The Source of Man’s Violence
People look at different reasons when man’s violence against man occurs. They seek to rationalize something that cannot be rationalized due to strong emotion clouding judgement. To find the source of man’s violence, regardless of the perceived reason, one must look within.
Human nature is unchanging. That constant force throughout human history includes man’s inhumanity and violence against man.
We are all capable of violence against our fellow man. It is within us all. We are all the source.
From the moment man had knowledge of good and evil, the potential for violence against man was born. Cain used violence to commit the first murder of Abel.
If we are all capable of violence against man, which is part of our nature, why are we not in a constant state of violence and war?
It is the positive parts of human nature that keeps violence in check for most. Even though we are all capable of choosing violence, most choose other outlets.
By understanding human nature, we can combat the darker parts of us. We do not have to give in to anything that is not considered good to God.
We all make moral choices every day since we alone have free will.
To search for some other root cause is to excuse the violence. If it was not for tribalism, for example, there would be no violence. That minimizes the role of the individual who commits violence of all kinds.
We are all responsible for our own actions. It is not tribalism or anything else to shift the blame. It is our own decisions that we are responsible for.
When an individual commits and act of violence, that individual is solely responsible. And should be punished equally under the law.
I am not referring to times of war, but everyday life. Every day, people commit egregious violent actions throughout the world against their fellow man. There is no justification for committing immoral acts. It is simply man committing violence against man.
Devarim/ Deuteronomy 24
“16. Fathers shall not be put to death because of sons, nor shall sons be put to death because of fathers; each man shall be put to death for his own transgression.”
It is clear from the verse that all man is responsible for our own sins. Justification that something other than our own decisions denies free will and responsibility. It excuses the violent action.
Not once does the Tanakh allow for justification of sin. There is no placing blame on anything else. We are responsible, not tribalism or some other excuse that delegitimizes our own actions.
During war, violence is allowed. But not all violence. There are immoral actions taken, such as targeting civilians and using human shields the way Iranian backed terrorists do whenever they attack Israel.
They cross the moral line, which makes it a sin. There is no just following orders excuse. Each is responsible and each will answer to God.
Outside what is allowed in war are war crimes and sin against God. Every unlawful order, like raping girls and women the way the Soviets did, was a war crime and crime against God.
Even in the heat of battle, we are still responsible for our actions. A legitimate act of war is not an excuse for violence beyond a legitimate battle.
We are all responsible since we are all the source of violence. Not tribalism or any other excuse the limits responsibility. It is ours alone.