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Old 05-28-12   #1
David_2010

 
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Default Is Violence part of our Nature?

I was reading this article, and it brought up some questions.

What I found interesting were these parts:

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Whatever the motivation, violence can be horrifying to experience, witness, or inflict. I say can be, because clearly there are countless people in the world who enjoy a good punch-up ~ be that in the boxing ring, on the battlefield, or down the pub of a Friday night. Modern liberalism is inclined to over-analyse such people, looking to childhood abuse, or any of a myriad of other causes to explain their adult predilection to aggression. A far simpler truth is that we humans have evolved to be predators, and that these behaviours are intrinsic. One cannot hunt and kill food, or defend oneself or others from attack, without the capacity to enjoy the adrenalin surge brought on by a readiness to hurt and risk hurt in return. Human nature is violent, as our history reflects.

Had the Friday-night bar brawlers a more constructive outlet for their violence, possibly they might be less inclined to attack strangers over spilt beer. Or perhaps that is just wishful thinking.

Many religions seek to transcend human nature, regarding certain elements (commonly aggressive and sexual impulses) as “animalistic”. Whilst different forms of paganism have differing stances, perhaps a commonality is the inclination to accept human nature for what it is and learn to live with it, rather than subdue it.

A number of tribal cultures allowed young men (and sometimes young women) to join what anthropologists call männerbund. These warrior bands often live outside of society, and were often called upon to protect the tribe in times of war. From Ireland we have the well-known example of the Fianna warriors, who spent the summer months running wild in the woods and directing their aggression towards the service of wider society.

A feature of Greek polytheism that often bemuses non-believers is the tendency to have a deity or spirit of practically everything conceivable, including many things that other religions might consider profane ~ Ares is the god of the battlefield, Lyssa the goddess of rage, Eris rules discord and conflict, Phobos is fear, and so forth. A common theme of Greek myth is the importance of acknowledging all the Gods and daimones (spirits), and the concurrent risks of ignoring them. Physical violence and the rage that fuels it need to be integrated into life, rather than sidelined as distasteful or demonised as unacceptably dangerous.
The article essentially makes the argument that violence is a part of our Nature, and that it should be channeled in a healthy direction, and, while I do agree that violence is a part of us, I'm not sure if I see the intention to rise above it or transcend/transform it, as somehow wrong. One of the greatest, IMO, quotes about what a true Warrior is comes from the 13th Dalai Lama:

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The Bodhisattva is the mightiest of warriors, but his enemies are not the common foes of flesh and bone.

His fight is with inner delusions, the afflictions of self-cherishing and ego grasping, those most terrible of demons that catch living beings in the snare of confusion and cause them forever to wander in pain, frustration, and sorrow.

His mission is to harm ignorance and delusion, never living beings; these he looks upon with kindness, patience, and empathy, cherishing them like a mother cherishes her only child.

He is the real hero, calmly facing any hardship in order to bring happiness and liberation to the world.
That, for me, is the greatest way to channel your violent impulse, but, what about yourselves, do you believe violence is a part of our Nature, and we should just accept it, instead of transforming it? do you believe it's a good part of ourselves?, do you prefer the Bodhisattva Warrior Path, or the Fianna Warrior Path that the author of the article mentions?.
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Old 05-29-12   #2
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Default Re: Is Violence part of our Nature?

Violence is a part of human nature, just as it is a part of so many other animals and even many plants.

When I was more able I practised karate and I found this an excellent way to channel violence as it taught me a lot about self-discipline.
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Old 05-29-12   #3
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Default Re: Is Violence part of our Nature?

Through history of evolution it is said that we needed to hunt to live. By getting protein in our brains developed more and we could get to hunt better, make weapons and get more protein.

If it was not for this aggressive nature then we would not have evolved beyond upright primate.

Today's violence is not needed. We have a sedentary lifestyle. But people still show violence towards others. Maybe a chemical imbalance in their head or they are just messed up from earlier life experiences.
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Old 05-29-12   #4
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Default Re: Is Violence part of our Nature?

But even herbiverous animals and, as I mentioned previously, plants, use violence too.

Clearly violence is an essential survival tool. It is even seen in inanimate objects. The universe itself is inherently violent as seen in the act of creation of new stars, planets, even galaxies where destruction is necessary in order to create the new forms.

Violence is a characteristic of our being in this existence, although that does not mean that we cannot develop as a species to control our own violent impulses and channel them into more useful activities.
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Old 05-29-12   #5
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Default Re: Is Violence part of our Nature?

True. We are the only species on this planet that is capable of rationalisation the concept of violence and be able to stop it. We do not have to destroy other things and people. We are the only species that is capable of destroying and creating at the same time.

If we can get beyond the destruction and violence then maybe we could become better people.
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Old 05-29-12   #6
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Default Re: Is Violence part of our Nature?

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Originally Posted by Floux View Post
True. We are the only species on this planet that is capable of rationalisation the concept of violence and be able to stop it. We do not have to destroy other things and people. We are the only species that is capable of destroying and creating at the same time.

If we can get beyond the destruction and violence then maybe we could become better people.
I agree. We are all capable of violence and sometimes it is necessary for survival, however unnecessary violence is useless and destructive. I do think we should strive to balance and channel our potential for violence in positive ways such as in David's quote from the Dalai Lama...

Quote:
The Bodhisattva is the mightiest of warriors, but his enemies are not the common foes of flesh and bone.

His fight is with inner delusions, the afflictions of self-cherishing and ego grasping, those most terrible of demons that catch living beings in the snare of confusion and cause them forever to wander in pain, frustration, and sorrow.

His mission is to harm ignorance and delusion, never living beings; these he looks upon with kindness, patience, and empathy, cherishing them like a mother cherishes her only child.

He is the real hero, calmly facing any hardship in order to bring happiness and liberation to the world.
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Old 05-29-12   #7
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Default Re: Is Violence part of our Nature?

Anything gods or daemonns can do pales into insignificance compared to mans inhumanity towards man throughout the aeons,usually in the name of something or other........

Worship nothing,worship everything and all else inbetween.
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Old 05-29-12   #8
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Default Re: Is Violence part of our Nature?

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Originally Posted by The Black Elf View Post
Anything gods or daemonns can do pales into insignificance compared to mans inhumanity towards man throughout the aeons,usually in the name of something or other.
Other life forms act in a similar way to members of their own species ro related species. The only difference between them and us is our level of intelligence in that we can understand why we do these things.

Perhaps we might even evolve the ability to control our violence and use it as a tool rather than give in to it as a compulsion?
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Old 06-21-16   #9
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Default Re: Is Violence part of our Nature?

y'thinkso?
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Old 06-25-16   #10
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Default Re: Is Violence part of our Nature?

Been thinking about and pondering over this topic for a few days. Wish I could say I came to a conclusion where violence has been removed from our "human" character but in all honestly I can't.

In many ways that tendency towards violence is a survival technique that has allowed us to exist under extreme conditions as well as favorable conditions. Yet I also think we delude ourselves for we compare it to both the animal kingdom but also our presumptions of what "Civilization" is. There-in lies the illusion and delusions as it were.

As member's of that same animal kingdom we like to think our intelligence removes us and places us in a higher position. Yet I honestly think truth be told in many ways we are no further removed from it than our closest neighbor in the ape family. Especially when you consider just how intelligent other primates are within the confines of their own civilizations.

There is the second aspect I think we really screw up. We speak and preach how we are "Civilized" yet in truth I think we left civility long ago when we decided to equate technology with civility. We've grown so technologized that it's removed us from nature and to a great degree our attachment to it. So much so that what nature has deemed a balanced civilization regardless of species is foreign to us now.

Our violence no longer serves us to function in a biological civilization as we no longer actually have a biological civilization. We have a machine based technology driving and influencing how we do things, how we think of things, demand and reward, logical assessment and product replacement and longevity parameters.

So I believe the question is more specifically do we wish to retain our technological civilization or do we wish to pursue more of a biological balanced civilization? Violence as a catalyst and driving / contributing force seems outdated and obsolete in a programmed technical society.

Yet we are still biological organisms and I think even with our intelligence seek a biological based civilization vice a technological based way of life. Not to say technology and biological civilization can't exist within each other but as it currently stands I do not truly see the biological aspect. Especially when right off the bat our collective first response is to show just how far above the biological we claim to be in order to justify the technological intelligent model / paradigm we currently find our societies in.
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