Well, the facts (as I was told them) is that violence and war have steadily
declined, on average, over the past few centuries. Also, there are
apparently far less autocratic rulers now than was the case in the past. My
personal theory is as I described in my last post, but it is purely a
lay-person's theory, and may be either wrong or - more likely - only part
of the truth.
On the subject of violence being easier with modern weapons, that is of
course true, it's very difficult to imagine killing 70,000 people in an
hour or so as happened at Hiroshima, for example, with pre-atomic weapons,
unless whole armies were involved. Yet I would say that (and Nagasaki)
served to make subsequent nuclear war less likely. I have to admit that the
idiocy of America over personal possession of firearms is a counter
example, as is the US's recent foreign policy. But I'm still hopeful that
the historical trends are real.
On 28 October 2013 17:38, meekerdb <meeke...@verizon.net> wrote:
> On 10/27/2013 8:45 PM, LizR wrote:
> I have been under the impression that violence has been decreasing, on
> average, over historical time, that is to say the proportion of people
> dying violently and being injured by violence has tended to decrease over
> time. I believe the number of wars has decreased over historical time, and
> continues to do so, which I attribute to improved communications. In my
> opinion it becomes more difficult to demonise an enemy as one is better
> able to contact and communicate with them, so the advent of photography,
> television, the internet and so on have all incrementally improved the
> It has been argued that the ability to kill from a distance, without face
> to face combat makes it easier to kill. But on the other hand it also
> allows those in combat to maintain more innocence. Once you've killed some
> people face-to-face it becomes easier to kill more.
> I must admit the evidence I have for this is mainly anecdotal so if
> Stephen Pinker has written on the subject he may have pulled together the
> various pieces of evidence which I personally have only come across
> The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined Steven Pinker
> On 28 October 2013 13:07, meekerdb <meeke...@verizon.net> wrote:
>> On 10/27/2013 2:49 PM, Chris de Morsella wrote:
>> I have some hope that violence diminishes at higher levels of
>> intellectual development.
>> I share your hope, but my heart is saddened by how we do not seem to as a
>> species be fulfilling this hope of yours, which I share in.
>> Steven Pinker just wrote book showing that human violence is
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