Today, most people see war as a necessary evil, and as a last resort. I was wondering if anyone actually sees front-line combat as a type of sport, something that they positively enjoy, and would be fighting not as a duty, but for its own sake, as an artist or pure mathematician would do art and mathematics for its own sake.
Would that person be a highly abnormal person in any age? What do you think is more fearful, war in which the only person who can kill you is right in front of you, and your skill as a warrior determines whether you live or die, or war where the individual soldier has little control over his life or death, i.e. in modern warfare where precision munitions controlled via advanced technology can take you out.
I imagine that at a stage of combat where individuals would fight each other in hand-to-hand combat, and where the skill and courage of the individual soldier was the predominant factor in victory or defeat, that war could be something that could be enjoyed. Some examples might be gladiators who voluntary went into the arena, hunter gatherer tribal warfare, the Greek Heroic Age (Achilles’ single combat with Hector for example), and the Spanish Conquistadores.
What do you think?