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Is War Inevitable?

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March 09, 2012 01:09:51 PM
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John

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Is war inevitable? No

Will humans ever stop fighting wars, once and for all? Yes

Why or why not? Humanity will evolve to understand that war is the wrong means to an end.

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March 07, 2012 04:58:32 AM
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MW

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Hi Brian

While I would love to say 'no', and even though I am an optimist; from a human perspective complete peace is unlikely to happen. Humans are hard wired to want to dominate those who are not as strong as they are. Wars, fighting will continue but it will change in terms of how it is enacted.

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March 05, 2012 06:23:35 AM
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Steven Sagala

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Yes - some war, somewhere. Time and time again, populations ordinarily peaceful are roused to anger and violence by circumstances or peer pressure. This is true in almost all cultures.stevesagala

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March 04, 2012 07:19:21 PM
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Judy Rubin

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From The Seville Statement:The statement contains five core ideas. These ideas are:
"It is scientifically incorrect to say that we have inherited a tendency to make war from our animal ancestors."
"It is scientifically incorrect to say that war or any other violent behaviour is genetically programmed into our human nature."
"It is scientifically incorrect to say that in the course of human evolution there has been a selection for aggressive behaviour more than for other kinds of behaviour."
"It is scientifically incorrect to say that humans have a 'violent brain'."
"It is scientifically incorrect to say that war is caused by 'instinct' or any single motivation."
The statement concludes: "Just as 'wars begin in the minds of men', peace also begins in our minds. The same species who invented war is capable of inventing peace. The responsibility lies with each of us."[2]
I AGREE!

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March 03, 2012 11:53:24 PM
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Mark Yehle

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End of War--Question: Excluding our civil war, have there ever been two true democratic countries who have declared war on each other?

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March 03, 2012 01:55:14 PM
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christie whitehouse

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For up to two days, the guns of war fell silent as men who had been enemies only hours before, after defying officers, laid down their weapons to sing carols, exchange gifts, mementos, and traditions — and to bury the dead. For more inspiration, read "Christmas Truce," a Carol from Flanders by Frederick Niven (1878-1944). This poem recounts the story of the spontaneous 1914 Christmas truce
along the lines of the Western front.

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March 02, 2012 02:33:21 PM
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J.W.

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No, war is not inevitable. But also, the odds that humans will stop fighting wars, once and for all, is extraordinarily low.

"Why or why not?"

Simple: anything can happen. Peace on earth could last for a thousand years, or more, but then every next day would be a new day, with new unknowns, new opportunities, and new dangers - and that's sort of the point of being alive, if you ask me. You might have been looking for a more introspective answer, but that's the common sense one, as I see it.

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March 02, 2012 11:34:37 AM
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Claire MacElroy

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Your pledge line is busy. i'm a member of WNYC and a junkie for the Brian Lehrer show. I'm sending in a small donation in support of his show. I'm not in the New York area so I do not qualify for the prize. Just want to voice appreciation for Radio and BL in particular. From Ten-Acre Farm in Tomales, CA Please phone
the number below for credit card information.

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March 02, 2012 11:25:42 AM
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Ramaswamy

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'War is inevitable!' is the drumbeat of the chickenhawk. I think people who are more reflective, and particularly those who have seen the effects of war or actually gone to war, will think differently. Here is one small 'proof' to support my contention. If you ask a bunch of elementary school kids, (again those who have never been exposed to war or its effects), I think a big majority will say war is inevitable.

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March 02, 2012 11:20:13 AM
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Ramaswamy

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If you put the same question to citizens of a weak country, i.e. one that is unlikely to win a war, they might answer differently- a big majority might say war is NOT inevitable.

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March 02, 2012 11:19:51 AM
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Phil

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I don't believe war is inevitable because people in power believe that force is a viable means to an end which reinforces this notion in the minds of the people they hold power over and who may also ascend to powerful positions themselves or in positions that prop up the powerful.

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March 01, 2012 12:42:33 PM
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NABNYC

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In Howard Zinn's book A People's History of The United States, he writes about the various cultures that inhabited what is now called the U.S. before the Europeans arrived, the groups we call Native Americans, all of whom were exterminated by the European immigrants through intentional government policies of genocide, in some cases paying the immigrants for each killing. Zinn notes that the immigrants all agreed "their" culture was far superior to that of the natives. Zinn argues the opposite was true.

Many of the original inhabitants of the U.S. did not believe in private property. Everybody owned everything. Every member of the tribe owned all the land, the resources, the food, the water, the trees. They often lived together in large enclosed areas. Even the concept of owning people (i.e. marriage) was limited, and any woman who tired of her husband simply put his belongings outside her sleeping area, and he moved on.

Zinn suggests that without the concept of private property, there would be little violence (people fight over greed and power to obtain more assets and wealth). Without violence at the local level, it would be almost impossible to rally people to wage war against others.

We glorify violence, admire the men who are "strong," because they can beat up others and take what they want. Our culture encourages us to raise our boys to love war so they too will be willing to engage in genocide against others.

Naomi Klein also recently wrote that we need to promote the idea of common ownership of the nation's resources. If we all (the "commons") own the land, water, minerals, ores, trees, animals, beaches, oceans, then private interests would not be allowed to exploit those resources for their own benefit. Without the enormous rewards from private property, if everyone just earned a reasonable wage and the rest of the available money was used to improve our commonly-owned nation, the underlying basis for violence -- a desire to get more than everyone else -- is gone.

To stop war, we need to minimize the role of private property, limit it to basic necessities and expand it to include conceptual property "rights" that we all own. The right to a job, a living wage, healthcare, education, shelter, decent food, clean water and air.

We also need strong affirmative action programs to ensure women receive their share of all the good jobs, and their share of income. Any company or institution that has less than 50% women in the better jobs should be fined, and that money used to pay supplemental income to women until the 21% difference in wages is eliminated. The same is true for non-whites. We need to equalize income and relative position to stop men from treating women (and their children) as private property owned by men.

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February 29, 2012 07:14:24 PM
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Kate

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There will always be conflict. I hope that the devastating violence of the 20th century has taught us, however, that war is never the answer to those conflicts. The violence we see today proves just what slow learners humans are. As we move forward into the 21st century, the ever increasing human population and its greedy consumption of resources threaten the world as a whole. This includes, ironically, the existence of humanity. We all need to remember that respectful connection, with one another and the earth, is more productive than conflict. We also need to remember that the pen is mightier than the sword and, in this fast-paced world, take time to think about what we say and do. Each of us needs to make our actions constructive and not destructive. That said, will we be able to live in a manner that avoids World War III? If we don't make some serious changes, I have my doubts.

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February 28, 2012 07:51:41 PM
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Rebecca Jane

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Warrior culture is as old as human kind, BUT that does not mean that we need to fight & finance violent battles that continue to kill other human beings. Warriors need to learn to wage peaceful battles. I appreciate things like "Battle of the Bands" where we use music or art as our "weapons." When we can evolve to such a degree that we perfect the resources of our humanity and creative capacities, then we can say there is an end to violent conflict in which human lives are treated violently. We do not need scientific research to prove that human beings are capable of tenderness and gentleness toward one another. We need heart-strong guides to lead us through gentle, thoughtful conflict.

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February 28, 2012 07:02:27 PM
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Michael Hill

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Of course war is not inevitable. But war will continue as a human affliction as long as fear is at the foundation of people's beliefs and emotions.

One earlier submission by Mike H. alluded to the discussion of "politics, religion, geography and resources, power, and wealth" as necessary to answer this quesion. Yet all of those complex factors are secondary to the root cause of war.

Humankind's dealings in every one of those areas reflects deep fear, and it's attendant possessivenes, greed, selfishness, distrust, insecurity, suspicion, hatred and self-righteousness. Those emotions are real, but they are not immutable facts of physical reality. They are, in fact, mutable. They reflect choices that people make.

So the fact is that war is not inevitable. Human beings are choosing to continue its existence by our submission to and embrace of fear.

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February 28, 2012 06:13:36 PM
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Jose Maiorino

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War will be always with us, unless we revert to a hunter/gatherer system.
Early man migrated following the seasons and the migrations of their prey. Tehy had no concept of ownership, other than their families. Maybe there were tussles when disputing the occupancy of a cave, but that was the extent of it.
Native americans of the whole continent did not have a sense of ownership. The world that they knew, together with the plants and animals, were a gift from God. And they were caretakers. They were renters, not owners.
When humankind started farming the value of owning the land they tilled was, for the first time, important.
The Mayas and Aztecs had a system, call it theocracy, in which they owned all the land. Farmers were allowed to farm, but they had to pay a TAX. In their case was in goods, since money was not yet invented.
So there you have it: land ownership and taxes. You would have to eliminate both to avoid another war. Not a ikely prospect.

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February 28, 2012 09:21:27 AM
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Lois Peccerillo

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War will end.

Revelation 21:4 "And he (God) will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore. The former things have passed away."

Revelation 11:18 "But the nations became wrathful, and your own wrath came...to bring to ruin those ruining the earth."

God set a time to bring this system to an end; he sent his Son to explain God's purpose.

Habakkuk 2:3 "For the vision is yet for the appointed time, and it keeps panting on to the end, and it will not tell a lie. Even if it should delay, keep in expectation of it; for it will without fail come true. It will not be late."

1 Thessalonians 5:2 "...Jehovah's day is coming exactly as a thief in the night."

Jehovah's promised kingdom through Jesus Christ will end war and remove the evil that causes war.

I enjoy your show; thank you for the opportunity to share!

Comments(1)
February 27, 2012 12:31:58 PM
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robert

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War is definitely not necessary; peaceful solutions can always be worked out to resolve disagreements. We need to shift the conversation toward waging peace, instead of war.
Recommend reading "The End of War" by Capt. Paul K Chappell

USN Veteran 1963-65

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February 27, 2012 12:21:38 PM
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Mike H.

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William Winwood Reade published a little know book in 1872 - The Martyrdom of Man - that describes the history of war beginning with the Egyptians, and discussing Western Asia, the Greeks, Macedoinians, Alexandra (Alexander the Great), Phoenecians, Carthage and Rome, Africa, and the Arabs. This book tells the story of WHY men have wars, and there are many different reasons and complexity. So your question about the inevitability of war requires a much more complex discussion about Politics, Religion, Geography and resources, Power, and Wealth. All of those factors in different complex combinations have led to war.

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February 27, 2012 12:14:47 PM
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John

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War is inevitable. The forces of power and money are far too powerful for common sense to prevail. There is too much ego, testosterone, honor - not to mention money - involved.
Does common sense win the day when it comes to budgets, global warming, energy use ? No.
Do those in power (e.g.-Robert Mugable, other African dictators, Vladimir Putin) voluntarily give it up in the sense of fair play ? No.
...... so why do we have optimism that war will end ? We can only hope that it doesn't affect us directly.

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