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"Deviant behavior by members of our group is perceived as more disturbing, and produces stronger retaliation"

Lt. Colonel Dave Grossman's "On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society" is a fascinating work. It's required reading for much of the American military officers and law enforcement personnel. There's many counter-intuitive points in there, including that the vast majority (approximately 80%) of soldiers during the American Civil War and World War II never actually fired with the intent of hitting the enemy.

This paragraph stood out to me -

[In Dr. Jerome Frank's] Sanity and Survival in the Nuclear Age, […] he points out that civil wars are usually more bloody, prolonged, and unrestrained than other types of war. And Peter Watson, in War on the Mind, points out that "deviant behavior by members of our own group is perceived as more disturbing and produces stronger retaliation than that of others with whom we are less involved." We need only look at the intensity of aggression between different Christian factions in Europe across the centuries, or the infighting between the major Islamic sects in the Middle East, or the conflict between Leninist, Maoist, and Trotskyist Communists, or the horror in Rwanda and other African tribal battles, to confirm this fact.

Can Evolution Save Us and the Planet?

On The Art of Sanity

John D Rockefeller was one of the richest men who ever lived. Around 1900 he gave a talk to his Sunday school class and offered up his view of why he and the other so called ‘robber barons’, were justified in using cut throat business practices while building their financial empires. He said:

Some people today still hold to that philosophy. But is that the way that God or evolution (his references) is now directing us? I don’t think so.

EMPATHY is the key to our survival. It was and always will be.

Survival of the fittest was a term that Charles Darwin didn’t coin, but added to his writings years later after people complained that the term natural selection sounded to much like an intelligent deity was doing the selecting..

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