds is nothing but ruins.
It may come sooner than you think: