Human Nature on the Battlefield: Man or Monster? Essay by Sam I Am

Human Nature on the Battlefield: Man or Monster?
An analysis of warfare as it relates to concepts of morality, human dignity and justice.
# 27393 | 2,281 words | 4 sources | MLA | 2003 | US
Published on Jun 03, 2003 in Philosophy (History) , Philosophy (History - 20th Century) , Ethics (General)

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This paper is a critical and historiographical examination of the nature of warfare and the natures of the men who wage it. It analyzes the fundamental moral prohibitions against warfare and violence and the circumstances and situations in which the human responses of sympathy and morality can be broken down. It looks at how philosophers and scholars have long debated the fundamental tenets of human nature and how some, including Thomas Hobbes, argue that man is naturally barbaric and that social constraints are necessary to restrain these violent tendencies. Others, such as Immanuel Kant, contend that man is inherently benevolent and that the group dynamics of society should seek to harness these altruistic forces.

From the Paper:

"However, certain factors can overwhelm and neutralize these moral responses, thereby effecting a fundamental transformation of the people involved in the acts of violence. War often results from the manifestation of the destructive, cruel, and violent tendencies that coexist within all humans along with the restraining forces of sympathy, compassion, and respect. Glover maintains that the moral resources typically restrain the savage impulses of humankind, but when these moral resources collapse in the midst of war, barbarism and cruelty rise to the foreground. In his descriptions of various instances of torture and cruelty in times of war, Glover makes a compelling case for the perverse appeal of such cruelty for many people, particularly emotionally stunted males seeking to buoy their self-confidence through the assertion of their power over weaker creatures."

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Human Nature on the Battlefield: Man or Monster? (2003, June 03) Retrieved September 25, 2023, from

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