The Philosophy of War (2)

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Apr 07 2008 15 mins   3
According to Lawrence Keeley, "90-95% of known societies engage in war". Why? What compels homo sapiens to kill each other? Why do we fight? Part one will describe two hypotheses.

War is Necessary:
Aristotle says in Nicomachean Ethics that "we fight war so that we may live in peace". This notion is echoed by many other famous thinkers including Marx (an advocate of a final proletarian revolution in order to establish a worker's paradise) and Zoroaster (the first monotheist to discuss the final battle of judgment between good and evil).

War is Logical:
Using Darwin's logic, mankind continues to fight wars because it is the means through which our species survives. Thomas Malthus adapted this into a population argument, stating that humans fight wars in order to keep populations small and manageable. Samuel Huntington took this one step further by saying that war negates massive youth bulges. Lastly, John Nash (the economist) proved, through game theory, that war is a more logical choice than peace.

War is Accidental:
AJP Taylor argued that all wars are unintended and unhappy escalations of smaller conflicts. Warmongering is neither inherent nor unavoidable. Taylor's ideas link closely to the pacifistic ideas of Tolstoy and Gandhi.

For more information, read:
Nicomachean Ethics by Aristotle
Communist Manifesto by Marx
Holy Avesta, Holy Bible, Holy Qur'an
Origin of Species by Darwin
An Essay on the Principle of Population by Malthus
Environmental Science by Richard Wright
Clash of Civilizations by Samuel Huntington

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