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Are Humans Naturally Peaceful or Violent?

Written by Zoe Weil | Published on July 11, 2013 | Filed under Humane Connection
The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Humane Education website at http://humaneeducation.org/blog/2013/07/11/humans-naturally-peaceful-violent/

woman begging in street & man giving her change

Image courtesy Ed Yourdon/Flickr.

For my blog post today, I’m sharing a recent essay I wrote for Care2.com, an online community for people passionate about creating a better world. Here’s an excerpt from “Are Humans Naturally Peaceful or Violent?”:

We humans have a penchant for either/or choices. Whether in politics (left versus right), religion (heaven versus hell, Christianity versus Islam, theism versus atheism, etc.) or in the media (jobs versus the environment), we often fall into camps with one side pitted against another.

I find such either/ors unhelpful. They tend to prevent conversation and expansion of our thinking; to constrain examination of what is possible and the search for what is actually true; and to encourage us to dig in our heels and shore up evidence for our side, rather than remain open to a variety of perspectives.

This happens even when we talk about human nature. Are humans naturally peaceful or violent?

Read the complete essay.

 

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