This conversation is closed.

World peace is unattainable - and to think otherwise is naive

Is it just me, or does anyone else cringe whenever someone talks about "world peace"?

It always reminds me of a beauty pageant where the contestants naively wish for "world peace", without much thought into how, or even why?

What exactly does "world peace" mean? No wars, no fighting, no conflict at all, whatsoever? Everybody loves each other, and accepts each other?

As long as personal conflict exists, there will never be world peace. Wars are built from the ground up. Fighting over scarce resources, territory, food, mate (husband/wife) is inevitable.

Discuss.

  • Comment deleted

  • Jul 9 2012: It doesn't matter that world peace is an unattainable goal. What matters is that we never give up on striving for it. It's like an athlete trying to be perfect. It will never happen but what matters it that they try to achieve it. World peace is not like a light switch either we have it or we don't. It is a spectrum and while we will never get to perfectly peaceful everywhere and no war anywhere we can strive to get close.
  • Jul 8 2012: Never say never.

    Have you been watching the TED talks? When I was a child, no one, repeat no one, would dare have given a talk outlining how to feed the whole world. It was literally impossible. Then came the green revolution, and we can produce more than enough food for everyone (politics still kept much of that food from reaching the needy). We have the potential, In just the next few decades, to bring instantaneous world wide communication to everyone; to bring clean drinking water to everyone; to give every woman reproduction control. Wealth is being produced at an accelerated rate, and the unequal distribution of it is at least recognized as a problem. In short, in just the next few decades life is going to get a great deal better for billions of people. When life is good, people do not want to fight. It is no accident that the last great war (WWII) followed a wold wide depression.

    The word 'naive' tipped you off. If you look at the people who are constantly working toward peace and justice, you certainly cannot call them naive. The conclusion is obvious, that whether or not we ever achieve "world peace", working for peace is a very good cause. Every life saved and every child saved from the trauma of violence is a victory.

    Wishing for world peace is not naive, it is just an expression of good hope. Something like saying...

    Have a nice day.
    • thumb
      Jul 8 2012: Good points Barry...never say never! Working toward creating world peace may be a life long project, which I think/feel is worthwhile for all of us. You are absolutely right...every life saved...every child saved from harm...every person who didn't have food to eat yesterday and today s/he does...every little step we can take toward creating peace and safety in our world, I believe is important:>)
    • thumb
      Jul 9 2012: There will never be world peace. I would like to see it but it will never be.
  • thumb
    Jul 8 2012: Hi Mikey,
    I do not believe that to think world peace may be attainable is naive. To think of something from another angle is never naive. It is important to take in all information, and move toward our goal. If we say it is not possible, we do not put energy into the idea, and that is the reality we create...what we focus on expands.

    Why do you "cringe" whenever someone talks about "world peace"? And if you "cringe", why did you start this topic question? To make yourself cringe even more? Could it be that in your heart and mind there is a little tiny part of you that truly believes in world peace, and you are trying to varify that...maybe expand the idea? I hope so:>)

    To me, world peace means that as many people as possible have their basic needs met, and war/fighting is as minimal as possible. I agree with you, that as long as personal conflict exists, there will probably not be peace. Perhaps we all, as individuals could start addressing our personal conflicts in an effort to contribute to the idea of world peace? Every journey starts with a single step.

    I do not believe our world is "scarce", and I agree that is one of the inderlying beliefs that cause unrest in our world. Our world is abundant with resources, and if we could ever use and distribute our resourses appropriately, perhaps there might be less fighting and more peace? I totally agree that conflicts start from the ground up, based on personal conflicts. Do you think/feel that each and every one of us can contribute to the idea of world peace? I see this as a reasonable, attainable goal:>)
    • Jul 8 2012: You're onto me ;)

      I argue for argument's sake, and I play devil's advocate. I think that you have to start with the extremes, in order to find equilibrium - like a pendulum.

      Arguing the extremes is the best way to slowly whittle down to the middlegroung, i think

      And yes, or course I want world peace :)
      • thumb
        Jul 8 2012: Yes Mikey my dear...I am onto you...LOL:>)
        It's a good topic, and an interesting way to present it:>)
  • thumb
    Jul 5 2012: Why is it naive? You gotta give reasons.
    To anyone living 3000 years ago, it would've seemed naive to think Europe could some day hold 700 million people and be more at peace than it ever was before.
    • Jul 8 2012: Let's start with a top-down view. Can we have a world with no world wars? Where one country does not declare war on another, does not invade/occupy one another...possibly. Difficult to achieve given the many differences of opinion/cultures, and the scarce resources that we all compete for, but technically possible.

      Within each country, can we rid of all civil war? In-fighting between tribes, factions, gangs, families. Possibly. Again, difficult to acheive for the exact same reasons mentioned above, differences of opinions/cultures/religiong, scarce resources, territory, etc.

      What about on a more personal level. Can we ever rid of all conflict? Partners fighting over infidelity. Rivalries as men compete for the same woman. Can you really tell me that you, as an individual, could ever rid your life of all conflict, and accept everyone, and everything, allt he time?

      No, of course not.

      Wars begin from the ground up. By individuals. If you cannot have peace at this level, nor can you have it at any worldly level.
      • thumb
        Jul 9 2012: Embrace and celebrate conflicts, brother, and you will be at peace.
  • thumb
    Jul 9 2012: We don't need everyone to be in agreement before we codify some workable system of respectful Governance.
    Wars are generally not started by the masses, but by a few, dissenters if you wish.

    Hello Colleen, nice to spend some time on Ted again.
    It has always been a few who determine the way we organize our societies, don't suspect that'll ever change.
    And I am an optimist, I believe in the human capacity to change and to love.
  • thumb
    Jul 9 2012: You are right. There will never be world peace. However, it is nice to imagine such a world.
    • thumb
      Jul 9 2012: Hi Racheal,
      In my humble opinion, everything starts with a dream:>)
      Why do you think/feel there will never be world peace?
      • thumb
        Jul 9 2012: Less than 5 minutes ago: Hello Colleen. I do believe that many things start with a dream as well. Personally, I would love to live in a society in which this exists and is a part of our everyday lives. I try to treat others as I would like to be treated even though it is difficult at times. I have been discriminated against because of my race and gender. I say this not for pity, it leads me to my point. It is our human nature to organize. When we organize we form tribes, religions, and governments amongst other things. A result of organizing is the emergence of leaders and rules. Some leaders will seek peace and others will seek power. As humans, our brillant minds are free like the wind and will not always blow in the same direction. As long as we exist there will be no world peace.
        • thumb
          Jul 9 2012: Hello Racheal,
          Beautifully said, and I agree with much of your comment. I agree that it is human nature to organize, and I also think/feel that some humans have a discriminating way of organizing themselves...unfortunately. I believe that those individuals are depriving themselves of an opportunity. I agree that as humans, "our brilliant minds are free like the wind and will not always blow in the same direction". That is beautifully stated, and I don't think that to live in peace we need to go in the same direction. We simply need to accept, respect, and honor our different directions...and that is the gift we give ourselves and each other:>)
  • Jul 8 2012: i realy suport your idea, but the problem is today people dont teach what hemanity means to us, because if we seprate our names, our houses, our homes, our communities, our nations, ontill our cantinents. what will make us to be as one is to love each other and help each other and hair our cultures. i mean we are one, so there should be no different in any way.
  • thumb
    Jul 8 2012: Agree World peace could mean a lot of things. Even conflict between other species.

    If you take in there broader sense of no human conflicts, even interpersonal ones, we may have to wait a very long time.

    If we just focus on military conflict between nations, maybe there is more hope to see this reduce. But when it takes just one person to privatise warfare and commit a terrorist act on another country, absolute peace is unlikely.

    There are also many armed conflicts going on within nation states.

    I guess human conflict will exist as long as humans do. Although we may evolve or engineer ourselves into something more peaceful.
    • Jul 9 2012: I really like your last point - maybe we will someday re-engineer ourselves to be peaceful.

      What traits do you think we will have to "erase" in order for us to be peaceful, but still be considered human?
  • Jul 6 2012: It already is achieved in me.
    I have no desire, nor do I want to, kill Russians, Muslims, invade countries, impoverish and starve children and others, destroy the environment or any other such form that is not peaceful.

    Most everyone else in the world, also doesn't want to do those things to anyone else on the planet.
    Most everyone else wishes to be able to live peacefully and in harmony with others and with their earth (notice I said their earth, not yours).

    So, ask yourself, just who doesn't want these things? Who stands between you and me, or us, from having or creating peace? It is leaders, yours and mine and everyone else's, for they are the only ones who benefit from anything and everything that is "not peace"!

    I assume you wish to keep all of that and are simply willing to acquiesce everything away to those who are willing to continually tell you peace is not only not possible, but today, it is only possible through war! And you believe this stuff.

    Trivially dismissed as naive.

    I certainly would prefer a world made of those who believe it is possible, rather than a world of Mikey Lees who don't have to do anything to make it happen or help it happen because that is what it would require.

    Nothing could be truer than, if you think it can't be done, it can't. But, if you think it can be done, it can.
    Someone has always come along to successfully achieve what others said couldn't be done and it wasn't done by the ones who said it could never happen.
    • Jul 8 2012: OK - I agree with your first 2 paragraphs, and especially your line "Most everyone else wishes to be able to live peacefully and in harmony with others and with their earth".

      Do you have kids? Do you have a wife/girlfriend/partner? You have parents?

      Your countryu has been invaded. They storm your neighbourhood, your house, and tie you up. They then rape the female members of your family, while you watch, and then kill them, burn your house and leave you there, tied, to burn alive. You manage to break free and run out of the house. What do you do? Do you kill them, so that they cannot do that again? Do you kill them for revenge? Do you join your remaining neighbours and start a vigilante movement to overthrow the invaders?

      Sorry to be so graphic, but the point I'm trying to make is, if so many people are peace-loving, and want to live in harmony (which I 100% agree with), then why does war exist? What drives people to join the army, or to fight in world wars, or join revolutionary movements?
      Is it because they love their country, their president, and will fight for the sake of fighting? OK, for some, that's true.
      But for most, they joined the war because of personal reasons. Their neighbourhood/country was invaded. Their friend was killed. Their mother/father/brother/sister/child died in a bombing. They fight for their family. And all of these instances added up, is what creates the impetus to keep a war going for as long as it does. It's a cycle.
  • Jul 5 2012: It depends on what you mean by world peace. I think a one world government is definitely possible, unlikely but possible. But having complete global peace without any conflict between any individuals is impossible. As a rule when there is more then one intelligent and unique being, there will be conflict.
  • Jul 5 2012: Let's start with a top-down view. Can we have a world with no world wars? Where one country does not declare war on another, does not invade/occupy one another...possibly. Difficult to achieve given the many differences of opinion/cultures, and the scarce resources that we all compete for, but technically possible.

    Within each country, can we rid of all civil war? In-fighting between tribes, factions, gangs, families. Possibly. Again, difficult to acheive for the exact same reasons mentioned above, differences of opinions/cultures/religiong, scarce resources, territory, etc.

    What about on a more personal level. Can we ever rid of all conflict? Partners fighting over infidelity. Rivalries as men compete for the same woman. Can you really tell me that you, as an individual, could ever rid your life of all conflict, and accept everyone, and everything, allt he time?

    No, of course not.

    Wars begin from the ground up. By individuals. If you cannot have peace at this level, nor can you have it at any worldly level.
  • thumb
    Jul 11 2012: You should have faith in man for world peace man is working on perfecting cloning then there will just be one mind and collective and the world peace. See not so hard.
    • Jul 11 2012: what does cloning have to do with having one collective mind?

      Are you saying that twins have one collective mind?
      • thumb
        Jul 11 2012: Are they cloned?
        Well I figure we can have world peace come around in one of two ways. There will be a group of people that are of a same mind set and between cloning and haveing youngins they repopulate the earth. The second way is everybody keep there nose out of everybody elses business don't push religion, polotics,culture and beliefs on others. Now which do we think will happen first? That's the view from here.
  • thumb
    Jul 10 2012: Scarcity is an illusion. Skilled human labor can increase the productivity of limited resources, well beyond our capacity to consume them. World peace is practically reality already. America sits on a button, that at any moment, could destroy the world, and since that happened, a major power, hasn't gone to war with a major power.

    As energy becomes cheaper, and more sustainable, peace will continue to spread. People will still conflict. Life will still be difficult. People will have to work... But, world peace is inevitable, provided, none of the world powers decide to have a button pushing war, and we stop using oil before we run out.
    • thumb
      Jul 12 2012: Calll me naive. I want to die knowing that i have tried.
  • thumb
    Jul 10 2012: The use of the 13 colonies uniting was to show that tribes, colonies, states, nations etc can get together to make rules (laws) that will allow us (all humans) to live together in harmory (of course not 100% just possible without wars).

    Yes, Mark, I will agree that you do not think anything can be done to improve the human condition so unless you can propose something else and I will leave it at that.
  • thumb
    Jul 9 2012: World Peace is possible however only if there is World Law (World Police Force, World Courts, etc) and that means a collective world communtiy rather than souvenir nation states. Like the 13 colonies of Great Britian, those colonies became the collective nation called the United States of America. Now the individual states of the United States do not war against one another because there are laws and law enforcement in the form of a national army. The United People of Earth would have a World Peace Force too. This would not end all volence just wars between nations and ethnic groups. So think and act outside of the box (fences, great walls, and national boundries too)!
    • Comment deleted

      • thumb
        Jul 10 2012: Nothing in my reply stated anything about doing away with nations. What I did site was the example of 13 colonies in the Americas gathering together into making the United States Of America. These 13 colonies still exist and were join by 37 states. Isn't it time we evolved into thinking beyond the (boxes, fences, walls, and) boundaries we call nations? We are all on this planet together and we do have the intelligence to build a world better for all!Of course not a Caesar however a panel of scientists, including social scientists, would probably be better able to make decisions for the best of everyone. We do not have to do what has been tried before nor keep on doing what doesn’t work!
  • thumb
    Jul 8 2012: As long as their are ideals worth defending and ideologies that must be rejected, there will be wars to fight.
    And because as humans we will never accept one ideal, one code that governs us, then peace will remain untenable.
    • Jul 9 2012: very well said Brian.
    • thumb
      Jul 9 2012: why? i know a lot of other ways to reconcile differences. i have ideals and those ideals greatly differ from the ideals of many other people. but i don't even think about putting a bullet in their heads.
      • thumb
        Jul 9 2012: Reasonable people find ways to bridge gaps to coexist. World peace suggests that we are all accepting of general codes of behavior and conduct. Can you imagine a world where people would put their differences aside, even for awhile so that peace may have a chance. I can't see it. Though we must try.
        • thumb
          Jul 9 2012: not that war can be fought between 4 people, does it? we don't need everyone to have the same set of values. we only need the absolute majority to have. don't everyone agree to women's suffrage, but the few dissenters can't change the way we organize our societies.
        • thumb
          Jul 9 2012: YES!!! I can imagine a world where people embrace their own beliefs, which do not adversely impact others. Does that surprise you Brian??? Nice to see you again:>)

          Yes Krisztián...totally agree...majority rules, and a few dissenters cannot change the way we organize our societies. Well said Krisztián!
  • thumb
    Jul 8 2012: World Peace does seem like an interesting idea, but it is wholly unrealistic. War, moreover fighting, is nature`s mechanism to distribute its scarce resources. People, and more importantly, nations are inherently selfish. A nation will always work to put itself in the best possible situation it can.

    What this all adds up to is a natural balance of those who have a large percentage of resources and those who have a small percentage. There is an equilibrium and it will always be found. This is why world peace is such an unrealistic idea.
    • Jul 8 2012: Exactly, exactly, exactly. Couldn't agree with you more Maximillian.

      Everything boils down to a competition of scarce resources.
    • thumb
      Jul 8 2012: we humans have found another way: cooperation through the division of labor:

      http://www.ted.com/talks/matt_ridley_when_ideas_have_sex.html
    • thumb
      Jul 8 2012: I agree Maximiliam, that "a nation will always work to put itself in the best possible situation..."

      In my perception, it is not the best possible situation to waste lives and resourses on war. What if, nations started realizing that living without war might be the best possible situation? What if we started realizing that our world has an abundance of resources, and we may be able to distribute and use our resources more appropriately?
      • Jul 8 2012: Yes! I like that thought Colleen. A very economic way of looking at it.
        • thumb
          Jul 8 2012: Yes indeed...very practical. It's not at all economically practical or reasonable to waste on war. From the time I was a wee little lass, watching my father rage and "war" with himself, I thought..."why doesn't he sit down and talk", rather than beating people up! That is one perception/idea that has never changed for me, ever since I was a child.
      • thumb
        Jul 8 2012: Colleen I enjoy your different point of view. But in this case we must remember that if war does not exist something will need to replace it as natures mechanism. So lets play what if for a moment.

        All the countries today decide to cease all fighting. So what we have is a number of countries that have a large amount of wealth, those who have a medium amount and those who have very little. So how do we displace the resources. Do we tell all of the countries of the world to deal with it? Do we take from the top and give to the bottom to equalize everything? The problem with both of these scenarios is we cannot account for peoples greed. Whose to say the large wealth countries wont take advantage of the small wealth countries? Whose to say that the small wealth countries wont try and take some of the wealth from the large wealth countries?

        The fight for survival cannot be solved by sitting down and talking. If there is a choice between your live and someone elses, the majority of people are going to choose their own.
    • thumb
      Jul 8 2012: Maximilian,
      Glad you enjoy my point of view...let's just DO it!!! :>) I WAS playing "what if"! I appreciate your questions as well:>)

      I do not think/feel that "my plan" will work overnight. It will take time, and in that time, we can work out the details....OK?

      You are probably right in saying that there will always be greed....and there may always be corruption. I honestly believe that many issues CAN be solved by sitting down talking.....that's why I am a mediator:>)
      I have mediated with convicted felons who hated each other, have a great deal of anger, and are fighting to survive.

      When we look into the face of another human being, actually listen to him/her, and honestly express our thoughts and feelings, there is a change in people's perceptions and often in their behaviors as well. I KNOW that! I've seen it happen a LOT. And I know that each tiny experience is small in itself, but many of these scenarios around our world CAN make a difference. So.....what if we replace war with caring for each other?
  • Jul 7 2012: A world without war why not, plenty of areas of the world are already so..
    • Jul 8 2012: By the same token there are plenty of places in the world that are war-torn.

      Arguing that the existence of a peaceful area means we can have world peace is equal to me arguing that the existence of a war-torn area means we can't. It's a moot point.
      • Jul 8 2012: The world is becoming more democratic and uniform in its culture. Democracy's have had only a handful of wars between them. What I'm saying is that its not definitely going to happen but by measure that much of the world has already achieved it (far more so than the amount that is war torn) then its fairly plausible. The evidence stacks it up.

        The UN spends millions trying to predict the future, if one person doesn't agree with your prediction then personally I would not think them naive.
      • thumb
        Jul 8 2012: your logic is flawed here. if there are places in peace, it shows that peace is a viable option. if there are places at war, it just shows that war is also a viable option.

        and our question here is whether peace is a viable option. not whether peace is the only option.
        • Jul 8 2012: Krisztian, that was exactly my point. The fact that war is an option at all, by definition, means total absolute peace isn't.
      • thumb
        Jul 8 2012: I agree with Krisztián. There are two options...war or peace. Which one do we, as a global community want to give our energy to?
        • Jul 8 2012: At this very moment? I want peace. I like waking up in the morning, and not having to worry whether I will get shot/bombed today.

          But, if I was in a different situation, and saw my wife/parents/friends killed at the hands of someone else? Then I will wish for something else
      • thumb
        Jul 8 2012: " The fact that war is an option at all, by definition, means total absolute peace isn't."

        this still does not work. option is called "option" exactly because not choosing it is also an option. barter economy is an option, yet we don't think we can't be without barter economy. steam engine is an option, but you won't see it anywhere. options can be not chosen.
      • thumb
        Jul 8 2012: Yeah Mikey...I like waking up believing that I'm not going to get shot/bombed today too...I am very grateful for that. Some people have been living in war zones their whole lives....can you imagine how that must feel?

        I agree Krisztián, that not choosing an option is an option as well. I wonder what might happen if people were given the options, and consciously made choices considering all relevant information? Do you think our world would be the same or different? I'm suggesting if people really were aware and mindfull about all options and ramifications?
  • Jul 7 2012: You can choose to focus on positive anything. As soon as males and females acknowledge their equality to each other and the equality of females and males is manifested in society, there will be world peace. Power to the positive!
    • Jul 8 2012: I don't think it's that simple.

      Even if we had pure gender equality, differences still exist that will be a potential cause of conflict. Religion. Culture. Colour. Language.

      And positive thinking is not always an easy choice. Where's the positivity in seeing your loved ones massacred, because they were born into a certain religion?
      • Jul 8 2012: Mikey, religions are perfect examples of the cause and manifestation of the gender inequality problem. Consider the status of women within all the religions of which you are aware. Same for culture. The gender inequality problem is the heart of the cultural, religious, political and all societal problems. It's quite explicit. Not the least bit subtle. The sooner we acknowledge the truth, the sooner we co-create a just, healthy, happy society for all.
        • Jul 8 2012: What about race?
        • Jul 8 2012: Rhona pavis: you are right, it is inposseble for us to agree in gender eguality. because go back to your own culture or your religious, you will see that women play a very big role in our socity, but god create them to be by men for a reason if needed you will say.
      • thumb
        Jul 8 2012: Hi Mikey,
        Positive thinking IS simple, enjoyable, possible AND realistic:>) ANYTHING can be a "potential cause of conflict" depending on how individuals perceive the situation.....yes?

        You recognize positive thinking as a choice.....I LOVE it!!!
        • Jul 8 2012: that is what many are lacking in our socity today. they think very negetive and very selfish
      • Jul 8 2012: What about race? Race is a continuum. Racial discrimination will disappear as soon as males and females have equality throughout all societal systems, because that means truth and justice prevail and social systems can then start working efficiently and effectively to accomplish the goals they are supposed to accomplish.
      • thumb
        Jul 8 2012: I suggest that generally, when people are prejudice, they are not simply prejudice against one particular group of people. They are often prejudice against people who are not like them, and that may include gender, religion, culture, colour, language, sexual orientation, etc. etc.

        So, I agree Rhona, that when gender discrimination decreases, we may see a change regarding other types of discrimination as well.
  • Jul 6 2012: I agree, Mikey. I do not believe that "world peace" is attainable.

    But perhaps "world peace" should not be the question. As you said, as long as personal conflicts exist, there won't be world peace. And THAT should be the topic.
    We will always have inner conflicts, this is our essence as human beings. We are allowed to fail, to cry, to choose wrong and to act badly sometimes. What differs a person with values (from a person who has no values) is that he/she is willing to be better, to look inside him/herself, to see the faults and to work on them.
    This is an infinite work but seeing your reflection in front of the mirror, every day a little bit better, is worth it all!
    • Jul 6 2012: Thanks for your insightful comment Lia, and yes, that is a very good way to look at it, to look at ourselves first, and our own personal conflicts, and building it from the ground up.

      I guess I just had a personal pet peeve with the cookie cutter "world peace" responses I kept reading. It just seems like such a generic answer - one that's always offered without much thought.
      • Jul 6 2012: You are welcome, Mikey.

        Thank YOU for opening my eyes to this topic as well!
      • thumb
        Jul 8 2012: Mikey,
        I agree...many people use the "cookie cutter "world peace" responses" without really thinking/feeling what that may mean. Good that you started this topic....another opportunity to really think about and feel what that may mean to all of us:>)
        • Jul 8 2012: Thanks Colleen, and I think it's opening my eyes too. Maybe I was the one being too cynical?
  • Jul 6 2012: OK - I agree with your first 2 paragraphs, and especially your line "Most everyone else wishes to be able to live peacefully and in harmony with others and with their earth".

    Do you have kids? Do you have a wife/girlfriend/partner? You have parents?

    Your countryu has been invaded. They storm your neighbourhood, your house, and tie you up. They then rape the female members of your family, while you watch, and then kill them, burn your house and leave you there, tied, to burn alive. You manage to break free and run out of the house. What do you do? Do you kill them, so that they cannot do that again? Do you kill them for revenge? Do you join your remaining neighbours and start a vigilante movement to overthrow the invaders?

    Sorry to be so graphic, but the point I'm trying to make is, if so many people are peace-loving, and want to live in harmony (which I 100% agree with), then why does war exist? What drives people to join the army, or to fight in world wars, or join revolutionary movements?
    Is it because they love their country, their president, and will fight for the sake of fighting? OK, for some, that's true.
    But for most, they joined the war because of personal reasons. Their neighbourhood/country was invaded. Their friend was killed. Their mother/father/brother/sister/child died in a bombing. They fight for their family. And all of these instances added up, is what creates the impetus to keep a war going for as long as it does. It's a cycle.
    • thumb
      Jul 8 2012: Hi Mikey,
      Good question....why do people go to war? Thankfully, I've never fought in a war, but I've had many family members and friends who have. I can only relay what they told me. I agree with you Mikey...it is often a cycle. How do we break that cycle?

      Friends/family members I've talked with about this issue, feel that they live in this country, participate in the society, some have experienced family and friends seriously injured or killed. Most of them felt that as a member of the society, they had a responsibility. Some of them did not agree with the war, some did. During the Vietman war, several friends left the country as a protest to the war, and gave up their right to live in this country....at least for awhile. I agree with you...all of the reasons for war add up, and creates the impetus to keep wars going.
      • Jul 8 2012: Thanks for your comment Colleen, and yes, that is what scares me. As much as I believe in the goodness of humanity, it's that cycle and the potential for another world war is a very scary thing
  • Jul 6 2012: I'm thinking more along the lines that, whilst we may technically be able to acheive an absence of global combat/warfare, if personal violence/conflict still exists, then global warfare can still have the opportunity to arise.
    I feel that wars are started and fought over the exact same things that cause personal conflict. The exact same reasons that drive animals to kill/fight.

    What do animals fight over?
    - Food
    - Territory
    - Mate

    My point is that wars are started from the ground up, and if these feelings are built into us as human beings, as animals, then world peace, however defined, is but a pipe dream.
  • Jul 6 2012: Conflicts are part of life and our DNA. As long as we continue to improve our society and laws to ensure minimal friction then we will continue to move toward world peace.

    Several TED speeches show how the world is improving in terms of crimes and overall deaths. Recent development from Middle East are very encouraging. Human rights and equal opportunities are pursued by more people, even in China.

    I think that with increasing wealth of individuals in general and improved education people are less likely to engage in conflicts and wars.

    cheers
  • Jul 5 2012: well, a couple things.

    Firstly, where would the cash come from? Who would offer such a deal, and why? What would their incentive be in offering such a deal? But, ok, forgiving that, I guess it is technically possible.

    Secondly, let's assume all warring nations signed this treaty, and put down weapons for 24 hours. Does this constitute world peace? What about the suburban mother who is beaten by her drunken husband, or that "different" child at school who is bullied, and beaten up for his lunch money, or that guy in the red van you accidentally cut off, and is now screaming and honking at you? Or the millions upon millions of other scenarios that play out every second of every day.

    Is this world peace?
    • thumb
      Jul 5 2012: Drat! We forgot to define our terms. World Peace, I think, is commonly understood to mean a global absence of armed combat. You are suggesting domestic violence, bullying, offensive driving, etc. are to be added to the list of things which must be absent in order for world peace to exist. If that is the definition of world peace I must change my opinion to "Unattainable". Otherwise I stick to my original thought. The question is not "why or how" but "Is it attainable"? It is technically possible to buy world peace. Thank you!
    • thumb
      Jul 8 2012: Current events note Mr. Lee: As of July 7, 2012 the U.N. (read USA) has given Afghanistan 16 billion US dollars in "aid". This is an effort to buy peace, and it just might work, like giving kids a quarter to behave.
      • Jul 8 2012: I'm always skeptical with the actions of the US, and think there's got to be an ulterior motive.

        A country with trillions of dollars in deficit, willingly give 16 billion to afghanistan? Why? What are they getting out of it? What is their incentive to do so?

        Or, are those "aid" dollars actually being spent on american private contractors who provide the "aid"? So it's simply a transfer from the US government (ie. the people) to the large private contractors?
        • thumb
          Jul 8 2012: The burden of proof lies with you. Your skepticism, however well supported by experience, does not prove the intent of the benefactor(s) is something other than socio/political stabilization (peace). I still say world peace can be bought.
  • thumb
    Jul 5 2012: Looking back in history it seems likely that many common realities of today would have been considered unattainable. Some have been mentioned already. It begs the question: "Is there anything we consider unattainable today which might, in fact, be attainable?" Regarding world peace, how about offering cash incentives to all warring nations to sign a 24-hour treaty. For one day there could, technically and literally, be a global absence of hostilities, aka World Peace. Thusly your assertion would be falsified.
  • thumb
    Jul 5 2012: man will never fly
    • Jul 5 2012: sorry, but equating the pursuit of world peace to the pursuit of flying is just absurd to me.
  • thumb
    • Jul 8 2012: Thanks Pat, just watched the video, and I agree with his premise completely.

      The world is becoming more peaceful, but will there ever be true world peace?

      Can we ensure that the rise and power of Hitler never happens again? I'm not so sure
      • thumb
        Jul 8 2012: There is nothing that is an absolute. Logically all you can do is compare what was to what is.

        The best insurance is education and people who are willing to use reason which is a balance between intelligence and force.