The Impact of War on Society

Due to the negative effects of war on the economy, politics, and social spheres, many nations have always preferred peace. Many countries have gone to war in the past and developed weapons like man-made satellites, atomic bombs, and guns to scare away their adversaries. The impact, however, was massive, with many reported casualties and radioactive wastes that impacted all countries involved. Lao Tzu wrote the Tao Te Ching in the sixth century BCE. The text discusses the natural order of things in the universe, the interaction of opposing forces, and other fundamental viewpoints in Taoism. A significant concept that the philosopher addresses is warfare in which he condemns the use of military unless there is necessity. It is evident that leaders should avoid the use of warfare when in power to avoid the detrimental effects.A significant excerpt from Tao Te Ching that address the effect of war is chapter 31: “Good weapons are instruments of fear; all creatures hate them. / Therefore followers of the Tao never used them. / The wise man prefers the left. / The man of war prefers the right. / Weapons are instruments of fear; they are not a wise man's tools. / He uses them only when he has no choice… / If you rejoice in victory, then you delight in killing; / If you delight in killing, you cannot fulfill yourself” (Tzu Chap. 31). Lao Tzu explains the weapons used in warfare are instruments that are feared by everyone and those who are righteous (followers of Tao) avoid using them. Individuals who have wisdom and recognize the need to life are expected to hate weapons since they lead to life destruction. It is also further clear from the excerpt that a nation should only uses these tools when there is necessity, but still should not rejoice if it achieves victory. In consideration of the excerpt, should countries like Russia be permitted to make dangerous weapons such as missiles and bombs? Lao Tzu believes that a strong military may be an important tool for state relations, but conducting warfare should be the last resort in resolving conflicts. Although “zero tolerance” to weapons may seem absurd as this would render many states in danger of attack due to lack of defense, it is important that the generation of weapons are contained and restricted to avoid any possible misuse. Terrorists have always used weapons like guns and bombs to injure innocent citizens, as in the case of the September 11th attack in America. Thus, it is important to prohibit the further creation of weapons as states make efforts to preserve the already-existing tools for any future defense. Nations can expand the notion of Tao Te Ching beyond the nature of either winning or losing into an interdependent and creative nature of conduct. All states should respect their neighbors and pardon those who persecute them. Morality, as considered by Lao Tzu is the creation of life for most individuals even in the societies where justice is elusive. By acknowledging and appreciating diversity, few states will resolve their differences by use of war. It is important to adopt other conflict resolution measures such as negotiation in order to prevent loss of lives and property. Work CitedTzu, Lao. "Tao Te Ching, trans." Ch’u Ta-Kao (1997).

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