Blog Post #7 – Why are humans virtually always in conflict?

a) What challenges did you overcome throughout this inquiry project? How did you go about overcoming these challenges?

The main challenge I dealt with during this inquiry project was encountering conflicting opinions and information. The topic I chose to research is hotly debated and scientists and researchers have yet to reach a consensus. Differing religious beliefs, morals, and personal biases drastically alter findings, as most of the information on this topic is circumstantial and relies on the researcher’s interpretation. To overcome these challenges, I chose to mention both main arguments, yet focus in large part on the more prevalent and popular theory of societal pressure. I felt this was more relevant because it demonstrated ideas in a more succinct and logical way (to me).

b) How did this inquiry change the way you think?

This inquiry project was super interesting to me because of my lack of knowledge beforehand. Before this inquiry project, I had assumed that humans had always been a violent species who were hardwired to go to war. I hadn’t ever thought about the part that the emergence of complex communities/societies played in this phenomenon and in our history. Without groups of people who believe their lives are more important than another group’s, wars simply don’t happen, and that was quite the revelation.

c) How did this investigation impact your future decisions?

While this inquiry likely won’t have much bearing on my future decisions, the idea that circumstance affects people’s actions more than how they’re “hardwired” can translate to areas other than just war. A great example of this is how poverty can affect individuals and make them far more likely to commit crimes. When the circumstance someone is placed into is awful, they tend to do worse things (duh). Would you rather starve or steal a loaf of bread from the grocery store? Don’t lie. The vast majority of people would choose to steal and that’s unfortunate, yet very understandable. This inquiry project reinforced this idea for me and made me more understanding and forgiving towards people’s actions in regard to their circumstance.

d) What impact will this investigation have on others locally and/or globally?

As I mentioned in the previous paragraph, this inquiry project likely won’t affect too many people locally and/or globabally. However, for the people who previously believed that humans have war “in their blood” and that we’re destined to fight forever, perhaps they now have some hope now that they know that war is a conflict of circumstance. If societies aren’t afraid that their resources, beliefs, or land are at risk, war is practically impossible. Instead of giving up on peace because it has never been achieved before, we should continue to strive for it and take steps to bring everyone together instead of creating barriers.

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