Rodrigo P. Feliciano

Knights of Columbus

This conversation is closed.

Are tensions, conflicts, and wars permanent part of the human condition? How can we avoid wars or mitigate the ravages of war?

There have conflicts and wars throughout human history. For the last 100 years alone there have been: First World War, Second World War, Korean War, Vietnam War, Gulf War, Iraq War, Afghanistan War, and many regional wars or conflicts too many to mention.

Closing Statement from Rodrigo P. Feliciano

"War may sometimes be a necessary evil. But no matter how necessary, it is always an evil, never a good. We will not learn how to live together in peace by killing each other's children." Jimmy Carter

"I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones."
Albert Einstein

"We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools." Martin Luther King, Jr.

"To seriously mitigate conflict, we must alter present human nature... which must involve genetically "tweaking" our brains, I fear." Brendan Maloney

"We can solve problems that we understand. War has not been solved, and so I propose that it is not yet well enough understood." Lawrence Cox



  • Mar 24 2014: IMO, the reason for suffering is ignorance. Ignorance bred from artificial separation from each other, such as economic, social, national differences, etc. Once we realize we are all one, all the same from birth, can we truly be freed from such destructive ignorance. The problem isn't so much with the 'Human Condition' as it is with the 'Human Conditioning'.
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      Mar 24 2014: What a thought, Michael. What a difference "ing" makes when used properly.
      • Mar 24 2014: it that a schipperke?
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          Mar 24 2014: Hi Wayne,

          It's Luke, a 6-lb Pomeranian-Chihuahua. I know Luke looks like a schipperke. Thank you for noticing.
    • Mar 25 2014: And what is ' human conditioning ' ?
      I would describe it as active ignorance of ignorance.
      • Mar 25 2014: IMO, That would be a fairly accurate estimation. The 'active ignorance' is caused by fear, fear of a supposed inability in ourselves to understand our rationale.
        • Mar 27 2014: "What is love?"
          "The total absence of fear," said the Master.
          "What is it we fear?"
          "Love," said the Master.
          :)
          Thank you !
      • Mar 26 2014: "active ignorance of ignorance" Complacency?
        • Mar 27 2014: Complacency is coupled with fear, the fear to loose it. It makes complacence a verb. In this sense, yes , it can be called active ignorance.
          If we knew who we really are we would have nothing to loose but fear.
    • Apr 3 2014: War is the ultimate expression of cooperation and altruism.
      • Apr 3 2014: I'm afraid I don't understand your logic here, could you elaborate?
        • Apr 4 2014: It's extremely simple to understand: If an "army" were made up of self-centered individualists, they would refuse to cooperatively place themselves at risk of death for the sake of "a nation", or of "family", or of any collective gain or promise of gain. Modern warfare is not conducted by mercenaries. It is conducted (on the ground, by the ordinary soldiers) by people who have set aside their selfish gains and are behaving altruistically, accepting death for a "greater" cause--or at least a cause they consider to be "greater" than their own personal existences. Altruism. Likewise, armies CANNOT EXIST without cooperation. Officer says "Go up that hill and capture that emplacement." Soldiers work together--cooperate--to do it. A pack of extreme individualists would say "Screw you. We won't even wear the same uniform, much less take that emplacement." Then they'll fight against each other as much as they might fight against an "enemy".

          Expand your mind and abandon your indoctrination. Apply rational thought.
    • Apr 3 2014: Yeah, cute idea. Won't work. Brothers kill each other. Children kill parents. Parents kill children. Feel-good airy-fairy nonsense won't fix things.
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        Apr 3 2014: Wit to a high degree. Unusual talent. I wish I have it, Bryan!
      • Apr 3 2014: Unfortunately, adults with a distorted psychological view kill people all the time, however, I fail to see an example of a very young child who kills wantonly. I do see examples of children convicted of killing friends, etc. but these children are arguably at the age where they are positively and/or negatively influenced by the society around them...such as violence on television, violent role models, etc.
  • Mar 24 2014: Each individual needs to change within themselves before this world will show that change. :)
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      Mar 24 2014: Hi Mattrick,

      Yes, you're right! There must be someone or something that will act as a catalyst for positive change to accelerate the process. Best wishes ...
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    Mar 21 2014: Hello Rodrigo,

    The answer to your first question is "yes"; due to:
    (a). War is big business, and
    (b). War is believed to be "necessary" because of the consciousness of "lack".

    The answer to your second question is in a short poem I wrote a few years ago:
    STATE OF WAR
    Of all the many states that engender war
    our own inner state is most responsible, for sure
    since that which is within is always projected out
    that’s why we always have wars, no doubt;
    so then, if we were all to cultivate inner peace …
    wars would cease.
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      Mar 21 2014: Hi Joshua,

      The current state of our world is getting more dire every minute. The more reason why conversations like this are important. Embracing our common humanity is our best hope.

      Keep writing and sharing ...wish you well, my friend!
      • Mar 24 2014: One of the dirty little secrets of democratic thought is the democratization of warfare. Before the ascendency of democratic philosophy, "total warfare" was impossible. The idea that warfare was something of and by "the people" as a whole, which made "the people" as a whole legitimate targets would have struck a medieval warlord as absurd. To him, "the people" were a resource to be fought over, and damaging them unduly would reduce his potential gains. To the modern leader, "the people" of the other side are demonic entities and the world will only be improved by their elimination and replacement with his own "the people".

        The benefits of democratization are too great to abandon this philosophy, but it also came with costs, costs that we need to stop ignoring and figure out a way to minimize.
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    Apr 2 2014: I can't believe nobody mentioned:
    http://www.ted.com/talks/steven_pinker_on_the_myth_of_violence
    (did nobody do so?)
    We will see the end of wars in our lifetime (at least wars with human casualties), there will be 2 strong trends that will cause its extinction.
    First, the empowerment of the individual. Wars are fought because benefits are presumed greater than its risk. For a despot it is relatively easy to risk other people's lives, for personal benefit. For the individual the risk of war (dying) can practically never outway its benefit. This is why democracies (almost) never went to war with each other, a war would not make any rational sense, since it would incur great losses on the cumulative wealth of both nations, whilst carrying high risks. With GDP per capita increasing (tremendously in developing nations) and democracies becoming more and more common, war will become ever less accepted.
    Secondly, transparency. The world is becoming ever more transparent, enabling the global community to empathize with fellow human beings across the world. As an example, if the world and Germany itself would have been fully aware of the full extend of all the horrors commited by the Nazi regime, they would reacted much bolder and swifter. An other example is how photojournalism in Vietnam fuelled the public outcry in the US that marked the end of that war.
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      Apr 2 2014: Victor, your contribution carries a hopeful message and tremendous possibilities for humankind. Thank you,
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    Mar 29 2014: All conflict between people arises from a narrow focus on self-interest. This is true on an individual basis, and it expands through shared experience to groups of any and all sizes: ethnic groups, nations, alliances. Ego-based self-interest tends to be fear-based.

    The alternative is to expand the personal view to include others, expanding to ultimately include all beings, human and non-human alike. We need to learn to see that our narrow, individual self-interest is based on an illusion of independence. In reality, we are all in this together; we are all intimately and inextricably interconnected and interdependent. Because of this inescapable fact, whatever we do to another, we also do to ourselves. If we harm others, we ultimately harm ourselves; if not in the short term, most certainly in the long-term.

    There is a common misconception or misperception that survival of the fittest means an individual or group must act in self defense, and even go on the offensive, in order to prosper and survive. In actuality, the fittest are those who learn to live most harmoniously with all others so everyone can thrive. This means cooperation and mutual encouragement and support provide the greatest long-term survival value. Such an approach is love-based; love being what draws us together and unites us.

    The unanswerable question is: will we ever learn to adopt this approach in life ... before we exterminate ourselves?
    • Mar 29 2014: "..unanswerable.." Answerable.
    • Apr 3 2014: Exactly wrong. If everyone were completely self-interested, nobody would cooperate in an army. The soldiers would shoot the officers and go home.
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        Apr 5 2014: Sorry, Bryan, but self-interest manifests in many ways, one of the most common being compliance with a system because one is more fearful of the consequence of not complying than of "following orders." This fear may be of the "enemy" and/or it may be of the officers and/or it may be a fear of being perceived as being fearful. There is also the aspect of peer pressure, which is very powerful whether it's real or imagined. If it's not fear driven conformity, it may be due to "mass psychology" - getting caught up in the fervor of it all. Or it may be due to pride, the desire to excel, the need to prove one's self.

        All such motivations can be rationalized as the best possibility for assuring self-preservation. All such motivations can appear to manifest as relatively harmonious cooperation for a common cause and purpose. Cooperation in an army is an example of group-self-interest overriding personal-self-interest. The army-self-interest may be (more or less) representative of national-self-interest which is in conflict with the group-self-interest of some outside group. The alternative is to expand the view sufficiently to realize that all groups on Earth share common interests that should override all perceived group-self-interests and individual-self-interests.
        • Apr 5 2014: Therefore, in your model, THERE IS NO AND CANNOT BE ANY SUCH THING AS ALTRUISM! Everything is self-interest in your model. Or are you just making up silly rubbish like "group-self-interest". Sounds like jibber-jabber psychobabble to me. How do you actually refute Dr. Leakey's hypothesis?
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        Apr 5 2014: Bryan, you're not really in a position to shout out such declarations regarding my model. Go back and re-read my initial comment and note the parts you seem to have missed as you narrowed your focus on parts you decided to disagree with. And perhaps relax a bit and be open to some constructive dialog.

        As we come to know and appreciate that we are all in this together and that love is ultimately more significant and stronger than fear, there will come a realization that what we do to/for another, we also do to/for ourselves. Altruism is a manifestation of this, although altruism, as lofty as it may seem, is really only the beginning; only a shadow of the free and full expression of Love for all beings. I'm talking about what people commonly call "unconditional love" which is the only kind of Love there is - anything else is no more than a business deal: "I will love you IF you do something for me."

        Behavior based entirely on apparent self-interest is very 'mechanical' behavior. We behave like machines when our buttons are pushed, when we get yanked around, when we collide with other beings like bumper cars crashing our ways through life, and we perceive most of what we encounter as a potential threat. Behavior that arises as an expression of Love is more conscious. It arises out of our realization that we are all in this together; we are all intimately and inextricably interconnected and interdependent. When that becomes *real* for us, it becomes the very basis for all we think, feel and do. It becomes an unavoidable and all-compelling call in life to be of service to others which, in reality, is also being of service to our self. This is above and beyond what we commonly call altruism.
    • Apr 5 2014: "The unanswerable question is: will we ever learn to adopt this approach in life ..."

      There are no answers, only choices :)
  • Mar 23 2014: Perhaps Nature will be the eventual answer or peacemaker. With the ultimate effects of climate change largely unknown we can see with what is happening now that our lives will change drastically if what is predicted or guessed at happens. There may well come a time when we are too busy trying to survive to be concerned with power struggles and covetousness to fight wars.

    I don't see this as a Noah's ark situation but a gradual realization that unless we get control of ourselves we will lose mankind. Interestingly enough, we don't really know if this has happened at some point in pre-history.
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      Mar 24 2014: Nature unifying Mankind. That's one possibility, Malcolm.
    • Apr 3 2014: Natural peace: Extinction.
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        Apr 3 2014: How much more time do we have, Bryan?
        • Apr 3 2014: No clue. That's the truth. I don't know, but if we do stupid things like try to leave it up to "nature" or seek some kind of "natural" solution that doesn't exist, that will be the end situation.
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          Apr 4 2014: Huge asteroid or meteor impact, nuclear war, pestilence and famine, catastrophic climate change, super-volcanic eruption or a combination of these ...

          "I don't think we're going to make it," John Doerr says in an emotional talk about climate change and investment. To create a world fit for his daughter to live in, he says, we need to invest now in clean, green energy.

          John Doerr, Silicon Valley's legendary moneyman, is afraid of eco-apocalypse. After building his reputation (and a considerable fortune) investing in high-tech successes, he's turning his focus toward green technologies, and hoping it isn't too late.

          http://www.ted.com/talks/john_doerr_sees_salvation_and_profit_in_greentech
  • Mar 21 2014: As long as we human beings won't stop being too clever like fox or wolf tensions , conflicts and wars were , are and will be permanent. Human beings are the worst form of animals , who are afraid to go to hell but build hell on earth in the hope that they will get heaven after death.
    • Mar 24 2014: We are apes. We need to remember that. When we admit to our biological framework instead of insanely denying it, then we can make it work for us instead of being controlled by it.
      • Mar 25 2014: Let us dig deeper , we are God Particles,Quarks,Photon,Electrons,protons and neutrons and creating big bangs here and there.
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        Mar 25 2014: Bryan, please elaborate: "We are apes. We need to remember that. When we admit to our biological framework instead of insanely denying it, then we can make it work for us instead of being controlled by it."

        A topic on TED Conversations regarding your thesis will enlighten and benefit many of us, you being the most qualified as moderator.

        What struck me is the last sentence of your contribution, ... "we can make it work" ... It is a message of hope and infinite possibilites.

        INFINITE POSSIBILITIES by Ravikant Svateerth

        Like
        a painting

        like a
        song,

        infinite
        possibilities

        dear life

        come
        along.

        http://www.poetry.com/poems/754299-Infinite-Possibilities

        PS

        Since I read your piece, I was compelled to "dig deep", but so far what I see is a vast chasm and I need someone to help me see the light. Based on what I've read so far, you are the best person ...
        • Mar 27 2014: "We are apes."
          We are any animal.
          We are any plant.
          We are everything which we think we are not, " there is no dust which has not been alive "
          What we need is a fractal vision, when (if ) we get it, we are angels.

          It's my version, how to make it work :)
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        Mar 26 2014: Bryan, below are some of your contributions about humans and animals:

        "We are apes. We need to remember that. When we admit to our biological framework instead of insanely denying it, then we can make it work for us instead of being controlled by it.

        The Lion King is a cartoon. All the characters are actually human voices with animal shapes drawn around them. There is NO WISDOM AT ALL in "nature", only organisms all trying as hard as they can to grab as much as they can and failing. We succeed. That is the problem. We are the most successful animals. We do what they all do but better..

        We can make that choice. This makes us unique. All the other species will stuff themselves until the food is gone..

        Juvenile nonsense. What planet to we rely on, Mars? Re rely on "mother" (silly concept) Earth as much as any other Earth species does. The other animal species understand NOTHING about "laws". They just lack the capacity we have. We merely do better what every other species does.

        Drop your superstitions..

        Wrong. Only humans know anything about this "balance". Other animals respect NOTHING. They merely take all they have the power to take and can't take any more. Their reach is limited, and the foolish think that makes them moral. All animals except humans always expand to the limits of their ability to exploit resources and resist the environment and competitors. Drop this silly superstition you have..

        Humans. Just because..

        Those animals know NOTHING. They just hunt as much as they can.."
        • Mar 27 2014: Nature is the only wisdom which is available. Nature runs its business wisely for bl. of years, we, humans have emerged quite recently out of nature; on this scale it happened 10sec. ago. And now we dare to say
          There is NO WISDOM AT ALL in "nature"
          "...animals know NOTHING."
          And we, humans are so ignorant/arrogant that we think that we know a lot!
          Wisdom tends to grow in proportion to one's awareness of one's ignorance.
          Sorry ! :)
        • Apr 3 2014: And what is your point? That I don't wallow in childish, superstitious nonsense? Well, I don't. There is NO MIND in "nature". It just IS. There is NO WISDOM in "nature". It just IS. It IS regardless of whether or not we exist. It DOES NOT CARE about anything living or unliving. Superstitious rubbish and tripe spewed in the name of "nature" fixes nothing. We must become open-eyed and aware. No other organism voluntarily restricts its exploitation of the environment. They only stop or slow down when lack of ability or an external factor FORCES them to slow down. We (sometimes) voluntarily restrain ourselves.

          We must stop making up childish little fairy tales about "balance" and "nature" and see the universe as it is. Then we can start sensibly engaging in husbandry of resources.

          I think part of the lack of understanding is because many people are tied to the ridiculous, cultish dogma that "natural is good". Natural is not good. Natural is not bad. Natural exists, neither good nor bad.

          Of course, the superstitious and cultists will persist in their inane blabber.
  • Apr 2 2014: hello everyone present here! m new here n dis is my first comment! i want to say sumthing on dis topic!!

    one of our friends said " There must be
    someone or something that will act
    as a catalyst for change to accelerate
    the process."

    i think we all can become catalysts!!
    We can learn to be the catalysts for our own change... dere is dis quote saying "be the change u want to see in d wrld"

    certainly no one wants war and hatred but den too wars happen!!! isn't den v r sumwere not true wid ourselves!! r v not lying to ourselves!!
    we can initiate peace if we all TOGETHER work for it cos chamge is and was never a one man process!!!

    thanku for reading my comment!!!
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    Mar 30 2014: Hi Natasha,

    You ask "When do we reach our ' point of enoughness'?"
    I would say this is obviously a matter of subjective experience. And it can vary depending on which area of life (work, relationships, life-style). For example, some people have a huge tolerance for dysfunctional relationships before they reach their "point of enoughness"; but may have very little tolerance in their work-situation when does not work well for them.
    But it is always our subjective experience that tells us when some external "trigger" (what we interpret as a negative experience) crosses our personal threshold of "bad enough", after which we are then prepared to change our beliefs and take alternative action and behave differently.

    Yes, there are other ways. I would also say that we can cultivate sensitivity and awareness to our own personal "points of enoughness" so that we make smaller changes sooner, rather than wait until a big crisis hits. A small irritation is in fact enough to give us the information we need in order to convert the "negative experience" into its more mature counterpart. If we do this daily, we avoid the build-up of unprocessed "negative experiences" which will otherwise eventually explode as a crisis - an "in-yer-face point of enoughness" that we cannot miss.

    I would say the key quality we need to do this type of inner work, is total self-honesty - which in itself draws on our own courage.
    • Apr 4 2014: Joshua,
      thanks for responding and sorry for the delay with my respond, i found your post only now.
      I think, that everything and i do mean everything is structured as a fractal, i mean, that the same pattern repeats itself on different scales, iow. what varies is a scale of observation/experience not the essence. In our context what works for an individual 'point of enoughness' has the same pattern of developmental processes on much bigger scale, which is hidden from us.
      What is the point of enoughness on environmental global humanity scale ?
      Obviously we've missed 'small irritations' , we've ignored "bad enough" and continue business as usual. Now we can't distinguish global from environmental and neither of these from human crisis, it's concrescence.
      Would you agree that it looks like the point of enoughness of everything ?
      What wakes us up and when ?
      You say :
      "the key quality we need to do this type of inner work, is total self-honesty - which in itself draws on our own courage."
      Yes, but on a global scale what it must be ? Individual =global, a paradigm shift ?
      Do you think it's happening ? If yes, where do you see it ?

      Thank you !
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        Apr 7 2014: Hello Natasha,
        {By mistake I replied in the box below your comment, rather than via the "reply" button, hence my reply was not so obvious to find; sorry}
        Your question is what makes the study of history so interesting; what (if any) singular events are the trigger-tipping-point for a global shift in consciousness? Maybe Rosa Parks' refusal to give up her place on that bus in Montgomery in 1955 catalyzing the bus boycott in the civil rights movement is one example - at least nationwide, if not global.
        Perhaps that first photo of "spaceship earth" taken from the moon was another moment of a "collective point of enoughness"; the holocaust another.

        From my own personal experience and of those whom I know well, we are not really prepared to make an internal shift unless it's "real bad". But "real bad" is all subjective. In which case your "fractal" argument (with which I agree) would suggest things have to get a lot worse on planet earth before a global point-of-enoughness is reached. Not very optimistic.
        Perhaps the Edward Snowden debate (see his talk on TED talks) is part of a new shift.

        If you are not familiar with Jonathan Fields, then watch his interview with Vani Hari (http://www.goodlifeproject.com/vani-hari-food-babe/) and dozens of others who had a "point of enoughness" which triggered a changed way of thinking in their lives (eg: http://www.goodlifeproject.com/lissa-rankin-mind-medicine/ and http://www.goodlifeproject.com/katherine-preston-stutter/ and http://www.goodlifeproject.com/kris-carr-on-living-the-crazy-sexy-life-with-cancer/), and often also leading to some new entrepreneurial venture (eg: http://www.goodlifeproject.com/marie-forleo-heart-hustle-intuition/)
        I think the GoodLifeProject also shows how the world paradigm can be changed - one person at a time.
        • Apr 11 2014: Hi, Joshua ,thanks for the videos !
          People there tell their personal stories, but i don't think it's 'do it yourself' ' personal voyage; on some level it is, but it's deeper. I think it's a general tendency, ' get a degree, get a job ...be a player ! ' worked much better 2/3 decades ago. What if i don't even want to be in the game?
          Probably, it sounds odd, but i think, that a real change, ' change not willed ' is a ' fractal vision', it is coming to replace the 'vision in perspective', we've been into for more then 500 years.
          I can explain why i think so ( i've never been that sure) but it takes too much time and most likely i won't succeed:)
          As for the 'not very optimistic'-real- bad -scenario, i think it's neither optimistic nor pessimistic, it's just the way how things happening. We live in a dual world, nothing gets better before it gets worse. Under the circumstances to be hopeful and without fear accept the inevitable, one need to part with his/her ego. Probably, it's what human 'project' is all about, i don't know, we'll see.
          Thank you !
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      W. Ying

      • +1
      Apr 15 2014: .
      The "point of enoughness" is the optimal point for keeping our DNA alive.
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    Mar 25 2014: Hello again Rodrigo,
    Have you ever noticed a common element amongst those who profit from war?
    (Clue: they are not usually the people at the bottom)


    However, until we really see and understand that our fellow humans are part of us, and we are ultimately one-consciousness, and that we grow as together and not as isolated individuals, then the case for war and conflict ("them who are different vs us who have more special rights than they do") will always be made.

    Ethnic and tribal violence shows that not all conflicts are 'imposed' from the top; they also flare up from the bottom; and everyone can only lose. In both cases, unprocessed emotions play a large part as people continue to be at war with themselves. Centuries of suppressed emotions will not collectively be "processed" overnight.

    But if we want to, each of us can start right where we are and process our own "stuff" and clean up our own back-yards. This will also help us help others without inadvertently dumping our unprocessed stuff on them, thereby not helping at all.

    We are definitely the people we have been waiting for; and the world needs us to do our own bit of cleaning up in our own inner worlds.
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      Mar 28 2014: Joshua, what is the cost of human suffering and human life?
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        Mar 30 2014: Hello Fransisco,

        I would say that the cost of human suffering is proportional to how little we learn from it. In other words, the less we learn from human suffering, the more it costs. Why? Because more suffering will have to happen until we begin to learn from it.

        Given the amount of human suffering over the ages, and currently, it would seem that the human race is very slow at learning. And what types of things can we learn from human suffering? I would suggest that we can learn how deeply we are connected with each other; we can learn to take action locally (for suffering is all around us). And we can learn how to lessen our own suffering through greater self-knowledge and self-understanding - in this way we can make our contribution to lessening suffering in the world.

        I'm interested to know what you think the cost is - you have made some interesting other comments elsewhere.
    • Apr 3 2014: The people at the bottom still cooperate and still act voluntarily. No major war was ever fought with either side manned by unwilling soldiers. When the soldiers became unwilling, they mutinied. Enough such mutinies can bring a leadership down. When the altruistic impulse is overwhelmed by self-preservation, armies disintegrate.
  • Mar 25 2014: Conflict is a working definition for EGO.
    Let's go inside our own heads and look at the world as we are used to doing, seeing it ' out there' from the perspective of ' in here'. A conflict is inevitable. Then watch the shift in perception that happens when that perspective is reversed. One will see the immense depth... the interconnectedness of all phenomena...there will be no room for conflicts tensions wars. In order to stop wars hence survive we should become such creatures with 'reversed perception'. If we fail, why should we survive ?
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      Mar 25 2014: Hello Natasha,
      "If we fail, why should we survive?"
      Good question.
      The answer is possibly to do with growth in awareness and consciousness. Expansion in love, joy, peace, compassion, etc., (ie: expansion towards truth), is unlimited, infinite.
      But contraction in awareness toward isolation, ego, confusion, cruelty, war, etc., is (I believe) limited by a default mechanism of universal laws of "how things work". Some built-in survival awareness kicks in when in the depths of horror, and we reach our "point of enoughness", and are then open to see things differently, allow inner change and thereby act differently.
      • Mar 27 2014: Hi, Joshua !
        When do we reach our ' point of enoughnress " ?
        Probably, when everything gets even worse.
        Or are there any other ways ?
    • Apr 3 2014: If the soldiers were all selfish, they wouldn't work together as an army.
      • Apr 4 2014: Why do soldiers/armies exist in the first place ?
        If powerful EGO, individual or collective had not been scared (but it is , always !!!) there would be no wars.
        btw, being selfish and being obsessed by unbridled ego differs like seasickness from cancer.
        Hope you see the difference :)
  • Mar 25 2014: We naturally aspire towards greatness, but differ in our perception of what is driving us and of how our utopian ideal is to be realised. We co-operate and build towers of Babel towards our image of Heaven on Earth; then fight for autonomy and a right to ascendency. Corporatocracy reaches its zenith through its idol and value of an immediacy of power being experienced in the physical world, through its acquisition and manipulation of wealth and privilege. A religious fundamentalist locates power and wealth within a spiritual afterlife; determining that physical life should be oriented towards a devotion of that highest value and attainment. Where is paradise to be found, within life, without and should we be all-mighty and act as Gods ourselves or humble ourselves in our image of God? There is confusion and conflicting views as to the role of the human in how they are called and/or able to interpret and actualise an image of greatness and power.

    Proudly erect and nestled within a cocoon of self-righteousness, an adversary of another does not look with humility at what their hands and feet are doing in terms of destroying a bearing capacity of life on earth. Confusion is healthy and part of an evolution of humanity, as it invites introspection, contemplation, an opportunity for reconciliation and a re-adjustment of world view. It is when confusion and uncertainty are held with low tolerance, as to do otherwise would invite the release of control and begin to crumble an inner wall of value and devotedness of worship, being seen as weak, that an Armageddon perpetuates.
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      Mar 25 2014: Hello Louise,
      Great comment, and welcome to TED conversations.
  • Mar 24 2014: Rodrigo, thanks for the thumbs up..
    As you might have guessed, I was up late and just got the ball rolling and my thoughts
    kept shifting into other areas that I feel strongly about.

    As I've aged, I've studied the human condition. It is a sad compromise with geographic
    governments drawing their lines in the sand and claiming the land for themselves. Not
    for the peoples they govern. I've heard that George W. Bush owns a huge ranch down
    in Honduras or in that neighborhood. For a lousy oil businessman, he sure has made
    the big bucks.

    Until the populations of the world can figure out how to provide for everyone, we are
    going to continue to suffer from our overlords, and pay for their excesses. Wars and
    Conflicts of the 20th Century have continued regardless of Obama promises. It was
    to be expected.

    Obama is the current selection of the two political parties that in-private pre-select a slate
    of candidates far in advance, and pay the media to popularize their choices. Presidents,
    Senators, and Representatives are selected, and vetted from back rooms and behind closed
    doors. After holding a convention to get the party membership to choose their new leaders,
    an election is held and the most popular candidates move into Washington DC, or in lower
    governments, move into State, City, and Township government offices and legislatures.
    It is indeed a fun game for those on top. They ride a heady trip. Only fears are exposure
    of criminal acts, and some moral one's also. The topmost retire and take their seats at the
    back room selection table, and join in picking the next leaders.

    Say it isn't so. But, you know it is. This is America today, after 237 years.
    We the people today stand around wondering; "What the hell happened?"

    Most of our taxes have gone to build a military not to be screwed with.
    That means what you think. Enforcement and Power to Intimidate.
    DOD, CIA, NSA, DHS, FBI, FISA.
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      Mar 24 2014: Hi Frank, the fate of the world rests upon the shoulders of men and women whom we hope to be wise. Some moments when I just want to be in eternal state of ignorance.

      IGNORANCE IS BLISS by Thomas Gray

      71 Ambition this shall tempt to rise,
      72 Then whirl the wretch from high,
      73 To bitter Scorn a sacrifice,
      74 And grinning Infamy.
      75 The stings of Falsehood those shall try,

      76 And hard Unkindness' altered eye,
      77 That mocks the tear it forced to flow;
      78 And keen Remorse with blood defiled,
      79 And moody Madness laughing wild
      80 Amid severest woe.

      81 Lo, in the vale of years beneath
      82 A grisly troop are seen,
      83 The painful family of Death,
      84 More hideous than their Queen:
      85 This racks the joints, this fires the veins,

      86 That every labouring sinew strains,
      87 Those in the deeper vitals rage:
      88 Lo, Poverty, to fill the band,
      89 That numbs the soul with icy hand,
      90 And slow-consuming Age.

      91 To each his sufferings: all are men,
      92 Condemned alike to groan;
      93 The tender for another's pain,
      94 The unfeeling for his own.
      95 Yet ah! why should they know their fate?

      96 Since sorrow never comes too late,
      Ambition this shall tempt to rise,
      97 And happiness too swiftly flies.
      98 Thought would destroy their paradise.
      99 No more; where ignorance is bliss,
      100 'Tis folly to be wise."

      Thomas Gray, 26 December 1716 – 30 July 1771, was born in Cornhill, London, the son of an exchange broker and a milliner. He was the fifth of 12 children, and the only child of Philip and Dorothy Gray to survive infancy. He lived with his mother after she left his abusive father.

      He was educated at Eton College where his uncle was one of the masters. He recalled his schooldays as a time of great happiness, as is evident in his Ode on a Distant Prospect of Eton College. Gray was a delicate and scholarly boy who spent his time reading and avoiding athletics.

      http://www.thomasgray.org/cgi-bin/display.cgi?text=odec

      Let's keep HOPE alive, my friend...
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    Mar 24 2014: The animal kingdom is supported by the plant kingdom. It is the balance of nature. When that balance is offset, conditions exist that will no longer support all of life. Darwin said it thus; "all living organisms reproduce themselves in greater numbers than can survive, there must always be competition between variants...". This is true for both plant and animal varieties. We have the power to understand this, but not the nature to control it. It is the pressures of survival that lead to conflict and war because people will not simply choose to die and let others survive in their stead.

    Conflicts arise on fear of death or starvation. Every government tries to do its best for its own people. And conflicts arise when people are no longer able to survive under the current conditions. We see only the results, but we often fail to see what leads up to it. When there is conflict, there is also fear that one will not be able to survive unless something changes. The conflict is an attempt to bring about change that will increase one's survival capacity.

    Presently there are about 10,000 souls that perish everyday due to starvation or want of simple medicines. Most people are blind to these statistics, but they are very real to those who won't make it another day. What do you want them to do? Many won't give up the ghost without a fight.

    Add to this the animal instinct to achieve "TOP MALE" position. Many conquest wars were fought based on this instinct. How leaders choose to solve problems are based on the perceived threat. When President Kennedy chose to challenge the Soviet Union during the Cuban missile crisis, he was dealing with a potential threat to Washington DC. How far he would have gone can only be imagined. But it is not inconceivable that had the Soviet Union failed to back down, that we possibly might not be having this conversation today.

    Your question is deeply philosophical, and one that will continue to be asked for generations to come.
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      Mar 24 2014: Roy,

      As we write our contributions to TED Conversations, history seems to be repeating itself! Let's hope there will be "more generations to come."
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        Mar 24 2014: There is a movie called "The Day the Earth Stood Still". It has dialog about changes that occur when life is on the edge of a precipice.

        Most evolutionary changes were driven by forces beyond its control, but it moved on to where we are now. We are often too caught up in the moment to see that nature restores balance in its own way. This was the driving force for ancient religions, that we are part of something much bigger than us. We have to go beyond "I" to see the big picture.

        I believe that once we can get beyond ourselves, that we will be able to become involved in where evolution is taking us. Life has rebounded from far worse than what we are seeing. Take courage my friend, this too shall pass.
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          Mar 24 2014: Thank you, Roy.

          An Old Irish Blessing:

          May love and laughter light your days,
          and warm your heart and home.
          May good and faithful friends be yours,
          wherever you may roam.
          May peace and plenty bless your world
          with joy that long endures.
          May all life's passing seasons
          bring the best to you and yours!
        • Apr 8 2014: There is no "balance", there is only an illusion of "balance" demanded by people who are afraid to admit to the fundamental dynamic nature of life and even of physical existence, with or without life. Balance is a comforting lie.
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    Mar 20 2014: You've got it right. Wars, conflicts, tension; all are part of the mix called humanity. We've got the best of us, the worst of us, and everything in between.

    We usually feel strongly about our opinions, and if we are powerful we are usually faced with the temptation to force our opinions on others. We are hardly aware of our selfishness, which sometimes expresses itself in our extreme insensitivity. We vilify 'others' and we see our culture/worldview/opinion as the right way. In most cases as 'the only right way'.

    As a writer I know that conflicts are important in order for a story to be engaging.
    Humanity is a story; and there are billions of it under the sun.
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      Mar 21 2014: The value of contrast: There's no light without dark, yin without yang, good without evil, peace without war!
  • Mar 20 2014: "Si vis pacem, para belum" [L]: If you wish peace, prepare for war.
    Forgotten languages sometimes put it best and most simply.
    I believe in creative chaos, governed only by our best intentions.
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      Mar 20 2014: Thoughtful contribution, Hilary!
      • Mar 22 2014: Thanks :) - I've discovered some surprising moments of satiation, in the furled pages of my Merriam-Webster 1989 Edition. I also like to check in with the softer yet equally authoritative voice of biological mitigation when possible. Perhaps you’ve heard of Bruce Lipton - to me he is one of the more skilled educators in confronting the human condition through scientific and linguistic relativity. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k0aHgkfKKbM
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          Mar 23 2014: Hilary, thank you for your suggestion ... and love your sentences too ...
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      Mar 21 2014: If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.
      - Mother Teresa
  • Apr 18 2014: Guy called Robert Zapolsky was studying a nasty troop of baboons for 20 years until one day some of them ate contaminated meat and died. Turned out it was the big, testosterone fuelled males that were always fighting that had died. The social dynamic in the group completely changed, now 20 years on they still rarely fight and spend most of their time grooming each other.
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      Apr 18 2014: MR T, please provide more details and insights to your interesting story.
  • Apr 15 2014: I humble think that organized violence is the best and most specific characteristic of Humans. This is what differentiated us from all other beings of the planet. This is what Nature or God came out with as the top (so far) way to perpetuate life. Life self preservation and self development is the only goal of Nature or God, direct result of the Second Law of Thermodynamics. The reduction of Entropy (I think Pierre Theilhard du Chardin wrote this first) can be done only through Life expansion and, as a result of the first, increasing the Information (Von Neumann's several discoveries). So, eliminating or curbing this most basic human asset is to endanger not only the Human Race but the Life as a whole. I am not talking about Spencer's theories but about Darwinian Law of Nature. And since we assume we are not alone in the Universe (" if it's just us... it seems like an awful waste of space" ) for the benefit of all humans we better keep this edge. I fully subscribe to Brian Maloney's point of view adding that we should keep in mind also the benefits resulting from wars. Sic !
    The living forms are mostly individualist. Some are just violent (sharks, cats, viruses). Some mostly cooperative (ants, coral, bees) but only Humans are able to deliver organized violence in favor of the Human Race.
    However, a peaceful era, full of love, cooperation, altruism and integration into nature looks very much (keeping the Primate's attributions) as a Chimpanzee World. And not even then.
    A special attention to Michael Avelar's Human Conditionng. Self Induce Conditioning, Imposed Conditioning, Events' Drive Conditioning etc
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    Lejan .

    • +1
    Apr 14 2014: 'There have (been) conflicts and wars throughout human history.'

    As for extrapolation we have to consider what you correctly observed, doesn't the answer to your questions becomes self-explanatory?
  • Apr 13 2014: Ironically, exploiting greed may be the answer. Not dumb greed, but smart greed. Smart enough to know that militarism (in a world where weapons of mass extinction are proliferating) is a dead-end street for humanity. Smart enough to know that suppressing hostilities violently is costlier than resolving hostilities benevolently.
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      Apr 13 2014: Danny, hope something like you said works - RESOLVING HOSTILITIES BENEVOLENTLY!
  • Apr 11 2014: Why do so many people have such a hard time separating personal conflicts from warfare? They are DIFFERENT THINGS. It is silly and childish to think that warfare is merely personal conflicts on a large scale. It isn't. If it were, then governments would not have to work so hard to propagandize their own people to treat warfare as if it were a personal conflict. The two issues are separate and need to be treated separately.
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      Apr 11 2014: Hello Bryan,

      Sometimes I have to read your remarks or replies several times in order to grasp at least some parts of what you're saying. I suppose some of our fellow TEDsters are in the same situation.

      On some topics, you just have to give a lecture and elaborate, Herr Professor!

      Have a nice weekend!
  • Apr 5 2014: Thank you Rodrigo for reminding us to resolve the most important question. There will be no peace and prosperity until the answer to your question is thoroughly understood.
    Humans will steal, rather than starve. They will revolt, when repressed. They will terrorize, when brutalized and they will kill, rather than be killed. So, given an eternal context of oppression, war is inherent. The question then becomes, can we eliminate the context of oppression. I say we can.
    The origin of oppression always was insufficient resources, now it is insufficient recognition of sufficient resources. We have the technology to create a decent standard of living for everyone. Energy is not a finite resource. Wealth, as the capacity to nurture and accommodate human life, is not finite.
  • Apr 5 2014: thnnkew everyone!!! :)
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    Mar 31 2014: This is a great question, and I'll keep my response short. Allow me to precursor this with one statement: I am an idealist.

    We've been conditioned to believe that war, tension, conflict is a part of the human experience. We've been taught that over the course of history, war has always existed. I believe, because we're consistently hounded with the history, we find it impossible to create a different future. I think this is called a composition/division fallacy. Because previous wars have happened, it must be predictive of the future.

    I don't agree with this at all. I think things are changing already- especially with the advancements of technology and internet. I recently read an article in Rolling Stone magazine with Bill Gates and he mentioned his optimism. He referenced what it would be like to be a woman in the 50's, an African American during separate but equal, etc. etc. Things are getting better, and I don't believe that tension or conflict are indefinitely a part of the human condition.

    What an awesome question. I'll be here reading the responses for the next little while. Thanks!
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      Mar 31 2014: Hello Ms. Cline,

      You said you're an idealist and based on your picture, a happy idealist. We need more people like you. There are days when I consider myself an idealist too. But on majority of the days, I consider myself a realist who is optimistic and hopeful about the future.That being said, we're living in an unstable world sharply divided by geography, language, religion, economics, politics, and ideology. There has been no period in history without wars or conflicts.

      Right now, there are several hot spots in every continent that any miscalculation on any side could trigger a bigger conflict or even a third world war. History tells us that man has always used the tools he has invented or created, including weapons of mass destruction. That is the reality that scares even the most optimistic among us.

      During my periods of reflection or meditation, when everything seem hopeless, I recite:

      God, grant me the serenity
      to accept the things I cannot change,
      The courage to change the things I can,
      And wisdom to know the difference.

      The Serenity Prayer is the common name for an originally untitled prayer by the American theologian Reinhold Niebuhr (1892–1971). It has been adopted by Alcoholics Anonymous and other twelve-step programs. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serenity_Prayer
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    Mar 30 2014: Human beings are unclear about what their purpose in life is or should be, they fight for things which are of little importance if you think about it, wars are triggered by things like power, money, difference in ideas and opinions and they all lead to damage. But, we don't know what the world is supposed to look like, we only have theories and essays on what could and should be done to avoid direct loss of human lives and property, or to avoid war, if you will. Also, we don't know what effects evolution was supposed to have on human beings, their brain and their behaviour. I don't like wars, i hate people dying in general and it hurts me watching people suffer but things like survival of the fittest, struggle for existence and all these theories in a way necessitates all these wars in the first place. I mean every theories in the world is technically some kind of interaction of forces and though the concept in itself is hideous i personally feel that wars, tensions and conflicts are inevitable.
    What we can do to prevent these though, is to strengthen the emotional side of human beings, probably make the sacrificial centre (i don't know if this exists, lets say some kind of extreme form of empathy if you will) more active, that will possibly be a way to be more understanding towards others, more receptive of others and it might help to avoid these conflicts. But, i personally believe there is no any permanent way to solve this conundrum, the only possible way is to understand the concept of war better. I mean religion have triggered some disputes, so I don't know, discouraging religion could be a way. But, the struggle between individuals in a species will continue no matter what, it's a part of evolution i guess.
    I'm 25, i have no significant research or studies to prove or even attempt to prove these stuff, this is just something I think and believe. I love these questions and being a part of ted is fun. Cheers !!!
  • Mar 30 2014: Research into the hunter gatherer societies show that they all of something in common. Peace is extremely important to them, as is equality. Nothing is more important than these two things. These people have lived for tens of thousands of years in peace. The only exception to their peace was when neighboring non-hunter-gatherer (land owning) tribes encroached on their territory. Not only did they have no war, but they were universally much happier people (in spite of the risks of living that lifestyle). They all treated one another with utmost respect because i was part of their culture.

    Add land ownership (and the consequent invention of money), and war suddenly appears and grows.
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    Mar 30 2014: We live in a world where we are nothing but slaves to our own feeling and desires. Therefore as long as we are slaves to our desires, fights and wars will not cease. Greed makes us do a lot of senseless things, the solution lies in overcoming and conquering it.
  • Mar 29 2014: As long as we see people live in peace we have to believe the answer is no. We can be kind.
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    Mar 28 2014: How do we translate and understand the intrinsic value of our human condition if we do not relate to the same reference data at source internationally?

    How can we avoid war?

    If all humans have a natural right to a shared awareness of what the ‘human condition’ is as a permanent tangible relationships of all reasonable morality in mortality in motion, then the reason, purpose and function of war is obsolete to the internalized actions of an intelligent species with an external curiosity for potential life elsewhere…we should utilize 3d models of death to illuminate the journey of our (all) ancestors to each and every one of us through internationally approved education and 3d observable models of natural unity in the organizational structure of collective democratic channels of growth and development philosophy we can all transparently relate too, if responsibility as purpose in the meaning of fairness…We all have a right to exist in each existential layer and fragment of reality we share as one transient whole? Why do we not think as one head in time and space…how do we organize collective thoughts and reason to represent the universality of growth ethics to the significance of all mass population realities?
    • Mar 28 2014: Is it because we explore and are too busy exploring?
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        Apr 18 2014: The millet hairy in dust real complex is an arms and legs race to nowhere anyone in their right mind would want to go!

        Technological supremacy was once the bow and arrow, now the frontier is the drone wars, is all supremacy a form of weakness, or does it depend on whose side you think your on?

        The longest tradition of slavery to survive in the modern age is war, enslaved to the notion of nationhood and the division within division through boundaries and words...if you don't need so many people in the modern technological war, who owns war in the future, the masses who funded it through the public traditions or the few who can afford it.

        What is the purpose and function of war to an intelligent species in the universal environment of all known and unknown intelligence, do alternate realities of intellectual development exist elsewhere in the universe, a warren of unknown realities we know so many things about, yet, its always that which we no least of that presents the greatest threat...are we complacent about the unknown and ignorant to the significance of all interrelatedness?
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    Mar 27 2014: the only thing make stop wars must everyone on this earth think about other people not thinking about himself.
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      Mar 27 2014: How will we accomplish that "everyone on this earth think about other people not thinking about himself," Mr. Saad? Please elaborate or elucidate.
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        Mar 28 2014: Hello Rodrigo. That possible when our earth leading by one LOW, THE PEACE LOW.

        THE PEACE LOW IS I'M WRONG ALL OF MY PEOPLE ARE RIGHT.
  • Mar 27 2014: a peace world is alway a dream of million people on the earth. Freedom level of each people is not the same, the needs is deffirent. Conflicts usually happen when 2 sides not the same benefit. This thing still happen in the family and in each person. So, i think we only can limit conflicts but can not avoid it.
  • Mar 26 2014: One of the great ironies of the modern world is that scientific knowledge with all its power and potential for good makes war a real threat to human survival. Biological, chemical, and nuclear weapons can easily end life as we know it. These are not sticks and stones being hurled at one another in some struggle for hunting grounds.
    Sadly, the human nature that caused primitive peoples to hurl sticks and stones at one another is the same human nature that threatens human survival with the power of knowledge. The knowledge has changed, but human nature has not. Without a fundamental change in human nature, survival is no guarantee.
    So, human history has come to a point where human beings either evolve to adapt to the power of scientific knowledge or perish. It would appear we are the ones who will either prove or disprove the theory of evolution. Should be interesting.
  • Mar 26 2014: To speak in absolutes is one of the reasons there is war. It seems that answering yes or no even to this question is a small piece of the overall problem. A way out of the cycle may be in fact turning the endless war promoted in 1984 on it's head... Often feuding family members band together when there is an outside threat, small warring tribes band together when there is a larger outside threat on the overall territory, companies merge when there is an economic advantage or an economic danger etc... Much the same way a child have to be distracted when it bumps its knee to keep from crying, I propose humans in general have to be shown an outside issue that threatens everyone equally requiring the cooperation of the global group. Perhaps we are starting to see the beginnings of this with issues like global warming. The pariahs will be singled out in a conflict large enough to threaten everyone's individual survival. The likelihood of abolishing war seems very unlikely without the distraction of a bigger 'war' against a bigger threat. We must promote a war that is bigger than the wars we are in. Is it ok to make up a threat that does not exist to do so? Everyone banding together for 20-30 years until we are conditioned to a life of global cooperation? I contend that it is. Lie to me.
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      Mar 26 2014: Bethel & Charles: "We must promote a war that is bigger than the wars we are in. Is it ok to make up a threat that does not exist to do so? Everyone banding together for 20-30 years until we are conditioned to a life of global cooperation?"

      "The Cambridge Project claims artificial intelligence, climate change, nuclear war and rogue biotechnology are the "four greatest threats" to the human species.

      ARTIFICAL INTELLIGENCE: Experts on AI suggest that a moment may come when computers and robots are smarter than humans. They call this "the Singularity." ...

      WARFARE & MASS DESTRUCTION: The scenarios that have been explored most frequently are nuclear warfare and doomsday devices. There is difficulty in predicting whether such would exterminate humanity, however a nuclear winter would cause significant upheaval in advanced civilizations. While it might be possible for someone to intentionally cause a global catastrophe...

      MAN-MADE GLOBAL WARMING: Global warming refers to the warming caused by human technology since the 19th century. Effects of global warming include loss of biodiversity, stresses to existing food-producing systems, and increased spread of infectious diseases...

      OVER-POPULATION & AGRICULTURAL CRISES: An ecological disaster, such as world crop failure and collapse of ecosystem services, could be induced by the present trends of overpopulation, economic development, and non-sustainable agriculture. To achieve a sustainable economy and avert disaster, the United States must reduce its population by at least one-third, and world population will have to be reduced by two-thirds, says the study. The authors of this study believe that the mentioned agricultural crisis will only begin to impact us after 2020, and will not become critical until 2050.."

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_catastrophic_risks

      CHOOSE ONE!
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    Mar 25 2014: So, how do we mitigate conflict? If a child receives love since birth until death, from parents, siblings, neighbors, teachers, professors, bosses, priests, wife, children, etc., hardly this person will convert into criminal or selfish person.
    "It takes a village to raise a child", an African proverb.
    Everyone can be change by love and compassion. We look for and analyze by any other means to find answers to our global problem of despair. If we just leave our Ego at the door then we are ready to start the restoration process. If we are aware of what our ego is engaging, then we become the "Watcher", our higher self watching over the lower self = the ego.
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      Mar 26 2014: We must work together to transform ourselves through "love and compassion." Thank you, Idalia.
  • Mar 24 2014: Unfortunately, it may be that tribal instincts are built into our genes. There have been studies that babies discriminates in favor of others that like the same thing in this case color. Every time I hope that the human race has grown out of the tribal driven actions, another conflict breaks out, even after years of living together in peace.

    Maybe it will take an external threat to drive us to form a single tribe.
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      Mar 24 2014: Wayne, you got it. I hope there's a better explanation. Have a nice week, my friend!
      • Mar 25 2014: I hope we out grow the tribal tendencies somehow - have a great weekend yourself.
    • Mar 25 2014: I think, 'tribal instincts' is a collective ego, made itself manifest, nothing more , no genes are involved.
      Do we have 'selfish gene' ? religious gene ? national gene ?
      • Mar 25 2014: I thought very similarly but
        http://www.psychologicalscience.org/index.php/news/releases/babies-prefer-individuals-who-harm-those-that-arent-like-them.html

        indicates some interesting preferences in babies at 9 months.
        • Mar 25 2014: Thanks for the link !
          Frankly , i don't trust ' social science , even if it is called "Psychological Science ", they operate with figures, experiments...but it's a fig leave. :)
          The only tendency i am aware of is that we see what we want to see in order not to experience a cognitive dissonance; we want to justify our ego, as if it is inbuilt in nature, but it isn't.
          As far as i know, nobody has infant memories, why ?
          Because babies are free from ego, 'me' is not distinguished from anything else, what preferences may take place in heaven ?
          I could be wrong here, but it's the way i see it now.
          Thanks for responding !
        • Mar 29 2014: Will try to look-into that. From the same site: http://www.psychologicalscience.org/index.php/publications/observer/obsonline/kids-come-to-like-their-own-before-they-dislike-outsiders.html “Kids Come to Like Their Own Before They Dislike 'Outsiders'”So to answer briefly, and in part, the original question: I can't recall the book that said that 80-90% of rounds-fired in the Civil War were INTENTIONALLY non-killing shots - with most of them severely undershot or overshot. Though, through rigorous training, those levels have went down slowly.
          "We can join the military and learn a thousand ways to kill, but there is no equivalent to teach us how to love. Learn how to kill, and your college education will be paid for." ~Charlie Cantrell
      • Mar 25 2014: np, similar to my daughter does not trust "soft science" Psychology has a very bad rep. Over 10,000 published paper had to be withdrawn 3 years ago due to multiple bad reasons. This study has been replicated several times in different Universities, including in the UK.
        • Mar 27 2014: ' soft sience' seeks for its validity in ' hard sience', which is physics.
          It works pretty well on the level of Newtonian physics, which is "a limiting case" in QM definition. No wonder we don't trust it any more.
          Please, send my best wishes to your daughter ! :)
      • Mar 28 2014: I will, she has her phd in physical chemistry.
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    W. Ying

    • +1
    Mar 24 2014: .
    We can!

    Prescription:
    (1) Quit invalid happiness.
    (2) Quit money.

    Reasons:
    (1) Invalid happiness is the origin of all evil.
    (2) Money makes invalid happiness monster.
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      Mar 24 2014: Simple but valid answer, W. Ying.
    • Mar 24 2014: "There's no such thing as a free lunch." "Money is the root of all evil."
      • Mar 25 2014: Love for money is the root of all evil.
        Money is just a tool. If we used pebbles instead would be pebbles evil ? :)
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          Mar 27 2014: .
          Pebbles is better than barter;
          but can never be as monstrous as today's money.
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        Mar 28 2014: The lack or misuse of money is the root of many evils. Selfishness, greed, arrogance, ...are the causes of more evils. According to ancient traditions, the Devil is the father of all evils. What a prolific father the Devil is!
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    Mar 24 2014: My church is dedicated to solving the problem of war; it may be the only church so dedicated.

    The way we understand it, the solution to war involves three major areas: Ethics, Technology and Administration.

    A knowledge and proper use of Ethics is needed to keep warmongers in check so that they don't blow the place up, or make technologies and policies of peace "illegal." This function is to some degree operational on earth. It helps that people tend to be self-correcting when it comes to ethics.

    A knowledge and proper use of technologies that will tend to bring peace is critical to a long-term handling of the situation. These technologies have two major targets: 1) Changing how warmongers think, thus turning them into peace-loving people. 2) Helping the rest of us in various ways so that it is more possible for us to stand up for peace and against war. The second target is by far the more workable approach at this time. Most serious warmongers are still inaccessible. These technologies involve thought, and are therefore basically spiritual technologies.

    Then we can begin to develop policies at all levels of human activity that will promote peaceful solutions to disputes and provide nations, even planets, with workable processes for creating and protecting peaceful environments for all of our activities, big and small. It has been noted that administration - and technology - tend to fall out when Ethics basics are not known or used. Thus Ethics becomes the foundation on which a peaceful way of life can be built.

    We can suppose that something like "healthy competition" exists. War is not an example of this. Some games of conflict may be. We are proposing here that war is criminal in its essence and does not deserve a place among free and honest people. But that does not mean we are totally turning our backs on conflict in any form. The rule of thumb is: What activities produce the most benefits for the widest areas of life?
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      Mar 24 2014: "Ethics becomes the foundation on which a peaceful way of life can be built." Thank you for your thoughts, Lawrence.

      “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”
      ― Edmund Burke

      "Edmund Burke PC, 12 January 1729 – 9 July 1797, was an Irish statesman, author, orator, political theorist and philosopher, who, after moving to England, served for many years in the House of Commons of Great Britain as a member of the Whig party.

      He is mainly remembered for his support of the cause of the American Revolutionaries, and for his later opposition to the French Revolution. The latter led to his becoming the leading figure within the conservative faction of the Whig party, which he dubbed the "Old Whigs", in opposition to the pro–French Revolution "New Whigs", led by Charles James Fox.

      Burke was praised by both conservatives and liberals in the 19th century. Since the 20th century, he has generally been viewed as the philosophical founder of modern conservatism."

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edmund_Burke
  • Mar 23 2014: Look at the rest of the animals, killing comes naturally to them. Most of the time they kill to eat, but in many cases it is to defend territory or mating rights. We have the hubris to think that we have evolved beyond that, when we have not and probably never will. Like it or not we are just one species of the animal population.

    Even the god in the bible instructs one people to slaughter another people. If there is a god who created us then he made war and killing part of our nature. If our entire species were wiped out, on a cosmological level it would matter no more than stepping on an ant, but we are too egotistical to realize that. War can not be mitigated if it can not be stopped.
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      Mar 24 2014: On some occassions, I come to the same conclusion, Jeffrey. Let's hope we can do better.
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    Mar 23 2014: Yes even it hurts to write down this answer Yes, tensions, conflcits and wars are permanent part of the human condition.
    Why? becuase it is easier to fight instead to listen and find another way out. Becuase there are many miss understanding that have grown like an alud and how you can stoped after so many years of nonsense, Becuase it is a business that moves a lot of money, and botton line because the human race some times acts like brainless, and some geopolitical or benefit to some are more important than peace. The only way to change that it is if people were less selfish and the state too, but to that we need to change, to evolve, to transoform society and the world, maybe beiginig at home, school, work, and then spread that feeling, also if everyone have a job, a house and food everyday will help to have a more faire world and society, but to get to that point humanity needs to change and that means time !!! and most of all to be open to listen others and try to be in the place of the other, to have empathy and that it's a long path. I am sure someday it will happen but not now. The day people think in the common good first and then the world will change and maybe wars and conflict will be the past, but until then this waful reality is our wolrd of the 3 milenium 21 century, web world.
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      Mar 24 2014: Claudia, we feel pain in our hearts ...we are coming together slowly ... someday peace will happen.
  • Mar 23 2014: Dear Rodrigo, se il singolo non si sente abbastanza forte, allora si formerà il gruppo, che non per nulla è la più sicura fonte di conflitto. Non parlo del raggrupparsi per un maggiore sviluppo di sè su di sè dalla bocciofila al centro di ricerca, ma del gruppo che esercita la forza dell'unione nei confronti di altri gruppi, poichè tutte le volte che si raggruppano delle persone -in un partito, in un territorio- per trarne un vantaggio per sè lo fanno sottraendolo agli altri o addirittura per andare contro agli altri. Thanks.
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      Mar 23 2014: Dear Rodrigo, if the individual does not feel strong enough, then the group will be formed, which is not for nothing is the safest source of conflict. I am not speaking of the cluster for a greater development of self upon himself by bowling at the research center, but the group that exerts the force of the union against other groups, as many times as you group of people in a party, in an area-to gain an advantage for themselves they do taking it away to others or even to go against the other. Thanks

      I hope this is an accurate translation. Thank you for your contribution, Carlo.

      Grazie e buona fortuna, amico mio!
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    Mar 23 2014: Premature deaths are permanent, whilst, tensions, conflicts and wars are transient, yet, permanent in all legacy of blood spilt in the name of liberation, survival, greed, religion, power, feud; the eternal stream of groundhog day human repetitions, reverberating like echoes in each pool and theater of death through time and the multiple scenarios at play in a single universal bomb shell moment...a curse of many generation and consolidated into those occupying this present moment and yet how many feel a responsibility towards the evidence of war and in what way should we analyze it as an international observable meaning?

    Death is both a physical and non-physical detachment from life in the known reality of the human condition, hence, is detachment from life a permanent eradication from time and space or is death preserved as intrinsic observable evidence to the satisfaction and legitimate concern of all masses.

    Should we think outside the box when it comes to looking at ourselves in some universally identifiable intrinsic way?

    Is life in the known reality of this human condition an internationally agreed awareness of collective mortality in morality in all reality in motion, a fragile enough ‘state’ for children to appreciate, without the repetition of death after death throughout the entire universal circumference of tensions, conflict and wars? What is the human being missing from the big picture and failing to communicate to the significance and preserve of present and future generations?
    • Mar 23 2014: It is boring at the top of the food chain.
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        Mar 23 2014: LOL, yeah I'm sure that as a lot to do with meddling and crafting of conflict in our race to the bottom.
  • Mar 23 2014: Rodrigo, -- I think from our recent 237 year history, that
    conflicts and wars are the only thing our US government does well.

    I found a wiki listing of nations by economic worth, listing 2013 or 2014
    from 1 to 176, with 176 being the poorest, assigned to North Korea.

    As I compared the names of the nations and organizations who have been
    involved in conflicts and wars with the US government, over many years,
    I found only those at the very bottom of the lists for those years. Many of
    them no longer in existence, with national identities changed or renamed.

    The last six conflicts and wars have been started by our US government,
    with 'lies' used by our elected President's, to bolster the reasons to war.

    I find it amazing that the US government can get away with such atrocities,
    and that other nations of the world, and we Americans ourselves, seem
    unaware, or perhaps just asleep.

    The quickly growing Enforcement, Spying, Surveillances, Secrets, and lack
    of promised Transparency by our elected political officials has begun to morph
    into a new way to govern, using CIA .

    Our young people use illegal drugs brought to them by Panga boats, and being
    being delivered on the pristine coastlines of central California, at Santa Barbara,
    and north to San Simeon. Arrests are made and bails are paid. But, put the
    US government up against the Drug Cartels, and money talks better than the
    US President.

    The US government subordinated itself to the Super-Wealthy-Businesses.
    1% that hold 90% of America's wealth in their pockets. Wealth that is moved out
    of America to far away places with strange sounding names. The Wealthy used
    to be taxed at 91%. But today, they pay less than 30%, mostly zero.

    American wages have stagnated the last 40 years, while our Treasury is emptied
    every few years or so, to send to the Banks.

    American's taxes built DOD's secret cryptographic star-war satellite projects
    run by the President's NSA.
  • Mar 22 2014: If to be human is to war, then I am not human.

    War is a condition of the human mind, and like any other disease, if you think too much about violence and being violent you will become violent. It only takes a shift in each individuals consciousness for peace to be delivered.

    We have built armies to fight wars that are yet to be had, therefore we are conditioning our minds to believe war is inevatable. Why not turn all our militaries into peace and rescue forces, so we will invetably beleive peaceful resolution is the only solution, not war.

    Some people aim to be superiors of the physical world, whereas the less naive know that true superiority comes from mastery of the spiritual world, the soul and in the energies invested in each of us. With mastery of the soul, only peace can exist.

    I have never found myself able to call any soldier a hero, as I do not believe there is any heroism in violence and I strongly believe it is a marketing mechanism that encourages more naive youngsters to join up. And I certainly do not believe we require a military. I think we can all play our part in ending war, by not behaving patriotically and by educating our children on true morals and love so they grow up less naive and less likely to join a military force to help carry out the hierarchies covert affairs which have little if anything to do with humanity. If we shift our perceptions on the need for war, this question will one day be turned on it's head and we will be asking is peace a permenant part of the human condition.
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      Mar 22 2014: Mint, keep sharing your values and feelings with others. We need more people like you.

      “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”
      ― Edmund Burke
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      Mar 21 2014: Hi Brendan,

      Our common humanity binds us all. Our religions, our beliefs, our values, our "stuff" are of no significance if we allow them to separate us. To realize this is the best hope for all of us, Earthlings.

      Oh yes, our new Pope is really a breath of fresh air. I hope we can all work together to help him do a good job.

      Best of luck, my friend ...
      • Comment deleted

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          Mar 21 2014: Thank you, Brendan.

          We're living in tough times. While some of our leaders are working on the diplomatic front, our good scientists and thinkers are busy working on the science side of our human nature. Let us all wish for their success.
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      Apr 9 2014: The VA-111 Shkval (from Russian: шквал — squall) torpedo and its descendants are supercavitating torpedoes developed by the Soviet Union. They are capable of speeds in excess of 200 knots (370 km/h).

      Design and capabilities:
      Design began in the 1960s when the NII-24 research institute was ordered to produce a new weapon system capable of combating nuclear submarines. In 1969, the GSKB-47 merged with NII-24 to create the Research Institute of Applied Hydromechanics in Kiev, Ukraine (constructor Merkulov); the Shkval being a product of this merger.

      Announced as being deployed in the early 1990s, although previously operational as early as 1977,,the Shkval is designed as a countermeasure against torpedoes launched by undetected enemy submarines. It may also be used as a counter to incoming torpedoes whereby it is launched at the enemy submarine, forcing it to evade, and hopefully cutting the guidance wire to the enemy torpedo in the process.

      The speed of the VA-111 far exceeds that of any standard torpedo currently fielded by NATO. This speed is a result of supercavitation: the torpedo is, in effect, flying in a gas bubble created by outward deflection of water by its specially shaped nose cone and the expansion of gases from its engine. By keeping water from coming into contact with the surface of the body of the torpedo, drag is significantly reduced, allowing extremely high speeds.

      Launched from 533 mm torpedo tubes, the VA-111 exits the tube at 50 knots (93 km/h). Shortly afterwards, its liquid-fuel rocket ignites and propels it to speeds of up to 200 knots (370 km/h). Some reports indicate that speeds of 250+ knots may be achieved, and that work on a 300-knot (560 km/h) version was underway.

      The rocket engine uses a combination of high test peroxide and kerosene; the propellant tanks contain about 1500 kg of hydrogen peroxide and 500 kg of kerosene...

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VA-111_Shkval
  • Mar 21 2014: Bryan
    Sometimes it is a little confusing here, with regard to who is addressing whom. Your response to, I think, Rodrigo, with reference to the "1936" book was well said and to my knowledge accurate.
    Your last post, "I see" I would like to respond to. Stalin was an avowed Atheist and a self appointed god. He, perhaps, and although there have been others was the most prolific in the systematic killing of humans; arguably 30 to 60 million of his own people. These people were not killed in the name of Atheism, as opposed to the cross bearing Crusaders, Conquistadors, Inquisitors or torch and knife bearing Christians and Muslims. Marxism/Communism, as all totalitarians systems, to include theocracies are the same. One promotes a god for justification, the other claims godhood. One a theistic mandate, the other a secular mandate based upon an omnipotent control, both godlike, neither Atheistic.
    • Mar 24 2014: That is called the "No True Scotsman" fallacy. It is very popular among atheists who like to claim that their religion is better than everyone else's religion. Look up "No True Scotsman".
      • Mar 24 2014: Bryan
        I would suggest no, I will provide it for you. Below is the definition of religion. Please explain how an Atheist professes a religion.
        Religion----the belief in a god or in a group of gods. : an organized system of beliefs, ceremonies, and rules used to worship a god or a group of gods. :
  • Mar 21 2014: Yes, because humans are innately very cooperative. You can't have a war without two large groups of people, each intensely cooperating within itself.
    • Mar 21 2014: Thanks for bringing it to the table, very good point

      I see in other post that the humans would never have survived evolutionarilly speaking without coopration or even get where we are today.

      But that is part of a contradiction that exists inside ourselves, i believe, like i said in the other post, that we have this evolutionary characteristcs like agressiveness, selfshness, that has been part of our survival too
      Its a form of protecting and fight for our individual needs and ideals

      In fact in acepted human history, humans start to get togheter in small groups, just like many animals, and this brings that cooperation "inside a group" and aggrsiveness to others behavior.

      But now the world is like a big group, every one can see like in this talk

      http://www.ted.com/talks/steven_pinker_and_rebecca_newberger_goldstein_the_long_reach_of_reason

      There is a part where they talk about expansion of "group" throught emphaty

      But we will never see ourselves as a whole unless we start to abandon a lot of bad pratices we have and start to create a global culture of respect

      Even if those pratices still has a motive to exists, we must learn to thrust one another above it.

      Its like fall in love, you do even knowing that you can get hurt badly, but if you never do, it is a lot worst
      • Mar 24 2014: If empathy is our salvation, then I am the Devil. I am on the autism spectrum. We don't do empathy. I have compassion, but no empathy. People are a blank screen to me.
  • Mar 20 2014: Rodrigo
    We can pretend that we are other than our evolutionary history would indicate. We can appeal to and subjugate ourselves to a form of deity worship, but then we would be burning people alive or cutting off their heads. That would also be considered warfare, but on a limited and selective basis, but more acceptable and who would notice. One way to mitigate the ravages of war.
    We should create a country so powerful that no other would attempt to misbehave. We should make it so that the citizens of this country are free to achieve, to realize their own talents, to create business to employee millions. We should have a bill of rights that prohibits the government from taking them away. The country should be so prosperous that others begin to emulate and soon, as the people of the world begin to understand that freedom is for everyone, they will become responsible for themselves, for their families and that government is there to protect them, individually in their pursuit of happiness. Did we have something like that and we threw it away?
    I too, blame the USA, but for good cause. Look what America has done for the world, nothing.
    Having a first person experience with war, Vietnam, there are no adjectives that properly describe that nightmare. War must end, but do not look for a utopia; it lives with tooth fairies.
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      Mar 20 2014: President Dwight Eisenhower famously warned the U.S. about the "military–industrial complex" in his farewell address:

      "The military–industrial complex, or military–industrial–congressional complex,[1] comprises the policy and monetary relationships which exist between legislators, national armed forces, and the military industrial base that supports them. These relationships include political contributions, political approval for military spending, lobbying to support bureaucracies, and oversight of the industry. It is a type of iron triangle. The term is most often used in reference to the system behind the military of the United States, where it gained popularity after its use in the farewell address of President Dwight D. Eisenhower on January 17, 1961,[2] though the term is applicable to any country with a similarly developed infrastructure.[3][4]

      The term is sometimes used more broadly to include the entire network of contracts and flows of money and resources among individuals as well as corporations and institutions of the defense contractors, The Pentagon, the Congress and executive branch. A parallel system is that of the Military–industrial–media complex, along with the more distant politico-media complex and Prison–industrial complex.

      A similar thesis was originally expressed by Daniel Guérin, in his 1936 book Fascism and Big Business, about the fascist government support to heavy industry. It can be defined as, "an informal and changing coalition of groups with vested psychological, moral, and material interests in the continuous development and maintenance of high levels of weaponry, in preservation of colonial markets and in military-strategic conceptions of internal affairs."[5] An exhibit of the trend was made in Franz Leopold Neumann's book Behemoth: The Structure and Practice of National Socialism in 1942, a study of how Nazism came into a position of power in a democratic state."
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military%E2%80%93industrial_complex
      • Mar 21 2014: That 1936 book is horribly out of date. There was far more than that. When the Nazis finally took over, "Big Business" found out that they were only later on the menu to be devoured, not part of the real power structure. For example, German steel production was becoming a 100% socialist enterprise, government owned-and-run, under Hermann Goering, until the war cut it short. He was pushing out the private businesses. Automobile manufacture was tightly dictated, even before the war. The tycoons thought they had bought a pet government. Their "pet" turned on them. It loved nobody but itself and served nobody but itself. Profit became a non-issue to the Nazi government, so long as there was production to be used for conquest and destruction of other "races".
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          Mar 21 2014: Bryan,

          Relating what you've just written here, do you think the "major players" in the Ukraine situation have learned the lessons of history? Do you have any idea how it will play out?
      • Mar 21 2014: Rodrigo
        I am well familiar with Eisenhower's concerns and and your other quotes, but, if you are addressing my post your point alludes me.
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      Mar 20 2014: After Vietnam, many thought the United States and the rest of the world have learned enough about war. But then Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait (1990) ... 9/11 happened (2001) ... now Russia is occupying Crimea (2014)...

      Some "things" are brewing in Northeast Asia and Southeast Asia ...
    • Mar 21 2014: I see, so it is your contention that atheist governments NEVER committed atrocities.
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    Mar 19 2014: Until today, they ARE. But they DON'T have to be from now on. It all depends on us, the humans. The seed of evil had been planted long ago within the human mind and then between the humans. What's needed is a deep and continuous retrospection and also introspection by each one of us to find that seed of evil and its source.
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      Mar 19 2014: "Everyone has experienced anger at one point in their lives and some of us — males mostly, going by statistics — have channeled that anger into violence, perhaps by throwing a punch during a hockey game or after too many beers at the bar.

      Then there's aggression on a much more sinister scale, in the form of murder, wars and genocide. Trying to understand what fuels the different levels of human aggression, from fisticuffs to nation-on-nation battle, has long preoccupied human biologists."
      http://www.livescience.com/5333-evolution-human-aggression.html

      Is there evolutionary reasoning that explains our aggressive tendencies?
      • Mar 19 2014: Evolutionary reasons of aggressive behavior pre-dated humans, it is present in animals and even cells for reasons like competition over resources.

        But a child before it understand the basics, works under primitive forces pretty much doing anything "without reason", and in this stage they learn rage much earlier then much of the basic understanding. Its very like thinking in it evolutionary (but instead of survival of species, we consider a evolution of a single induvidual in getting what he wants)

        But conflict is part of Hagel model (thesys->anti-thesys->conclusion/new thesys) to explain evolution (of ideas or anything else)
        Its like a music that says Peace without voice is not peace is fear
        So conflict is how we protect our idea, ideal and "desires", is how we evolve, is how we change

        I have thought one time about what if it had an button to launch nuclear missils to destroy the world in every house
        The society would evolve or die
        Mothers would not leave their kids alone, everybody vigilant with one another,
        No one would let no one get too sad or too unhappy

        But i think the idea here is more like to reduce violence and agresssion to levels like the "punch on table"

        I think we have to play the blame game, every one blame every one, and then we see what makes sence
        (I blame USA, but i dont have any proof or argument, who blames better wins)

        Just one more thing to consider is that who has less normally risk more (extract from statistical analisys of poker games)
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        Mar 24 2014: War is not a biological problem. That's why biologists haven't solved it.
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      Mar 24 2014: We can solve problems that we understand.

      War has not been solved, and so I propose that it is not yet well enough understood.

      The whole activity of looking at "aggressive behavior" in animals for this understanding has failed. Why do so many keep pursuing it? From what I have read, spiritual beings fight, too. They do in our myths and in other ancient stories. So perhaps this is not a problem for biology.

      Research of a more spiritual nature has in fact developed a great deal of information about this "human" tendency to turn to radically self-destructive violence in certain situations. It has also come up with handlings for the problem. But in trying to communicate this information, I often run into what I have come to call the "brick wall" of spiritual self-denial.

      So in some ways, those who want peace and those who think peace is impossible are both right. They both see a "brick wall" between them and the understanding necessary to resolve the problem. The only difference between them, really, is that some think there is a way over, around or through the "brick wall" and some don't. Since I have seen it, I am definitely with those who think there is a way through.
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        Mar 24 2014: Lawrence, the brick walls that we can touch and feel, we can demolish. It's the "brick wall within us" that is preventing us from understanding and fulfilling our divine destiny.
  • Mar 19 2014: A war with spies not soldiers is a way migrate war
  • Mar 18 2014: War and Peace is two sides of the same coin
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    Apr 17 2014: THANK YOU FOR ALL THE CONTRIBUTIONS!
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    Apr 17 2014: Can't be Stop. but can be minimize the casualties, like a zoo you can train a lion well to obey, but if you don't feed them with their needs, it will eat you alive. that is why cages are widely use to stop wars and crimes. Humans are wild animals in nature.
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      Apr 17 2014: Who will train the trainer of wild animals? There are horse whisperers or dog whisperers, like Cezar Millan. Are there human whisperers?
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        Apr 17 2014: The trainer, are the people that seats above. you may lough at my comment and reply a humorous comment, people that are crazy enough can change something :)
  • Apr 17 2014: Crimea. Are we bored or what?
  • Apr 17 2014: People get bored. Bored men indulge in war for fun.
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      Apr 17 2014: Seriously? I have never known a soldier, rank and file or officer, who said war is for fun. Have you met a soldier who went to war because of boredom, Mr. Paulo.?

      "Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field as a final resting-place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

      But in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead who struggled here have consecrated it far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living rather to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us--that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion--that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain, that this nation under God shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth." Abraham Lincoln, November 19, 1863, The Gettysburg Address.

      "If we don't end war, war will end us." H. G. Wells
      - http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/h/hgwells161934.html#yVKJz4qsrU56hSK0.99
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    Apr 15 2014: .
    Easy!

    Just quit invalid happiness.
    Then, we will symbiotically avoid or mitigate them.
  • Apr 6 2014: i would think conflict is a fundamental part of life. before, conflict was only created by our necessities such as the search for food, water, shelter and so on, now it has degenerated into creating conflict for our wants. Unfortunately we have formed a habit of the desire for more. i believe only when we learn to control our egos is when we will notice real change. But conflict is what makes the hand turn on the clock of life. in every level of life there is conflict it just takes a different form.
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    Apr 6 2014: Well if you must say it yes. If you know what is real and what is reality then you would understand that life is a waiting game of many moment of now and we have know control over anything because the masses empower the ideas of the few. I know this plays into your question but is also directly relates to the opposite side of the coin and we will never have one with out the other...

    To associate anyone at the top of the food chain is ridiculous because we are only one step behind the next stage of evolution which is another discussion but they are here and people are stuck in this Idea of power. Ignorance is on both sides of the fence so as soon as you take a stance on a topic the smart one change the topic to attack you position not the statements at all. The unsmart ones attack physically to remove you from the equation.

    So which one is better off. The person that says nothing!!! Every-time...

    I does not matter how much we talk back and forth it is just hot air to see who is right so let me bow out and say you argument is KING and I will do something else.

    If I have missed the mark let me know and I will try again but that is all I am able to do is try right NOW...
  • Apr 5 2014: It boils down to survival of the fittest. We evolve by conflict.
  • Apr 5 2014: All of the silly little feelgood "solutions" that people here propose have been around for DECADES, possibly for centuries or even millenia. They always fail. They always will fail. Why? They are based on fantasies and fairy tales about what people WANT to believe, not on how human beings actually behave. We WANT to tell ourselves comforting lies about the causes of war and conflict, that it's all merely "ignorance" or merely "selfishness" or merely "isms" or merely some other thing that's easy to point at and whine about. If that were it, WE WOULD MAKE A GREAT DEAL MORE PROGRESS! Typhus and cholera used to kill a lot of people. We now know they are caused by mere specific bacteria, which can be controlled and even treated. Typhus and cholera are now a lot less problematic. War doesn't have such simplistic causes, but the simple-minded keep insisting that it does, because to admit otherwise would be to admit that their silly little dogmatic world-views might be false.
    • Apr 5 2014: So "Are tensions, conflicts, and wars permanent part of the human condition?" It's pointless looking for solutions, simple or not, if they are a "...permanent part of the human condition."
    • Apr 5 2014: WE WOULD MAKE A GREAT DEAL MORE PROGRESS, if we were not that ignorant !
      Somehow we've managed to come to the present moment without answering the old-aged questions
      " Who am I ?" " Who are we ? " " Why are we here ? "
      Would you try ?
      Please !
  • Apr 5 2014: Till we live, everything occurs. People are becoming more selfish day by day, and they want to ignore other. They are active to pull others leg, but they don't realize their position. Finally, tensions, conflict, war everything results.
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    Apr 5 2014: When people stop asking questions and start acting on their ideas that are good for the collective community IN THE NOW...

    Check and MATE JK,,,

    But seriously talk is cheap if you want something done go and do it. Hypothetical situations are always Hypothetical until we act on it. No one is going to be the first if we do not try. But since life is a game we tend to define game with a loser yes war is always going to be the human condition until the rules of how a game is played is defined by all winners which will never happen we might as well all pass it to the left and have fun with life helping as many people with good actions along the way because I am only human and that is my condition...
    • Apr 5 2014: Are you saying that it's boring at the top of the food chain and war is a symptom of borefom and we can avoid it by being aware of that?
  • Apr 4 2014: A simple thing that people refuse to accept, either through dogmatic stupidity or ignorance: The "ego" or "evil" or whatever you want to call it of "leaders" would be irrelevant if it were not the nature of human beings to cooperate and be altruistic. If we were not already prone to going along together on various tasks, it would be impossible to have wars. The "soldiers" would tell the "leader" to sod off.

    Cooperation and altruism are virtues in the individual but are the fodder of evil in the mass.
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      Apr 4 2014: I have been reflecting on the issue of security and the lack thereof of some countries. History has shown that a country without a strong army to protect itself will ultimately be invaded and occupied by a country with more powerful army and technology, for many reasons including resources and strategic location.

      This is the reality why some countries spend enourmous portion of their resources including manpower on building their military. This is also the reason why small and/or poor countries have to develop alliances with bigger and stronger countries.

      Cooperation and altruism seem to be vital components of human survival.

      The enemy of my enemy is my friend. Arabian Proverb

      http://quotationsbook.com/quote/16235/
      • Apr 4 2014: Cooperation and altruism are vital components of human survival. Like all such vital components, they can be used for evil ends.

        The enemy of my enemy is just a friend of convenience.--Chinese proverb.
      • Apr 5 2014: I have a feeling the prototype is older than any extant culture and made it all around the world before any group we would recognize existed.
    • Apr 5 2014: Cooperation and altruism are virtues in the individual but are the fodder of evil in the mass.

      Probably you are right.
      What is the mass ?
      What solidifies separate individuals into the mass ?
      Idea !
      Religious or national or both.
      That's why a powerful ego with a 'mission' is very dangerous.
      People kill for money or for power. But the most ruthless murderers are those who kill for their ideas.
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        Apr 6 2014: A powerful ego with a mission can be a weapon of mass destruction. An individual who possesses an idea and is forceful, tireless, and eloquent to advance that idea can be a ticking nuclear bomb.

        On the other hand, a person with a great mission who is forceful, tireless, and eloquent in advancing his/her mission can be a powerful force for good like Gandhi, Mother Theresa, and Nelson Mandela.
  • Apr 3 2014: Tensions? Yes
    Conflicts? Yes
    Wars? Unknown

    Tensions and conflicts will always exist so long as someone wants to do what someone else doesn't want or doesn't want to do what someone else wants. Person A wants some sweet lovin' from Person B. Person B just ain't intersted. Tension and conflict. Person A wants to have pizza. Person B wants Thai food. Tension and conflict. Person A thinks green is the best color for the wall. Person B is into red. Tension and conflict.

    Now, what if it's population A wants some arable land that population B also wants? A little harder to resolve. But does it have to get to war? War is impossible without intense human cooperation. War is impossible without supreme altruism. What is war? War is a large group of people willing to DIE for something other than their own immediate personal gain. War is fundamentally altruistic. If all the soldiers were selfish, they'd shoot their officers and go home to someplace safe, not a battlefield.

    Think about that--war is an expression of altruism. War is an expression of collective/group identity and solidarity. Self-centered individualists make for bad soldiers, they're just not into the whole "discipline" and "sacrifice for your country" thing.
  • Apr 1 2014: Yes it is part of the human condition,we will always have issues because of 'pride'. Pride is a weakness depending on what we regard as priority.
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    Mar 30 2014: Conflicts and wars are sensitive painful issues. Discussing about human tragedies is not easy. Thank you for all your contributions.

    AFRICA:(24 Countries and 145 between militias-guerrillas, separatist groups and anarchic groups involved) Hot Spots: Central African Republic (civil war), Democrati Republic of Congo (war against rebel groups), Egypt (popular uprising against Government), Mali (war against tuareg and islamist militants), Nigeria (war against islamist militants), Somalia (war against islamist militants), Sudan (war against rebel groups), Sout Sudan (civil war)


    ASIA: (15 Countries and 125 between militias-guerrillas, separatist groups and anarchic groups involved)
    Hot Spots: Afghanistan (war against islamist militants), Burma-Myanmar (war against rebel groups), Pakistan (war against islamist militants), Philippines (war against islamist militants)

    EUROPE: (8 Countries and 68 between militias-guerrillas, separatist groups and anarchic groups involved)
    Hot Spots: Chechnya (war against islamist militants), Dagestan (war against islamist militants), Ukraine (in Crimea russian people are forming Popular Brigades against new Government created on February 23 2014. Russian troops enter in Crimea and Ukraine on March 1 2014.)

    MIDDLE EAST: (8 Countries and 167 between militias-guerrillas, separatist groups and anarchic groups involved)
    Hot Spots: Iraq (war against islamist militants), Israel (war against islamist militants), Syria (civil war),

    AMERICAS: (5 Countries and 25 between drug cartels, militias-guerrillas, separatist groups and anarchic groups involved) Hot Spots: Colombia (war against rebel groups), Mexico (war against narcotraffic groups)

    Numerous regions and autonomous provinces throughout the world are struggling for independence.

    http://www.warsintheworld.com/?page=static125825422
  • Mar 27 2014: Take any conflict from personal to global, dig deep enough to see the bottom and here you'll see a scared EGO, nothing more.
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      Mar 26 2014: Carolyn, let us dream for the day when the average person learns about the fabrications ... nationalism, ethnic groupings, ... will be a thing of the past.

      The Dream Keeper by Langston Hughes

      Bring me all of your dreams,
      You dreamer,
      Bring me all your
      Heart melodies
      That I may wrap them
      In a blue cloud-cloth
      Away from the too-rough fingers
      Of the world.

      James Mercer Langston Hughes was an American poet, social activist, novelist, playwright, and columnist. He was one of the earliest innovators of the then-new literary art form called jazz poetry. Wikipedia
  • Mar 26 2014: "People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite."
    http://en.m.wikiquote.org/wiki/Nelson_Mandela
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    Mar 24 2014: tky Rodrigo I have shared on my fb wall to all my friends and followers. have a nice week I will keep an eye on your topics to comment.
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    Mar 24 2014: Rodrigo thank you for your reply. Hope is the last Pandora left in the box or jar where Zeus has kept all the evil, so Hope is always there to give us strengh and to remember the best is always head of us, even the times are dark and hard, the best is still there of us. Then we must believe someday peace will happen, not for us but for the future generations for them :) !!!!!
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      Mar 24 2014: Thank you, Claudia.

      An Irish Blessing:

      May love and laughter light your days,
      and warm your heart and home.
      May good and faithful friends be yours,
      wherever you may roam.
      May peace and plenty bless your world
      with joy that long endures.
      May all life's passing seasons
      bring the best to you and yours!
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    Mar 23 2014: Conflict, tensions and wars are a distraction from what it is to be real without threat of elimination if being human is right for more people than being human is wrong…when is a humans right not right? Before during or after the war and how is anyone ever going to make things right to the satisfaction of all natural unions in all particular nations, should, all nations see humanity as one being, is our idea of species, fit for purpose in the current age and throughout the historical administration of right to the satisfaction of all lives concerned…if humans are moral creatures, misguide by the polluting waters and graves of the dead, ritual scars in the patterns of age…is all knowledge good for us and by us do we mean the US or the international universal US and if the universal warrior of time and space does not evolve Groundhog day continues, war is in our blood, but, it doesn’t belong there and it doesn't have to be eternally internalized?
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    Mar 23 2014: L00k into my eyes, not around the eyes, look into my eyes, you’re under!

    I think we should all swallow some kind of universal friendly chill-pill and wake-up! from the nightmare in this condition, unfolding as we breath, does anyone share a concern for where in the ‘fracking hell’ it’s all going when mercenary elites (with no respect for life) control the machines that enslave us and your friendly just ‘ice’ system is the elites pet whore and their right to compete, dick Tate the meaning of growth in the glow ball mark eat plaice experimentation's in all ways to kill, but, kill what! in anyone’s name should they be competing to kill, each other! ground hog day, hello, why is this wrong, we need to change direction as a collective to succeed, where, countless other generations before us in the ancestral chain, have failed, everyone as a right to survive the fragility in equilibrium it is to be human in the natural place they occupy in this space through the common and unique time shared as transient ancestral members of our common and natural condition.

    A human possess a chamber of innate knowledge flowing like a tentacle in the history of our human space as a natural collective unconscious chamber of reality in time as 7.2 billion tentacles feel for the answers in the rear chamber of this ride, but, our rear view peripheral perception is locked into the loop working with the reality confronting the forward chamber, hence, blind in two directions the human being is, blind and stupid.

    Pee is peace; if all pee is a reflection of the pure geometry in the temporal fluid dynamics of the humans minds right full lifespan, their unique knowledge contained within the complete chamber of time, through the tangible non-physical fluid geometry in the common connection to this physical reality of now! I’m sharing with you from the comfort of my personal bog!
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    Mar 23 2014: If you are a Bible believer, it says there will always be wars. Christ even said: 'I came to bring a sword not peace.' 'History repeats itself.' is also obvious isn't it?
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      Mar 23 2014: Poch, there is no book that explains a wider range of issues than the Bible. Certain passages in the Bible explains nature such as light, energy, matter, and quantum mechanics; some passages explain human nature such as love and indifferrence, generosity and greed, humility and arrogance; some passages explain strength and weakness, peace and war, good and evil ...The Bible explains the beginning and the end of time and in between are times of peace and prosperity and war, calamities, and tragedies. In the end, the Bible gives us hope and resurrection!

      Wish you peace and prosperity, my friend ...
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        Mar 23 2014: Well, I'm just glad you're not an anti-Christ who would rant about the Bible being just a hoax. Whenever I mention religion I expect that Rodrigo:-)
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          Mar 23 2014: Poch, in my quest for knowledge and understanding of our limited human existence and the more I learn about the science of man and nature, the more I realize the validity of ancient traditions and wisdom.

          Keep reaching out ...best wishes my friend!
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        Mar 24 2014: And only the wise realize or see the validity of ancient traditions and wisdom Rodrigo mi amigo.
  • Mar 22 2014: RPF,

    Men need sex. Women need babies. It is boring at the top of the food chain. Women keep themselves occupied by raising children. Men don't. Rivalry is a symptom of boredom,

    RCP
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      Mar 22 2014: Rodrigo, what a nice name. You are certainly thinking. Keep honing your skills ... and at some point you'll get there.
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    Mar 21 2014: "As a writer I know that conflicts are important in order for a story to be engaging. Humanity is a story; and there are billions of it under the sun." Feisayo Anjorin

    "Yes, because humans are innately very cooperative. You can't have a war without two large groups of people, each intensely cooperating within itself." Bryan Maloney

    "Profit became a non-issue to the Nazi government, so long as there was production to be used for conquest and destruction of other "races". Bryan Maloney

    "One promotes a god for justification, the other claims godhood. One a theistic mandate, the other a secular mandate based upon an omnipotent control, both godlike, neither Atheistic." Charles Hunsinger

    "Human beings are the worst form of animals , who are afraid to go to hell but build hell on earth in the hope that they will get heaven after death." :-) :-)

    "The whole fight in this world is for Stomach and Sex." :-) :-)

    "Wars are literally becoming less deadly, people complain about the length of the war on terror but I think if the cost of having less deaths is having longer wars I say let’s have 1,000 year wars with zero deaths." Don Anderson

    After synthesizing the statements above, Abraham Maslow comes to mind:
    Maslow's hierarchy of needs is a theory in psychology proposed by Abraham Maslow in his 1943 paper "A Theory of Human Motivation" in Psychological Review.[2] Maslow subsequently extended the idea to include his observations of humans' innate curiosity. His theories parallel many other theories of human developmental psychology, some of which focus on describing the stages of growth in humans. Maslow used the terms Physiological, Safety, Belongingness and Love, Esteem, Self-Actualization and Self-Transcendence needs to describe the pattern that human motivations generally move through.
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  • Mar 20 2014: It is boring at the top of the food chain. We can avoid war by being aware that it is a symptom of boredom.
    • Mar 20 2014: Rodrigo
      If you are addressing me, can you be more specific. Arguements are lost when ambiguities are used.
      • Mar 20 2014: I was addressing The Question: "Are tensions, conflicts, and wars permanent part of the human condition? How can we avoid wars or mitigate the ravages of war?"
    • Mar 21 2014: The whole fight in this world is for Stomach and Sex.
      • Mar 21 2014: We collaborate for food and sex.
      • Mar 21 2014: Lets translate that to

        Strategic
        Pleasure

        Strategic -> put risks down before it put you down
        Strategic -> fight for survival
        Strategic -> fight for resources (food included)

        Pleasure includes also the simple pleasure of fight and others twisted pleasures that pops out in wars

        There is people that fight for nothing, they search for a motive
        I include this in Pleasure

        There is also the EGO that fuels much fights
        I include this in Pleasure as well

        And there is the ideological and religious fight
        I think this is EGO related
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    Mar 19 2014: Wars are literally becoming less deadly, people complain about the length of the war on terror but I think if the cost of having less deaths is having longer wars I say let’s have 1,000 year wars with zero deaths.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_military_casualties_of_war

    With the highly notable exception being the Syrian Civil wars; in which the US and the United Nations has been criminally absent from.
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    Mar 19 2014: I would like to correct the first sentence of the supporting paragraph. It should read: There have been conflicts and wars throughout human history.

    Sorry for the oversight.