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  1. #11
    Queen hunter Virtual ghost's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Memphis View Post
    A good imagination is also useful when you do want to hurt others.

    Just sayin
    This was my first though when I saw the title of the thread.

  2. #12
    Senior Member King sns's Avatar
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    No, imagination doesn't have anything to do with hurting others.
    I think that where there's a will there's a way. So that if you happen to want to hurt someone, you would use your imagination and can manipulate them at any length. But if you're determined to keep the peace and be happy, than you will find a way to do so.
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  3. #13
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SilkRoad View Post
    This is just a theory I have. I tend to think that if you have a good imagination, you will have a better idea of the potential consequences of your actions and how other people can be hurt by what you do.

    Perhaps I'm equating imagination with empathy...not sure.

    I've gradually come to the conclusion that most people don't hurt others out of wickedness or evil intent, but simply because they're thoughtless (and selfish...and perhaps unimaginative). Unfortunately, the way that works out, it ends up being just about as bad as malicious intent.

    Thoughts?
    I think this is similar to Adam Smith's theory of mind in System of Moral Sentiments, in which he speculates that sympathy arises from the ability to imagine one self in circumstances similar to that of the other.

    Its a theory I like although its mainly literary, psychologists would suggest that consequential thinking is more to do with moral reasoning than imagination, it doesnt really develop in the sense in which you've described it until about 21, or so the reasoning goes, and in children or young people who've experienced trauma, adversity or havent developed healthy attachments or resilience much later.

    The why of hurting others is more complex too, it can arise from a lot of different reasons but the main two are an inability to self-regulate their emotional state and the exhaustion of their personal repetitoire of means to get what they want or need.

    To a certain extent I would say then that a lot of evil is a result of being thoughtless, although I wouldnt mean by the same that it is accidential, rather by being literaly abscent minded, ie having an inadequate "theory of mind", ie knowing or being able to predict what others are thinking, having deficit abilities etc.

    I'm going to do some reading on the development of imagination and its relationship to empathy now I think.

  4. #14
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Antisocial one View Post
    This was my first though when I saw the title of the thread.
    Yeah, there's very imaginative psychopaths and sociopaths, what typifies them is the lack of conscience not the lack of imagination.

    Although the lack of resourcefulness or resilience or emotional competence, which can include an imagination, can result in people acting in ways which are mistaken for a lack of conscience.

  5. #15
    resonance entropie's Avatar
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    If one does ignore if the word imagination or empathy or anticipation is the right word, I'ld say from a logical standpoint anyone who cant imagine the other ones standpoint, has a better chance to be cruel yes.

    From my own lifes experience, this is indeed the case.
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  6. #16
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    There is a really interesting book (if you're into such things) called Evil by Roy Baumeister that studies people who commit truly horrendous acts of violence, including war crimes. I guess my common conception of such people before I read the book was that they were on par with Milton's Satan in terms of intensity of character, but Baumeister's conclusion is that most of these people have fairly run-of-the-mill, even banal personalities -- kind of like the serial killer who lives next door and everyone says "I never would have guessed, he seemed so normal." Now as to whether a highly imaginative personality makes one less banal in the sense that you wouldn't hurt someone -- I don't know. I can only add that I know someone who I consider highly imaginative, who writes the most incredible stories and poems, and yet she can say very insensitive and cruel things to people sometimes without having any idea that she hurt them, even when it's pointed out to her. Of course, that doesn't make her a serial killer, either.

  7. #17
    Senior Member NewEra's Avatar
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    There really doesn't seem to be a good link between imagination and likelihood of hurting others. On the other hand, empathy and hurting others... there may be something there.

  8. #18
    Lungs & Lips Locked Unkindloving's Avatar
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    Imagination is broad. It would depend on how it is utilized and how what is derived from imagining is utilized. It comes down to the individual.
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  9. #19
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    Ignoring the common notion of hurting others, individuals, like deliberate violence. I believe most hurting(as a sum) is done through the unconsciousness. And you are not aware, cause this happens indirect and often distanced, a butterfly effect. This happens through a variability of belief systems. The damage extends mostly through minority groups and on to various aspects of planetary matter(substance, life).

    IOW a lack of awareness.

  10. #20
    Aquaria mrcockburn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SilkRoad View Post
    This is just a theory I have. I tend to think that if you have a good imagination, you will have a better idea of the potential consequences of your actions and how other people can be hurt by what you do.

    Perhaps I'm equating imagination with empathy...not sure.

    I've gradually come to the conclusion that most people don't hurt others out of wickedness or evil intent, but simply because they're thoughtless (and selfish...and perhaps unimaginative). Unfortunately, the way that works out, it ends up being just about as bad as malicious intent.

    Thoughts?
    Theoretically...in order to NEVER hurt people (impossible), you need BOTH empathy and imagination. A person with empathy but no imagination is prone to hurting people in unintentional ways, committing blunders that may hurt/embarrass the person in less obvious ways. "I'm watching my friend's dog. It wants fresh air. I think I'll release it in the street without a leash for a good run."

    *Honk honk...screeeeeech...CRASH!* Roadkill... "Oops, didn't imagine that could happen."

    One with imagination but no empathy is dangerous. This is the chess-strategic sociopath that can swindle the lamp out of Aladdin's hands.

    Did that make sense? No? What's that...I sound drunk? I probably am. :pornstar:

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