On Mon, Oct 28, 2013 at 4:45 AM, LizR <lizj...@gmail.com> 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 situation.
>
> 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 occasionally.

True, but to be honest I tend to believe in a phase transition. Both
biological evolution, social evolution and maybe even brain activity
seems to happen in bursts of break-throughs. Per Bak argues that this
is because these systems exist in a state of self-organised
criticality -- life at the edge of chaos.

Another reason for this belief of mine is that I think that humans
are, in a sense, transcendental creatures. One often ignored
consequence of the theory of evolution is that we became aware of the
mechanism as a species. This has transcendental potential, because by
becoming aware of our biological program we can strive to free
ourselves from some of its dictates. For example, we can see violence
for what it is, and understand that it's not in our best interest.
It's in the interest of meta-structures that we serve - species,
tribes, families, nations and so on.

A speculation of mine: religious fundamentalism superficially rejects
evolution because it threatens creation myths, but intuitively rejects
it because its deep consequences are subversive to the fundamentalism
program.

Telmo.

>
>
>
> 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 diminishing.
>>
>> Brent
>>
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