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  The Ishmael Community: Questions and Answers

The Question (ID Number 434)...

    Are you saying that the Israelis and Arabs, the Irish Catholics and Protestants, the Indians and Pakistanis would do better to NOT try to settle their differences at all, but just draw a line and ignore each other? Forget peace talks--simply live and let live, with an occasional assault as a reminder to not mess with the other . . .

    ...and the response:

    You're confusing descriptions with prescriptions. In My Ishmael I describe how male sticklebacks compete for resources without having to resort to deadly force in every encounter, but this isn't one of Aesop's fables or one of Jesus's parables with "Go ye and do likewise" as an implied sendoff. You can learn the principles of aerodynamics from birds, but you can't just watch them flap their wings. If you just watch them flap their wings, you're going to think of putting flappable, feather-coated structures on your arms and jumping off the side of a cliff. The peoples of the lands you speak of could usefully study conspecific competitive strategies, but they're not going to find strategies that are ready-made for their situations (which are nothing remotely like situations faced by people anywhere twenty thousand years ago).


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