Searching for a Cure to Violence


Sharon Weinberger

This article from the BBC explores scientific research aimed at identifying why people act violently. As part of this pursuit of possibilities around quelling human violence, some studies suggest a basis for a genetic disposition towards violence. Out of this research, some researchers suggest that options such as drugs or simply removing people from environments likely to lead to violence may provide a future solution. The goal, as one researcher described, is “to find ways to better identify and possibly intervene in situations to reduce the level of political violence.”

Reducing violence is, of course, an appealing goal and a worthwhile one. The goal of “curing” violence can, however, readily turn into a problem of misdiagnosis, placing the universal hope for lasting peace on earth into the hands of scientific progress alone. Though the research does not suggest drugs are a viable combatant for political violence, one cannot ignore the potential irony in exercising control over a population through drugs and scientific technique as a violent action meant to eliminate violent action.

How might scientific research such as this contribute to and inform our Christian vision for how to usher in shalom here on earth?

What is the underlying worldview expressed by this article? What of it can we affirm and challenge as Christians?

Source: BBC

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