Why do we hurt other people?

Discussion in 'IntroSpectrum' started by MC Guttso, May 19, 2009.

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  1. MC Guttso

    MC Guttso Fingers in Pies

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    I was just thinking about the Columbine Massacre, when those two students went on a rampage and killed a teacher and several other students. They then turned their guns on themselves.
    15 people died and 23 were hospitalized. It was the worst school massacre in American history. The fatality rate could have been much higher. The two shooters made video tapes and from the information that was extracted they actually prepared 95 explosive devices that failed to go off. The perpertrators predicted that before the day was over, they would have killed 250 people.

    Naturally everyone wondered, were these youngsters crazy? If they were crazy, why didn't their parents and teachers notice their behaviour before it erupted into violence? How could reasonably observant parents not know that their sons kept guns in their bedrooms and were manufacturing bombs in their garage? What were the school authorities doing? Didn't these students' teachers notice behaviours that would have predicted such violence? Some people even wondered if schools give students personality tests to identify the ones most likely to commit acts of this kind.

    Certain people quickly concluded that the major cause of violence of this kind is the easy availability of guns, claiming that if you could only control the use and sale of guns, we could eliminate the problem. Others were quick to blame the Supreme Court for outlawing prayer in the schools - wouldn't prayer prevent this sort of outrage? Still others pointed to the prevalence of violence in films, on TV and in video games. If we could ban violent entertainment, wouldn't that make schools safe again? And some people felt that these outrageous acts grew out of a general lack of respect among teenagers. One particular state responded to the massacre by actually passing a law requiring students to call their teachers "sir" or "ma'am" as a way of showing respect - as if respect can be mandated.

    The Columbine tragedy is a stark reminder that humans are capabel of acts of extreme aggression. It also underscores the importance of our trying to understand the causes of aggression so that the awful losses suffered at Columbine are not repeated elsewhere.

    So what causes aggression? Are humans instinctively aggressive? Can normal people be inspired to commit violence by the example of violent characters on TV or in films or by the easy availability of weapons? Can a society, a school,or a parent do anything to reduce aggression? If so, what?

    Worth checking this out too!
    http://board.rapmusic.com/open-mic/1155695-rwam-mixtape-colombine-state-mind-nasty-t-c-noble.html
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  2. kasparov

    kasparov ducksnthugs.com staff

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  3. Radium

    Radium f k

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    well ultimately

    its just the pings and pangs of the human heart that cause us to do these things

    a person can become anything

    there is an infinite string of things that can happen to us and overlay onto our current dispositions. you could be driven to madness too. just like all those who you read about and hear about. your body and mind being pulled in thousands of directions.

    so what is it that keeps you together? the thing that keeps you unified?
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  4. MC Guttso

    MC Guttso Fingers in Pies

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    When you say it's the pings and pangs of the human heart what do you mean by that?

    I'm assuming you mean aggression arises due to an emotional response to our environment. To an extent I agree with you an act of hostile aggression can stem from feelings of anger and is aimed at inflicting pain and injury.

    But there are different types of aggression that seem to be more instrumental where there is no intention to hurt the other person, but the hurting takes place as a means to some goal other than causing pain. Take a professional football game, a defensive lineman will usually do whatever it takes to thwart his opponent and tackle the ball carrier. This typically includes intentionally inflicting pain on his opponent if doing so is useful in helping him get the blocker out of the way so that he can get to the ball carrier. This is instrumental aggression.

    By contrast, if he believes his opponent has been playing dirty, he might get pissed off and go out of his way to hurt his opponent, even if doing so does not increase his opportunity to tackle the ball carrier. This is pretty hostile. So why does the feeling of anger lead to aggression, and why only in some cases? Is instrumental aggression justified? These are difficult but interesting questions I reckon.

    What keeps us together and what keeps us unified?

    Well I think the way western society is structured proves useful in deterring aggressive behaviour, especially if violent. As a collective culture we have a web of social and moral values, and if people break away from those values and choose a life of violence they will be punished by society and the criminal justice system. This may act as a deterrence and keep human mayhem at bay.

    Another way we keep ourselves together is through something called catharsis. So one way to get aggression out of your system is to do something aggressive. Catharsis can be explained by using aggression in a socially acceptable way, i.e. boxing. Some say it is healthy to express anger because it won't build up into something truly uncontrollable and explosive.

    Like you say Radium stifling negative emotions can lead to illness or the feeling of being "driven to madness", we all have different techniques in controlling anger - even simple things like counting to 10 before speaking, breathing exercises, yoga, engaging in a distracting activity like taking a bike ride, or even doing a good deed, listening to music, doing a crossword, or going for a long run. These are all ways of actively enabling the anger to dissipate and in a sense "stop you from going mad"

    There are so many things that I could suggest to keep yourself together and not "crack up" and become aggressive and angry.

    Another interesting question would be do you believe the Colombine Massacre could have been prevented?
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  5. Radium

    Radium f k

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    I agree with your many points

    but everything seems scattered. that is, you have found many answers here and there.

    but no ultimate answer. and so how effective are the many answers if the single and ultimate answer has not yet been found to string them all together

    to simplify i propose one thing

    is there a basic state of being for humans that is naturally healthy and productive for the self and for others? the thought being that - from this sort-of ideal state - no bad things can happen. and so hence those so-called bad things can only happen once a person deviates away from that ideal state.

    sort of like...

    when a baby roams too far away from its mother and becomes lost


    does this ideal state which protects humans from being driven to madness exist? and if so

    what are its characteristics? and more to the point, can we in a practical sense even create this ideal place?

    i think the greatest question in human affairs is ultimately this. I believe that all things in human history ultimately has in one way or another been an attempt to answer that question. what must come first is to accurately map out its characteristics. then later, all other things.
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