Where humans are concerned, conflict is inevitable. Do you agree with this and if so, why do you hold this view?  I, for one, am of the belief that where humans are concerned, conflict and...

Where humans are concerned, conflict is inevitable.

Do you agree with this and if so, why do you hold this view? 

I, for one, am of the belief that where humans are concerned, conflict and adversity is inevitable and ultimately unavoidable, whether it be on a small scale (such as disagreements with a family member) or on a large scale (such as the war in Afghanistan).  Conflict is an intrinsic part of our lives, yet its how we deal with conflict which distinguishes one person's from another. 

Also, I would be extremely grateful if someone could possibly source examples from history that seem to support the idea that conflict is inevitable when it comes to human beings.

Expert Answers
durbanville eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The first thing that comes to mind is "survival of the fittest." It may be a sad fact but conflict is inevitable as human beings are complex and unique and subjectivity will always prevail.

The way we deal with conflict though is what sets people apart and creates good people, very good people, bad people, etc.

Communication is the key to everything. It is NEVER about what you say but ALWAYS about the way you say it. Sorry to be so cliche but interpretation has been known to cause unimaginable hardship and conflict. A slight slip of the tongue or a misunderstanding has been known to tear families apart. Intention is not necessarily considered.

Due to the subjectivity with which we view things and our outlook, when someone says something, it is not automatic to think about them first and the reason why they said it but to think about ourselves and the hurt that person has caused US. Only on reflection can rational thought occur and there isn't always time for that.

Power struggles split nations as power corrupts and seemingly "decent" people become despots overnight. It is public knowledge that in the 1980s the US supported the removal of Russia after they invaded Afghanistan and worked with the Taliban. Now there's miscommunication for you!! Having different agendas has changed the face of history.

Look at the cat and mouse game with North Korea; the petulant child and the belligerent parent (you decide who is whom!!) and the "I'll do one better than you."  As far as world domination goes, there are plenty of countries scrambling for the top position! It seems that the personalities of the leaders of many countries (and I say this cautiously and very broadly!) do not allow for "sharing."

In Animal Farm, Orwell portrays an environment where "everyone is equal but some are more equal than others. " Unfortunately, that mirrors the environment in which we exist. Why do we feel that we have any right over any other human being? Historically, man consistently places his beliefs and standpoint above others. Class conflict seems to have existed throuughout the ages, and still today; racial discrimination too - whose idea was it to place importance on skin color in deciding a person's merit?

In Lord of the Flies, Golding is bent on persuading us that man is basically self-serving, savage and devoid of real compassion. The irony that some stranded "innocent" schoolboys are rescued by a commander from a warship serves as a warning that a lot of conflict stems from within.

  • The Northern Ireland conflict stems (simplistically) from a dislike of British rule due to the Church of England being the preferred religious base and the Anglicans thus persecuting practising catholics. Roman Catholics and Church of England (Protestant) worshippers are both Christian-based. Christianity teaches compassion, love, acceptance so, where's the argument?
  • The Crusades were military expeditions to overthrow specific "insurgents" but once they'd been successful, they were hungry for more and went on to "defeat" other rulers.
  • And it's not just men. In The Judgment of Solomon from biblical times  (1Kings 3) two women fought over the possession of a baby to the point of him almost being cut in half. Even Abraham was willing to sacrifice Isaac (Gen 22)at God's demand.

Maybe that's why we're so confused. If God supported such inhumane acts, what hope is there for us? In saying that there is a huge difference between conflict and actual violence! 



durbanville eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Hope I'm not monopolizing your question but the (my) answer above doesn't really include the potential for conflict to have good results (ran out of space). My apologies if the answer resembles a soap-box drama.  

Boundaries do need to be pushed; otherwise there will never be new discoveries. A person needs to find his or her inner strength wich may involve inner conflict in reaching for something seemingly unobtainable.

Conflict resolution isn't only about resolving disputes but creating exciting and innovative means of solving problems. Being aware of conflict also shows that there's always two sides to an argument.

So, while conflict can and unfortunately does have disastrous, life-changing results, we must not ignore it's potential to be a strong motivator.

Many brilliant inventions came about because the inventor wanted to prove someone else wrong, or prove a point.

Look at where conflict has brought women. Only by standing up for our rights and "fighting"  have we been able to become major contributors in places other than the home.

Hence, the inevitablilty for conflict does allow us to channel it for the purposes of fairness and justice and all that is good about the world.