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Will Humans Ever Stop Fighting Wars? From the Email Inbox

(Since July, On Violence, inspired by John Horgan and Radiolab, crowd sourced the question, “Will Humans Ever Stop Fighting Wars?” to our readers. Today’s sampling comes from our inbox. Feel free to drop us your response in the comment section, on twitter or by email.)

Brian Van Reet Responds:

If our past is in fact prologue, the human race will fight wars of increasing technical sophistication and destructive force, until one day we annihilate ourselves in a flash of light and heat.

However, if the human heart is any guide, we will--in painfully slow fits and starts--shape ourselves in the image of what Abraham Lincoln called, "the better angels of our nature," abandoning brutish ways of life, including slavery, ritual killings, and hopefully, eventually, war.

Rick Coxen Responds:

No! As long as there are men that seek power and their ability to control others, there will be wars. Man is the only animal on earth that destroys vast numbers of its own species. As far back as one can go in recorded history, there has been wars and so it will continue for what has changed? The only thing that has changed is that we have become more proficient at it.

I inherited my grandfather's World War One journal, and through it I've learned how violent and inhumane that war was.There are so many war books written that focus on battle strategies and who won or lost the battle. Battle casualties are just numbers that measure effectiveness of the armies involved and therefore rise above the horror that created them. So I'm writing a book based on my grandfather's journal that will describe his personal experiences with the horrors of war.

In August of 2014, just three years from now, the world will reflect of the 100 year anniversary of the Great War, World War One. It was said that it was "the war to end all wars", and yet, it took only 25 years for the world to get involved in another world war. I'll be interested to see how the world will handle this event.