The Violent Human, or The Thriving Human?
That is the Question.
Who has heard of the 'Seville statement on violence' before? - Well, I just did, so I read it.
Easily the best, most inspiring and positive 5 page reading material I've come across in years and its authors are more than credible, they were authorities on the matter of War and Peace.
(Craig Tindale, I guess you've read it, why didn't you tell me about it?) How did I miss this for so many years.
How many of you believe humanity is doomed, we have war and violence in our genes? Well, it seems we are not and we have not.
Enough said, read it. Read it to your adolescent youngster. It is worth the knowledge, the inspiration, the relief, the motivation, the hope, the goals, it would be worth reading if it took you a week, it takes 5 minutes, without counting the re-reads, you WILL re-read, I did.
About the document:
The Seville Statement on Violence is a statement on violence that was adopted by an international meeting of scientists, convened by the Spanish National Commission for UNESCO, in Seville, Spain, on 16 May 1986. It was subsequently adopted by UNESCO on 16 November 1989.
The statement, was designed to refute "the notion that organized human violence is biologically determined".
Look around you, most people, if given the choice, would live a life in peace, in a peaceful society. Also, most people, If they have to hurt someone, are plagued with guilt thereafter. The evolution of our brain takes time, but it is working, a work in progress.
Education is beginning to fight false doctrine, slowly, but certainly.
What causes the differences in violent behaviour?
According to Charlotta Mellander, at the Martin Prosperity Institute, (they use data from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime), human development is a major factor, are you surprised?
The more educated (rational thinking, common sense, correct fact checking, forming your own opinion) a nation's people are, or the more freedom they enjoy to steer their own personal growth in the direction they please, or the less doctrine affects their everyday thinking processes, the more peace and personal growth that society enjoys overall. Now that makes sense to me.
Here are some numbers from 2012 - 2015, data by UNODOC (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime)
Intentional murder rate --> per 100'000 Citizens <--
Norway is neutral: 0.56
Switzerland is neutral: 0.69
Italy, wow: 0.78
Austria is neutral: 0.51
Russia, the black sheep: 11.31
All of Europe, average: 1.71
Europe without Russia and Ukraine: 1.41
Evolution has provided some creatures with lethal weapons like claws, poison, fangs, or with camouflage like the chameleon, the stone fish, or yes, the Zebra.
We humans have developed a supposedly superior brain, to figure out ways to avoid fighting altogether.
The Eagle has talons and a beak to fight and kill
The Snake is fast and has poison to fight and kill
The Spider has fangs to fight and kill
The Lion has sharp claws and teeth to fight and kill
You will not see the Chameleon
Nor the Tawny Frogmouth Owl
Man has... well, a 'superior brain
So he wouldn't have to fight and kill
What went wrong, too much incest?
And, would you know it, most violence is committed over females, rage involving our ego and a loss of face (provocation), and territory. Some leaders try to convince their electorate and their armed forces members that their wars are fought for the freedom of their nation, or for the liberation of another, friendly one, or to bring democracy to other parts of the world. Well, does anyone still believe that? Even if it were true, it never worked in all of human history.
Obviously, in the years since 1986, the statement has been receiving some scientific criticism, much of it I have reviewed. Admittedly, I am no scholar, but I have common sense. Much of the science collected to refute the statement of seville, is backed by circumstantial, psychological, and not really empirical evidence.
Here are some excerpts from the statement
They got me at:
"IT IS SCIENTIFICALLY INCORRECT to say that war or any other violent behaviour is genetically programmed into our human nature."
They rubbed it in with:
"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. In all well-studied species, status within the group is achieved by the ability to co-operate and to fulfill social functions relevant to the structure of that group.
And sealed it in with:
"We conclude that biology does not condemn humanity to war, and that humanity can be freed from the bondage of biological pessimism and empowered with confidence to undertake the transformative tasks needed in this International Year of Peace and in the years to come.' ... '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.
Like the tagline on my website, 'Tolerance and consideration equals world peace, it begins with you.'
Peace is inside all of us, as much as the potential for violence. It is up to each one of us, which one will prevail.
I would love it if you comment on this, pro or contra, most importantly, please share it. Human's violent nature no longer needs to serve as an excuse for remaining inactive.
Have a great week everybody
Alexander Somm, 13 August 2017