The Purpose of Violence

We may resist the notion, yet violence is a fundamental part of who we are as human animals and human communities, the survivors of decisions made by our ancestors over millennia.  We suffer from the consequences of physical violence, emotional violence, and violence in our thoughts. Nonetheless, as Robert Sapolsky writes in “Behave,” we don’t hate violence. “We hate and fear the ‘wrong’ kind of violence.  When it’s the ‘right’ kind of aggression, we love it.”  How does violence serve us? What is the purpose of violence in a world so desperately in need of loving kindness and peace?

Our first Sunday drop-in covenant group will focus on our monthly theme of “Violence.”  All are invited to participate. Rev. Lyn Marshall will facilitate.

Resources mentioned during the service:

  • Demonic Males:  Apes and the Origins of Human Violence by Richard Wrangham and Dale Peterson
  • Behave:  The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst by Robert Sapolsky
  • TEDTalk:  The Biology of Our Best and Worst Selves by Robert Sapolsky


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