The Myth of Violence

21 minutes 8.4/10 based on 15 votes

Despite having just lived through the bloodiest decade in human history (many did not live through it), MIT linguistic, biologist, and psychologist Steven Pinker believes that we are living in the most peaceful time in our species’ history.  In this TED presentation, Pinker sites the bible, civil wars, world wars, and our own neighborhoods as evidence that we are more peaceful – as a species – than ever before.

Hailing from Montreal, Steven Pinker has established himself as one of the major thinkers of our  age. This presentation was first delivered in 2007 and proved highly controversial. His research led to the publication of his most recent book on the subject.  Pinker charts the decline of violence from Biblical times to the present, and argues that, though it may seem illogical and even obscene, given Iraq and Darfur, we are living in the most peaceful time in our species’ existence.

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  • Dennis

    I’m a huge Steven Pinker fan, but he’s so off the mark on this one. Thanks for posting! Even if I don’t agree with him it is good to see this kind of stuff. 

    • why

      Would you care to provide any reason why “he’s so off the mark on this one”?

      • Dennis

         The 20th century was so incredibly bloody…it just doesn’t ‘feel’ right.

  • Luke

    Compared to Biblical times probably, those religious types are crazy, but they’re still here. Wont be long before our system comes crashing down and the violence returns.

  • Roy

    An extremely myopic analysis which limits it’s definition of violence to murder and rape.  This in a world where the majority of the population is held in a state of extreme poverty so that they can supply raw natural resources to a relatively small portion of the earth’s population who can then use their technology to record and broadcast lectures on how non violent the world has become.  Efficient systems of exploitation do not foster violence, they avoid it so that arguments like the one in this video remain tenable.

    Obvious disagree, but still a good upload. 

  • reagan

    we let liers run our countrys govenments cause more death than anything u can think of ,the way i see it were the ones to blame because we knowingly allow crooks to run countrys and make war and largh and say yeah sure we know hes a lier and a crook cool hey and funny and millions die

  • Reubencopley

    This guy may be some brilliant academic, but there is good evidence that the statistics he cites concerning the jivaro and yanomami are incorrect. Those tribes were influenced to violence as competition for tools by anthropologist. He apparently has never read about chagnon.

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