Episode:Civilization—Human Government (Part 1)

From Symmetry of Soul

On an evolutionary world such as Urantia, antagonisms are natural; peace is secured only by some sort of social regulative system. The development of industry demands law, order, and social adjustment. Anarchy augments misery; therefore government slowly emerges, and private property necessitates government.

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Keywords: Urantia, Enmity, Amity, War, Peace

Summary by Kermit

Commentary on Review

We held a brief conversation concerning the recurring theme in this arc of the problem of man’s failure to properly distinguish between a material symbol and spirit substance, resulting in the false exaltation of material things to spirit status. How can it be otherwise with spirit being invisible? The revelation challenges us to seek directly for spirit and avoid falsely investing our material symbols with supermaterial qualities.

Paper 70: The Evolution of Human Government

One of the themes of this series consists in the story of man’s social adjustments in the modulation of the natural antagonisms of animal-origin humans through the social regulative system that results in the development of government. Except in systems of complete totalitarianism, these regulative activities signal the emergence of some degree of self-restraint and self-control—personal responsibility. Motivation for this has origin in the recognition that group compliance is preferable to unrestrained individualism. The controlling authority of government required to regulate the development of such complex processes as industry, and private property, must also account for the natural state of the individual. The natural state of the individual is antagonistic and quarrelsome. It is through the imposition of creative will that man must artificially modify these “natural” tendencies.

The unconscious development of government is still emerging, even in the most civilized societies. Yet, forces of anarchy, which threaten the forward progress of civilization, are also in play today. The present state of the institutions of government and religion with their various corruptions and excesses are easy targets for those who would call for the dismantling of controlling authorities in the name of so-called liberty. Here we are again with the age-old problem of calling that which is partial and incomplete bad, rather than discerning the evolutionary perfecting nature of incremental growth (perfecting-ness) as good.

70:1. The Genesis of War

The introductory paragraph to this paragraph provides a profound and logical definition of war that challenges today’s conventional wisdom. War, not peace is the natural state and heritage of evolving man, and peace is the social yardstick measuring civilization’s advancement. Violence is the law of nature. Hostility is the automatic reaction of the children of nature. War is simply the collective expression of such individual traits. War is the reversion to these early methods of violent adjustment of the irritations of human interrassociations brought on by the stresses of the complications of society’s advancement.

We examined further the origins of man’s individualism (Father Deity) and the coordinating and compensating balance (Mother Deity) required to override these individualistic tendencies through peaceful means. Mother Deity is the bridge by which and through which the individual enters into peaceful interassociations with his fellows.

In facing these facts of our natural tendencies we are admonished to hold on to the ideal of peace as a future potential and not as a past actual to which we must strive to return.

Our Melchizedek author called attention to some of the racial and genetic determinants of our violent nature, pointing out that the Sangik races along with deteriorated Adamites and Nodites were all belligerent, while the Andonites were fairly free from violent antagonisms.

Interesting to note that war wasn’t considered as a practice unto itself apart from routine existence until society had evolved to the point of actually experiencing periods of peace. It was only then that warlike practices began to be sanctioned. The emergence of social groupings caused individualistic antagonisms to be submerged in such groups resulting in more intratribal tranquillity at the expense of intertribal peace.

Man’s belligerent human nature is derived from his animal origins, thus does warfare persist. Note the use of the word “human” in the bottom up perspective in the original meaning of the word human, “up from the humus” in distinction to the top down perspective of human as a child of God, above and separate from animal

The text lists seven early causes of war: hunger, woman scarcity, vanity, slaves, revenge, recreation, and religion.

Because of the shortage of time the final paragraphs of this section were read but not discussed fully. These passages provide thumbnail descriptions of the historical development of war from the primitive man hunt to the somewhat more orderly system of later-day civilized nations, reminding us that only slowly does the social attitude of amity displace that of enmity.