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The War Against Violence: The Only War We Need To Win - Articles Surfing
Violence is an unjust and unwarranted exertion of power or force against someone else's rights or laws. This aggressive, criminal behavior intentionally causes injury to people, other living beings, and property. WHO (World health Organization) defines violence as "the intentional use of physical force or power, threatened or actual, against oneself, another person or against a group or community that either results in or has a high likelihood of resulting in injury, death, psychological harm, maldevelopment or deprivation."
Violence shows its repulsive face in a variety of forms: assault, murder, assault and battery, massacre, cruelty to animals, domestic violence, property damage, rape, libel, slander, armed robbery, terrorism, war, genocide, illegal occupation of another group's property or land, etc.
What pushes people, groups, or nations into atrocities and causes them to take up arms against others? In Federalist Papers, John Jay says: "The just causes of war, for the most part, arise either from violation of treaties or from direct violence." I, therefore, humbly ask the question, "Isn't the violation of a treaty an act of violence by itself?"
Violence becomes a possibility when human beings turn naturally or environmentally aggressive, as aggression can be learned in a society through modeling and imitation with the belief that aggression gets results no matter what kinds of frustrations a populace suffers in the process. This belief grants people excuses for being aggressive and dupes them into harboring destructive expectations and false assumptions against the other side.
Antisocial behavior almost always has an early onset and often persists into adolescence and adulthood; therefore, it becomes a developmental trait and an inability to absorb civilized tasks. According to the behavioral sciences, the potential to violence exists in the development of antisocial, aggressive behavior. The psychologist J.W. Prescott, while studying human societies, thought that the lack of mother-child bonding caused violence and excess punishment of children through their developmental years gave rise to violent societies.
Also, many studies have shown that childhood malnutrition is linked to poor brain functioning and conduct disorder in early adulthood. In addition, prisoners given omega-3 fish oil--critical for brain structure and function--have exhibited reduced aggressive and antisocial behavior.
That means we need to venture, through scientific method, into further research into the world's societies and find honest and more comprehensive solutions for our biological, behavioral, and environmental problems to prevent aggression in children; so in time, they do not turn into criminals and terrorists. If stopping violent behavior is the aim, the best investment the world can make is to intervene very early on. There is proof that, under the positive conditions and with correct training, people are usually kinder to each other; however, as it is, the world events show that we may be losing our fight against violence.
As much as nations argue that "their war" has a "just cause," wars are the worst kinds of violence because of the incredible damage they cause to the younger generations by becoming models to emulate. If the international nonviolence idea suffers, no war can be deemed holy or just.
Modern warfare has become lethal to everyone, since those with faulty brains and incorrect upbringing do not hesitate to terrorize the world as different societies apply different standards to sanctioning their kinds of violence. Violence in certain forms and degrees may be socially and legally accepted in one society while the same acts are considered crimes in another group. I see no reason, however, why the world cannot live by the same key laws pertaining to human give and take, despite the differences of beliefs and nationalities.
It is true that, for a few years now, we have the International Criminal Court; however, any court, to gain the respect of the international community, must be able to prosecute--without any exceptions--any one person, group, or nation who is suspected of committing a crime against humanity.
Another point is, the power of any decision making institution depends on its being perceived as fair and impartial. That can only happen in a society where social injustices are eliminated. John Paul Sartre coined the phrase "inert violence" for social injustice. Thus, how can any institution be fair and impartial when social injustices exist in the world?
In the long run, violence is always a deviant behavior. No matter what the scale, we must wage our real wars against violence itself, if we want to exist peacefully on the same planet.
Copyright © 1995 - Photius Coutsoukis (All Rights Reserved).
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