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ETpro's avatar

Why do humans fight?

Asked by ETpro (34247 points ) April 15th, 2013

I’m not talking about peaceful arguments about the best way to accomplish something here, I’m talking about violent confrontation. Why do we slug it out, shoot it out, or even bomb our adversaries into submission? As weapons continue to advance in their destructive force, can we continue to do it and yet survive as a species? Can we stop?

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22 Answers

marinelife's avatar

Because the male of the species is genetically encoded to be fierce and like weapons. Both genders are also encoded with a fear of people that are strangers thus leading to tribalism.

So far we have failed to advance sufficiently to overcome our primitive instincts and stop war.

rojo's avatar

I think this link to an earlier question re: North Korea pretty much says it all. My reply is at the bottom of the list.

Luiveton's avatar

Animals fight too.

We just do it in a different and more violent way due to our slightly more advanced brains.

It’s in our nature.

Sunny2's avatar

I was going to say, all animals fight, although I’ve never heard of 2 snails going at it. All mammals fight? All primates fight? Supposedly, becoming civilized is supposed to make us less violent. That premise may not be true. How many centuries never had a war? How many families never had a fight? Can we say it’s part of the nature of Man? Maybe those who are not violent have simply repressed that part of their nature.

YARNLADY's avatar

The same reason parents still believe in spanking, physical dominance is still considered acceptable behavior.

Blondesjon's avatar

How else is one to prove their genitalia is bigger?

whipping said genitalia out is not an option. the fear of being beaten like that is much greater than the fear of getting one’s ass handed to them.

Buttonstc's avatar

In a nutshell, (pun intended) at the root of it all is Testosterone.

rooeytoo's avatar

Because we no longer believe in the “turn the other cheek” stuff???

Only138's avatar

Because its fun. ;)

Linda_Owl's avatar

I think it is (basically) that no country wants to be the first to offer the ‘olive branch’. So Diplomacy looses out to military action & far too many people die or end up crippled and/or maimed. It is sort of like the idea of the ‘gun culture’ in the United States – too many American men do not care how many other men will end up dead.

jordym84's avatar

Oversized egos.

Pachy's avatar

It’s in our DNA.

woodcutter's avatar

Because we all want to be the boss.

ETpro's avatar

GAs to all. Thanks for the input, and please keep them coming. Your contributions are fascinating and enlightening. I don’t want to single any one out for praise or criticism, because I don’t want to poison the pool of creative speculation flowing here.

whitenoise's avatar

Because we rather believe in simple solutions than complex ones.

We will accept any simple solution that we understand rather than complex ones we don’t. Even if the simple one is false.

Solutions of ‘war and fighting’ always promise simple effective solutions, like peace and prosperity, or the end to a threat. They offer in a way that we understand (bomb the fuckers, hang ‘em high, the kid just needs a good spanking.) Alternatives are often far more complex, or even involve us doing nothing.

As I once learned: for every complex solution, there are always many simple solutions, most of which are wrong. Complex problems call for complex solutions.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

We are little different than other higher apes except that we are hairless and walk upright. Our behaviour is not so much more civilized than our near relatives in the animal kingdom.

whitenoise's avatar

@Dr_Lawrence Are you familiar with the work of Dr. Frans de Waal? His research with bonobos largely supports your claim. It also shows hope in showing that morality is innate in our ape relatives, so maybe in us as well.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Watch a tribe of gorillas for a while. Their behavior is strikingly similar to ours.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

@whitenoise I heard someone interviewed on CBC in the past few days who discussed such things. I do not recall that person’s name.

talljasperman's avatar

~laziness… being diplomatic is too tiring.

rooeytoo's avatar

Are morality and fighting mutually exclusive?

I have never seen a creature that does not fight and often it has to do with survival, not morality.

I don’t think that fighting is immoral. It depends upon the situation.

whitenoise's avatar

@Dr_Lawrence
Then maybe have a look at this TED talk, by Dr. Frans de Waal.

You may find it very alluring. In fact it’s nice to watch for anyone, not just academics.

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