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  1. #11
    Senior Member INTP's Avatar
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    no, people can do horrible things against their will in a group of monsters. this would mean that the person who does those things against his will is not a monster, but he still does monstrous acts due to monstrous group. but if we take it literally, monster is a word that is used when talking about an single creature
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  2. #12
    Let me count the ways Betty Blue's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    Not nations, peoples or groups.

    Would you agree with that?
    No, stupid and ill defined statement.
    "We knew he was someone who had a tragic flaw, that's where his greatness came from"

  3. #13
    desert pelican Owl's Avatar
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    I'm going to have to say no, groups cannot be monstrous, because only persons can be monstrous, and groups are not persons.

    However, there are times when it does seem as if a group is a person. E.g., the president of a university might ask the philosophy department what it thinks about requiring critical reasoning courses in order to earn a degree. The philosophy deparment may then issue a statement to the effect that it thinks requiring critical reasoning in a college education is a good idea. And this statement might be issued even if there are dissenters within the group, perhaps even if the chair of the department disagrees with the statement of the department taken as a single entity.

    Groups can seem even more like persons when they do something that would clearly be immoral for a person to do. For example, the big tobacco manufacturers consistently denied that smoking tobacco was not harmful even when many members of the group, including those in positions of leadership, knew these denials to be false. In such situations, when the action of a group is harmful, it can be tricky to determine the degree of responsibilty to assign to each member in the group for the harm that was done. With respect to big tobacco, it might be said that the big companies lied, and then hold the companies, as opposed to any individual within those companies, responsible--in effect, treating a company/group as if it were a person, i.e., the sort of thing that can lie and that can be held responsible for lying.

    Soooo... by punishing a group, (or praising a group), our behavior provides evidence for the claim that groups can be held morally responsible for their actions. Still, I'd maintain that we behave as if groups were morally responsible, or persons, out of expediancy, and not out of a recognition that the group is actually morally responsible.

  4. #14
    Blah Orangey's Avatar
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    "Monstrosity" is not really a stable trait of personality; it's just a word that we use to describe someone who has committed acts that we deem monstrous. As such, it makes little sense to argue that some distinction ought be made when applying the term to individuals and groups. If it is legitimate to call an individual who has committed monstrous acts a "monster," then it is equally legitimate to call a group of people who have committed monstrous acts "monsters."

    The only potential problem is that the label will be given to the wrong group (e.g., "Germans are monsters, because Germans were Nazis, and Nazis massacred the Jews"), but that's a category/logical issue and not really an issue with the meaning or application of the word.
    Artes, Scientia, Veritasiness

  5. #15
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by INTP View Post
    no, people can do horrible things against their will in a group of monsters. this would mean that the person who does those things against his will is not a monster, but he still does monstrous acts due to monstrous group. but if we take it literally, monster is a word that is used when talking about an single creature
    Groupthink can neutralise personal responsibility or personal conscience perhaps there's a lot of hivemindedness and herd instinct in people yet but its still an individual choosing and acting.

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Orangey View Post
    "Monstrosity" is not really a stable trait of personality; it's just a word that we use to describe someone who has committed acts that we deem monstrous. As such, it makes little sense to argue that some distinction ought be made when applying the term to individuals and groups. If it is legitimate to call an individual who has committed monstrous acts a "monster," then it is equally legitimate to call a group of people who have committed monstrous acts "monsters."

    The only potential problem is that the label will be given to the wrong group (e.g., "Germans are monsters, because Germans were Nazis, and Nazis massacred the Jews"), but that's a category/logical issue and not really an issue with the meaning or application of the word.
    Exactly.

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    Did you ever think that cookie monster and oscar the grouch or elmo were related?
    Yes. The missing link between them all is an undiscovered creation who's father was a mop and who's mother was a shag carpet.

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Orangey View Post
    "Monstrosity" is not really a stable trait of personality; it's just a word that we use to describe someone who has committed acts that we deem monstrous. As such, it makes little sense to argue that some distinction ought be made when applying the term to individuals and groups. If it is legitimate to call an individual who has committed monstrous acts a "monster," then it is equally legitimate to call a group of people who have committed monstrous acts "monsters."

    The only potential problem is that the label will be given to the wrong group (e.g., "Germans are monsters, because Germans were Nazis, and Nazis massacred the Jews"), but that's a category/logical issue and not really an issue with the meaning or application of the word.
    The irony being that Nazi Germans thought Jews were monsters...and on and on.

    I don't believe there's anything such as inherent monstrosity in a particular nation or group of people. On the other hand, a group of people can have a schema that causes more individuals to act more monstrously.

    But I think it's just people in circumstances or with philosophies or world views which spur them on to the darker side of humanity. I mean for pete's sake we don't say "the Romans were monsters" just because Nero was an asshole.

    I think people have it it in them to behave in a way that is violent or destructive and that it may come out under particular conditions.

    I agree with @Orangey. I mean for fuck's sake my family on my maternal grandmother's side is German, but my immediate relatives were in the U.S. long before WWII, so iz I a monster because I'm German? I don't even believe all Nazis were monsters, because so much was going on that the common German person, even with Nazi sympathies, wasn't fully cognizant of until the truth of the extent of the genocide and murder was exposed.

    I also agree with @Owl.

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    Did you ever think that cookie monster and oscar the grouch or elmo were related?
    [YOUTUBE="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RovF1zsDoeM&feature=related"]that's racist![/YOUTUBE]

  10. #20
    not to be trusted miss fortune's Avatar
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    according to most sociological research people are much more of assholes when a part of a group than as an individual, because when a part of a group they feel that their actions or lack thereof are sanctioned by the behavior of the others and the blame is diffused as opposed to when the person is acting as an individual and has to answer for their own actions just to put my two cents as having a degree in social psych in here!
    “Oh, we're always alright. You remember that. We happen to other people.” -Terry Pratchett

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