a very interesting view about primates behavior, war & peace
A Natural History of Peace
Robert M. Sapolsky
From Foreign Affairs, January/February 2006
Summary: Humans like to think that they are unique, but the study of other primates has called into question the exceptionalism of our species. So what does primatology have to say about war and peace? Contrary to what was believed just a few decades ago, humans are not "killer apes" destined for violent conflict, but can make their own history"
The first half of the twentieth century was drenched in the blood spilled by German and Japanese aggression, yet only a few decades later it is hard to think of two countries more pacific. Sweden spent the seventeenth century rampaging through Europe, yet it is now an icon of nurturing tranquility. Humans have invented the small nomadic band and the continental megastate, and have demonstrated a flexibility whereby uprooted descendants of the former can function effectively in the latter. We lack the type of physiology or anatomy that in other mammals determine their mating system, and have come up with societies based on monogamy, polygyny, and polyandry. And we have fashioned some religions in which violent acts are the entrée to paradise and other religions in which the same acts consign one to hell. Is a world of peacefully coexisting human Forest Troops possible? Anyone who says, “No, it is beyond our nature,” knows too little about primates, including ourselves.
Some of us can’t bring ourselves to admit it: we are apes, and nothing more (but nothing less).
I am truly feeling so much better about myself since reading Sam Harris’s book, The End of Faith. I was born in 1965, so you could say, my parents, were really into the peace and love revolution, so my views may sound a bit like John Lennon. I honestly believe, that this world, would be a whole lot better, if we didn’t allow any religious sects or cults, for that matter, to rule us :? I agree, wholeheartedly, that it is time to come to terms with what we are and what we will become as humans, on this planet. We only have one life, why waste it worrying about heaven or hell. I have read many books on all kinds of religion, since early childhood, because my grandmother, was a very strict pentacostal church goer. I never could understand why, a god, that everyone says is so wonderful, would allow such awful things to happen to children or human for that matter. I was raised so poor, my shoes had holes in them and my jeans were so old, I had to patch them and this was before holes was popular Meal time, was not a joyful event , like you see at the local church on Sunday afternoon, in our house, we often prayed that there would be enough to feed everyone, who showed up a dinnertime. I never once saw a magical hand bend down from heaven to fill our table with bountiful food, no it was get what you can or do without. Now, I know, being poor must be what the bible wants all christians to be, except the preacher, of course. :? Money and religion seem to be hand in hand, if you ask me. My experience with pastors, preachers and whatever else you want to call them has been that, many of them have better clothes, than their congregation and drive better vehicles, also their roofs, don’t leak and they have nice roast dinners every week, when some of their congregation have to ride the bus to get to church and they pray for the wonderful fellowship dinners, that their money is buying. There was a time, when I donated money, to the church, even when I couldn’t afford to, only to have a letter, from the church, arrive at my home asking for more. Now, personally, I think that is just :evil: right there. I no longer feel the need for church in my life. I am a good person, with or without the almighty bible. I believe, we all can make good moral judgements, based on the simply principal that, we are all a part of this magnificent world and we must all learn to live here, with each other, by allowing each of to experience our lives to the best of our abillity and allow happiness to be equally enjoyed by everyone. The song by John Lennon “Imagine” means alot of different things to different people but, I believe one basic meaning is to cherish life and all that is in it.