Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Some people argue that humans are predisposed to violence - that making war is part of our genetic makeup. It has been discovered that one of our closest evolutionary relatives, the chimpanzee (whom we share 99 % DNA with), makes war amongst rival clans in neighboring territories. However, our other closest relative is the Bonobo whom does not make war with other Bonobos (whom we also share 99% of our DNA with) and uses peaceful and non-violent means to solve confrontations with each other.

War and violence are learned behaviors. They are behaviors that are rewarded in competitive societies. But peaceful mindsets can be rewarded as well. I am not sure that humans cannot live peacefully amongst each other. In fact, I think it is necessary that I believe we can. For without the hope that war and violence can be overcome in our increasingly smaller global culture, human suffering and cruelty will continue increase and our prospects for living meaningful and mindful lives will diminish.

We cannot respond to violence with violence nor can we respond to hate with hate.