Why?

Discussion in 'I Have a Question...' started by Øyvind, May 6, 2014.

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  1. Øyvind

    Øyvind Senior Member

    Why are people the way they are? I don't understand, so many contradictions and malevolence and just an apparent complete lack of conscience. Well, that would be easier if it was true. What is truly maddening is that people appear to have a conscience, sympathy and the ability to care that is just incompatible with their actions, their words and their "values".

    It's like a thought experiment I came up with while I was in Youth School and was bullied by everyone:
    Imagine you're held captive and tortured for no other reason than say your looks, concentration camp-style. There are two main jailors/torturers: One is a complete sociopath, he revels in causing pain for the sake of causing pain, he's the one dimensional villain from fairy tales. The other, a man who seems down to earth, but whenever he sees you, he has genuine anger in his eyes, like he truly is convinced you're the villain. He hates you, and believes what he is doing is morally the right thing to do. He has friends and family, he loves them and they love him, if you were somehow able to eavesdrop on him talking to friends and family he would sound like a really nice and fun guy, down to earth and sensible.
    The question is: which one of the jailers would you hate the most?
    EDIT: I guess I should say who I would. The second jailer.

    I know people read my diary on here, I dunno, maybe those people, who probably understand me to some extent now, can answer. I'd say I'd appreciate an answer, but the thing is any answer would probably be hurtful and make me angry and more depressed.
    Though I don't really expect answers here anymore, last time I made a thread in TUP it went completely unanswered. SF is not very active anymore, it seems.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2014
  2. Acy

    Acy Mama Bear - TLC, Common Sense Staff Member Safety & Support

    I don't know if I'd hate one more than the other (I wouldn't want either one, right?), but the second one would definitely confuse me and make me more angry. Much harder to even grasp that someone could be likeable/loveable with some, yet a hate-filled bully thug with others (including oneself).

    Is it the lack of consistency in behavior that you're getting at...? That is always hard for me to understand in people. They can be "oh so nice" to some and downright nasty to others - without apparent cause.

    Isn't the ability to look all innocent and good, yet act horribly without compassion and empathy, a cardinal sign of sociopathy? To my knowledge, sociopaths can "love" if it's useful to their own ends, and that might explain why some people never see their horrible side.

    I hope you're not in the middle of a situation where someone is being two-faced - mean with you and acting all nice with others. If you are, I am really sorry. :hug:
     
  3. Øyvind

    Øyvind Senior Member

    Hi Acy, thanks for the reply. :hug: It's more complicated than that, and more of a general thing for most or all people I meet.
     
  4. WildCherry

    WildCherry Staff Member ADMIN

    I'd hate them both, but the second one would confuse me so much more because of how he could be nice and caring to his family, and yet so cruel to me.
     
  5. I would hate the second jailer more.
     
  6. Hatshepsut

    Hatshepsut Guest

    Why: some questions.

    This is a nice philosophy & ethics exercise. The replies mostly go after the second tormentor as reprehensible for his apparent hypocrisy.

    But somehow I doubt the first tormenter, the cardboard-cutout villian, exists in reality.

    We've all seen a photo taken in 1935 showing Adolf Hitler with some Bund Deutscher Mädel girls near the Austrian border for a summer vacation meet of this Hitler Youth auxiliary (Stanford U., http://www.stanford.edu/~suky/WW2/Hitlerchildren.html). They look so smart in their crisp uniforms, yet back in Berlin the Reichstag was passing the Nuremberg Laws in an early stage of the escalating program against Jewish people--democracy in action, as the Nazis never abolished Germany's parliamentary form of government nor its civilian courts. This is what Øyvind has in mind at the political level. The typical schoolyard bullies mentioned in his post represent the phenomenon at an inchoate, less organized stage, where teenage cliques train young minds in the arts of cruelty.

    Was Hitler evil?

    The norm of rightness, a psychological device that causes a person's actions to seem justified in that person's own eyes, suggests otherwise. Once that person, or the clique she or he belongs to, becomes the leading element of society, the norm of rightness can become moral truth. Only those judging Hitler from an outside point of view can call him evil. He was only seeking to defend the German race from its enemies, which he conceived as Jews and Bolsheviks.

    So, Hitler was not evil. The idea of absolute evil itself is a fantasy. Nothing in the cosmos or in the laws of physics operates with any human society's moral preferences in mind. All societies have an ethic of not doing harm to others. Nazi Germany also had this ethic. No civil laws against murder, robbery, or fraud were ever repealed even as Göring was hauling the art away from the museums of Europe.

    Something in this logic makes my stomach sour. It's a damn good thing Hitler did not win his wars, and damn sorry that so many millions of people had to die just to get rid of the monster. I think the moral lesson is for choosing norms and values carefully, since reason and logic provide only limited guidance.

    We haven't really solved the problem in the enlightened USA, though. As recently as 2003, when the Supreme Court finally overturned the relevant state law, males in Texas could go to prison for anal sex acts labeled as "sodomy", a term named after the biblical town God destroys in a rain of fire. Many Americans still view homosexuality as evil. In truth, all sexual activities, including gay bathing and anal sex, carry serious potential for emotional or physical harm despite adult consent. The moral shift only follows the argument that homosexuality and anal involvement is not necessarily more harmful than heterosexuality and vaginal sex, so that no reason exists to discriminate between these two forms of sex in the laws. Nor was the Supreme Court's decision courageous; the justices were simply acknowledging a political trend toward more tolerance for diversity in behavior.

    I'm guessing that Øyvind's question could be rephrased: "In order to eliminate something or someone perceived as evil, is it necessary to hate it first? Is the word evil a synonym for hate? Or is there a righteous hate as well?"
    ,
    , :faint2: ,...what do you think?
     
  7. Forget2Trust

    Forget2Trust Active Member

    Hmmm.... I wouldn't like being in that situation. I guess, it would bother me that I'm being treated differently due to my looks, so it would hurt that the jailer with "morals" could be so blind... The sadistic sociopath? He would definitely hurt me more physically, I'm sure. They have different motives, but the one takes pleasure in causing other people pain is probably ruthless. I wouldn't want to be in the situation. The guy who actually has w conscience truly believes he is doing the right thing. He's probably been brainwashed. He might hate me, but he is never going to get joy out of my pain like a sadistic sociopath will. If I were in this predicament, I'm sure I'd be so worn out psychologically that I wouldn't have a preference. I'd dislike or hate both. I wouldn't discriminate.

    Where is your dairy?
     
  8. Forget2Trust

    Forget2Trust Active Member

    Hmmm.... I wouldn't like being in that situation. I guess, it would bother me that I'm being treated differently due to my looks, so it would hurt that the jailer with "morals" could be so blind... The sadistic sociopath? He would definitely hurt me more physically, I'm sure. They have different motives, but the one takes pleasure in causing other people pain is probably ruthless. I wouldn't want to be in the situation. The guy who actually has w conscience truly believes he is doing the right thing. He's probably been brainwashed. He might hate me, but he is never going to get joy out of my pain like a sadistic sociopath will. If I were in this predicament, I'm sure I'd be so worn out psychologically that I wouldn't have a preference. I'd dislike or hate both. I wouldn't discriminate.

    Where is your dairy?
     
  9. ViolentGirl

    ViolentGirl Banned Member

    I love these deeper, philosophical discussions! More please.

    I think it's definitely more brutal when a person hates you personally.

    When I was in High School, my circle of friends were the most mocked and unpopular kids there, but that didn't stop us from being mean to others. There was a guy who had very little friends and we invited him to my house, where we refused to let him leave for a couple of hours and convinced him we were going to kill him, with a fake gun and some knives.

    I did it for the same reason as your Jailer #1 -because it felt good. It was nothing personal against this guy, I just wanted to hurt someone and he was it. It could have been anyone. It was exhilarating.

    A couple of months later he was alone at school and I walked up to him. He started crying, thinking that I'd come back to kill him. I felt guilty and told him that I was sorry I'd been such an asshole. I told him I'm just fucked in the head and that I don't hate him or anything. He was just there at the wrong time. I told him that he should just hate me, because obviously my mom dropped me on my head when I was a baby.

    To cut a long, boring story short, it's only my personal interpretation, but I feel like the guy felt better after I told him that I didn't hate him. I'm sure he thought I was a nutcase, but I don't mind that. I'm not saying that my apology takes back what I did, but we did become sort-of friends after that.

    I think it definitely hurts more when someone believes that you deserve to be treated like shit as opposed to someone who admits what they're doing is sick. Though, it might not make much difference at the time because the sadistic sociopath will make their victim believe they've got a good reason for doing this just to make them suffer more.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 30, 2014
  10. Jae

    Jae Well-Known Member

    ..if it is in my case, i hate the second jailer..because he seems to be fake for me.,..specially the smile..he maybe kind to his family and friends but i doubt him more because of that...i think he will cause more pain than the first jailer...emotional pain...even in real life..i hate those goody goody people around me..i think that they are just pretending infront of me...
     
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