The dictionary defines ethos as “the characteristic spirit of a culture, era, or community” (Oxford Dictionary of English). You might say it is the sum of the beliefs and attitudes of a particular group. The trouble usually starts when one group whose beliefs include the rightness (righteousness) of using aggression to show other groups the error of their ways – hence the Inquisition, witch burnings , and the murder of millions of Jews during WWII. Mind you, if you read history books, mass murder seems to be a favorite modus operandi of all groups with militancy as part of their ethos.
The other thing you’ll notice is that the aggressive cultures/nations seem to have prevailed – perhaps because they killed off the more peaceful groups along with all their other less successful, but equally warlike enemies.
It seems that throughout human history, ‘we are different to them’ has translated into ‘we are superior to them’, although I’m not convinced that there is any superiority in destroying other people or their cultures, but then, what does a poodle know?
P.S. The ‘pondering poodle’ is a regular contributor to our blog posts.