Are humans too aggressive to justify having a Nobel Peace Prize?

A group won the Nobel Peace Prize for getting nations that don’t have nuclear weapons to sign a treaty regarding nuclear weapons.

On the one hand, this is exciting to me because I am hoping to get my own Nobel after persuading officials in Greenland, Nunavut, and Svalbard to sign a treaty promising to preserve the coastline by not building any Club Meds or other beach resorts.

On the other hand, given the apparent irrelevance of a nuclear treaty signed by non-nuclear powers, I’m wondering if this bottom-of-the-barrel-scraping shows that humans are so prone to violence that the idea of the Nobel Peace Prize doesn’t make sense. After all, the Peace Prize committee is full of smart people with access to a near-infinite supply of information. If there were someone out there who had made a huge achievement in the field of peace, presumably he or she would have won the prize for 2017.

Let’s look at some of the past prize winners

Given the billions of folks on the planet, with the exceptions of MLK, Jr. and Nansen, if humans do have a big capacity for peace shouldn’t we expect to find more accomplished people on this list?

Readers: Who should have won the prize in 2017? Did the committee find the most deserving organization?


  1. Dwight Looi

    October 7, 2017 @ 1:11 pm


    The Nobel Peace Prize is a joke. They gave it to Yasir Arafat for being a murder and terrorist. They gave it the Barrack Obama for doing absolutely nothing simply for having black skin. If I am offered it, I’ll turn it down. No reason to be associated with murder, terrorist and racism.

  2. Viking

    October 7, 2017 @ 1:18 pm


    In addition to Nansen (revered by Russians!), the Norwegians have a small claim on a Norwegian American Nobel Prize winner:

    Anyway, if Borlaug got us out of a Malthusian trap,and this resulted in 1-2 Billion more humans, did it make the world more peaceful?

    NB: Given the mention of Svalbard, that is one of the cheapest ways to get to a polar region with Norwegian Air, next Monday through Friday, I priced the roundtrip at $216, if you are already in Oslo (While picking up the Prize), that is a dynamite deal, which gets you to 78 degrees north.

  3. Tom

    October 7, 2017 @ 2:07 pm


    In all humility, receiving the Peace Prize in 2012 was a discombobulating event. I still haven’t gotten my part of the prize money though.

    Also, Rigoberta Menchu (1992) should not be forgotten.

  4. lion

    October 7, 2017 @ 4:24 pm


    Elon Musk should have won it.

  5. the other Donald

    October 7, 2017 @ 6:36 pm


    Obvious: Colin Kaepernick

  6. Joshua Fox

    October 8, 2017 @ 12:40 pm


    Nobel Peace Laureate Fridtjof Nansen masterminded the ethnic cleansing of Greeks and Turks

    Kissinger was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize for the “peace” agreement with North Vietnam. It was jointly awarded to Lê Đức Thọ, who refused it on the grounds that the war was still on, and the Vietnam War went right on without a break.

    Last year it was awarded for a peace agreement in Columbia right after the people of Columbia rejected it.

    Not to mention Yasser Arafat.

  7. dreXploit

    October 8, 2017 @ 12:41 pm


    You forgot Pres. Barack Obama, who won because of a speech about “promotion of nuclear nonproliferation and a ‘new climate’ in international relations” (Wikipedia Contributors), and then proceeded to authorize drone strikes to kill terrorists; the strikes also killed hundreds of innocent people (Zenko).

    Mr. Obama even stated, “Throughout history, the Nobel Peace Prize has not just been used to honor specific achievement; it’s also been used as a means to give momentum to a set of causes,” (Wikipedia Contributors) He ignored his own sentiment with his drone strikes.

    My opinion 1:
    Personally, I believe that the strikes were necessary, but it’s highly unfortunate that they choose people that have the ability to dismantle peace with their actions.

    This makes the Nobel Peace Prize less valuable.

    My opinion 2:
    The Nobel Peace award should go to individuals that STRIVE for peace, even in the future; it shouldn’t be used as a catalyst to HOPE they will do better.
    The Nobel Peace award should be for what people have DONE, and are CERTAIN TO DO.

    Wikipedia Contributors. “2009 Nobel Peace Prize.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 07 Oct. 2017. Web. 08 Oct. 2017. .

    Zenko, Micah. “Obama’s Final Drone Strike Data.” Council on Foreign Relations. Council on Foreign Relations, 20 Jan. 2017. Web. 08 Oct. 2017. .

  8. a pet

    October 8, 2017 @ 12:58 pm


    Kudos to Norman Borlaug for deserved prize but there was no Malthusian trap to begin with, except in heads of some academicians and gullible readers. Humanity grew as technology to sustain it has been developing. There are many more civil, industrial and other kinds of engineers and scientists to blame for increased food productions. Since I were little I recall praises in newspapers for one or another industry leaders who were helping in the developing world. Haber invention and Haber- Bosch process comes to mid as first invention that fed billions and now GM crops overtaken it and offer to meet any food demands in foreseeable future. Technology is to blame, in early XX century flood in Gulf of Mexico regions of Texas (Galveston) claimed tens of thousands of lives unlike what has happened now. Borlaug exception highlights ridicule of most other Nobel Peace Prize winners.

  9. ScarletNumber

    October 9, 2017 @ 1:03 am


    In 1973 it was awarded to Henry Kissinger and Lê Đức Thọ. Really. At least Thọ had the decency to turn it down.

  10. Aspirational Boi

    October 10, 2017 @ 5:26 am


    It’s like an aspirational thing for humans. Just a bit beyond reach.

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