War As An Invention

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Humanity as a Whole Eliminating warfare is the next stage in the evolution of the planet. In Margaret Mead's essay, "Warfare Is Only an Invention-Not a Biological Necessity" she argues that warfare is nothing but a "bad invention" (page 20). She also presents two other opinions, that warfare is a "biological necessity" (page 20), and also "sociological inevitability" (page 20). In her essay, she uses examples from history to back up her stance on warfare. Mead said, "...warfare of this sort is an invention like any other of the inventions in terms of which we order our lives, such as writing, marriage, cooking our food instead of eating it raw, trial by jury, or burial of the dead..." (page 20). She brings up the fact that if a way a doing something is found universally, such as the invention of fire, then it is typically not thought of as an invention, but a quality of humanity. She also brings up the point through the history of Eskimos that there are people today who have not had warfare at all, however, they have an underdeveloped social organization. She uses the people of the Andamans Islands in the Bay of Bengal to demonstrate that a low level of society does not necessarily keep a people from warfare. The people of the Andamans were most certainly aware of warfare and when needed, they would go about it. Mead also explains that trial by jury wasn't just set into stone, it was gradually changed by the people of the time by inventing the new method; and so, the new method replaced the old method. Mead demonstrates this to show that in order for there to be a change, you must recognize the pros and cons of the existing warfare, so then you are able to formulate a new invention. After reading Mead's essay, I do not agree with her "bad invention" view of warfare. I have come to the conclusion that warfare is a sociological inevitability. This means I
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