The two definitions differ significantly, as one defines peace as the absence of an element while the other anchors its definition on the presence of a given behavior among people. The two definitions of peace given above have a number of strengths and weaknesses, which makes it possible to conclude there is no universal of peace. Defining violence as the absence of any elements of violence seeks to identify the factors that results into the lack of peace. Violence is the cause of difference between what is actual and what is potential, that which could have been and that which is actually is; moreover, violence is the physical manifestation of the lack of peace and agreement in a society.
The presence of violence is an obvious proof of the lack of collective understanding between individuals; therefore, fighting nations and communities use violence on each other as way of disapproving their actions and deeds. Through violence, it is possible to conclude that members of a given society lack understanding and collective understanding. Violence therefore makes it easier to identify the areas of discontent and is a clear variable for peace definition (Galtung, 1996). The use of violence in the definition of peace however makes a confusing conclusion on the presence or absence of peace.
It is not possible to identify the point and area of discontent among people using violence to show disapproval of each other’s action. The presence of peace must be defined by the presence of important aspects upon which it is anchored. The use of absence of violence in definition of peace therefore fails to identify the important elements that must be present for peace to exist in a society.
The presence of peace is evident when there is the ability of individuals or groups working together to achieve collective goals. The presence of uniting factors and desires to achieve specific objectives shows the presence of peace. Peace enables individuals to work and achieve goals together, most of which they could not have achieved individually. A definition that embraces the presence of understanding, shared values and ideals and a common goal deeply exhausts what peace actually mean. This definition of peace as the presence of a behavior that enhances collectiveness embraces the factors that affect the presence of peace.
This definition however fails to provide the grounds upon to judge the presence or absence of peace. If its presence indicates togetherness and working towards achieving common goals, its absence must demonstrate what actually occurs (Galtung, 1996).
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