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Do you believe that world peace is possible?

If yes, do you think, this will ever be attained? What would have to be changed in order to attain it?
If no, why not? What human trait makes this impossible?

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    Nov 25 2011: QUOTE: "Do you believe that world peace is possible?"

    This is really an anthropocentric question.

    Do we really think that "the world" experiences peace or lack thereof?

    The world is what it is. Animals eat one another alive. The earth "moves" and wipes out ecosystems. It spews fire and eradicates life and creates new life. It is bombarded by debris from space, freezes, thaws, and refreezes again.

    Is any of this peaceful?

    Enter homo sapiens and we ask, "Is world peace possible?," when what we probably mean is: Is it possible for us to experience peace in the world.

    It depends.

    What do we focus on for our "security?" The earth? Our intellect? Our body? God? What?

    Can we, as individuals, experience peace?

    Yes, of course.

    [The world has often been in turmoil and many have reported experiencing peace regardless. Think Christ, Buddha, Gandhi, Mandela, someone you know.]

    Will enough of us experience peace so that, collectively, we stop killing one another?

    It's possible. But not likely.

    What do you think?
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    Nov 26 2011: Hello Joy,
    Yes, I believe that world peace is possible, and it needs to start in the hearts and minds of all of us. What would have to change is the idea that someone else will create peace...that someone else has control of peace...and waiting for peace to happen without our contribution. Each and every one of us can take a step toward peace in every moment, and the energy that is built by working together could be quite astounding! :>)

    The person who says it cannot be done, should not interrupt the person doing it"
    (Chinese Proverb)

    There are many people working toward peace in our world...let's join the effort, rather than question if it is possible. With enough energy toward this goal, anything is possible:>)
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    Nov 25 2011: Co-existence or no existence. Either we realize we all live on this garden planet together or we divide and fail. Evidence shows failure in increasing measure. Too bad we think we're smart but not smart enough not to foul our collective nests or find ways to live in Peace.
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    Dec 2 2011: I agree with T. Jones below that as individuals we can obtain peace. Obtaining world peace.....as in no wars, and everyone getting along as a united brotherhood of mankind......well....let's see: are there any group of people worldwide today who can show us that this is possible. Is there a group out there whose members have put down their swords and turned them into farming equipment? Maybe even willing to go to prison instead of bearing arms against their fellow man. Have people living in different countries, speaking different languages, and having different backgrounds come together already to prove that it can be done? If they exist, who are they? What brought them together? And more importantly, do they try to get others to join them by actively trying to share their secret to a peaceful way of life with others? Anybody know of any such group?
  • Nov 27 2011: Spiritual "world peace" is possible; physical "world peace" is impossible in the near term. We have more currency chasing limited commodities. The ultimate result we already seeing; ethanol production drives up prices for basic staples like corn. The third world is jumping at a great into a first world economy; look at the growth of India and China and the stresses they place on commodities.

    We have devastated fisheries everywhere, maxxed out hydrocarbon extraction that, ultimately, will lead to discord as to who gets the limited resources. This will lead to inevitable conflicts over natural resources. Look at how we are pushing back with respect to China and their consumption of natural resources in the Pacifc.

    America is the envy of the world. How did we get to this much vaunted status? Be being the consumers of the greatest amount of natural resources the world has ever seen. How can peace occur when physical needs trump spiritual needs? For "spritual" world peace to occur you first must deal with a society's physical needs. Limited commodities will yield unlimited opportunity for war.
  • Nov 26 2011: World peace is not well reflected in our human history. As we spread around the world differences among separate geographical settlements who bonded and stayed together as tribes, etc., were accentuated over time. These groups develop their own identities fostering their own interest and beliefs. Fights over and about things from territory to religion have a long history. It's a big problem to resolve. Taking a stand or even war can be the right thing to do, if you value certain ideas, liberties, security, etc., high enough.

    The world population continues to grow significantly straining world peace noted above and more. Natural ecosystems have been altered by this expanding human demand on resources and by our uniquely human ability to dramatically modify the environment to accommodate our wants and needs. Does world peace also mean we must protect other other species from our activities? I think so. There are many good documentaries on this topic, and a number of TED talks.

    Joy Schuurmans, hopefully you, or others like you connecting and engaging via TED will transform the human spirit and bring about a MORE peaceful and harmonious world. No task could be more daunting, or more idealist than this one.
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    Nov 26 2011: Humans and peace...... two parallel lines which can meet only at infinity.......
  • Nov 26 2011: Me wonders why people even respond to this question.

    I am assuming (a bad thing to do) that most are here to find encouragement, perhaps something uplifting, energizing, that might renew their thinking along the lines of willingness, creativity, imagining or even open their closed minds to view the world and possibilities in real, extraordinary ways that they had closed themselves off to. OR, to offer something along those lines themselves.

    But, what does your question get? NO! It's not possible and here are the blah, blah, blah, blah reasons why.

    Absurd and this from adults. OF COURSE WORLD PEACE IS POSSIBLE!!!!

    We need to change the world. WE KNOW THIS! We have to change the world for our own and others' survival, but don't bring up ideas that actually ask us to think seriously about accomplishing those goals. We are here on Ted.com to mind-f_ck ourselves. Please don't toss water on our neuroses!

    More than anything, this part of Ted.com will reveal just how "not different" people are able to think, envision and how dishonest they are to themselves and if they have children, then how dishonest they have to be to their children in not telling them just what is really going to befall them because they don't think better is possible.

    If you don't think it is possible then don't get out of the way, because it isn't! And then it can roll right on over you.
    If you think it is possible then it is and then one can think, behave and do in the ways and means to get themselves and others there.

    What is left to wonder, is what kind of world peace? One world government, which I abhor and know we don't need? In fact, we don't need government at all. We have to be the new problem solvers because those who currently hold those positions, aren't solving our problems. They are the creators of our problems so we have to get rid of them.

    "In order to rule massive amounts of people, government will use massive amounts of authority."
    R. Buckminister Fuller
    We must stop it.
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      Nov 26 2011: Random, may I remind you that the world is at peace and always was, only most people aren't.

      See the world as a stage on which humanity play their piece.
      What boring piece would that be if they're all content and without questions.

      The dynamic of different endeavors and interests in sometimes opposite directions drives the continual change to a common center in a fragile equilibrium. This creative process generates development, it brings life on an ever higher level in the game.

      And I admit that without specs of concentrated power this play would move much quicker with much more satisfaction for all participants and without excessive horrors that we call war.

      For peace: If everyone started to mind its own business we would halfway be there for on the other half we have to care for everyone we meet the way we care for ourselves.
      • Nov 28 2011: Yes you are right. I know the reflection is ultimately of myself. Finding peace starts within and is lived without but I do not want to give up on the idea for those who will live long after I die so that they can envision and make a better world for themselves rather than just rely on the false concept of hope, or despair of any good coming about.
        That is difficult to see, I admit and being honest about it is surely different than pessimism or optimism. We must be real.
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          Nov 28 2011: "We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop"
          (Mother Theresa)
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      Dec 2 2011: Hi Random,

      You say, "They are the creators of our problems so we have to get rid of them."

      "They" create the problems. And "we" have to get rid of "them."

      And then what happens?

      We become the "they" for the next group of disgruntled people who believe that "they" have an impact on whether we (as individuals) experience peace or not?

      I don't think it will work that way. You might not agree with me.

      But as long as we adopt the position that circumstance control our experience, and that others control circumstance, we will attempt to manipulate circumstance, and those who also manipulate circumstance, in an attempt to get what we want (an experience.)

      When circumstance is "just right" we will be happy, at peace, or __ [fill in the blank.]

      We have a tendency to externalize what can only be accomplished internally. Namely, experiencing.

      Forget about "peace" - any experience - happiness, sadness, joy, sorrow, etc - can only be experienced by an individual.

      If we are not experiencing those things, or if we are, it is quite easy for us to assume we are experiencing them BECAUSE of what someone else has done or not done.

      That is the very definition of disempowerment - having "my" experience dictated by "another."

      And only I can disempower myself ... only I can say, "'You' control 'my' experience."

      All of those people whom we have elevated to the realms of the truly great have told us this is not so. They have told us we are responsible for our own experience (not necessarily our circumstance!)

      I am responsible for my experience.

      You are responsible for yours.

      If you are experiencing peace (or joy) I would assume you would offer me assistance if I was not. If you saw it was possible for me to "do what you do" I assume you would help.

      Now if you are not experiencing peace (or joy) you cannot really help in that regard, can you?

      But if you are, I assume you might offer to help.

      I might accept what you offer. I might not.

      It is always a personal choice
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      Dec 2 2011: Hmmmm ... that's kind of weird. When I first read your comment, Random, it was all by itself with no replies under it. Now, I see Frans and Colleen have already replied to you. I'm not quite sure how that happened.
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    Nov 25 2011: No Joy, it isn't possible in the foreseeable future.

    To change this, people need to live in peace and not out of fear.

    With the current population competing for resources and widespread confusion about what life is all about this can’t be.

    The only way to learn and get beyond this situation, contrast of love and lack of it is showing the way to recognize and incorporate love to become whole again and at peace with the world.
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    Nov 25 2011: The real question should be, do you believe that humans can agree on important matters, disarm themselves, trust each other, overcome greed, do everything with the best intentions, etc? If not, world peace can never truely be mantained. If so, the world will be a better place.
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    Nov 24 2011: NO. Humans like all other animals fight to defeat strains and stresses. Even in the abundant 21rst century people fight like they did in the primeval times. And if there is peace then population will increase until there is war again. If there is peace then wealth will be fought over until there is war again. People are never content with peace, they demand more and more until there is no more. then they fight over something else. Like a fire doomed to be extinguished by its own desire for oxygen and flammable roots.
  • Nov 24 2011: Yes. In order to attain world peace I believe we will need one world government. Also improvements in science that allow people everywhere to have a higher standard of living. Our growing population may stop world peace however if we don't find a way to slow it down/stop it.
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    Nov 24 2011: I thinks it's possible. I'm dazzled by what's already been done that keeps us from killing each other, don't get me wrong. But I still can't see any reason why it's not going to happen.