Entries in violence (1)

Tuesday
May132014

Pipe Dream

As a thought experiment, I imagined what the world would be like without violence.  Once I reasoned through all the nuances, I realized this would be an amazing place to live.  So, why can't/won't it happen?

First off, no violence.  Stay with me through this messy progression:
no violence > lower mortality > reduced aggression > reduced competition > reduced anger > reduced threat of life > no need to inflict violence because of survival > no weapons > reduced military > reduced police > reduced emergency room staff > reduced insurance policies > reduced greed > reduced competition

From this point, society would be completely unrecognizable.  I'm not sure where religion fits in, but religion and violence have been so completely intertwined, most religious texts I've read contain some element of violence.  Whether it be 10 plagues brought upon the Egyptians, crucifixions, jihads, or stoning suspected criminals to death, violence induces fear.  Which translates into respect for the higher power of God?

Once violence is removed from society, wars wouldn't have existed.  Cultures wouldn't have spread around the world.  For example, if the Europeans were sailing across the Atlantic solely for curiosity sake and not material wealth, the Native American/European conflict wouldn't have wiped out a large portion of the population.  (Granted, unfamiliar diseases would have still made a serious dent).  

I'm still uncertain how I interpret whether humans would have even existed if violence (and my messy progression chart above) was not programmed into behavior.  Our ancestors would not have had weapons or tools to fight off predators (lions, saber-toothed tigers, and bears oh my) and would have thus been a snack.

Pipe dreams are crazy to think about.