We Are Living in the 21st Century, yet We Are Still Primitive
Does violence have a place in civilization?
When we think about the meaning of the word “violence,” it can be interpreted differently. For example, one person’s idea of violence could be punching someone in the face.
At the same time, another might see it as grabbing someone by their arm and pulling them away from an oncoming car.
What is Violence?
The Oxford English Dictionary defines violence as “the use of physical force so as to injure, damage, or kill.” Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary defines it as “exertion of physical force so as to injure or abuse.”
From these definitions, we can see that violence is not only about using physical force to hurt someone. It can also be about causing harm or damage to someone or something else.
So, does violence have a place in civilization? This question can be broken down into two parts: first, does violence have a place in society? And second, does violence have a place in a civilized society?
Does Violence Have a Place in Society?
When we ask this question, we need to look at the different types of violence. There are three main types of violence: direct, structural, and cultural.
Direct violence is when someone uses physical force against another person or group. This type of violence is the most obvious and easiest to identify. It includes things like assault, murder, and hate crimes.
Structural violence is when the laws or systems in society favor one group of people over another. This type of violence is often hidden or invisible, and it can be not easy to see unless you know where to look.
An example of structural violence would be a law that says only men can have custody of children after a divorce.
Cultural violence is when the norms and values condone or encourage violence. This type of violence is often the hardest to see because it is normalized and accepted as part of everyday life.
An example of cultural violence would be a TV show that glorifies violence or a school that teaches children that it’s okay to hit someone if they deserve it.
So, does violence have a place in society? The answer is yes, but it depends on the type of violence we talk about.
Direct violence is unacceptable, but structural and cultural violence can be more complicated. It’s important to remember that these types of violence are always harmful, even if they are not always obvious.
Does Violence Have a Place in a Civilized Society?
The answer is no; it does not. Violence is the opposite of culture and refinement. It is brutal, destructive, and chaotic. It destroys relationships and undermines our ability to live peacefully together.
Violence does have a place in society, but it is not where we would like to see our civilizations go. It is always harmful and should be avoided whenever possible.
Primitive Vs. Refined
One way of looking at this question is to compare primitive people with refined people. Primitive humans are ruled by their emotions and instincts.
They are aggressive, violent, and often considered to be animals. Refined humans, on the other hand, are civilized and rational. They control their emotions and use them for constructive purposes.
The difference between these two types of humans is that primitive men use violence as a tool for getting what they want. They see it as a way to dominate others and make themselves feel powerful.
Refined men do not see violence as a tool, or a means to an end. They see it as a last resort, which should only be used when all other options have failed.
Adding Technology to the Mix
The problem becomes enhanced when we add technology to the mix. If 500 years ago we had a conflict between cultures and the use of violence was the only way to settle it, then so be it.
But when we have a conflict today, and one side has a nuclear weapon, the use of violence can lead to the destruction of not just human life but all life on earth.
Technology multiplies the effect of violence and makes it far more deadly than it has ever been before. This is why violence should never be used as a means to an end, no matter the conflict. It can always lead to catastrophic results.
We are living in challenging times; the invasion of Russia to Ukraine has amped up the level of threat we all have. It’s sad to see that in the 21st Century, we are still fighting each other with weapons.
The use of violence will only lead to the destruction of our societies. There are better ways to resolve our conflicts, and we should explore them before it’s too late.
This article was first published on Medium.com.