Human nature is a great topic, I love what people like to assume about our very nature. Of course the conversation can sway to concepts that are completely human, like good and evil. In those we have other concepts that we group into good or evil. It is the ideal that is brought on by higher thought and reason. It is the ability to engage in the philosophy , or critical thought, that separates us from even the smartest of the animals. It is not just the trait of reason that makes us stand apart, but it is an obsession that enables us to stand alone at the top of the ecological heap.
We group, we put things into easy to figure out concepts so we can share our familiarity and base our decisions on them. We also use this reason and categorical process to divide our world into concepts of good and evil. We like to see things as good and bad, and not just good or bad for us as individuals, but good or bad for our culture or our herd. It is because of this we can accept certain things as universal truths and offer rational explanations for things that are inherent in our instinctual behavior. So like other animals, we protect our young, seek shelter from bad weather, and look for food. Attraction is based on reproduction, no matter how many times we are told a twig of lady is the standard of beauty. Yet we know that those narrow hips could not pass a child. Those lack of breast will not feed our young. In that we see one flaw of reason, or the ability to reason.
Some say things over and over again hoping that it will implant itself into your mind. As if saying it more then once some how offers truth to the concept. So we group people together and try to get more people into our group, because the more you say something and the more people you get to say it the more reasonable it seems to become. This is the flaw in behavior, and a failure of reason, when it is knowledge or education that offers more then just saying something is true. It is the tendency of the group mentality, a throw back to the herd mind, that tells us to accept the status quo though. It is then by saying our beliefs over and over, and hearing others repeat them that we can use rational thought to justify things that we have in the past considered evil.
So here we justify another part of human nature with the fortification of a shared belief. Here we try to cover up something people like to say is a horrible act. Here we justify violence on others, and in the next breath vilify violence and right it off as a monstrous or at the least an animal like behavior. We try to hide this flaw and call is something else, or declare it a necessary evil. In doing so we fail to admit the very nature of violence in the human condition. Even when turning away from violence, it still follows us, or lays ahead of us. It is engrained deep into what we call human nature.
We have examples of those we call enlightened and moving on a path of non violence, but in that path of non violence human nature takes over. It is what we like to think of as the lowest common denominator. You see if you have a group of people, it is a shared IQ, or level of education that is going to determine the effects of reason, or the level of reason available in a group or mob. I like the definition of a group IQ, where you take the highest IQ in the group and divide it by the amount of people in the group. This gives you the ability of the group to reason. It is when we go back to the "herd" that we revert to our baser instincts and are less inclined to attempt to use reason to resolve conflict.
For an example we have one great man, in Gandhi. Awesome dude, and one of the greatest thinkers of our time. While he preferred the path of nonviolence, the mob moved to violence or the threat of violence on his behalf. While it was not his intent to offer riots as a solution for his nation to enjoy independence it was an effect of his actions. It was not his intent, so we do not hold him accountable. However it was the thoughts of the population as a group or herd that moved to violence on his behalf. The very idea of civil disobedience is brilliant, but for the less of the rational thinkers of the mob, it is an invitation to participate in violence. Now understand I am not saying that Gandhi supported violence, but I am saying that the very nature of people made this violence in the form of riots inevitable.
Violence is easy, or at least the easier path. In some cases of others living a life of this ease, it is the only way to enact change on them. A good friend has said over and over to me that if all you have in your tool box is a hammer, all your problems look like nails. In that he is absolutely right, and with those of lesser rational thought, or less exposure to education you have to hit the nail on the head for them to understand. You get their attention with violence and then teach them about other tools and maybe offer them a new toolbox. You have to keep in mind though that we as humans are like water, and like to take the path of least resistance. So while we can have a tool box full of the right tools for a job, the visceral appeal of the hammer is always present.
To use the hammer less, you have to be better with the hammer, so those that only know the hammer might pause long enough to watch you use the other things in your tool box. You must also also understand that we are all given a hammer at birth, but we learn to use other tools as we grow and receive education. You can not make assumption on the abilities of others based on the groupings you have been taught in your own life, but you can talk shop and see what common ground you have. So you can build something for everyone to see, even if it only starts with a hammer, or you can revert to the herd mentality and seek destruction through a release to baser violent tendencies.
I am not saying violence is bad, it is human nature. Not just nature, but really a part of human nature. History speaks for us, with the rarity of the Gandhi's and Dr. King's, but the elevation of Patton's, Alexander's, Ceaser's, and Churchill's. All of them great men each with different tools, but we always seem to respect the hammer. As we grow we need to respect those that can create if we ever hope to grow as a race. We have to build on rational thought if we wish to accomplish more. We can reach for the stars, but we will never hold them until we learn how to build a ladder.