Hunting and War: Why Conservatives are Like Klingons

Picture of Sheepdog Protecting Sheep
Hunting. It is the temporary return to human predatory dominance in the wild. Be it by rifle, shotgun, bow, blade, or bare hands, hunting is predatory.

But what if animals were equal with humans? What if, because we have technology, we humans were able to find a way to survive on this planet without ever killing animals? Is that what Sikhs hope that humanity can achieve? Check out this page for an interesting spiritual discussion on killing animals in self defense only.

I mean, when we are our best selves, don't we try to only kill other humans in self defense, or the defense of others? There's not another good reason, is there? If you take a baseball bat to my car, I'm not allowed to shoot you, am I? Only if a person's safety and/or life is involved, right? This is what we all understand?

That's the simplified version of the just war theory. War is bad. But you can do it if the consequences of not doing it are sure to be worse. That's how just war theorists excuse God for the commands of genocide in the Hebrew scripture. They turn God into a consequentialist utilitarian of some sort.

In fact, that's how Christians excuse God of evil and suffering as well. Plantinga's theodicy, I would call it (he would not).

Speaking of war, the ancient Hebrew scriptures report a whole lot more loot and land being seized than genocides. So war for wealth and property seems justified, biblically speaking. Or you need to have a spiritual reason, and then that will justify stealing the loot and land. Something along those lines. Look it up. I'm probably right.

But more to the point, this predation is, at it's core, an expression of physical dominance. The hunter does not talk their prey into giving up. They physically impose this.

So I listened to this recounting of a hunting party being surrounded by a pack of wolves. They talked about cougars actually being the top predator in North America, or perhaps bears of some sort? You know, what animal would kick what animal's ass in a fight... that kind of conversation.

Anyway, I can see why warhawks and hunters are kind of the same people at heart, why military and cops and other gun-culture types like to think of themselves as sheepdogs, why there is this longing to be protective and dominant. Our existence as a species on this planet has required it thus far.

They play that physical dominance role very well. And I don't think they are very keen on giving up that role. It's a powerful societal role, albeit a sometimes dangerous one. It is touted as "manly" as well as many other stereotypes of gender, character, and personality (loyalty, bravery, courage, etc.).

But aren't we trying to move beyond this "who can beat up who" mentality? I mean, someday we will figure out why we don't need to have wars anymore, I hope. It will require a lot more sharing and a lot less hoarding, but we can do it. Once Elon gets the energy problem solved for us. And we all have to get neuralinked to the AI mainframe so we can live eternally together in cyberspace. But it will happen. Peace is possible.

Jesus said turn the other cheek. Jesus went to the cross so his friends wouldn't have to. He told them not to fight, even though it was self defense, and even though they could win. Jesus still said not to.

And that's the difference between progressives and conservatives, openness to change. Conservatives like the past. They're like Klingons. They want everyone to follow the traditions, and they will kick your ass if you don't. And progressives like the future. They're like Starfleet. They want to seek new life, and new civilizations, boldly going where no one has gone before.

It's hard to even imagine an LGBTQ Klingon. But I digress...

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