Since the dawn of human civilization, there have been conflicts, adversarial confrontations, fighting, wars, bloodshed, suffering, and loss of life. Several of these contemporary human confrontations and conflicts are spotlighted in the video slideshow below. Yet, civilized (and especially highly educated) humans are expected to be much, much better behaved. Civilized (and especially highly educated) humans are expected to be much, much more disciplined, introspective, and mature in their decision making.
What is the one common denominator in each of these conflicts? The common denominator is this: Each conflict or beef reduces to disputes over things such as access to sex, money, spheres of influence, stature, power, turf or territory, and resources with a seeming inability of the parties to the conflicts to find a common ground or to peacefully resolve their differences. Each conflict basically is about the same thing. The same thing is this: These varying confrontations and conflicts reduce to us-versus-them quests for supremacy. The same thing is this: All of these conflicts are deadly in that many humans perish in the process. The only real difference between each conflict is in scope, scale, and intensity. Some of these conflicts do not extend beyond a few city blocks while others extend across several countries. I can think of seven words to describe all of these varying human conflicts, and they are these: pure unadulterated shortsighted ridiculousness to the maximum.
Upon reflecting on the stakes, it is unfathomable to me how a few power-hungry despots and tyrants around the world, in their bids to cling to power, possibly could trigger the end of the world. The world's end could be triggered because these despots and tyrants, tactically speaking, could drag their opposing nuclear-power partners smack into the middle of the despots' domestic body politics. The question becomes this: Are the superpowers stupid enough to fall for the despots' bait, or will saner heads prevail instead? For the nuclear powers to allow a couple of murdering despots to lead the superpowers into a face-off, which quite possibly could trigger a world war, the outcome could lead to human extinction or could lead to the murder of all humans on Earth (that is, if the nuclear bombs should start falling). To me, such a scenario or development would go beyond being shortsighted and ridiculous and would move into the realm of being downright cuckoo.
On the other hand, John Dalberg-Acton noted decades ago that "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely." That is to ask, do some leaders become so preoccupied with and so consumed by the present moment of wielding unbridled power or clinging to power until they cannot see or do not care anything at all about the long-term, apocalyptical consequences of nuclear war for the whole of life on Earth? In other words, will some leaders get so carried away with power tripping, ego tripping, and self-importance until they lose all grip on rationality? A rational human would surmise that no international or domestic dispute is worth killing everyone on Earth, let alone killing everyone on Earth over a despot or tyrant. It makes zero sense. Solutions to humans dispute exist absent resorting to a nuclear apocalypse. The time is long past due for humans all over the world to move beyond a 20th century mindset and start preparing for a 22nd century living.
The logical solution to these kinds of situations is for the parties involved to cease their swords, disarm to the maximum, and seek a diplomatic and peaceful resolution of their conflicts. Yet, in un-homo sapiens sapiens-like fashion, what do the conflicting parties do instead? They do this: They proceed to arm themselves to the maximum. The superpowers are not helping the situation either in that the superpowers are not leading by example. Instead of disarming to the maximum for future life on Earth to thrive, the superpowers, too, find themselves locked in a vicious and expensive ongoing armaments race. It is both hypocritical and disingenuous for the nuclear powers to lecture other nations about the evils of possessing nuclear weapons while they sit atop their own stockpiles of nuclear weapons. Humans have got to overcome their murder mentality. Killing one another is not the answer, and killing one another is not the way for humans to proceed into the future. Instead of succumbing to the drumbeats of war, the time has come for humans all over the world to get serious about peace.
Some might argue that there are, indeed, distinguishing factors between the opposing parties in these conflicts. They might cite distinguishing factors such as defensive versus offensive actions or proactive versus reactive actions. When probing the root causes of these kinds of conflicts, sometimes these kinds of arguments of justification become little more than distinctions without a difference. For, the bottom-line is this: Humans continue to suffer and die senselessly and to die unnecessarily as a result of these conflicts. The outcome of these kinds of conflicts is still a bunch of mess with humans behaving as blood-thirsty savages instead of them behaving as the wise creatures whom they purport to be. Among other human challenges, the ongoing human-on-human cycle of hatred, violence, and killing—that is, Hell on Earth—permanently must be broken.