Roots of Violence
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We should all understand the showdown between the U.S. and Iran – like the prior showdown that led to war with Iraq – is not so much about any potential weapons program but about power. In a world that is 100% dependent on oil for survival, that country, which has a surplus of oil will have power and that country with a deficit supply of oil will not. Unless, the deficit country plays unfair.
We are each born with a nature shaped by eons in the jungles, savannas, mountains, and deserts fighting for survival. On the one hand aggressively taking charge of a willing group of followers could often win the day, enabling the winners to pass their genes onto the next generations.
At the same time, altruistic parents who cooperated also survived in the face of adversity and their genes too were passed on for generations to mold and enhance. What that left with each of us is an intrinsic emotional construct that exhibits two clusters of traits within each individual. These clusters are often in direct opposition to one another. In the vernacular, most of us have both our good and bad sides.
How can society best deal with this congenital conflict?
It is conflict’s nature to bring chaos, and darkness, and confusion into what is otherwise the light trying to illuminate our paths (The Peacemaking Pastor, page 35. http://www.breakpoint.org/listingarticle.asp?ID=6000) As such, conflict can easily make us blind guides afraid of the light we are called to lead our flock into. This light I call the presence of “an awakening” force seeking to offer us the truth – that without conflict we would never get out of our beds each morning. Conflict is an important force that can be harnessed to create wholesome life together. It is what we do with it in the context of our shared communities that makes the difference of life or death.
SASHA NADINA ELLIOTT, MSc
Given the overwhelming fact of male aggression, high rates of deviance and criminality, predatory behavior, and alarming male perspectives on how to handle anger and failure, I wonder if there is a biological reason behind it all.