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In this world we are hearing of the evil of terrorism. I do not think it is terrorism we need to fear. The biggest issue we have to confront is tribalism. from time immemorial man has felt "he" has to belong to a Tribe. From the "tribe" of football fans to the most evil of all "tribes" Religion. Maybe it is within "Mans" DNA that he has to belong to a "Tribe" and a warring tribe at that. Until "Man" has moved away for the need to belong. There will always be evil on this planet.

GeorgeTodd 4 Feb 3

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Think: a lone Early Man had pretty much zero chance of survival and/or reproducing. In a group, chances were 100% better. We are hard-wired to "belong" IMO

Anne, spot on. Banishment from the tribe was most often a fate worse than death--and often resulted in death. Even if someone managed to survive, he/she was without companionship, which is essential to most humans.

@Gwendolyn2018 and that's why banishment causes so much psychological harm.

In a nutshell. We would have never survived without the cooperation of our tribe. The 10 commandments were never an original idea, just the common sense values that sustained the social group.

@BitFlipper Yup! I am quite reclusive but I still need human contact. I get it when I go to Walmart. πŸ˜›

@Gwendolyn2018 Please don't go to Walmart; they're union busters. 😟
Or, go there. I'm not trying to tell anyone how to live.

@Paul4747 I do not like Walmart--I worked there for two years and the best thing it did for me was to make me realize that I needed to return to school. However, I am also lazy and time conscious. There is a Walmart within ten minutes from me in two directions. Except for Aldi, where I also shop, the next grocery store is at least 1/2 hour from me. That's an hour out of the day if I drive there.

@Gwendolyn2018 It's true they've managed to drive out many other, better stores. Sorry it's happened in your town.

@Paul4747 There are at least least four supercenters and two neighborhood markets in Springfield. Several other grocery stores have gone out of business.


I would belong to no club that would have me as a member

Groucho Marx

I've posted that on numerous occasions.


Terrorism is a specifically chosen, demographically tested and evocative word, meant to bring about fear in the masses and provoke panic and a demand to be kept free from, at the cost of freedom to, from those who see safety as more desirable than liberty and/or privacy.


This is a subject that is treated in a recent book called "The Human Swarm". Unfortunately, the takeaway seemed to be that we are hardwired with a desire to belong. There is no "us" without a "them".

The author is a biologist who applies sociobiological thinking to humans and other animals. He has convincing arguments and lots of examples.

This is a good book very much related to this topic.

AJ413 Level 3 Feb 4, 2020

Tribes make the world more interesting. It's a mistake to fail to make a distinction between the good kinds of tribalism and the bad kinds. The trick is to attack the bad aspects of tribes ("we're better than them" ) and to back the good aspects instead of trying to eradicate them too. Even religions should be harmless, fun things, if it wasn't for the hate tied up in many of them with drives conflict, terrorism and genocide. Some people want to wipe out all religions to eliminate the hate, but there are many fun aspects of religion that make the world a better place, so those should be retained, even if most of it is based on absolute nonsense. Nonsense can be fun, and that makes it worthwhile. Our task is not to destroy cultural difference, but to preserve as much variety as possible, but while ripping out all the hate from it and flushing that hate down the toilet.


We are pack animals so we are meant to part of a tribe. We do not prosper on our own. When I found I found my tribe. πŸ˜€

Wolves are pack animals. Quite different from humans who are tribal.

@Moravian Tribalism is the pack instinct distorted by culture into something it was never meant to be, because we have no control over our cultures but are controled by them.


I agree, i remember as a young college student i couldn't understand why the school I went to encouraged disparaging the school 10 miles away that was our rival in sports. Whether it sports politics, business, relgion etc. Competition is one thing demonizing is another. The fancy term for it is the us/them dichotomy by a psychologist named Aaron Beck. As soon as u start thinking in terms of us/them it all goes down hill from there. Religion is based on this. Beleivers/non-beleivers thats why relgion will always fail humanity.


Tribalism is in our DNA. As we evolved from small groups formed for survival from foes(animal and other groups) And food (hunting/gathering), as well as protection from the elements.
We still prefer hanging out with like minded people. This may extend to geographic areas of the world with Similar cultural aspects, ie. linguistics, dress, diet, entertainment etc. evolving. All separating us from other groups (tribes) also evolving. These differences have proved too much for some individuals and groups, eg. white rascists. And so terrorism can have tribal routes. I don’t think we have to belong to a tribe so much as we just do (DNA as I said) or choose to (sports for example). Sports and higher education are great prejudice break downers, as you are forced to be with others from other tribes and at first get along then usually respect and appreciate. Religion doesn’t have to be evil. I’m the first in my family to become agnostic but there were no evil ancestors of mine that I’m aware of.

"no evil ancestors of mine that I’m aware of"
We are all tragicly unaware of that, as the nature of such people in the family structure was to never speak of them, but I am pretty sure we all have some if we go back far enough.

"Tribalism is in our DNA"--perfection. That is why we can only hold 125 or so people as truly close, more than that and they get blurry. It is al;so in gender roles (hot potato there today), which then influenced the social gender roles, tribalism is herd behavior, herd instinct, pride behavior, wolf behanvior VS deer behavior, all expressed in humanity as human vtribal behaviors.
and all evolved.

I think sociological factors can force humans into various types of tribes which greatly resemble the types of group behaviors found amongst the rest of the animal kingdom.
Poverty and fear force young men into wolf tribes we call gangs, Nations have tribes of lions we call soldiers, Nations have social outcasts forming small tribes of Coyotes we call the Homeless, Nations have the socialy excluded who resemble bears, tigers, moose iwe call them Loners, spinsters, eccentrics, and shut ins.

As humans it seems we represent much of nature like players on the stage.

@Davesnothere my point regarding evil to take it further is that there likely was or were some (as measured by the standards of that time) as the genes align. Or misalign if you prefer. But I’m not aware of any. Mind you I can think of a pretty foul mouthed uncle. Not necessarily attribute able to religion. Though I’m betting religion has contributed to that evil. The rest of your comments are pretty much what I said.

@Bilbobagins I agree in large part, I do not see genes as evil or good though. If you are thinking of say, a tendancy to violence, I would agree but say whether or not it is regaurded as "evil" depends both on your overall society and the microculture your in.
For instance in the Roman legions, violence was common among the troops, however not to the point either troop could not fight tomorrow against the Gauls. It was a socially acceptable form of conflict resolution in the field.
IE, it was normal to drown unwanted infants in some cultures, not evil as we would see it today from this culture.

If you strip away the cultural norms, we are savage little primates with vicious weapons.

@Davesnothere : nicely said.


Everyone has an innate sense of "family" or "tribe", even if they don't feel they belong to one. I think that the size of that conceptual family differs among people. It may be your immediate family, your neighborhood, your "congregation", your political party, your city, your country, etc.


You are correct but there will always be tribes. Man has such a need to belong that he continues to make things up. It's the same old crap whether the Crips and Bloods or varieties of religion. Football is not off the hook either. In Texas years ago a doctor and his son got into an argument about Earl Campbell's salary. One killed the other.


Sub tribes can cause even more trouble. Sectarian subdivisions like Catholic/Protestant. or Shia/Sunni


I disagree. We need to see that we are all of one group. We share the same DNA, mitochondrial DNA shows we are all related. We are all the same, until we realize that we are better off realizing this and not fighting each other over something that is not ours.We do not own the land, the oceans, the air, we need to realize that we all benefit from these resources and share in them and their sustainability. Sounds like we will never get to this place, but if we do not we will not make it as a species. Perhaps raccoons will be the next sentient species to give it a try.


Most countries are attempting to resolve their differences with out warfare. War has become much too expensive for most civilized nations. The uncivilized starve their people into submission with a lack of knowledge.


I don't know if tribalism is in man's DNA, but it is apparent to me that it is reinforced via social participation. Mankind seems not to have left his monkey-troop beginnings too far behind.


So the oil and coal industries that are literally destroying our planet are not the real threat at the moment ???


It gets kind of lonely when one is not a part of a tribe or a group of people.

Au contraire, mon ami, I find I've realized how all tribes are functionally identical and equal. Each claims to be the best, yet from their behavior it's hard to see how one is much different from the others. Being a loner has distinct advantages.

@Paul4747 With regards to tribe similarities: Very true when human behavior is considered. Without a doubt there are significant advantages to individuality and independence. However, there is something to be said for human interaction and familiarity with those with whom one finds identity. Why, I believe, we find ourselves on this site and talking with each other.


Well, there's nothing wrong about being in a "tribe". As long as there's respect for others. In a way, nationalities are a bit like tribes, we have to learn to appreciate what others have to offer. When I travel to anywhere I never been, I try to learn about their ways and appreciate whatever they have, be it monuments, food, music, sports.


Unless we become one, single "tribe?"

Perhaps the "evil" of which you speak is really just a transition period, brought on by our rapidly developing communications technology?

As "tribes," grew in size, first
Very small units, then
Villages, then
City states,
Nation states,
Confederations and Federations between and among nations, doesn't a progression to a
One World Government
seem inevitable?

As warring "tribes" come into close proximity geographically, friction was--and still is--inevitable.

But in the Internet Age, geography is increasingly irrelevant, right?
The friction these days comes more from a clash of the very ideas on which cultures, including especially RELIGION, are based.

Are we on the cusp of the formation of entirely new religions, eventually melding into a single religion, one which reflects the state of our rapidly increasing scientific knowledge?

THIS religion, based on fact rather than ignorance, would have to be, would be, flexible enough to change and grow as our understanding of the universe evolves.

So if you put on your rose-colored glasses, this "evil" may be in fact a very good thing.
(If we don't destroy ourselves first.)

P.S. Being anti-theist, I'm using the word "religion" very loosely, it's amended definition (or maybe we need a different word) meaning 'pursuit of answers to basic remaining questions as to our still mysterious origins.'
If there is such a thing.
Maybe some "mysteries" will remain.
But I doubt it.

This is an optimistic view and one I hope does come about. However, humans are more complicated than we ourselves realize. Not only do we have an internal need to 'belong' we also have a need to 'exclude.' Belonging by its nature also excludes, hence the formation of the 'tribe.'

The "I'm 'this' and you are 'not' is very powerful tribalistic tool for those who need to belong to segregate themselves into often perceived higher positions/groups above others.

But I think you are on the right train of thought, education, more access to it could help to create that one universal tribe that includes everyone. Of course, I don't think it will happen until ET shows up, then humans as a whole can proceed to exclude the space aliens from the universal tribe. LOL.


No. Humans group together for safety & security & from that comes the sense of tribalism, gangs, clans & elitism. I see no transcendence. That would require a major paradigm shift of thinking.


Patriotism & political party affiliation come to mind.


It's in our natures to seek validation. There is a serious learning curve, though, between fellowship and tribalism.

Deb57 Level 8 Feb 7, 2020

I think it is a basic effort of group safety. It gets out of control trying to maintain control. The bigger the safer some think, so these groups flourish irregardless of the dangers present in those groups.
Many of us don't like groups to much, because they are real adept at control factors..


Oh, wow. That's really interesting.

Muton Level 2 Feb 3, 2020

In the US 71% of terrorism was perpetrated by white supremist, not all of them belonged to a tribe but were acting independently.


I think my main concern is the institutionalised and usually accepted terrorism that exists within our societies. Tribalism is instinctual, we relate or not, stereotype and learn from experience; keeping an open mind can be a challenge, and some don’t see the value of it. We are social animals, those that don’t feel they belong can get quite ill.

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