Humans Have a Tremendous Capacity for Compassion and Hatred, Peace and War, Harmony and Conflict

Topics: Abu Ghraib torture and prisoner abuse, Israel, September 11 attacks Pages: 6 (1975 words) Published: October 28, 2008

The plasticity of human is endlessly tremendous as a mystery. General speaking that human beings are filled with compassion but sometimes regard things with hatred; some people fire to each other whereas they declare that they are loyal believers for peace; and possibly humans are more capable for conflict than harmony. This essay is going to interpret that the human conflict, intervention and the issue about identifying good and evil, in order to unfold the statement that humans have a tremendous capacity for harmony and conflict, peace and war, compassion and hatred. And it will be concerned with the conflict of Arabs and Israeli, the teaching of Christian and Buddhism, the case study of 9/11 terrorist attacks, the Stanford Prison Experiment and the abuse in Abu Ghraib, the biological viewpoint as evidence to demonstrate the statement.

Human Conflict:

Simon Laurence suggests that ‘conflict is inevitable’ while human beings get together in groups in a social way by any forms. And conflict engendered by obtaining necessary resources for ‘maintenance and reproduction of life’ from competition. (Laurence R. Simon, pp136, 1998) It is omnipresent that a variety of conflict exists among humans. For example, in modern society, a teenager might be rejected to purchase a skateboard by his parents considering of that it would cause harm to him; a couple are arguing on the place they would like to travel for their 10th anniversary; group mates attempt to persuade each others to follow their individually different opinions… Obviously that conflict is unavoidable whenever and wherever humans exist on this planet.

Further more, according to Peter Koslowski’s argument, that human conflict are sometimes motivated by contrary or distinctive faith and declarations of various religions. In other words, appearing of conflict possibly symbolizes the “clash of religions”. (Koslowski P, pp1, 2001) Religion is the certain production with the development of human civilizations and it not only comforts its believers but also brings out of social ethics and morality. In practice, religions normally play a role in dominating humans’ thinking and even spirit. Therefore it is acceptable to say that conflict is able to be caused by different religions of humans. For instance, most of Americans regard abortion as an illegal and inhumane action based on their Christian religion---life given by God, no one has right to take it over. However, for the Buddhists such as many Chinese, they believe in that humans would go through metempsychosis followed by death and even death can be as a kind of redemption. That probably for them, means abortion can be explained as a pathway for being reborn in the next coming new life. Throughout of these, human conflict also can be relative to the different beliefs of religions.

Indeed, with respect to the international conflicts over time, especially between Arabs and Israeli, it is going to point out that “prejudice” has been a causation of human conflict for long. Daniel Bar-Tal and Yona Teichman argue that acquisition and development of “prejudice” socially concerned within the “intractable conflict”. (Daniel Bar-Tal & Yona Teichman, pp2, 2005) The origin of conflict between Arabs and Israeli has been identified from the ‘Zionsism’ movement which organized by Jews to revive their nation and civilizations. And the “prejudice” appeared on Jews back from the beginning of middle ages---over one thousand years, Jewish rebellion against Romans had been seen as heathenry and Christian-killers. After the large-scale anti-Jews waves and genocide, Jews were forced to be discriminated and isolated in the gutter called “Ghetto”. And with the declaration of independence of the Jewish state approved under the support of the United States, the state of Israel was established on May 14, 1948. However, the partition of Arab homeland for Jewish became a factor of leading on the conflict has become more...

References: Laurence R. Simon, 1998: “The Politics of Experience and the Social Construction of Selves” in Psychology, Education, Gods, and Humanity. Greenwood Publishing Group. Pp136.
Koslowski P, 2001: “Introduction” in the Concept of God, the Origin of the World, and the Image of the Human in the World Religions. Springer Published. Pp1.
Daniel Bar-Tal & Yona Teichman, 2005: “General Overview” in Stereotypes and Prejudice in Conflict: Representations of Arabs in Israeli Jewish Society. Cambridge University Press, Pp 2 & 101-106.
Haulley F, 2005: “Introduction” in Critical Perspectives on 9/11. The Rosen Publishing Group. Pp4.
Betts K. R & Caraley D, 2002: “the Soft Underbelly of American Primacy: Tactical Advantages of Terror” in September 11, Terrorist Attacks, and U.S. Foreign Policy. Academy of Political Science published. Pp 36-44.
Campbell A, 1998: “Altruism and Aggression-What Are They?” in Altruism and Aggression. Blackwell Publishing. Pp 2 & 3.
Grazia D.A., 1976, the American Behavioral Scientist. Beverly Hills, Calif. : Sage Publications published. Pp761.
Zimbardo,P.(2007),The Lucifer Effect,Available from:
“Don’t kid yourself, we can all be evil” The Sunday Times, published on April 8, 2007, Available from:
Davies P, 2000. “Good and Evil: Reshaping our Moral Universe”,
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