Debate and Discussion

If everyone could have free energy, would all the wars stop?
Lonnehart at 2:32AM, Sept. 9, 2008
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Suppose we finally master the ability to create energy freely, and that it'll last for several million years and everyone in the world would benefit. Cars, trains and planes that don't use gas. Our lights powered by infinitely renewable resources. Do you think all the wars and conflict over oil and other energy sources would stop? Or would the conflict simply move to something else?
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:38PM
ozoneocean at 2:56AM, Sept. 9, 2008
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Energy for machines isn't the only source of war man. :)

The oldest wars have always been over land- And I think the basic reason there is energy for life: land for growing crops, hunting, and water. You also need land to live on, to mine for stone, iron and all the rest, for wood…. Most wars for cultural and religious reasons are really about land possession: The crusades involved a lot of “younger son” type European royalty that didn't have land and therefore wealth and means of their own. They aimed to carve out their own kingdoms in the free lands of the middle East.

The Israelis wanted a land of their own to live in, Palestine was as good as any, having their traditional cultural routes there, they took it. The Palestinians want that land back and they have supporters in the Arab world for that plight.

The trouble in Zimbabwe at the moment started because Mugabe's power was slipping, but the trouble is over white owned land. They still owned most of the land and were comparatively wealthy. Native farmers took over the land, degraded it and farmed it badly, the country lost millions from lost agricultural exports and food became rarer and more expensive. Inflation rose to huge amounts…
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Look wherever resources are finite, you get tension. There are inequities, people taking advantage, people wanting and needing, people after CONTROL of it. And land is really the most basic and general factor. The “oil” idea is a bit simple really… that's sort of like a commodified aspect of land, like gold or money, but it's just a part of the story. Like religion, that's just the same story with ritual tacked on to obscure things.
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Hahahahaha. lol! I've had some more thinking on this, and the trouble with this sort or reductionism is that you end up with a simple answer, but often the wrong one, like “war for oil”. What I've said up there is quite cogent and sensible, so I won't delete it, but it's only a part of the story. The bigger story is one of "POWER“.
You need power for influence, for the success of your group (identified by ”race", religion, skin colour, nationhood, language group family grouping…), so it will thrive. For that you need resources and those are mostly in land- for your group to power its nation and to live on, but also to deny other groups that land and its resources so they won't impinge on you and you will reach your goal.
-Which is a lot more complex than “Oil”, “Water”, “women”, “religion”, “land”, or “Money”, But more basic and fundamentals to because it has analogues in all things in life and even the inanimate… But that's a big extrapolation.

So in simple terms: no unlimited energy can't stop war.
It could help make it really amazing and huge though… :)
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:32PM
Lonnehart at 6:18AM, Sept. 9, 2008
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So even if we had unlimited resources and everyone could have what they wanted, there will always be those few who want to control everything. And some people can't seem to get enough of that control. I guess a true Utopia is almost impossible.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:38PM
bravo1102 at 7:24AM, Sept. 9, 2008
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There would always be someone who wanted more. That would lead to conflict and once people organize themselves into groups (which humans always do. the us/not us behavior)

You have wars. Change human nature with unlimited resources you could erase conflict. With unlimited land how could you find anyone to have conflict with? ;) Oh wait you'd have your family. According to one myth isn't that how it started? Cain and Abel? Sir Thomas Moore acknowledged you'd have to perfect human nature before Utopia would be possible. Perfecting human nature is probably not possible without a redesign of our genetic make-up. Aldous Huxley foresaw that in Brave New World. I'm not crazy about the results. :)

Only the dead have seen the end of war.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:33AM
Aurora Moon at 1:46PM, Sept. 9, 2008
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bravo1102
There would always be someone who wanted more. That would lead to conflict and once people organize themselves into groups (which humans always do. the us/not us behavior)

You have wars. Change human nature with unlimited resources you could erase conflict. With unlimited land how could you find anyone to have conflict with? ;) Oh wait you'd have your family. According to one myth isn't that how it started? Cain and Abel? Sir Thomas Moore acknowledged you'd have to perfect human nature before Utopia would be possible. Perfecting human nature is probably not possible without a redesign of our genetic make-up. Aldous Huxley foresaw that in Brave New World. I'm not crazy about the results. :)

Only the dead have seen the end of war.

I would have to agree.

With some humans, there always has to be an “us or them” mentality.

in a way you can see this already… like the whole “Christians vs Muslims”, “Atheists vs Christians” and or even “ Mainstream vs non-mainstream”…

there's always going to be that one person who points something out to his/her ‘group’ and says something to the effect of: “You know what? I totally feel that our way of life/style/whatever is superior to others! and there's times where it annoys me that there's always those odd humans who doesn't choose our way of life/clothing/whatever…. we should do something about that!!”

who knows? when there's not much to fight about anymore in the future, they might even start a war over clothing styles or something equally stupid. That's just how some humans are.
I'm on hitatus while I redo one of my webcomics. Be sure to check it out when I'n done! :)
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:10AM
Sea_Cow at 7:18PM, Sept. 9, 2008
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The Taliban would be oppressive, Osama would still be hiding somewhere, many radical Muslims would still hate America's capitalist-pig guts, and should I make a list of reasons why war would still exist with energy for everyone? There is always war. In fact, they should change it from “Death and taxes” to “Death and taxes and WAR!!” To take it away, religions would somehow have to coexist. Honestly, with all the “FIRE AND BRIMSTONE!!!!” Christians and “JIHAD!!!!” Muslims, how is that possible? War is a problem that, unfortunately, can't be solved.

On another note, some people say that I'm kind of cynical. What's up with that?
I am so happy to finally be back home
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:26PM
arteestx at 8:42PM, Sept. 9, 2008
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I agree with most that having free energy would not eliminate all war. But I must say I'm a bit more optimistic than others. I would like to think that we've made some advances over the years. I think the spread of democracy makes for a more stable world overall, and I see that trend as getting better. I think having institutions like the U.N. have helped keep wars and skirmishes from proliferating into massive world wars. Think about where Germany and Japan were 60-70 years ago and where they are today. Tensions haven't gone away with China, but could anyone in the 1970s have imagined how much American business would be integrated with that country in a mere 30 years?

The flipside, of course, is that technology has made it easier for small groups of people to cause enormous damage, so the danger still exists. There are still dictators and thugs, so war isn't ending anytime soon, and maybe never will given human nature. But I'm optimistic that if we can create viable forms of renewable energy, find ways to keep population growth in check, and help lift the standards of people around the world as has been taking place over the past few decades, then maybe war won't have to happen as often.

Aw, who am I kidding? KILL THE BASTARDS!!! ;)

Xolta is not intended for anyone under 18 years old.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:02AM
DAJB at 12:01AM, Sept. 10, 2008
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Nope. War is with us to stay.

As much as we comic fans like to believe that villains always have a rational motive for their evil deeds, the truth is that some people are just, well … evil! They like to have power over others, they like to inflict pain on other people, they like to force others to follow their lead.

It doesn't really matter whether it's the playground bully after your lunch money, the political leader out to further his own country's interests at the expense of others or religious fanatics who feel it's their duty to force their beliefs onto others … sadly, some part of the human race will always be evil. Probably a gene inherited from the Neanderthals or something!
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:03PM
ifelldownthestairs at 10:43PM, Sept. 10, 2008
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everyone should have some artistic outlet. i mean look at the drunkduck community, completely devoid of harmony and riddled with war! it's wonde-…

“we're building a casino!”

…y'arrr…. give me five minutes.
you know why birds don't write their memoirs? because birds don't lead epic lives, that's why. who'd want to read what a bird does? nobody. that's who.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:56PM
Fortune Zero at 5:14AM, Sept. 11, 2008
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We'd fight over women. Or religion. Or differing opinions on ridiculously unimportant affairs. Or racial intolerance. Or for control. Or for resources in general, not counting energy. There's all sorts of stupid things to go to war over.

Eliminate every reason, and it'll just get illogical. Countries will go to war for the thrill of the hunt.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:30PM
ipokino at 9:19AM, Sept. 11, 2008
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Bravo
Sir Thomas Moore acknowledged you'd have to perfect human nature before Utopia would be possible.

The trouble is–does anyone really and actually WANT peace or Utopia? People SAY they do, but all life on Earth is geared and wired for conflict. If real and actual conflict doesn't exist, we manufacture it in our sports and our competitions. Competition is Gaia's way of keeping evolution on the cutting edge of species development. Even disease is actually nothing more than competition carried to another level.
It has been shown that any civilization which establishes peace for a long period of time, stagnates. Its culture turns inward and becomes self destructive. Peace is a lovely concept, and frankly, I love living a peaceful life–but let's face it, without dis-harmony–there are no stories. The art of story telling relies on conflicts–lack of peace. Try writing a story that is all about peace and light and love and happiness…and see how long people read it. Actually, I'm not even sure you could write anything like that and actually have a forward moving plot!

Peace…not all it is cracked up to be…
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:02PM
lothar at 4:12PM, Sept. 11, 2008
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the only way to ever make the humans realy peacfull is for the machines to take over . they would have to be self replicating and they would need to build millions of new artificial Earths and then divide the humans up and distribute them across these planets . Basicaly , humans need to be sooo over stimulated with energy and matter and open spaces as to be rendered incapable of the ability to organize or plan anything resembling a society . then there will be no wars . they may still kill eachother individualy .
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:45PM
Ironscarf at 6:24PM, Sept. 11, 2008
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Well there's a fine example of human racism, blaming the neanderthals for the foibles of human nature.

The neanderthals were a peace loving people - that's why we killed 'em all.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:02PM
ozoneocean at 9:43PM, Sept. 11, 2008
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DAJB
As much as we comic fans like to believe that villains always have a rational motive for their evil deeds…
Umm, I'd tend to think that the comic crowd is far more prone to the myth of “evil” than anyone besides the deeply religious. :)

“Evil” is relative, if you look at the world rationally, it really mean: things that hurt me or go against what I believe is right and good. Why do those things go against what you believe is right and good? Maybe the perpetrator has very different moral standards to you? Maybe they're insane and acting illogically to any reason? Whatever, “evil” is in the eye of beholder.
Fortune Zero
We'd fight over women. Or religion. Or differing opinions on ridiculously unimportant affairs. Or racial intolerance. Or for control. Or for resources in general, not counting energy. There's all sorts of stupid things to go to war over.
No, those are all essentially the same reason, as I explained in my first post: all for furthering the existence and supremacy of your own group, whatever your affiliation to that group is (nation, language, familiy, religion etc).
Fortune Zero
Eliminate every reason, and it'll just get illogical. Countries will go to war for the thrill of the hunt.
Without the need to help the group achieve parity or supremacy over other groups, you've no need for war. But then you have to sort out the individual and their need for dominance… Pretty easy actually, only the first part is hard.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:32PM
DAJB at 11:18PM, Sept. 11, 2008
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Ironscarf
The neanderthals were a peace loving people - that's why we killed 'em all.
Who says we killed them? (And who's this “we” anyway?! I wasn't there, I swear it! ;-) ) Many anthropologists believe the various pre-cursors to homo sapiens did not wipe each other out but inter-bred, in which case our gene pool still has traces of Neanderthal (and the others) in it.

Some people just have more traces than others!
;-)
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:03PM
Ironscarf at 4:51AM, Sept. 12, 2008
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You don't get out of it that easily DAJB - I saw you at the back, waving that pitchfork!

I agree that war is here to stay, but I don't think you can blame a few “evil” dictators who force their will on others; it just doesn't work that way. You have to get the majority to go along with the plan and sadly, that's really easy to do.

It wasn't just Hitler and a few of his mates who sent all those innocents to their deaths. Let's not sail up the Egytian river here; humanity is culpable. If we can all admit that, then maybe we can do something about it.

Or maybe not.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:02PM
Ironscarf at 4:55AM, Sept. 12, 2008
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Someone
It wasn't just Hitler and a few of his mates who sent all those innocents to their deaths. Let's not sail up the Egytian river here; humanity is culpable. If we can all admit that, then maybe we can do something about it.

Sorry, I meant Egyptian.

Had to go for a P.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:02PM
DAJB at 5:08AM, Sept. 12, 2008
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Ironscarf
You don't get out of it that easily DAJB - I saw you at the back, waving that pitchfork!
It was a toasting fork! Honest!

Ironscarf
I agree that war is here to stay, but I don't think you can blame a few “evil” dictators who force their will on others; it just doesn't work that way. You have to get the majority to go along with the plan
That's true. But without the “evil” guys to start the war in the first place, the others wouldn't have a “plan” to go along with. It takes a lot of courage to stand up to truly evil individuals and, sadly, most of us don't have that. You mention those who “went along with” Hitler but would you have opposed him? Knowing that to do so could cost you your life? Or your family's lives?

I'd like to think I would but, if I'm honest, I seriously doubt it. (I think I must have got some genes from those “peace-loving” Neanderthals you mentioned!)

last edited on July 14, 2011 12:03PM
ozoneocean at 7:04AM, Sept. 12, 2008
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DAJB
But without the “evil” guys to start the war in the first place, the others wouldn't have a “plan” to go along with.
It's a traditional idea… but incorrect.

Consider: ALL people have plans and ideas, many of them things you and I would consider “evil” from our perspectives. They're not unique or special. There are probably 100 million potential Stalins, and Hitlers running around at this very moment. Talk to some people long enough and pretty soon you'll see the sorts of things… Well, there are some nasty cases out there.

What they lack is a following. That's the key, not the plans and schemes but the followers: people being part of “the group”. :)

Our herd, pack instinct…

And the example of the German people during WW2 bears that out, as does that in Russia and any other place that's suffered like that. People simply just find themselves going along with it. There are those that oppose, there always is, but not enough.

 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:32PM
DAJB at 7:17AM, Sept. 12, 2008
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ozoneocean
DAJB
But without the “evil” guys to start the war in the first place, the others wouldn't have a “plan” to go along with.
It's a traditional idea… but incorrect.
Interesting theory. However, nothing you said disproves my point.

The “herd” does not start wars. The “herd”, by definition, follows. Therefore if there's a war-mongerer to follow, they may follow him. If there isn't, they can't.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:03PM
ozoneocean at 7:45AM, Sept. 12, 2008
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Of course it alters the situation you present ;)

The “herd” are the war. Look at it this way; gunpowder will explode violently when a spark hits it, then cause a fire that'll carry on the destruction. Now, sparks aren't special, they're fairly special, but not that much. Lots of things give off sparks and nothing happens, but when they hit just the right sort of fuel

Even the “Hitler was exceptionally evil” idea is foolish and silly. Those who believe in such things are make us more prone to repeats of such situations through their wishful thinking and blindness to the real the situation. The history of Nazi Germany is well known and many of us know how many “evil” men there were. Any one of them could have been the spark.

But we have old, traditional ideas about “great leaders”, even in this democratic age. The herd are exempt… All those ordinary people in Rwanda who felt it was perfectly normal to burn their neighbours alive in their homes are innocent as doves now. :)
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:32PM
DAJB at 8:29AM, Sept. 12, 2008
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ozoneocean
Of course it alters the situation you present ;)

The “herd” are the war. Look at it this way; gunpowder will explode violently when a spark hits it, then cause a fire that'll carry on the destruction. Now, sparks aren't special, they're fairly special, but not that much. Lots of things give off sparks and nothing happens, but when they hit just the right sort of fuel

Even the “Hitler was exceptionally evil” idea is foolish and silly. Those who believe in such things are make us more prone to repeats of such situations through their wishful thinking and blindness to the real the situation. The history of Nazi Germany is well known and many of us know how many “evil” men there were. Any one of them could have been the spark.

But we have old, traditional ideas about “great leaders”, even in this democratic age. The herd are exempt… All those ordinary people in Rwanda who felt it was perfectly normal to burn their neighbours alive in their homes are innocent as doves now. :)
So, your argument is that it's not a minority of individuals who are evil, but that the whole human race is necessarily evil? I don't buy that. I'm certainly not (at least I wasn't the last time I looked!) and, despite our differences of opinion on many issues, I'm prepared to believe you're not either.

In terms of defining the human race's willingness to begin a war, therefore, the question, then, is which is the norm and which are the exceptions. Are people like you and I the exceptions or the people who burn others in their houses? I tend to think that the vast majority of human beings would not begin a war and would not burn innocents alive. Those who would (and do) are the minority and, yes, I would define them as evil.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:03PM
ozoneocean at 11:59PM, Sept. 12, 2008
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No, I say evil is perspective. Really, no one is evil, but sometimes they appear that way, to others. Rarely to themselves.

All people have the potential to follow along, that's part of our make-up. I don't think humans would be where we are today without that instinct. Our culture depends on it.

Many times following along means people do terrible things.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:32PM
Jellomix at 4:13PM, Sept. 13, 2008
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No, people would have other things to fight over. Religion, land, government, etc.

But then again, if we had unlimited energy, we'd probably blow up the world. Then… yeah, wars would stop. Oh wait, we already can blow up the world. Well, I suppose unlimited energy would sure make it easier. =D

Now that's kind of depressing, actually.
Sig? Yeah, I'll get to it. >_<
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:07PM
bravo1102 at 3:16PM, Sept. 14, 2008
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ozoneocean
No, I say evil is perspective. Really, no one is evil, but sometimes they appear that way, to others. Rarely to themselves.

All people have the potential to follow along, that's part of our make-up. I don't think humans would be where we are today without that instinct. Our culture depends on it.

Many times following along means people do terrible things.

Good and evil in the history of man have often been a matter of perspective. Hitler thought he was doing the right thing and was good. The Jews (and Churchill and Roosevelt and the Poles etc) thought he was evil and wrong. Hitler is also an extreme example that is always brought up in these discussions. A more realistic example might be Napoleon, Shaka Zulu or Vlad Dracula.

They looked evil to their enemies and were painted as such but they were forces for the good of their ideals and nations/peoples. (herd mentality anyone?) Think about how the Civilized Nations of American Indians saw Andrew Jackson as opposed to average Sam American. Group against group and both saw themselves as doing the right thing. The Civilized Nations even had the US Supreme Court on their side. Imagine if the US president today totally ignored the Supreme Court because they have no power to enforce their decisions on the government. Wonder what Andrew Jackson would do about the War on Terror? He'd make G.W. Bush look like the most wonderful and balanced president ever.

“Only the dead have seen the end of war.” That was said more than two millenia ago.

Us/not-us Goes back to those tribes of humans living in caves (or small thatched huts) with their hunting grounds versus the other small tribe of humans (or even proto-humans)
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:33AM
Ironscarfs Ghost at 12:25PM, Sept. 15, 2008
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bravo1102
Hitler is also an extreme example that is always brought up in these discussions. A more realistic example might be Napoleon, Shaka Zulu or Vlad Dracula.

Wait a minute - are we saying that Hitler is a bad example because he was extreme, or because he is always cited as an example? Are Shaka and Vlad cool now and Adolf just so last century?!

I am so hanging out with the wrong crowd.
Er……..boo!
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:03PM
Puff_Of_Smoke at 6:49PM, Sept. 15, 2008
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Ironscarfs Ghost
bravo1102
Hitler is also an extreme example that is always brought up in these discussions. A more realistic example might be Napoleon, Shaka Zulu or Vlad Dracula.

Wait a minute - are we saying that Hitler is a bad example because he was extreme, or because he is always cited as an example? Are Shaka and Vlad cool now and Adolf just so last century?!

I am so hanging out with the wrong crowd.
He just caused a war because he was a nut who believed in atlanteans and fairy tales like that :P
I
I have a gun. It's really powerful. Especially against living things.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:56PM
lothar at 6:05AM, Sept. 17, 2008
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DAJB
So, your argument is that it's not a minority of individuals who are evil, but that the whole human race is necessarily evil? I don't buy that. I'm certainly not (at least I wasn't the last time I looked!) and, despite our differences of opinion on many issues, I'm prepared to believe you're not either.

In terms of defining the human race's willingness to begin a war, therefore, the question, then, is which is the norm and which are the exceptions. Are people like you and I the exceptions or the people who burn others in their houses? I tend to think that the vast majority of human beings would not begin a war and would not burn innocents alive. Those who would (and do) are the minority and, yes, I would define them as evil.

ummm .. 1 word - Iraq !

watch your average Americans reaction when you question the legitimacy of the war or talk about civilian deaths ;
there is your answer .
most people are ready and willing to remain silent and look the other way , rationalize , dehumanize . and that's all that's really needed for “evil” to prosper .
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:45PM
c_arnold at 8:50PM, Sept. 24, 2008
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Lonnehart
Suppose we finally master the ability to create energy freely, and that it'll last for several million years and everyone in the world would benefit. Cars, trains and planes that don't use gas. Our lights powered by infinitely renewable resources. Do you think all the wars and conflict over oil and other energy sources would stop? Or would the conflict simply move to something else?
The wars over oil would definitely stop if we had the ability to generate energy freely, that'd last for millions of years, and was beneficial to everyone, and everything in the world. However, humanity would likely find either old reason to go to war, or new ones we haven't acted on yet.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:02PM
deepcheese at 12:47PM, Sept. 28, 2008
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Wars will not end with free and unlimited energy, because people have unlimited wants. To satisfy our want for energy will not satisfy our want for other limited resources like land. And as long as we have something to fight for, we will continue to wage war with each other.
It may be sad, but it's true.

last edited on July 14, 2011 12:10PM

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