is human progress more dependent on the mind or the sword?is human progress more dependent on the mind or the sword?

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pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In my opinion, human progress is more dependent on the mind.  The growth of particular nations may well be dependent on the sword, but the progress of humanity as a whole is much more dependent on the mind.

I cannot think of anything that really benefits people that has directly come from "the sword."  Sure, the need for war has led to some inventions like the rocket and radar and nuclear energy.  However, those things still really came from the mind.  They were conceived of by people who were using their brains.

Beyond that, though, there are all sorts of things that have been devised that help us progress that were not really created for war.  I think those things (ideas like democracy, things like art, tangible stuff like air conditioning) have contributed more to our growth than war has.

drmonica eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I sincerely believe that the human mind contributes far more to progress than the sword. At the risk of overusing a well-worn example, Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr., demonstrated for all time that nonviolent civil disobedience can launch revolutions.

Nevertheless, there are also examples of the sword accomplishing what reasoned discourse never could. Would Hitler have been willing to sit down and listen to an explanation of why his schemes were unconscionable? Of course not. It was only due to the a massive war effort by the Allies that the Axis powers could be brought to heel.

Lori Steinbach eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There was a time when advancements were made first by the sword, then by the mind.  (Think of how many events in history involve "battle" or "conquest.")  However, the most successful advancements were made in conjunction with strategy and planning and innovations--all products of the mind.  I, too, vote for mind over sword.

lrwilliams eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I would also say that the mind contributes more to human progress than the sword. The above poster uses two great examples of that in King and Ghandi. Also if you think about all the advancements in technology over the years, that would also be an example of the minds contribution.

litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator
This is a good question. I would argue that the sword comes from the mind. All advances in military technology result from advances of the mind. Sometimes fhe sword is not enough, and somtimes the mnd is not enough. I think you really need both.