Debate asks: Are humans inherently violent?

Debate asks: Are humans inherently violent?

Members of the Student Anthropology Club debated whether violence is inherent to the human condition at their meeting on Wednesday night, March 8.

Two teams of club members and interested students went head-to-head in an argument that centered primarily on establishing a definition of inherent violence. The students who said humans were inherently violent argued that, because violence is so prevalent in popular culture, humans must be inherently violent. The opposing team countered that violence for the sake of survival is not necessarily intentional and that humans are rarely violent without provocation. The debate had no clear winner.

The Student Anthropology Club sponsored the debate. The group supplies a space for students of any major interested in anthropology to discuss and learn more about the field, according to club President Sami Wilson. Wilson said her main goal is to get people involved in discussions and to foster a community within the major.

The event attracted more than just anthropology majors, however. Austin Walters, a senior philosophy major, attended in hopes of participating in a rousing debate.

“As a philosophy major, I’m really into skepticism and learning about human nature and the human condition,” Walters said. “The topic of whether or not humans are inherently violent definitely strikes a chord.”

The Student Anthropology Club meets biweekly and participates in various outreach projects in the local community. Last fall, volunteer club members helped lead children’s activities at the Tellus Museum of Science in celebration of International Archaeology Day.

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Students gather for debate night on March 8 to discuss whether or not humans are inherently violent. Photo credit: Alisa Seripap

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