It might seem like we humans are violent, but we really aren't compared to other creatures. Really, how many times have you been in a knock-down drag out fight over a meal or a mate? We outlaw that kind of individual violent behavior. At the same time, we plan, justify and sanction violence on a mass scale. In The Goodness Paradox: The Strange Relationship Between Virtue and Violence in Human Evolution, Harvard biological anthropologist Richard Wrangham presents an explanation that is convincing, a little disturbing, and also pretty hopeful. It involves chimpanzees and bonobos, capitol punishment and an idea called "self domestication," and our disturbing capacity for planning violence.
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