Monday, May 11, 2009

Live Long and Prosper

I've been a fan of Star Trek for quite some time, and am excited to see the latest movie. One of the intriguing aspects proposed by the series is whether Earth as a whole could join together and be at peace within itself. It's a great ideal, and some psychologists believe we can get there.

So, can we as a human species free ourselves from the horrors of war? Unfortunately, my vote is no, at least apart from Christ's reign.

First, Scripture indicates somewhat clearly that wars will continue to come. In the context of the "end times", Jesus says:
When you hear of wars and revolutions, do not be frightened. These things must happen first, but the end will not come right away." Then he said to them: "Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.
Also, the second Rider in Revelation is "given power to take peace from the earth and to make men slay each other."

But let's say for the sake of argument that a temporary but long-lasting peace could occur beforehand. At what scale would this peace occur? That is, in what sized groups would the fighting stop?

I can imagine that the combination of a global, interconnected economy and the growth of tolerance in the belief sets would make it possible, one day, for no nation to want to cause harm to any other nation. This might meet the technical definition of world peace, but not the spirit of it. After all, though the nations may try to stop it, groups of varying sizes (from dozens to thousands) will still exist for the purpose of causing harm. That means terrorist cells, organized crime syndicates, and gangs will not disappear. So, sure, India and Pakistan may call a truce, and somehow Israel and the rest of the Middle East could come to terms, but I can't see terrorist attacks or turf wars becoming historical oddities.

Why the pessimism? Because it's in our nature. We're all inherently selfish. Our natural reaction when we feel disenfranchised is to fight back if we can. And the most effective way of fighting back is to find others also willing to fight back. And why will there be those who feel disenfranchised? Because we as human beings do a pretty miserable job of following the simplest of rules Jesus laid down for us: "Love your neighbor as yourself."

If every human being aimed to follow this Golden Rule, we may not eliminate all conflict, but we'd sure be a whole lot closer to Star Trek than we are right now.

1 comment:

Linda said...

I hope that you are right but given the trend in nationalism since before World War I. I do not think world peace is not going happen anytime soon.