Humanity’s most beloved principle is nonviolence. Humane is synonymous with nonviolence. It means being kind, compassionate or having the ability to treat others with kindness. Being humane is the same thing as being nonviolent. Ahimsa, also known as nonviolence, was one of the core values in East. It is now incorporated into Jainism and Buddhism. Since Jesus Christ, it has been the core value for the West. He advised humanity to abandon the policy of “eyeforeye” and embrace the new principle nonviolence. He declared
“You’ve heard it said that eyes are for eyes and teeth are for teeth. But, I say to you, Don’t resist evil people. Turn to the other side if someone hits you on the right cheek. If someone is going to sue you, and take your tunic with him, then let him have your cloak. (Matthew 5:38-40)
But Christianity can never eliminate violence. Many of those who died in the 20th century’s two World Wars were Christians who had been murdered by their brothers. Every nation and society uses violence to punish criminals. Some even receive death sentences. Every country has an army that is trained to protect its citizens and kill enemies.
Violence was justified by many religions, at least in certain situations. In the following words, Koran exhorts Muslims to kill unbelievers
You must kill them wherever you find them, and then drive them away from the places where they took you. Persecution is worse than death. – (Koran 2:191)
Violence is not allowed in Hinduism. Despite the fact that Hinduism places a high value on nonviolence, and many Hindus don’t even kill animals, violence is still permitted. Bhagwat Gita is one of the holiest scriptures in Hinduism and it preaches war against enemies as a sacred duty. Arjun is clearly told by Lord Krishna that he will not be beaten.
You should be aware of your duty as a warrior and that fighting on religious principles is the best way to engage. O Partha, happy warriors are those who do not take up fighting opportunities that open the doors to the heavenly planets. (Gita 2:31-32)
In the end, violence and war were inevitable in the fates of humanity. But men have tried to build a society that is based on love, nonviolence and cooperation. Men are by nature unable to defend the killing men and long for a peaceful existence.
Understanding why nonviolence is not compatible with humanity is therefore necessary. Humanity is, however, always motivated towards nonviolence.
Principles of Nonviolence
Nonviolence can be defined in a wider sense. This includes the infliction of physical harm on an individual as well as violence of any kind, whether it be thought, action or spoken. A murder of another person is the ultimate act of violence, which is often preceded with milder forms of violence. As Jesus taught, it is important to avoid violence in any form.
“You’ve heard it said that murderers will be punished. But, I can assure you that anyone who gets angry with his brother will face the consequences. The Sanhedrin will also have to answer for anyone who tells his brother, “Raca,” (a contemptuous term). Anyone who responds, “You fool!” The fires of hell will consume anyone who says, “You fool!” (Mathew 5: 21-22)
In a peaceful society, it is unacceptable to hurt another person’s feelings. If there is a difference of opinion, the only recourse for the man is to convince his counterpart. The person who disagrees with the other person must agree.
Only a world that is just, fraternal, and egalitarian can create a nonviolent society. Every person should have equal wealth, opportunity, and a place in society. This is not possible in modern society, which is built on opposite principles. A rich parent’s children inherit billions while their poor offspring inherit poverty and hunger. Equal distribution of resources basically means that the wealthy are made poorer many times over and the wealth is distributed to the poor. Violence would be required because the wealthy would not want to part with their wealth. Therefore, there is no way to make a just and equal society through nonviolent means.
It is important to consider whether humanity can ever grow if rewards for performance or excellence are removed. If everyone is going to have the same wealth, position, and respect, why should anyone want to work? The human society has given extraordinary rewards to those who have contributed greatly to the advancement of mankind. This is the reason why all of mankind’s development was possible. In a society that does not reward the extraordinary, there can’t be inventions or hard work.
While nonviolence sounds great, it must be practiced. While there is no society that can be considered nonviolent in an absolute sense, some countries are higher on the nonviolent index.
India is without doubt one of the least violent countries. This is evident in India’s continued calling Gandhi (the man who symbolised nonviolence in modern times) the father of the nation. More than half of Indians today are vegetarians and do not eat meat. In most jobs, the seniority and age determine the position of the individual rather than performance or merit. This allows for greater equality. This means that many of the most powerful politicians are either very old or the children of well-known politicians. The senior person holds all the top jobs in industry and bureaucracy.
USA is one of the most violent nations in the world, having been involved in more wars than any other nation. The USA has the highest level of inequality and the richest citizens in the world. The majority of positions are determined on merit, not age. The President of the USA is a man aged in his forties who rose to the top of his profession purely on his merit.
One can still see that India is still a poor country with a per capita income of less than 2%, compared to the USA. India has yet to produce one Nobel laureate in literature or science, despite having a population greater than a billion. In the 60 years of independence, India had only won one Gold Medal in this individual event. The USA has many medals.
If a country wants to follow the path to nonviolence, which is spirituality in action, it must give up all its power and wealth. Jesus had, therefore, warmed humanity
“No one can serve both masters.” Either he’ll hate one master and love the other or he’ll be loyal to one while hating the other. It is impossible to serve God and Money simultaneously (Matthew 6,24).
Man’s Romance With Nonviolence
Humanity cannot be nonviolent if they do not eliminate all inequality in the world. This is obvious since humankind’s very foundation is built on inequality. Despite his spiritual nature, man cannot resist his attraction to nonviolence.
One way to compare the attraction of men towards nonviolence is the attraction of a man toward a woman so different from him. She is feminine, powerless and soft. But no man would like to be like a woman. He wants to keep his power and position and his attraction to a female is because of that. Despite its desire for peace, love, and nonviolence, it is unlikely that humanity will ever become nonviolent.
Nonviolence and humanity are therefore not mutually exclusive, but complement each other. They are attracted to each other. Man becomes more materialistic and loses his love and peace. He must win wars and compete for material gains. But war can cause hatred and ruin his peace. After the war, his attraction to love and nonviolence increased. He continues to move from violence towards nonviolence like an oscillator. He loses his wealth and power when men are nonviolent. This drives him to use violence to regain that wealth and power. This game will continue forever.
Science and scriptures cannot explain life. Science and religion are both bodies and souls of truth. They complement one another, like body and soul. Contrary to popular belief, they are not incompatible. They can’t exist without one another.
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