Genocide and Human Progress

I recall explaining to a group that the percentage of soldiers killed in war  is much lower than in the past, especially in hunter-gatherer societies.  The number of civilians killed was also much higher, and people viewed genocide as a normal (though dreaded) hazard of life.  In fact, we did not even have a word for “genocide” until the twentieth century. There is no record of any nation intervening to stop a genocide until the US intervened in Bosnia and Kosovo.

The fact that we talk about “genocide,” condemn it, and criticize lack of action about it is in fact a testament to the unfolding evolution of humanity.  This did not happen in past centuries, in pre-modern cultures, or in the Bible. That’s why cultural transformation is difficult.  People refuse to see what right in front of them:  a growing repulsion for the annihilation of groups of human beings. If we want to move forward, we need to talk about what’s good about us.  Otherwise, those listening shut down.

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DR. LAURENCE H. KANT (LARRY KANT), MYSTIC SCHOLAR: Engaged Mysticism and Scholarship in the Pursuit of Wisdom; Discovering meaning in every issue and facet of life; Integrating scholarship, spirituality, mysticism, poetry, community, economics, and politics seamlessly. Historian of Religion: Ph.D., Yale University, 1993 (Department of Religious Studies); Exchange Scholar, Harvard University, Rabbinics, 1983-84; M.A., 1982, Yale, 1982 (Department of Religious Studies); M.T.S., Harvard Divinity School, 1981; B.A., Classics (Greek and Latin), Tufts University, 1978; Wayland High School (Wayland, MA), 1974. Served on the faculty of Cornell University (Ithaca, NY), York University (Toronto), and Lexington Theological Seminary (Lexington, KY). Works in many languages: Ancient Greek, Latin, Hebrew, Aramaic, Syriac, English, French, Italian, German, Modern Greek (some Dutch, Portuguese, Spanish). Holder of numerous honors and awards, including The Rome Prize in Classics (Prix de Rome) and Fellow of the American Academy of Rome.

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One Response to “Genocide and Human Progress”

  1. Meriah Kruse says:

    I thank you for pointing out solid evidence that we are evolving. I admit that sometimes I wonder.

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