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Conflict: Is It Necessary?

Updated on February 7, 2015
tHErEDpILL profile image

Alem is an Entrepreneur and Writer with an A.S. in Digital Film Making.


I will focus this article on Thomas Hobbes and some of his ideas, using the bullet points below I will attempt to explain what I think he means.

The writings of Thomas Hobbes

Individuals are prior to society- I think right here he's saying that although society does not exist without individuals and individuals came first, we will not exist without a society or a working team (Individuals exist in a “state of nature.”). In other words when it comes to survival in this world, a team is more valuable than any single person. Take the "X-Men" for example, Wolverine can take care of himself but when he decides to stop being hardheaded and become part of the team he ends up doing more good than he could possibly do on his own. In addition it changes him in a good way. The loner ends up making friends.

Conflict arises as separate individuals seek the same thing- If you think about it peace is a catalyst for war. Two different sides are looking for their version of peace whatever that may be. Depending on how bad these two sides want to accomplish this goal a conflict will arise. In "The Matrix," Zion wanted to be free from The System and The System needed human bodies to survive. At the end Neo makes a deal with the system that momentarily ends the war. It kills me how idiots don't get the ending, but anyway Neo gives his life (like Jesus) in order to defeat the greater evil (Smith/The Devil) and save his people. At the same time the system is saved from total takeover by the virus Smith. The problem here is that peace will not last forever as the Architect said. Which raises the other question; can there ever be a united peace between two sides when the necessities of their peace negatively affects the other?

The state of nature is one of war – all against all- We are all biologically Egoistic. We are pre-programmed to ensure our own survival. Again with The Matrix. The System needed human bodies to survive and humans would not offer to be enslaved who would. This resulted in The System aggressively taking what it needed. Morpheus and the resistance wanted to ensure their survival as well so they fought back.

The solution is peace- I agree that peace is the solution, but is total peace a rationally attainable goal? You have to wonder if a particular side ever "won" and peace was accomplished, would there then be a faction inside the side that won who wants something else? After all it is in our nature to war. No matter how hard we try it seems that nature is more powerful than anything we as man can ever create. Also who's to say one person's definition of peace is the same as another. When peace is allegedly accomplished I think people will start to think of their own individual needs. Look at a movie like "Demolition Man." They allowed cursing and physical sex and claimed that society ran better that way. No curses equaled less violence, No sex equaled no STD's. On the surface it seemed like society was functioning perfectly but if you have seen the movie you know what happens.

The contract is the agreement to give up certain items to gain one’s own self-interest.- I think Hobbes may be on to something here. It seems like the only way for everyone to be happy is for each party to eventually give up some of their individual wants for the good of everyone. But is this logically possible considering human nature?


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    • Spirit Whisperer profile image

      Xavier Nathan 

      5 years ago from Isle of Man

      I am also very thankful to Mr Happy for sending me your article.

    • Spirit Whisperer profile image

      Xavier Nathan 

      5 years ago from Isle of Man

      I thoroughly enjoyed your article and appreciate you sharing some of Mr Hobbes's ideas on conflict. For me there is no conflict except the conflict within. We project outward what we cannot stand within and in seeing what we abhor as separate and belonging to whom we attached it to we then attack it. It is a very elaborate way for us to avoid realising the insane illusion we all subscribe to.

      A major stumbling block for us all is the body. The body cannot think, it is a vehicle for us to perceive ourselves and the world. The body is also a physical means to convince ourselves that we are separate. Jesus dying on the cross was a message for us to realise that we are not our bodies and to keep identifying with our bodies is to keep keep us enslaved to the notion that we are limited in any way.

      Keep up the great work. Thank you.

    • tHErEDpILL profile imageAUTHOR

      Alem Belton 

      5 years ago from New York

      Thank you Mr. Happy. Always good to see your comments and gain some knowledge from your insight.

    • Mr. Happy profile image

      Mr. Happy 

      5 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      "The loner ends up making friends." - Ya, several friends are good ... this coming from a lone wolf indeed.

      "Which raises the other question; can there ever be a united peace between two sides when the necessities of their peace negatively affects the other?"- This depends on Perception and Intent.

      One may think he needs a car, or needs food. Yet we know of people who do not own a car and we know of people who can go on fasting for months ... some strange human creatures have been fasting for years. I am thinking of Indian Samana(s) - they seem to be the most common.

      Intent is important because it is one of the most basic and powerful patterns used for Creation. Unbending intent got Neo to see through the Matrix. Unbending intent can help one fast for years on end. Thus, food becomes unnecessary. Yet, for most people this seems like an impossibility - they lack the Intent.

      So, Peace can take place when Intent is channeled properly, without negative consequences. The Intent must be there though; an Unbending Intent.

      "We are all biologically Egoistic." - Is Spirit Egoisitc though? Are we not Spirit first and Human after? : )

      "It seems like the only way for everyone to be happy is for each party to eventually give up some of their individual wants for the good of everyone." - Well, this is the course of things. With time, people realize that money doesn't bring happiness, that material things do not bring happiness and eventually they return to Spirit. Only through Spirit, Love, Compassion, Understanding and Acceptance can we find Lasting Happiness. (If Mr. Happy doesn't know, who would? LOL)

      Thanks for the write. Always fun to read you're wondering thoughts and leaving some of my own.

      Cheers and all the best!


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