American culture at-large has confused facts with truth, truth with opinion, and opinion with intolerance and bigotry. When facts become bigoted opinions, the truth is squeezed from the center of cultural thought. Much of what people say think and believe has been poisoned by division, short-sighted arrogance and despair.
Many people do not know what they think. Almost no one knows why they think what they think. We inherit a – by virtue of our birth in a nation, state, region, and family – a way of seeing the world. This view of the world is largely obscured from consciousness. But it remains a grand why moving beneath the mainstream current of culture, ever shaping and informing a new batch of hapless travelers along the voyage of life.
Why are humans so violent? Can anything be done about it? For centuries philosophers, theologians and governments have sought answers to these perplexing and vital questions. Over the past decade, a variety of hypothesis have been put forward by the globes leading thinkers. The belief is that if we could understand the cause of human violence we could reshape the outcome. Over the next few weeks I will be exploring some answers to this question and be reviewing their implications for spirituality. Part one of this series examines some popular modern views on the origin of human violence.
When I was twenty I saved up and bought a round-trip ticket to Rome. I had never been out of the country and wanted to test my metal as a young man. It was time for this novice to explore the unknown. However, sitting for five hours on the floor in O’Hare airport cursing the weather which delayed my connecting flight had me wondering if I’d made a huge mistake. So much for my manly metal. Frustration compounded once I boarded my flight and discovered I was seated in the middle seat of the middle section in the middle of the 777. Little did I know seated next to me for twelve hours of cramped coach “luxury” was one of my life’s biggest lessons.