Part of Hastings Center Bioethics Seminar series
War is a fact of human nature. As long as we exist, it exists. That’s how the argument goes. But longtime Scientific American writer and Garrison resident John Horgan disagrees. In his book, The End of War, Horgan uses the scientific method to come to the radical conclusion that biologically-speaking, we are just as likely to be peaceful as violent. War is not preordained, and should be thought of as a solvable, scientific problem—like curing cancer. But war and cancer differ in at least one crucial way. Whereas cancer is a stubborn aspect of nature, war is our creation. It’s our choice whether to unmake it or not.
In this treatise, Horgan examines dozens of examples and counterexamples—discussing warring and peaceful indigenous people, World War I and Vietnam, Margaret Mead and General Sherman – as he finds his way to war’s complicated origins. Horgan argues for a far-reaching paradigm shift with profound implications for everyone – from policy makers, students and ethicists to military men and women , teachers, philosophers and any engaged citizen.
Horgan is a science journalist and Director of the Center for Science Writings at the Stevens Institute of Technology, in Hoboken, New Jersey. A former senior writer at Scientific American, he has also written for the New York Times, Time, the Washington Post, the Times Literary Supplement, and other publications around the world.
Presentation and discussion will take place from 6 – 7 p.m., with a reception and book signing from 7 – 8 p.m. Admission is free however seating is limited. Reservation can be with Siofra Vizza at 845-424-4040, ext. 202 or via email at VizziS@thehastingscenter.org.
The Hastings Center is located on Route 9D in Garrison, between Philipstown Park and St. Basil Academy. The Hastings Center’s Bioethics Seminars are made possible through the Malcolm Gordon Fund.
Image and photo courtesy of J.Horgan