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My geese

Discussion in 'The Coffee House' started by Azul, Oct 23, 2007.

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  1. Azul

    Azul Well-Known Member

    I have four geese. One of them is smaller than the others. He gets picked on a lot, they attack him and chase him away. Yet he still follows the other three geese. He gets "bullied" because he is the weakest and maybe because they feel there is not enough space or food to allow this weak one in their group. I also learned the less space they have, the more they pick on the weak goose.
    Anyway, these geese have made me think a lot about how nature works.
    I have punished the stronger of the geese, by hurting them physically everytime I caught them fighting the little goose. But I don't really feel like I've done justice. Because if the smaller goose was bigger, he'd probably behave in the same way towards a weak specimen.
    Is the victimized goose more innocent than the others? Or simply a victim, unfortunate?
  2. Azul

    Azul Well-Known Member

    sorry wrong section. was meant to be in the "bullying" section
  3. Azul

    Azul Well-Known Member

    I don't understand why this was moved to the Coffee House? It adresses bullying, not entertainment.
  4. protonaut

    protonaut Well-Known Member

    My understanding is that bullying sometimes occurs in nature (which can include humans) because members of a group instinctively want to improve the strength of their group for survival. When they perceive someone as weak in some way, they react by bullying in an attempt to "toughen up" the weak one, so that he or she will develop more aggression to make up for their other weaknesses. I don't think that most bullies think about this, primal thinking tends to control them to act this way in groups at times. It's important to remember that bullies are weak themselves in a way, because they're controlled by instinct rather than logic. It's very difficult for some people to learn how to control such impulses, and reacting with hostility to bullies may prevent them from continuing their aggression - but it won't actually teach them empathy, or help them understand why bullying is harmful.

    We can classify some forms of human bullying as displacement or projection in Psychology. When we're angry, we might take it out on other people. When we target those who didn't cause our anger, people who weren't involved at all - this is displacement. If someone dislikes aspects of their own personality and begins accusing others around them of possessing their own faults (society or minority groups are common targets) this is projection.

    Anyway, I know you're speaking about animal bullying here, so I'll just answer your question. I believe the bullying geese and the victim are all equally innocent. Animals just don't have the capacity for thinking that humans do. They have no logic to balance their natural instincts, so they must be conditioned and taught differently than humans in order to avoid that behavior.

    I'm not very knowledgeable on training animals, so I'm not sure of the best solution here. Some of the above might be wrong, these are just some of my initial thoughts - I'm sure someone with a degree in Psychology would be able to help, maybe someone here can offer us insight on the matter.
  5. Azul

    Azul Well-Known Member

    Russian writer Dostoyevski describes something he witnessed as a child. A peasant was beaten by his master. Because he was unable to reciprocate the violence to his master, the peasant began hitting his horse. I think this is fairly typical. It seems as if, with humans, when one gets something bad there is a need to get rid of it.
    Maybe self harm and even suicide can be viewed as agression that is "displaced" on the self, because of the impossibility (or the unwillingness) to use that agression on others.
    It could explain why frustrated members of the underclass, instead of attacking the stratum above them, often focus their agression on the stratum under them, the immigrants.
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