Is Human Nature Inherently Violent Essay, Research Paper
Anger is only one letter short of danger, yet it varies from angel by only one letter. Anger causes a great deal of harm. The question still remains, ?Is human nature inherently violent?? Many arguments have been made to both support and invalidate this theory. As humans, we cannot escape the legacy of our evolutionary ancestors. On the other hand, we are also the most intelligent of all animals discrediting the idea that humans are inherently violent. Unlike animals, who rely on the ?fight or flight? instinct humans have a third option which allows us to rationally resolve our problems. Perhaps we need to look deeper into the biblical day to find clues as to whether violence existed then and possible causes for that violence. Yet the bottom line remains that there are many things that make us angry. However anger can not have a reasonable excuse. It can not be justified. We can draw the conclusion that anger and violence have become first nature.
Human beings are thought to be unavoidably violent creatures, like animals ?Red in tooth and clawed,? if you will. Animals are aggressive. We can not escape the legacy of our evolutionary ancestors. Tales of war and cruelty and certain areas of the brain dominate human history. Particular hormones are linked to aggression, proving that through stimulation animals become violent. For example, if you alter an animal?s environment it seems to have a profound impact on the level of aggression of the animal. Another stimulant of animal?s aggression is simply killing to eat. As one can see it is inherent for animals to be violent there is no other way for them to survive. If animals didn?t kill to eat, or kill to protect themselves they would be eaten as a part of the food chain.
Certainly when we turn to human history we find an alarming number of aggressive behaviors, but we do not find reason to believe the problem is innate. We as humans posses the highest level of intelligence among all animals. Humans and animals vary in the fact that humans can cultivate the land for food animals don?t have that ability. Therefore, the theory that humans are inherently violent is far fetched. We can?t simply conclude that because a behavior appears universal that it is biological. For example, just because all cultures produce pottery we can?t assume that a gene exists for pottery making. We need to be more cautious in drawing lessons from other species in an attempt to explain our behavior, given the mediating force of culture and our capacity for reflection. We can survive as a society without behaving aggressively. For example, a large majority of humans can talk their problems out rather than pulling out a gun and shooting someone. Many things are done in anger, a short period of insanity/madness. Most are regretted later by the ill-tempered person after his/her short madness has subsided. Anger cannot be hidden ? like smoke coming out of a chimney, it will always find an outlet through the mouth or through our actions. The community of angry people is a ?danger center.?
Why are we so angry sometimes? My theory is that anger has become first nature. Some of us can even be angry without being offended. Thank God that such people are not generally placed in responsible positions. Consider this ? if an ill-tempered person had access to the Hydrogen or Atomic bombs, where we would be right now? The quick push of a button in a moment of anger could annihilate a large percentage of the human race. We need to find a solution to the madness, insanity, hatred?anger. What about love as a solution? The difference between anger and love is
as real as the difference between lions and lambs. If angry people were as scarce as lions in our community, what a peaceful world we would live in.
To give a brief idea as to where society may have gotten its first glimpse of violence we can study the bible. The story of Cain and Able is probably the first reference to violence. Cain murdered his own brother in a fit of anger. Hatred and anger always lead to dangerous actions. The second reference to the bible has to do with a man called Ahitophel who committed suicide because he was angry when his advice had not been taken. He had been a reputable counselor but pride and anger shortened his life. As you can see violence is nothing new, we have always been exposed to it even in biblical times. Still, this produces no excuse and with any hope we can take actions to create a non-violent society.
In conclusion, I feel that the question of whether humans are inherently violent isn?t one that possesses a cut-and-dry answer. With my theory in place, I have to say that- biologically speaking ? no, we aren?t inherently violent. Yet, we have made violence first nature through our exposure to it. We have never known a peaceful world and it?s questionable if we ever will. I think that if more people become educated in non-violence mediation and realize that love reduces friction in the family as well as society, we will be on the right track. Hopefully we will transform from anger to angel!