2006/03/05

Pax Bonobo

When people say war is inevitable, they often point to aspects of the natural world to bolster their argument that violence and war is a genetic tendency. They decry the futility of going against our instincts of rage and domination. They liken the evolutionary path of humans to a primal plane where domination and violent conquest reign supreme. But what if evidence suggested that people have in fact evolved to acquire skills for peace and cooperation, versus war and domination for the acquisition of resources? How might that change the way we look at our prospects for peace? Perhaps our language, emotional expressions, complex interactions, and cognitive apparatus can be considered in the context of the PEACEFUL human, versus the warmongering? When researchers study 'ape' behaviors, they point to some of the uglier traits and draw parallels to humans. But they rarely mention the group known as the bonobo, who are just as similar to humans genetically and yet do NOT possess these chronically violent tendencies. What might we learn from that? When we make jokes about our smirking chimp preznit, we might take pause and consider the idea that perhaps the individual that takes a myopic view of problem solving, a limited view of diplomacy- is simply exhibiting traits of a less evolved gene pool? Might we be observing a person who does not have the ability to identify multiple approaches, who can only view problems from a more 'primitive' type of intellect? Peacethought is more advanced than violence, it takes little imagination to hatch a plan where you take what you want from another by force. And it takes an absence of conscience to rationalize this as the only way. We have to consider that we have advanced thinking for a reason...WELCOME BACK KVATCH. Thanks for letting me use your digs.

10 Comments:

"exhibiting traits of a less evolved gene pool"

Yes, and warmongering is like the big gorilla pounding his chest?

I enjoyed your post.
I don't think there's much quesiton that Bush was left out of one or two lines of evolution. But what I find discouraging is that we elected this guy twice.

Kvatch, I second Lily's remarks. Welcome back, and thanks for the use of the hall - I mean, pond It was nice to have lots of folks to talk to.
And by the way, "quesiton" is the way the evolution-challenged like myself spell "question."
Most people, when forced to, have the capacity for rational thought. Unfortunately, most of them never exercize this willfully and only use it when they need to find the clicker.
That's right..WE have advanced thinking. The muslim world does not..that's why we still have to use military might to protect ourselves from people who would kill you over a cartoon or who would crash airliners into a building YOU are sitting in thinking you will be taking your child to the park when you get home.
That's right..WE have advanced thinking. The muslim world does not..that's why we still have to use military might to protect ourselves from people who would kill you over a cartoon...

Well then, perhaps we might try actually using that might to protect the United States, rather than to satisfy personal vendettas; Try--unsucessfully so far--to stabilize an oil producing region; Or to move around the TSA/Coast Guard/BATF/Border Patrol deck chairs on the Titanic of Homeland Security.

Pull the head my cowardly friend. This administration has no interest in keeping us safer. That is a means to an end, and a fictional means at that. Consolidating executive power is the only end Bu$hCo is interested in.
OK can somebody tell me why people that say racist or ethnocentric remarks do so anonymously? By all means, express your hatemongering but at least stand by it. We may not like the way certain people blame apples for the existence of oranges but such remarks are not about dialogue, they are simply about prompting a little liberal catfighting. I suggest we not give it you. Contribute like an adult instead of confirming that evolution has been selectively generous with the doling of mental faculties.

This ironically does sort of confirm the idea though, does it not?
That's all fine..but what do you have to say about the thousands of Muslims who are calling for the execution of the man who drew the cartoons? Do you really think these are rational people? or what about the fact that they kill you if you are discovered to be homosexual? can you explain this?
What facts do you have to back up the statement that the Iraq war is happening because of a personal vendetta? I'm sure you will probably refer to your Mike Moore videos to answer that question but remember that he owns stock in Haliburton before you do, okay?
I'm sure you also think that Mr. limousine liberal Kerry would have done a better job. Maybe..maybe not.
i don't have a website but you're welcome to have my first name..and I do stand by what i say.
I don't think it serves anyone's purposes to make assumptions about where we get information, or who we voted for. I also don't think it serves anyone's purposes to take the actions of one group of people and apply it to everyone related to that group by a common element. That thinking is an intellectually lazy form of shorthand that really ensures a conversation cannot be had. If one person in a church was a pedophile, would you claim that all Christians are too? Of course not!!! This kind of logic is just impossible to address seriously and that is why it is a waste of time to try other than to point out that you cannot support a position based on an unsupported conclusion. You cannot take an example of what SOME people do and blame ALL people for those acts.

To get into the same old passe script about liberal Kerry and liberal Moore and talking points of Fox- is a behavior better reserved for the idiot demographic. They do not support what you contend. You are making huge generalizations which by their nature, defy support.

Thanks for sharing though.
That's all fine..but what do you have to say about the thousands of Muslims who are calling for the execution of the man who drew the cartoons? Do you really think these are rational people?

Hmmm, thousands? Oh let's be generous and say 10's of thousands. That would be about 1/1000 of 1 percent of the 1B Muslims in the world...bout the same percentage as Christians who were inclined to burn their bretheren at the stake for heresy. So I'd say that stereotyping based on such a small percentage of the population is foolish.

What facts do you have to back up the statement that the Iraq war is happening because of a personal vendetta? I'm sure you will probably refer to your Mike Moore videos...

Cleaning up what the neocon's referred to "Bush Sr.'s failure" was the premise put forward by Richard Perle to blunt Brent Scowcroft's criticism of the war. The fact that the neocons were discussing it prior to 9/11 and that Bush undertook it makes it a vendetta.

As for M. Moore...don't bother to put words in my mouth when you can't find them in my writing. That's the low rhetorical trick of a conservative who lacks the facts, and you wouldn't want to be that person, would you Ray?

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