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War and Humanity

steve_bank

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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?
 

ruby sparks

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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.
 

Valjean

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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)
 

ruby sparks

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I've recommended this book (written by a British Primatologist) before, and can only recommend it again:

9780395877432.jpg

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

9780801822186.jpg
 

steve_bank

Diabetic retinopathy and poor eyesight. Typos ...
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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)

Nice brief summary.
 

steve_bank

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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.
 

Politesse

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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.
 

OLDMAN

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People don't fight wars....nations do. It's not like 200 million Russians rise up against 350 million Americans. We are trapped by our own invented system. But go ahead and feel free to denounce all the citizen ships of the world. Don't pay your taxes or stand for the anthems and see what happens to you.
 

rousseau

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Conflict is a necessity in a world with limited resources. A species evolving in such world will be adapted to that reality. Even in a robust economy people compete: jobs, resources, relationships, housing yadda yadda

You can't extricate conflict from a species that has a survival and reproductive imperative.
 

Politesse

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Conflict is a necessity in a world with limited resources. A species evolving in such world will be adapted to that reality. Even in a robust economy people compete: jobs, resources, relationships, housing yadda yadda

You can't extricate conflict from a species that has a survival and reproductive imperative.

Again, war is only one way to resolve a conflict. Indeed, it does not actually resolve the conflict, that happens at the negotiation table. All the killing is so that one side will have an advantage at said table. Let's not glorify that particular negotiating strategy - slaugtering innocent bystanders, that is - beyond its honestly earned merit.
 

rousseau

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Conflict is a necessity in a world with limited resources. A species evolving in such world will be adapted to that reality. Even in a robust economy people compete: jobs, resources, relationships, housing yadda yadda

You can't extricate conflict from a species that has a survival and reproductive imperative.

Again, war is only one way to resolve a conflict. Indeed, it does not actually resolve the conflict, that happens at the negotiation table. All the killing is so that one side will have an advantage at said table. Let's not glorify that particular negotiating strategy - slaugtering innocent bystanders, that is - beyond its honestly earned merit.

War is one method of conflict resolution. Any sane person will obviously advocate against it's use, problem being the bolded - people are at best selfish, at worst sociopathic.
 

Loren Pechtel

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Conflict is a necessity in a world with limited resources. A species evolving in such world will be adapted to that reality. Even in a robust economy people compete: jobs, resources, relationships, housing yadda yadda

You can't extricate conflict from a species that has a survival and reproductive imperative.

Again, war is only one way to resolve a conflict. Indeed, it does not actually resolve the conflict, that happens at the negotiation table. All the killing is so that one side will have an advantage at said table. Let's not glorify that particular negotiating strategy - slaugtering innocent bystanders, that is - beyond its honestly earned merit.

War is actually a subclass of a more general case--the use of force.

At it's most basic level you can't take it off the table, it's part of most negotiations--although often in the form of calling the cops if the negotiating tactics break the law. The fact that the cops would be called in many cases pushes the actual use of force almost completely out of the picture, but it's still the threat of force that causes this. (For example, slavery. An employer can't just grab someone and chain them to a machine and expect to get away with it. Only the potential use of force stops the scumbags from doing this.)
 

bilby

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Conflict is a necessity in a world with limited resources. A species evolving in such world will be adapted to that reality. Even in a robust economy people compete: jobs, resources, relationships, housing yadda yadda

You can't extricate conflict from a species that has a survival and reproductive imperative.

Again, war is only one way to resolve a conflict. Indeed, it does not actually resolve the conflict, that happens at the negotiation table. All the killing is so that one side will have an advantage at said table. Let's not glorify that particular negotiating strategy - slaugtering innocent bystanders, that is - beyond its honestly earned merit.

War is actually a subclass of a more general case--the use of force.

At it's most basic level you can't take it off the table, it's part of most negotiations--although often in the form of calling the cops if the negotiating tactics break the law. The fact that the cops would be called in many cases pushes the actual use of force almost completely out of the picture, but it's still the threat of force that causes this. (For example, slavery. An employer can't just grab someone and chain them to a machine and expect to get away with it. Only the potential use of force stops the scumbags from doing this.)

There are a number of highly dubious assumptions here. Force is generally not on the table, unless you are dealing with psychopaths. Of course, psycopathy is not rare, so some negotiations can be expected to involve them. But most don't.

Your mischaracterizing of psychopaths as 'scumbags' doesn't help either - it's based in your commonly expressed but false belief that there are 'good guys' and 'bad guys', and that this dichotomy is a useful one. It's not.

Ultimately you are making the same argument that the religious nutters do, when they say 'without God, what's to stop people from raping and murdering whenever they feel like it?'.

You simply replace 'God' with 'violence or the threat of violence'. But the vast majority of people need neither Gods nor violence in order to behave in a civilized and moral fashion. Indeed, apart from the mentally ill, everyone acts according to his morality in a way that they consider 'good'.

Without the threat of violence (or hell), I rape and kill as much as I want - and the amount I want is 'none at all'.

There are not 'good guys' and 'bad guys', there are just people who share your moral framework, and people who have a different moral framework. Within their own framework, everyone (apart from the mentally ill) is one of the 'good guys'.

And in a civilized society, very few people need the threat of violence to prevent them from gross violations of the golden rule. What you perceive as 'bad guys' are people who either set their priorities differently from you - and as a result choose to punish moral transgressions that you do not recognize as immoral; Or who are misinformed, and as a result choose to punish behaviours that they falsely believe to breach their personal moral code.

Most violence and crime is perceived by the perpetrator as either punitive, or self defence.

Even slavers resolve the moral question of whether it's OK to "just grab someone and chain them to a machine" by first establishing the firm belief that the slaves are not 'someone'. Animals are not entitled to the same protection as humans, so by declaring your victims to be non-human or sub-human, you can justify enslaving them. Nobody enslaves someone simply because nobody threatened to use violence to stop them.
 
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