I know how we can achieve World Peace…
I’ve been interested in World Peace as long as I can remember. As a child I often wondered, ‘why can’t people just be nice to each other?’ and ‘why can’t people just leave me alone?’
I was 10 when I came up with, what I thought would be the only real law we needed: ‘Everyone can do anything they like as long as it doesn’t stop anyone else doing what they like.’
That seems to work, doesn’t it? It’s not far off the Golden Rule of ‘do unto others as you would have them do unto you’. Not bad for me in 1981. But then I did pick up my philosophy from Doctor Who so you shouldn’t expect anything less.
But it doesn’t work does it? No matter what extraneous laws we put in place to control behaviour, whatever carrot or stick, whatever promise or guilt trip we use, we still don’t have peace.
So why is that? Clearly some people follow just the first half of my Golden Rule and just do what they want (that’s the definition of the code of magic set down by Aleister Crowley, ‘Do what thy wilt’ by the way). We call these people sociopaths. But they are a tiny fraction of the problem, even when they do end up running a country.
Why do we have wars? Some people cite religion as the reason. They are wrong. I may be naive and simplistic in my philiosophy, but I’ve thought it through a little bit more than that. Religion is largely irrelevant, or rather it is a subset of a larger set.
I’m suggesting there are two reasons nations or people go to war, or pick a fight of any kind. Just two reasons. Often it’s both reasons together and sometimes it’s one but they cite the other.
The first reason is resources. People will fight and kill each other to get what the other person has. It could be money, a nice coat, a wife or husband, more land, oil, water, copper, food, anything.
The two World Wars were about land and resources but they were both triggered by the other reason people fight:
Difference of opinion or different ideas.*
That’s why the answer is not religion, but the higher set of conflicting ideas. In fact that’s all religion really is, a group adherence to a particular idea on how to live life. That’s why different football fans will fight because of the difference of opinion on who should be supported. Without religion we’d still have warring tribes and culture clashes.
That’s why many peace activists have focused on pointing out that we have such few differences, that we should embrace difference and that we should remove the boundaries of tribe, religion, country and wealth that divides us.
But, on this day, I have another idea…
Let’s face it. It’s pretty obvious that we’re all different. All of us. It’s pretty obvious that we don’t all see things the same way. Even Beatle fans can’t agree on the best track on the Revolver LP. We all have different opinions and ideas and guess what, those opinions might even change.
So ‘different ideas’ are here to stay and we can’t do anything about them.
But it’s not the fact of those different ideas that are the problem. It’s not the fact that we disagree about which, if any, religious faith is right. It’s not the fact that we can’t agree of who was the best Doctor Who (it was Tom Baker by the way). It’s the fact that we get offended if someone else holds a different view. We get offended if we’re pointed out to be wrong, by someone else’s opinion.
Yes. That’s what I’m saying. We can’t have World Peace until everyone stops getting offended by other people having different ideas.
We often point the finger at idiots who incite hatred. The enlightened pour scorn on those who create division. The modern liberal politically correct model is to try really hard to not offend anyone and punish those who do. There have been numerous examples recently of comedians having to ‘apologise’ for making fun of someone (which is worryingly ludicrous as humour is formed by the realisation of differences or embarrassment over them).
There is an answer to all this. There is a brave step we need to take to get closer to World Peace. This is it:
We all must never be offended by what anyone says ever again.
Could you do it? No matter what they said about your mum? No matter how their words degraded you, your family, your work? Could you just laugh it off or ignore it? Do you have the confidence that your own opinions are strong enough to stand up to unfair trials without having to feel defeated or lash out?
If no-one was offended by what people said, if the saying ‘sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me’ was adhered to, we’d seriously reduce the instigation of violence.
So how can we stop people from being so offended by everything? Again the answer is simple. We all should be as overwhelmingly verbally offensive as possible to all those people who are quick to take offence. We need to tell the most offensive jokes about them to them until their internal offensive-defence mechanism can’t take it anymore and it just washes over them. And we must never ever apologise for it.
But guess what. I might be wrong. Your idea might be better. Let’s hear it.
All we’d have to do then is figure out a way to share out all our resources. That may not be easy, but in an open debate where no-one is getting offended by what people say, we might be able to at least have a crack at it.
* Actually it’s ‘fear of difference’ that’s the real key, which is why people with primitive minds are racist, defaulting to the ancient ‘purging of the hives’ animal mentality. The fear comes from lack of confidence in the self when faced with a difference. This is why racists have inferiority complexes and an inability to grasp logic which is a much later evolutionary trait.