Humans, War, Lemmings and ..... Christianity?

Discussion in 'Free Thoughts' started by RealBigOleDummy, Feb 17, 2021.

  1. RealBigOleDummy Registered Member

    First, there are many on this site (probably all of you) much more intelligent and well spoken than I am so please try to understand the gist of what I am going to say/ask and maybe not the literal wording.

    I'm a history buff and have been since I was a little boy. My thirst for history and its lessons for us today was reignited and kick started into high gear when I lived in Germany for 3 years (Army) I have a question I would like others input on concerning well, the title of this thread.

    In 1914 when World War 1 started most of the European countries involved went to war extremely enthusiastically, i.e. cheering in the streets etc. The horrors of that war dampened that enthusiasm for most. I'm not going to say much about WW2 as it was basically a continuation of the first but it ties in to my topic.

    My question/thoughts are : Do humans have a built in desire for extinction ala lemmings. (I know that lemmings have a reason for their periodic mass suicides but am using the popular conception of them) What I mean is there something in our make up that drives us to destructive impulses? It seems like every few generations we as a species become.... sick for want to a better word. Look at the rise of authoritarianism in the last 10 years or so. The far right has been making gains just about everywhere in the western world. The National Rally party in France, The National Democratic Party in Germany, Bolsonaros Alliance for Brazil, and yes the modern day Republican party here in the U.S. among many others. Is this our 1913? Are we living in the time before another great cataclysm of our own making? I see many parallels myself.

    If so, to what degree does Christianity figure into this? Most christian sects seem to have done away with what Jesus taught and instead lean heavily towards the angry destructive god of the old testament. Does the belief/conviction that we are doomed to face a apocalyptic end feed into our baser instincts? Does the belief that there's a "heaven" and the chosen ones will reside with god in perfect happiness drive people towards consciously or unconsciously seeking that end for us all?

    I admit totally that most of my history readings have been western-centric and mostly from the Roman Empire until the end of the Cold war. This .... drive for the apocalypse, for want of a better way of saying it, seems to me to maybe not be the MAIN driver of our destructive nature but in a world of atomic missiles it might just be enough.

    Please excuse my disjointed way of saying my thoughts and try to figure out what my main concerns are.
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  3. sculptor Valued Senior Member

    Well, first off:
    The lemmings narrative is false.

    Every generation seems to think that it is on the brink of destruction.
    Most likely: We ain't there yet.
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  5. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

    No - we just lack the intellectual scope, collectively, to deal with the reality of possible extinction.
    Yes, a combination of mammalian traits, plus some specific developments.
    Every society has this periodic malaise, but only since the late 19th century has it been global - increasingly so, due to the technology, population growth and economic networks. I date globalization from the British Empire. As you saw in the making of WWI, the alliances, treaties, financial ties and interdependencies spread a little local bid for national identity to a huge war involving parts of the world that had no stake in - or understanding of - the original conflict.
    But social malaise was endemic to all their populations, which made them easier to mobilize.
    The same malaise is even deeper and more wide-spread now. For some of the same reasons, plus a couple of new ones.
    Indirectly. The churches have a great deal of power, and Christians - also Muslims btw - are trained to uncritical acceptance of authority, patriarchy and unrealistic promises. When they feel threatened, they automatically turn to a father figure who offers protection and leadership - without bothering to examine his qualifications or the factual basis of his claims.
    I don't think so. They're even endangering their eternal souls with wrong action, in the hope of very concrete, material victory. Besides, look at the Asian populations. They behave the same way, in roughly the same cycles of stability and upheaval - though their time intervals seem longer. (It's hard to tell in the relatively small sample of historical time we're considering.)
    Rather, I would say that Christianity emerged as a product of upheaval, in the death throes of the Roman Empire.
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  7. sculptor Valued Senior Member

    And now:
    A brief musical interlude:
  8. Michael 345 New year. PRESENT is 72 years oldl Valued Senior Member

    You beat me to it. Lemmings suicide is a myth boosted from a Disney movie

    War is a big adventure. That applies also to Wars over Religion

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  9. RainbowSingularity Valued Senior Member

    Excellent question all be it so vast in its scope to gain something less than pages & pages of discourse on the human mind & the social animal.

    what i read is several questions

    1. Are humans innately wired for war genetically to the point they are driven by basic design &/or social construction to formulate an apocalyptic state of war ?
    breaking that down
    • Genetic pre dispositions
    • human psycho-social frame works (do such things exist?[possibly quite argumentative & extremely specialized])

    1.b Is Human Society Doomed to be ultimately self destructive in its basic long form functionality ?

    There is a lot of shrill panic around such a subject being discussed
    from 2 camps
    the anti psychology people who fear psychology as an unknown power over them & their religion or non religion
    the other camp is the psychos who are trying to use psychology to manipulate abuse & control others.

    i have many years experience reading on these subjects
    but i hesitate to start discussing it in any real concise form for several reasons
    the main reason being this web site does not seem to support that type of discussion
    the threads get flamed &/or shut down quite quickly or ignored completely.

    advanced sociology & psychology are subjects that do not get discussed in open formats in general.

    probably not an irony considering the nature of the question & your supposition(which i tend to share as a core question for discussion).

    part of the obstacle to discussing these issues is that those in power tend to be narcissists so they will destroy that which they do not understand or fear or cant control & own & place themselves as the priory object of power.
  10. RainbowSingularity Valued Senior Member

    There are some concepts that come to mind
    probable statistical variants for the start of Global nuclear war

    There are millions of modern world American christian fanatics who would willingly jump at the chance to push that button and end it all.

    Ironically now the cold war is dead n buried & the new global cold war is getting all its ducks in a row to start now.

    the biggest threat is probably from inside
    Domestic home grown fanataticalism
    the capital riots showed the sheer depth of that.

    what percentage of those rioters & their family's & friends would jump at the chance to launch all of the usa's nukes at other countrys ?
    thousands !

    But a lot of people do not wish to discuss that reality
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  11. Saint Valued Senior Member

    Book of Revelation predict End of World sure will happens.
    Satan and the pagans will go to hell.
  12. RealBigOleDummy Registered Member

    Well, thank you all for your replies. Very much food for thought for me.

    To sculptor and Michael 345 I know this as well as you do, that is why I EXPLICITLY said I was using the "popular conception" of them as far as the lemmings go.
  13. Michael 345 New year. PRESENT is 72 years oldl Valued Senior Member

    Saying something EXPLICITLY does not indicate YOUR belief in the fakeness or truthfulness of the statement

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  14. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

    That's a pretty good illustration, actually. When I saw the word 'lemmings', I knew some people were bound to get snagged on it and ignore the whole big post that follows. This is exactly what happens in human situations involving large numbers. One or two get distracted by some wiggly, shiny piece of flotsam caught on a log. They stop to stare, argue over it, clump up around it. Then more people come paddling along, notice the crowd of canoes, dinghies and coracle, must have a closer look, get involved, clump up some more. Dam up-river, that they knew was crumbling, finally gives way; water and debris come roaring down, unnoticed.
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  15. Michael 345 New year. PRESENT is 72 years oldl Valued Senior Member

    Devil is in the details. Get details set before moving forward with the rest of the ideas

    I get your point and agree

    The OP has noted he understood about Lemmings but has not come back to reinforce his point and take attention from the Lemmings bauble

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  16. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

    Not really. He's in the first detail - however trivial - that captures the readers' attention - however brief of span.

    It was a mistake to put that word in at all. Especially in the title. He'll know better next time --
    assuming he comes back. I hope so.
  17. RainbowSingularity Valued Senior Member

    tribble logic ?

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  18. domesticated om Stickler for details Valued Senior Member

    I know exactly what you’re talking about and feel your pain. It’s one of the things I end up having to trawl through in online discussions to get any meaningful tidbits out of it.

    At any rate, I’ve been wondering the exact same thing. Amusingly, I’ve turned that concept inward to double-check and see if I’ve felt any desire to engage in war or do anything self destructive. Some lobe in my brain replies “uh.... nope, still a really dumb idea. Let’s grill sausages instead”. That at least represents one bit of evidence that a “locust swarm” type mechanism that involuntarily engages violent, self destructive , or unreasonable traits does not exist. Unfortunately, I still see the pattern of collective psychosis in others and wonder about it. Like the OP, I also wonder if history can tell us anything.
  19. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

    Ah, so you turn your personal aggression toward a prey-animal that was [presumably] killed by someone else. We re we to take another few steps in that direction: Suppose the guy next door took your sausage, would you feel more warlike then? Suppose the family next door occupied your local supermarket and made sausages inaccessible?
    Primitive war doesn't normally happen on an individual's whim (unless the individual is an exceptionally charismatic chieftain with a huge wrong to right). It's no easy decision collectively: war is risky and expensive, and small tribes can't hide or defer the cost; the best they can hope for is to gain something of equal or greater value - if they win.

    You don't see swarming in an isolated individual, no. But you do see unreasoning rage if an individual is provoked. That provocation may be a personal insult, an injury, a deprivation, or, most significantly, threat to the individual's dear ones. The protective instinct in social animals is as strong as the instinct of self-preservation.
    And it's that instinct a chieftain engages when he convenes a council of war; it's that instinct a king or president harnesses when whipping up national fury against a designated enemy.
    What you can't study is yourself immersed in a collective.
    I considered myself a very detached sort of person, until a terrifying moment in a bus full of young protesters on the way to anti war rally (1971). Everyone was convivial, elated, singing marches.... and I could feel being carried away by the collective mood. Yes, even me! I probably wouldn't have committed violence - none of us was inclined to - but in that moment, I actually understood how that might happen.

    History tells us plenty. Unfortunately, its most valuable lesson - how to prepare for inevitable problems - is rarely heeded by human societies. Our attitude tends to be "No, not here, not us; we're so much smarter, stronger, better than they were." (we have a constitution)[/QUOTE]
  20. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

    Whaaa --- ? I lost a whole big reply. *sigh*
    So, you turn you personal aggression toward a prey-animal that was [presumably] killed by someone else. But if we were to follow that reaction a couple of steps farther: What if your neighbour took your sausage? Would you feel more warlike then? What if your neighbour's clan occupied the local supermarket and made sausages inaccessible to you and your clan?
    Of course not. But self-preservation and foresight regarding long-term survival do, not to mention pride. An individual can become quite unreasoningly angry, violent even, when provoked. The provocation may be personal insult, destruction or theft of his property, thwarting of his plans, or threat to his livelihood. The greatest provocation of all is a threat to his family. The protective instinct in social animals is as strong as self-preservation.
    It's that instinct a chieftain calls upon when he convenes a council of war. It's that instinct a king, pope or president harnesses when he calls a nation to arms.
    You can't see yourself in a collective situation until you're immersed. I know this from anti-war protests, back in the 70's. The engaged, emotionally invested social animal feels and behaves quite differently from the aloof, self-sufficient one.
    It tells us plenty. Unfortunately, its most valuable lessons: how to prevent and prepare for inevitable social problems, is hardly ever heeded. This is because "It can't happen here. We're smarter than they were. Better. We have a constitution."[/quote]
  21. sculptor Valued Senior Member

    According to military studies, only about 10% of people will kill other people, and many of that 10% will do so reluctantly.
    so a real problem for military planners

    religion seems not to be a causal factor.
  22. RainbowSingularity Valued Senior Member

    anarchists & conspiracy theorists(the crazy ones) tend to live in that mental condition like a psyche patient
    possibly some type of social behaviorally supported schizophrenia like condition.

    my suspicion is it is a type of developmental issue where the development has swung off to loop back around on to the same spot instead of moving forward.

    i had the opportunity to study a self defined[intelligent] socialist borderline-schizophrenic[hypophrenic](superficial) a while back
    & learnt quite a bit.

    his ability to separate the real world from his imagination creating its own story of reality was fragile & appeared to be driven by his current emotional condition as an episodic process.
    on the whole a nice guy
    not a violent person but clear psychological bully(the injured self in denial behaviorally responsive).
    without that self control over what he has not sorted, he sits just a page turn from violence being driven by a changing thought or swing in emotions.

    fortunately or unfortunately i suspect i identified some type of deep seated psychological trauma which he has never processed to work through which seemed to be his brick wall & firm base to get a feeling of superior observation of his environment[the junky needs to WANT to give up their addiction to be able to start making the hard difficult painful steps forward].

    the expression "a little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing"
    in this instance, a little bit of specific ability[brain-chem] opens up many doors which then they lose control to discern which is open deliberately & consequently what is fact & what simply needs to be ignored)
    lost between ethos mythos ego & eather
    [the victim trapped inside the need to be the abuser to maintain self respect on a deep psychological level as an excuse)

    those pretend socialist civil rights groups tend to be made up of people stuck in that developmental process.
    while on one side you have civil rights people & on the other you have effective psyche patients along for the mental buzz.
    that group psychosis you mention is very powerful
    people self activate to create brain chemicals to get themselves wasted to maintain that state.
    there are various levels & types of that also.
    to complex for a troll & pizza gate conspiracy fan viewing area(public)

    domestic murder suicide where the father kills the small children then kills their mate
    then kills themself
    domestic murder suicidal ideation where the male kills their mate then runs off risking their own life & others in an act of suicidal escapism

    psychological co-dependancy
    co-dependant abusive relationships
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2021
  23. domesticated om Stickler for details Valued Senior Member

    Well - hehe, while we’re on the subject of not getting distracted and getting hyper-focal on
    something that isn’t really central to the discussion, I would like to point out that over analyzing things like analogies or jokes falls into that category. If it helps to openly abstract this out in plaintext, I simply meant “no - I don’t feel any kamikaze impulses overpowering my autonomous possession of rational thinking”.
    The second point is to observe those engaged in kamikaze behavior and wonder if theirs is still active.

    As far as animal comparisons go, I have a hard time accepting humans have that degree of intrinsic instincts. I will accept that they may have some susceptibility to more conceptual exploits - ie - Christians being conned into thinking the moon is made of cheese via the uninformed being fed a convincing fable and and the virtues of blind belief. Maybe that’s the actual problem come to think of it. Maybe humanity tends to produce a percentage of morons over time and they reach a degree of density to where there’s a higher probability of conflict. Maybe there really is a culmination towards a “Brawndo - thirst mutilator” stage.

    Not me. I’m more of a “I’m going to stand at a distance and watch you guys punch each other silly”


    I agree with you there. Not personally complacent enough to plant roots on mount Vesuvius though - hehe.

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