Chapter 29 ? Human Biology Introduction to Warlike Behavior Today, nearly unanimous feeling against war A few centuries ago, people viewed war as cleansing Until WWI, people still saw war as useful and exciting States benefit from war War brings out the best and worst in people Frees people from routine People fought in WWII to escape the monotony of life Uniting and cooperation brings satisfaction Although we hate war as brutal and cruel, there is something seductive about it that is difficult to resist The Universality of War War a lot more common than peace Capacity for peaceful coexistence because there are people who try to prevent war through religions or pax Romana Books and films dealing with war common during periods of peace Peace is a misnomer Some perceive man to be an essentially rational creature who is prone to aggression, cruelty, and warfare solely as a response to intolerable circumstances Optimistic belief that human condition was infinitely perfectible All that was necessary to improve things was to institute necessary education reforms Others perceive man to be an irrational creature, aggressive by nature, and prone to violence unless curbed by sanctions. Men were civilized only when natural instincts quelled through fear of punishment from a sovereign power Liberal side of politics places emphasis on the blank slate of human emotions Some see man as a harmless creature made dangerous by social evils Jung believed instinctual forces dammed up by civilization made man destructive Freud conceived natural man as a thoroughly irrational creature who needed to be curbed if civilization were to survive Nietzsche saw man as a beast and was similar to Freud Freud to Einstein ?No likelihood of our being able to suppress humanity?s aggressive tendencies.? Dr. Anthony Storr: ?we are the cruelest species that has ever walked the earth? Investigation of warlike propensity underlines truth that wars to not begin in senates or military headquarters but in the minds of men Rational use of force is based on irrational substrate in human organism that makes military behavior an available resource The Neurophysiology of ?Fight? and ?Flight? Why has nature seen fit to construct humans in a way that causes them to be ferocious if it feels threatened, yet an ability to control the ferocity? What are the selective advantages of being the aggressive yet peaceful, violent yet loving creatures that we are? Biological Factors Fighting is a natural consequence of ALL animals on the planet Aggression is important to the survival of all species Aggression is responsible for spreading populations out over the habitat available to them to give them for more resources Humans have succeeded in fighting each other for control of virtually the entire planet, even the inhospitable parts May also be because of intelligence and adaptability Aggressive behavior results in the emergence of leaders within each group whose function is to ensure group cohesion Promotes differential reproduction ? the fittest, more aggressive, more dominant males have the pick of the most desirable females How did warlike propensity evolve? Cooperation improved defense form predators, but then threat came from other hominid groups competing for same vital resources Hominid bands have become parasitic, practicing violence against other groups for sustenance and other commodities. Capacity to collaborate with other humans has developed capacities to hunt and make war Species and Pseudospecies War has enabled the victor to evolve Lately with destructive power has not changed slightly, as old spoils can only be won if conflict is limited In nature, more of a fight for dominance between species, when one gives up the fight is over Between species no rules of combat Humans, however, only differentiate between their society and other societies Murder vs. killing in warfare Hostility comes from the Latin word hostis which means stranger Humans possess an inherent propensity to regard ourselves as superior and treat members of other communities as inferior Pseudospecies ? mankind, while one species, has divided itself throughout its history into various groupings that permit their members, at decisive times, to consider themselves the only truly human species and other to be less human Evolved because travel and communication was difficult when humans were spread out No biological basis for pseudospeciation, but there is a basis for propensity to pseudospeciate, distinguish between ?us? and ?them? The very existence of a male group will lead to aggressive relationship between that group and the outside environment Modern youth comes in form of street gangs As a species we have not changed much in the last 35,000 to 50,000 years No evidence that genes have evolved only culture Warfare confers selective advantages on certain peoples Biology teaches us that selection for success can prove to be self-defeating Humans do not know how to control violence and warfare Critics that modern societies warfare is the business of professional soldiers Aggression as instinctive is oversimplistic, as man?s aggression differs depending on the person.
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