Given the three reasons destructive aggression and war persists, we can now explain each.
Our intelligent brain has allowed us to become powerful rulers on earth. Only humankind grows knowledge of cause-and-effect, what we call science. Knowledge is the means by which we free our will power from instinct and tradition to acquire sufficient self-mastery to direct our destiny. We initiate constructive and destructive phenomena not present in nature.
Intelligence → knowledge → self-mastery→ wise and stupid use of power
1. Nature’s role: For 3 ½ billion years of evolution on Mother Earth, nature’s survival of the fittest rule has included the fight or flight instinct. Survival required identification and loyalty to a local tribe. Non-tribe members were considered fair game to abuse in whatever way suited the tribe’s or individual’s needs. Eat or be eaten is critical thinking in a savage environment. The instinct to dominate and thrive, without consideration for others, is omnipresent in the common gene pool of complex species. Children, driven by instinct, are known for their impatience and insensitivity to the feelings of others, and bullying is common among teens.
Until the appearance of humankind 150,000 years ago, the ability to survive in an uncivilized, savage environment was related to physical prowess and limited ability to adapt to change. Those with the best killing power usually reigned as master within their domain. Many species, including our own, are designed as “killing machines.” Muscle power, which has been among the most important tools for species survival, has only recently been surpassed by humankind’s creative mental power. Our most ferocious wild animals are no match for bullets. The adaptive natural reproductive efficiency so long experienced by fish cannot keep up with the recent means by which we strip the seas to support our increasing population. The species that survive through physical might and nature’s other means of adaptation (natural selection) are not designed to adapt to human selection.
We are genetically programmed to preserve our kind without regard to not our kind. Nature’s survival of the fittest rule is the first reason we are prone to compete and advocate that our tribe become the master race to dominate all others. Instinct has a long history of making fight or flight basic to our behavior repertoire. Fists, slingshots, and bows and arrows have recently been replaced by increasingly powerful weapons of destruction. In each confrontation, one tribe has sufficient power and the will to triumph. Damage is sustained by both winner and loser, but in every situation, destruction is followed by repair. This is the way it has always been. Habit would teach us that competition, application of power, and win/lose scenarios are the rule of survival.
Our current knowledge has produced such a revolution through science that human selection has joined natural selection. We now partner with nature in determining who shall live and who shall become extinct. The win/lose scenario common in our sports, businesses, personal relationships, and wars has been changed by weapons with ultimate destructive power. Win/lose has been replaced by lose/lose and win/win outcomes, and we have not been given adequate notification. How are we to know that our established rules of survival have been suddenly reversed; that the time is suddenly upon us when competition, hate, and war need to be replaced by cooperation, love, and peace? Can we rely on instinct or habit to tell us when weapons with ultimate destructive power suddenly make the strong and the weak equal? We need to re-engineer our way of thinking from greed and speed to wise creeds and good deeds.