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  1. #1
    Razzaberry Is Yummy Razzaberry's Avatar
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    Default Cruelty: Already In Someone's Head or not?

    If this is in the wrong place, eh, you may kill me via internet

    I was thinking of that this morning. What causes a person's cruelty? I think a majority of people have cruelty buried somewhere in there heads. Some just use it more than others. I believe the way they unbury it is by seeing others be cruel and they give it a try. Unfortunately several people seem to take it to mind to be cruel to anyone or anything (if they got a rush from it the first time they were ever cruel). That is probably due to a warped perception of cruelty being cool. And with ultra-violent television and what not some kids and teens find it cool (eh, that sounds kind of contradictory seeing as how I am a teenager who read a comic book about a serial killer and think that the serial killer is the coolest thing ever, but hes fictional and doesn't count). Thats my opinion. But what do you think of cruelty? I think its down right stupid (but its fine if its in fiction, and thats my opinion). What do you think causes cruelty?
    “There is a beast in man that should be exercised, not exorcised” – Anton Lavey

  2. #2

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    (Weird coz I was thinking about this last night lol) I think you're right about everything you said, and about it being something that makes people feel good, so they do it for a thrill. I think everyone has the capacity for it, to just ignore someone's feelings, or ONLY take interest in those feelings when they are damaged.
    Some people inflict it and then do something akin to empathising, in order to experience the pain on a secondary level, like watching a movie. It can be entertaining/fascinating/fulfilling to feel pain from another pespective. Where as feeling emotional pain in yourself is not enjoyable on so many levels, if any.
    I think an aversion to being cruel comes from a realisation of how another person feels under the conflict of cruelty, and in empathizing with that persons pain you experience how horrible it is, and either care enough that people should not feel that sad, or understand that if you don't want to feel it therefore no-one else does, and develop a respect for that, for other people's feelings.
    Also, If you understand what it feels liek to be on the receiving end of cruelty you can recognize how someone else would feel in the receipt of cruelty, and in turn recognize the value of their feelings as you do in your own.
    I personally hate cruelty, but have experimented with it in the distant past and was left with gaping holes of regret and shame.

  3. #3
    Blah Orangey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Razzaberry View Post
    If this is in the wrong place, eh, you may kill me via internet

    I was thinking of that this morning. What causes a person's cruelty? I think a majority of people have cruelty buried somewhere in there heads. Some just use it more than others. I believe the way they unbury it is by seeing others be cruel and they give it a try. Unfortunately several people seem to take it to mind to be cruel to anyone or anything (if they got a rush from it the first time they were ever cruel). That is probably due to a warped perception of cruelty being cool. And with ultra-violent television and what not some kids and teens find it cool (eh, that sounds kind of contradictory seeing as how I am a teenager who read a comic book about a serial killer and think that the serial killer is the coolest thing ever, but hes fictional and doesn't count). Thats my opinion. But what do you think of cruelty? I think its down right stupid (but its fine if its in fiction, and thats my opinion). What do you think causes cruelty?
    If it's "fine if it's in fiction" then how is cruelty made "cool" by "ultra-violent television?"

    I think cruelty is facilitated mostly by its institutionalization.
    Artes, Scientia, Veritasiness

  4. #4

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    It definitely easier to be cruel if everyone else is doing it, and then if you are used to doing it I'm sure it becomes so normal it's nothing to do with reward, just following protocol. Flashes of inspiration for certain points to be made, perhaps for comedic value, seeing no value in censoring oneself to spare any hurt feelings.

  5. #5

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    I don't think some people have any concept of cruelty either. I think in order for one to be cruel they have to be aware of causing negative effects, otherwise it is just carelessness/lack of awareness. I don't know, maybe some people process their intentions outside of their awareness and are still subconsciously motivated to cause another pain.
    sorry for dp.

  6. #6

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    I tend to agree with Erich Fromm's analysis that human beings are hardwired to relate to others and use reason, when those things are blocked somehow, for instance traumatic derailment of normal development, then people will still try to relate to others but in a twisted way, which an be cruel and destructive, they will rationalise that somehow, ie make excuses or see it as perfectly alright/normal.

    I agree with his analysis too about social character the capacity for sado-masochistic social character in which individuals honour superiors, even if that superior is a projection from their own mind, he uses the example of Hitler using God, Nation and Race as his superiors, while tyrannising over their perceived or read subordinates. While Fromm examined political spheres and social structures, including businesses, schools, therapy and things like that I think that this can perfectly sum up some neighbourhoods, communities, subcultures and peer groups to a T.

    Fromm saw this as a consequence of objective individual freedom having dissolved primary social bonds, this began with human consciousness setting individuals apart from one another and nature, was fast tracked by every social/industrial and political revolution in history, Fromm saw this as being as much a problem, for most people, as a positive development. So this state of independence results in social anxieties, these anxieties cant be overcome because relating to others is difficult, patterns of expected behaviour in the economy, management roles, other social roles, dont mandate or permit them, there's crisis and people cope by becoming afraid of freedom and adopting copeing mechanisms, one of which is the one I mentioned, the authoritarian personality. There's also automaton conformity and others.

    I think cruelty in adolescence could be a result of that same sort of fear of freedom on a less grand scale, people are unattaching from parents, striving for independence but at once becoming lonely, peers take on way too much importance in adolescence and hey presto, authoritarian personalities.

    There's other explanations, becoming the thing you fear the most to allay that fear itself, which is in line with Jung's theories about the psychological "shadow" of the self. Attachment disorders meaning that people substitute controlling for relating or are over compensating for developmental deficits, in both sadistic and masochistic ways. I'd agree with Fromm that sadism and masochism are two sides of the same coin, bullies might look like they're in control but they are dependent on the subject of their bullying too. That person vanishes and they cant find a substitute and that individual is going to be miserable.

    Fromm drew a lot on old testament stories, despite being an atheist, and went back to the prophetic teachings about "hardening of the heart" to describe how he felt people werent born cruel and werent made cruel but slowly become cruel through choosing that consistently and finding themselves in permitting surroundings or with opportunities in which its not challenged and stopped. This all strikes a cord with me, when I was at school, primary school even, culturally many of the kids there valued more than anything else this idea of being "hard", basically hard hearted, unphased by upsetting or distressing things, it was an informal education in emotional stupidity as opposed to emotional intelligence. However it was something which was learned before it was second nature.

  7. #7
    Occasional Member Evan's Avatar
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    Cruelty is just displacement or projection. Unless someone is a sociopath, if they're cruel, you can be sure they're in pain and don't have the emotional resources to handle it.

    Don't worry, people get better. Teenagers are the most cruel age group in my opinion.

  8. #8
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    Love and Hatred and the Emotional Mess

    There is no love without hatred and so, as children, we love and hate our parents. But in order to survive, we repress our hatred.

    This has the unfortunate effect of also repressing our love.

    And when we have survived childhood, we take all our repressed love and hatred into our grown-up relationships.

    So some here hate Victor. They relate to him as a parent figure and project all their repressed hatred onto him and even a little love. This is called the transference, where the repressed feelings of love and hatred for the parent are transfered to another grown up.

    In a therapeutic situation the interpretation of the transference can slowly and safely release all the repressed hatred of the parents, and also release all the repressed love. This is why therapy can be so emotionally enlivening.

    Unfortunately this is not a therapeutic situation, so the repressed hatred, in the form of personal insults, are banned.

    But all we have done is build a big dam, behind which all the love and all the hated of the parents roils and boils, and sometimes spills over the dam wall. And so the moderators are kept perpetually busy cleaning up our emotional mess.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Santosha's Avatar
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    I think cruelty (as in an indifference to the pain of others) can be learned, but is often times biological, stemming from a lack of mirror or empathy neurons.

    For instance, when I observe anothers pain or an act that would typically result in pain, humiliation, embarassment, or anything that tears at anothers being, I very inherently identify with how that might make me feel. I do not actively, rationally consider the the situation and then decide to identify, its much more instinctual.

    By the same token, someone who has low mirror neurons or low mirror activity may look at the same thing I just observed and have a very different experience resulting in very different actions. Is it fair for me to expect them to be the same? Feel the same?

    So in the case of indifference (that can be construed as cruelty) I do believe it has a biological link.

    However, there is also cruelty where someone can identify with what another is feeling, but for whatever reason they rationalize the identification away by focusing on the differences between themself and the other.

    The seeds of cruelty seem to stem from objectification and that can stem from individualization. When we are prompted to stand out, distinguish ourselves, focus on all the differences so we can be "better" (ego constructs) suddenly being cruel isn't so hard because identification is lost.

    Actively cruel people tend to have limited perception.

    I have witnessed very kind people get pushed to their wits end and eventually lash back with a ferocity that is awesome to behold. Engulfed in their stress, depression, or any myriad of negative emotions ones perspective can and typically is lost. It's very human. So you can imagine what the emotional backdrop of someone that continually operates with cruelty might look like. Understanding this usually helps you if your on the receiving end of cruelty, or atleast it has helped me.
    Man suffers only because he takes seriously what the gods made for fun - Watts

  10. #10
    not to be trusted miss fortune's Avatar
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    generally self centeredness is the cause of most petty cruelty between people... especially teenagers and the emotionally immature

    things like skinning people alive and things of that sort are probably based on mental imbalances of some sort
    “Oh, we're always alright. You remember that. We happen to other people.” -Terry Pratchett

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