Perspective

Steven Pinker writes in his book, The Better Angels of Our Nature, in chapter 6, The New Peace (location 6712 in the Kindle version of the book):

“This period [the first decade of the 21st century], even with thirty-one ongoing conflicts in that mid-decade (including Iraq, Afghanistan, Chad, Sri Lanka, and Sudan), enjoyed an astoundingly low rate of battle deaths: around 0.5 per 100,000 per year, falling below the homicide rate of even the world’s most peaceable societies. The figures, granted, are lowballs, since they include only reported battle deaths, but that is true for the entire time series. And even if we were to multiply the recent figures by five, they would sit well below the world’s overall homicide rate of 8.8 per 100,000 per year. In absolute numbers, annual battle deaths have fallen by more than 90 percent, from around half a million per year in the late 1940s to around thirty thousand a year in the early 2000s. So believe it or not, from a global, historical, and quantitative perspective, the dream of the 1960s folk songs has come true: the world has (almost) put an end to war.”

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About R.P. Nettelhorst

I'm married with three daughters. I live in southern California and I'm a deacon at Quartz Hill Community Church. I spent a couple of summers while I was in college working on a kibbutz in Israel. In 2004, I was a volunteer with the Ansari X-Prize at the winning launches of SpaceShipOne. Member of Society of Biblical Literature, American Academy of Religion, and The Authors Guild
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