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Is it possible to achieve everlasting world peace?

Throughout recorded human history there have been numerous conflicts among countries and different groups of people. There have also been times of peace that have not lasted for long times.

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    Apr 29 2014: War vs. Peace, Prosperity vs. Scarcity, Education vs. Ignorance, Beauty vs. Ugliness, Order vs. Chaos - all these are the Yin vs. Yang of the human condition.

    For as long as we are humans, everlasting peace is just a dream.
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  • Apr 4 2014: Yes absolutely. Simply get rid of the 5 evils:- Religion, language, politics, race and culture.
  • May 1 2014: So everlasting world peace is still a possibility?
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    • Apr 21 2014: How many? What is the critical mass of humanity with peace in their hearts to achieve everlasting world peace? 51%?
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    Apr 19 2014: In principal it is possible in practice, however, you'll have to ask yourself what are the causes for conflicts (small and large) and then you will have to ask yourself if and how you can get rid of them.
  • Apr 17 2014: Why so much stress is given on peace , Is she so much beautiful ? Why do we need a Pin Drop Silence ?

    Why not try Harmony ? If peace has not worked throughout history then why not try Harmony ?

    Why are we afraid of Harmony ?
    • May 1 2014: Peace is better than war and conflict. But that is just my opinion.

      Could "harmony" eventually lead to peace?
  • Apr 14 2014: Just give it a thousand years..

    How likely is it that one of the states in the United States will attack another??

    If there is a strong enough leadership, world-wide, everything will be fine. Seems to me that the situation now already is way better than it used to be even 500 years ago.

    There will always be difference in priorities and opinions, but when it is realized that the rest of the world can close their banking system, wars will not be that likely. I hope.
    • Apr 15 2014: A thousand years is a long time.

      What can we do to achieve peace during our lifetimes?
      • Apr 16 2014: Improve and strengthen a world-wide government. But since we as citizens have no control over that, it will be more a matter of improvement of human nature.
        Which puts us back to a thousand years..
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    Apr 12 2014: No. Human everlasting peace is not possible. World peace is a pipe dream and those who wish for it - however good and well meaning they may be - they are not living in reality. They often are the same people who are against contraception and abortion and so are living a double fantasy.

    World peace only holds when all people have enough room to grow and enough food to feed their ever growing numbers. As soon as resources get low, poverty, disease, fear, exploitation, conflict and eventually major wars break out.
  • Apr 11 2014: Human history can be defined as a record of wars/conflicts and fragile peace
    in between.
    Everlasting world peace means no history, no boundaries: religious , national, political , cultural ... all boundaries should disappear in the mind of each of us. Can we celebrate diversity within our oneness instead of fighting ' the other ' out of fear ?
    If we can't , we won't survive and why should we ?
  • Apr 10 2014: World peace is a great idea. Will there be a moment in which the world will not have a conflict going on? maybe a millionth of a second. As long as people want more, want to improve our lives, and continue to further populate the world, there will be conflict. it's sad but true.
    • Apr 10 2014: Are you suggesting that everyone should renounce materialism and live an austere life?
      • Apr 11 2014: I think every one should go forth and try to fulfill their grandest of dreams. Eventually the world will be so interconnected that the issues people have with diversity will cease to be. Problems always seem to arise though and continue to do so. As the population keeps growing you have to worry about natural resources, space for people to live without encroaching on farm land, and so on.

        Those are more large scale issues, if you are talking on a smaller scope it becomes easier. You could have an argument here and there, but an issue comes up and it could split the people. Not everyone is going to have the same beliefs and thus we won't all agree, but there are fewer people so the conflict will be less likely to amount to anything past words.
  • Apr 7 2014: If you go back to the ten of thousands of years of hunter-gatherer societies, you will find more information about societies that lived in peace until land-owning (wealth-loving) societies encroached on their territory, destroying the balance of nature they needed for survival.

    In fact, you need look no further than the American Iroquois Confederation of Nations that was established 70 years before the Magna Carta. Up until the white man came, decimating nature and their earth-loving worldview, there was not a single war among the participating nations. Longest in history. They were an egalitarian culture. They did not use money, so they had no poverty, no tax collectors, no prisons or jails, no police, no lawyers, no court systems, no expensive fancy buildings where the privileged preen themselves on the altar of money, power, and status.

    They had democracy by concensus. All adults had a vote and every vote counted. A minority of one could defend a position for as long as he believed in it. We have been taught to think of these amazing people as ignorant and uneducated, but nothing could be further from the truth. If we hadn't exterminated their cultures, there was a LOT we could have learned from them about how to live in peace.

    I happen to think that peace is on its way. The enlightening is happening. It can't be stopped.
    • Apr 9 2014: I agree with what you said about societies of the past.

      I certainly hope "that peace is on its way," but I am not sure f it will happen in my lifetime, or if it will happen only after a huge war destroys societies that exist today.
  • Apr 6 2014: In a perfect world yes
  • Apr 6 2014: No there will always be war and there will always be peace in the world
  • Apr 5 2014: More importantly we need to change the way we do business and govern: accountable, reliable, responsible, transparent, fair and proactive.
  • Apr 4 2014: On the contrary, it is precisely those 5 evils which have made us become worse than "beasts living in caves."
  • Apr 4 2014: Aha the classic defeatist argument - we are all bad and need to be "kicked" in order to get things done. Are you like that? Some of us do have that " level of Nobility" and want to undo the damage and brainwashing your kind of thinking does(to the masses) ...mental enslavement. If everything works well we won't seek improvements but rather we will ALL fall asleep ... seriously! are you like that? Is that your basic human nature? Well its definitely not mine. All the so called technological advantages are worthless and ill-begotten when only enjoyed by a mere fraction of mankind - the greater part of mankind suffers and pays the price of not having basic needs met eg. young girl having to walk many in order to fetch water. People starve while others(like yourself???) arrogantly eat cake and justify themselves with statements like - "I worked(hard) for it" and "Those that are starving are too lazy to work and therefore deserve their lot" Communism has not succeeded(yet) because of people of your kind of thinking. Some of us don't need to have our backs to the wall to achieve great and greater things - we do it(unselfishly) because it's the right thing to do! Reflect profoundly on my last two points.
    • Apr 11 2014: Do you see all the Hate in your response? Sounds like you are ready to start a War because I think 'wrongly.' It was so full of vitrol against your interpetation of my words that you are ready to label me as a priveledged slavemaster. I think it proves my point that without a homegenous society there will always be those who will violently oppose other philosophies. And that opposition destroys Peace, until a victor emerges.

      You may even be right, and my kind of thinking needs to be purged from Humanity to create a Perfect World. I'm sorry if I won't go quietly, however. So what are your options? War.

      'Good. I can feel your anger. I am defenseless! Take your weapon! Strike me down with all of your hatred, and your journey towards the Dark Side will be complete!!' - Emperor Palpatine
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    Apr 4 2014: i doubt there will ever be perfect world peace. But I would think that with time and practice, humans will get better at creating peace. However, I would think there will always be some conflict because humans are all different, with different needs and wants, and different ideas and expectations on how life should be run.
    • Apr 5 2014: I agree but I also hope that we can find ways to attain long lasting world peace.
  • Apr 4 2014: Yes it can be achieved only if we become more logical leaving behind our past differences(may be should become like Vulcans in star trek) .
    • Apr 5 2014: I think human beings use logic to wage war. If some other country poses a threat then they logically assume that the threat has to be neutralized. War is the outcome if diplomatic efforts fail, as they often do.
      • Apr 5 2014: War is not driven just by logic but by hatred .It is the hatred that makes some to be seen as threat .To hate without a reason just because of past might not be logical. So this in turn means that removing hatred is the only way to stop war. Even though there other solutions to remove hatred they might not last long. It is the imbalance in the society that drives our society and technology but it is ironic that this imbalance causes hatred. If the society was homogeneous and the society was idle then we may not see the need to invent and develop.Thus this imbalance becomes vital for society.But to achieve world peace for the given problem logic becomes necessary.
        • Apr 5 2014: It is the threat, fear, that becomes hatred. Not "...hatred that makes some to be seen as threat." And "...solutions to remove hatred..." MIGHT last long.
      • Apr 5 2014: Diplomatic efforts don't often fail.
        • Apr 10 2014: Can you give me some examples of diplomatic efforts that have been successful and have resulted in long-term peace?
      • Apr 10 2014: All embassies and consulates are examples of diplomatic efforts that have been successful and have resulted in long-term peace.
  • Apr 4 2014: World peace is possible. If we realise that we are still in a state of evolution, we can ask the question; "Where did we come from and where are we going? We have evolved from single celled ameobe to the individuals we each are. each of us are a community of sixty thousand billion cells, cells are like humans, they take in nutrients, do work and give off waste. Groups of cells come together to make our eyes, heart, brain, blood, skin, hair etc. You get the idea. Cells are normally very social and well behaved. They will stop growing and dividing when they come into contact with another cell. cells are obedient and noble, perpetually hard-working, devoted to the health and survival of the organism they form. Are we not like cells in the body of society?
    Since we have come this far in our evolution, is it not logical to emulate what has already occurred? There is an innate wisdom within all existence that is continually seeking impvovement.
    • Apr 5 2014: Even if we are like cells within our bodies, there is constant war going on inside our bodies. Our immune system is killing things that try to infect our bodies and make us sick or kill us.
  • Apr 3 2014: It is neither possible nor desirable.

    It is not possible because the only way to achieve it is for everyone on Earth to have the same goals, upbringing, religion, culture, wealth, etc. Without homegenous humans there will always be someone who wishes to change the existing order, which they will attempt with every tool available. That means everything from passive resistance to global war.

    It is not desirable because such a world would be completely stagnant. Without the rewards of individual action there will be no incentive to change. Without change there is no progress. Living in such a world would make all humans into sheep.

    The closest humans will ever get to world peace would be if one group completely dominates to the extent that serious challenges to their power cannot happen. You better hope for a beneveloent overlord if that happens. Getting a family of tyrants like North Korea has suffered through certainly stops wars, but war would be a kindness compared to the Hell the North Korean people live every day.

    At this point, the best hope for World Peace is a toss-up between an Alien Invasion and Sentient Machines deciding to take over.

    "Except for Ending Slavery, Fascism, Nazism and Communism, War Never Solved Anything"
    • Apr 4 2014: Why would you say that? Don't YOU want us all to concentrate on our humanity and champion fair play and justice. How would that stagnate us and turn us into sheep??? On the contrary we would cooperate better and be inspired to find solutions to the worlds evils- slavery, poverty, exploitation, etc.
      • Apr 4 2014: I believe that when people are Happy they stagnate. In order to evolve our society we need those who are Unhappy. Mankind does its best work when threatened. If the world had only produced Ghandis and Christs throughout history we would be much less developed. Humanity needs the Hitlers and Stalins just as much, if not more. Adverseries give impetus to improve, much more than an idyllic land does. 'Necessity is the Mother of Invention'

        That said, of course I hope the overall trend is towards improving 'our humanity and champion fair play and justice', as you stated. Please realize that those are group goals, not individual goals, and it is the individuals that actually make things happen. For example, Communism is a very fine theory on paper - but it fails miserably when actually attempted. It fails because it removes all incentinve for individual effort. It fails because treating everyone equally means there is no advantage in working harder, taking risks or improving. It fails because it goes agains basic human nature.

        You seem to thing that ALL of mankind would devote themselves to 'Star Trek' values. As much as I admire the show, that level of nobility is beyond Man. Worth striving for, but never reachable. As another example, people now have many times the computing power that ALL of NASA had when it went to the Moon in the smartphone in the palm of their hand... and they use it to play Angry Birds.

        Look at my last line of my post. Look at the last line of yours. Which is the better method to defeat Hitler? Martin Luther King could not have made a difference if Sherman's march to the sea had not happened first. American would not have been founded if it were not for abuses in the Church, England's brutal colonial empire and the evils of Capitalism. We would never have left the trees if there was unlimited food and no predators.
    • Apr 11 2014: You say :
      "The closest humans will ever get to world peace would be if ONE GROUP COMPLETELY DOMINATES to the extent that serious challenges to their power cannot happen."
      WAW !!!
      Are you sure wars ended "Slavery, Fascism, Nazism..." ?
      Read your own words again, if it is not a working definition for Slavery, Fascism, Nazism, i don't know what it is !
      • Apr 11 2014: Sorry, that was the Programmer in me talking. You asked how to do something and I told you how. Obviously thats not a GOOD solution, but its the only way I see to make it work.

        At the end of WWII, the US completely dominated the world. We were the only one with the Bomb, had a strong military in the field and ready, and had the only infrastructure in the world that was untouched by war. With another year of fighting we could have defeated Stalin and conquered the world. Patton wanted to do it.

        After WWII our military dominance continued, abeit weakened each year as others got the Bomb, yet MAD kept us from another world war. Its now been 70 years without a major conflict. Thats the kind of 'One Group Completely Dominates' scenario I envision: A benevolent dictator. Its not what I would HOPE for, but its the only one that I see WORKING.

        During that time America led the world in a relatively benign way. No mass genocide by us, promotion of Human Rights and Democracy, and promoted economic slavery instead of real slavery. Countries conquered generally stabalized and liberated. Marshall Plan for Europe, even for our previous enemies there. A Cowboy, yes, but a Cowboy with a white hat.

        America has given the world its 'peace' better than any other nation in history. Rome would be second, I suppose. But a Nazi dominance? Stalin winning? Pol Pot? Korea's Kim dynasty? War is preferable to Peace if those groups dominate. Even America's White Hat has gotten a bit dirty. Hence why I don't think that World Peace is a desireable goal.
        • Apr 12 2014: Bomb for Peace, "benevolent dictator"... Don't you experience a cognitive dissonance ? I do.
          " Bombing for peace is like fucking for virginity "
          Sorry for the quote, i would never use it here, if not i heard it here in TED's talk :)
          And, please don't forget that you can't enter the same river twice !
          What arguably worked for the XX th century doesn't work for the XXI.
          The term ' superpower' in geopolitical sense came into existence in 1944, now with a nuclear bomb at every backyard, it makes no sense.
          So....?
          Would you agree that we should elaborate more mature, humanly acceptable way to live in peace ?

          Thanks for responding !
  • Apr 3 2014: M.O

    "When government fears the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny." T. Jefferson
    This quote by Jefferson is probably a good start. I think it is true that people do not wage war, governments do and if the people are free and prosperous war would only risk what they have. If the people are free and prosperous the government fears the people and tyranny does not exist to wage war.
    • Apr 5 2014: Free countries with prosperous people have waged war and some are still waging war - or at least just are just starting to pull their troops out of warzones.
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    Apr 3 2014: .
    Yes, if we quit invalid happiness.
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    Apr 3 2014: Is it possible to achieve everlasting world peace? Perhaps in our dreams!
  • Apr 2 2014: Yes. When we get bored of war.