[My friend and colleague Dr. Lex Crane wrote this sermon some time before he died. It seems particularly relevant now. Please read and comment.]
War and Peace
Human beings are extremely creative at making weapons and war, but persistently inept at achieving lasting peace. Why is this? The aim here is to seek an answer to this troubling question. A provocative insight emerged early in the course of research on the problem: as civilization spread across the world, the number of wars sharply increased. In the 16th century there were 87 wars; and in only the first forty years of the 20 th century there were 892. (Fromm 215)
This pattern continued during the remainder of the century. In the wars of the entire 20th century “not less that 62 million civilians have perished, nearly 20 million more than the 43 million military personnel killed.” (Hedges 13) In sum, over 100 million people died in the wars of the century past, not to mention the millions more, who were wounded, crippled. Since the number of wars has increased with the spread of civilization, it appears that society, not our natural humanity, is the source of the problem; and this has been the prevailing view in 20 th century social science – until recently, when an opposing view began to develop. Until then the consensus in 20 th century science had been that humans at birth are like a blank slate. It held that cultural conditioning writes the contents of human nature upon it. . . .