This I Believe

Christopher - Belmont, Massachusetts
Entered on March 23, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: war

Humankind. This word highlights one of the most basic, yet one of the most important concepts ever: we are all humans. For me, at any rate, this basic fact brings up a question. Why is it, then, that humans kill fellow humans? Throughout history, war has been a normal occurrence. There have been a variety of reasons, from food, to religion, to evil megalomaniacs trying to take over the world. However, war is war, no matter which way you look at it, and war is horrible. Even now, when humankind is at its most advanced and developed stage ever, we still kill our brethren. This brings me to one of my core beliefs, that war is morally wrong, and that if humanity is to truly prosper and grow, we must put aside our differences and work together towards a better world.

One of my primary reasons why I believe war is wrong is because war is horrible. I’ve read about several instances where the horror of war came at me full force. For example, in Fallen Angels, by Walter Dean Myers, a Vietnamese woman mined one of her own children and gave him to a U.S. soldier. The child exploded, killing the soldier. Then, the wife and the other child were gunned down by machine guns. That’s only one of the many instances of horror I’ve read about.

To compound the horror of it all, only a handful of wars have been even remotely justifiable! Take World War I for example. The main reason why this horrendous war that wiped out a whole generation occurred was because of one shot in Sarajevo, a stubborn Austro-Hungary, and a network of alliances that blew the conflict way out of proportion.

My last, but probably most important reason for saying war is morally wrong, is what we could do with all of the manpower, ingenuity, money, and resources that are frittered away in wars. Take a look at our defense budget right now. Currently, it’s 423 Billion Dollars. 423 billion! Could you imagine what we could do with ½ or even ¼ of that? The possibilities are endless! We could save ourselves from global warming, we could end poverty in Africa, we could do so much! And yet, we continue to waste it all on killing our own kind.

So the cycle goes on, man killing man for no apparent reason, just like the phoenix keeps burning itself up and coming back to life. However, if we question the point and morality of war, if we can just break the cycle, then humanity can make this world the best it can be.