Society has been the motivating factor in directing Human behavior for centuries, in determining what is acceptable behaviors for the masses in relationship to permissible individual actions. The culture of violence that was a component of daily life as recently as 125 years ago fit within societal guidelines for personal behavior, and violent actions and reactions were commonplace for dispute resolution in personal as well as professional affairs. Over time, as our culture evolved, violence is not only outlawed but vilified as inappropriate behavior in any circumstance other than self-preservation as a victim of assault.
The question whether Human Beings are born into violent behavior or become so because of how they are raised cannot be answered in an absolute context. Humans have transformed from our predatory hunting past to the species of today’s world that embodies and cherishes attributes such as compassion, love and charitable concern for our fellow men. Still, at the base of our being, we are all capable of animalistic behaviors of great violence when circumstances fall in line. Witness a parent protecting their young children or a soldier in armed conflict as just a few of many possible examples.Collectively as a Human Community we have learned the behavior of suppressing our base urges in the hope of attaining a more rational lifestyle, as neither victim or aggressor in violent conflict.
Conversely, children can be raised in an atmosphere of violence and learn to utilize it as a valuable tool within a cultural segment that admires aggression to achieve personal goals. To a child raised within an intercity ghetto, violence and the ability to perpetuate it upon another individual is a necessary aspect of daily life. In fact, peaceful existence is attributed in large part to one’s willingness to meet force with a greater force, and claim the prize of never being portrayed as a victim. In this example, the individual may have much higher moral aspirations, but the reality of confinement in a violent circumstance of life take priority for survival. Add to this a child that may be raised in a household by parent who lacks the intellect or moral fiber to dissuade violent behavior, and a recipe for an adult with incredibly violent tendencies is created.
In the final analysis, no singular force is responsible for the prevalence of violent behavior. Violence is a compilation of many traits, environments and circumstances of the Human Condition, and the personal weakness that allows violent behavior to dominate a given situation.