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  1. #21
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    assholes when a part of a group than as an individual
    Hey now, I take pride in my ability to be an individual asshole. :cookie:

    Edit - best emoticon ever.

  2. #22
    not to be trusted miss fortune's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    Hey now, I take pride in my ability to be an individual asshole. :cookie:

    Edit - best emoticon ever.
    it IS a pretty awesome emoticon!

    yeah, I can be a total bitch all on my own, but I can't even pull off the type of callous evil that the bystander effect can produce... just sitting there and watching something horrible happen doesn't even cross my mind
    “Oh, we're always alright. You remember that. We happen to other people.” -Terry Pratchett

  3. #23
    Senior Member INTP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    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.
    Yes, but the individual might choose otherwise if he were alone and people tend to do pretty fucking weird shit against their will when in group.
    "Where wisdom reigns, there is no conflict between thinking and feeling."
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  4. #24
    Senior Member UniqueMixture's Avatar
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    What about the idea that people aren't monsters at all? It's all about trying to get basic needs met often in cruel, malicious, or inappropriate ways.
    For all that we have done, as a civilization, as individuals, the universe is not stable, and nor is any single thing within it. Stars consume themselves, the universe itself rushes apart, and we ourselves are composed of matter in constant flux. Colonies of cells in temporary alliance, replicating and decaying and housed within, an incandescent cloud of electrical impulses. This is reality, this is self knowledge, and the perception of it will, of course, make you dizzy.

  5. #25
    Wake, See, Sing, Dance Cellmold's Avatar
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    I find the act of calling someone or something a monster or monstrous, is done so as to distance ones humanity from the group or person in question.

    I believe it is healthier to remind yourself that those people who commit terrible crimes are still humans, with capabilities we all possess a capacity for. In that sense we should use such people as an example of how others can go so wrong, so as to avoid such pitfalls in ourselves.

    Unless of course they have mental issues, then it's all happy-day-dee-dah because you aren't like them......or something reassuring. Although you might suffer from the same condition....

  6. #26
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AffirmitiveAnxiety View Post
    I find the act of calling someone or something a monster or monstrous, is done so as to distance ones humanity from the group or person in question.

    I believe it is healthier to remind yourself that those people who commit terrible crimes are still humans, with capabilities we all possess a capacity for. In that sense we should use such people as an example of how others can go so wrong, so as to avoid such pitfalls in ourselves.

    Unless of course they have mental issues, then it's all happy-day-dee-dah because you aren't like them......or something reassuring. Although you might suffer from the same condition....
    I'm interested in that idea, its humanistic in the best possible sense and I dont like "othering" of individuals or groups, on the other hand most of the creeds and deeds I consider monsterous are monsterous precisely because they are the opposite of that sort of humanism and engage in that sort of "othering" too. I'll joke about how libertarians are subhuman morlocks but at the point at which I'm being serious, sober and reasonable I'll acknowledge they're just the same as anyone else, misguided and possessing dangerous ideas to my mind but they're still people.

    I'd have more sympathy for people who are mentally challenged or troubled than some sorts of ideologues, usually the violent ones but also the oppressive ones.

  7. #27
    Senior Member INTP's Avatar
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    if someone thinks this is only an individual thing, he should learn about the manifestation of collective shadow in nazi germany
    "Where wisdom reigns, there is no conflict between thinking and feeling."
    — C.G. Jung

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  8. #28
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by INTP View Post
    if someone thinks this is only an individual thing, he should learn about the manifestation of collective shadow in nazi germany
    I have read about that and its interesting, although even were a collective culture or ethos mandates certain thinking and behaviour would you not consider that it is still an individual who chooses to act on those mandates?

  9. #29
    Superwoman Red Herring's Avatar
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    I would go one step further and say that I don't think there are "monstrous" individuals (well, maybe depending on your definition you might use that label for the odd sadistic sociopath who regularly acts on a need to repeatedly hurt others). There are however heinous acts. Since the nazi card has already been played: I remember disturbing photos of concentration camp guards during their time off work. They are laughing, playing cards, having a beer with their buddies and acting and looking like completely normal people. Yes, positions of power tend to attract power hungry people who tend to abuse power. But history is full of people doing the most gruesome things either mentally detaching from them ("it's aweful but it's all for the good of the country, etc") to maintain sanity or - and this is probably much, much more frequent - being unaware of them since they don't regard their victoms as "real people" or people worthy of their sympathy and empathy. That's where the monkey zone and tribal behavior come into play. Think of wars of conquest and elimination, of witches burned at the stake, of cruel executions, etc.

    That being said, there are ideas and ideologies that can lead to or are based on the sanctioning of monstrous acts and a disregard for human life and human dignity. Monstrous ideas if you will. And there are groups of otherwise normal people who form groups with the explicit goal of furthering those monstrous ideas (think KKK). That makes them monstrous clubs/associations of otherwise normal people who join for monstrous collective action (that can naturally be split down to individual monstrous microacts).
    And then there are clusters of people - like ethnic groups or nationalities - that adhere or have adhered to monstrous ideas or committed monstrous collective acts. That does not mean that every individual belonging to that group is a monster or even participated in those acts or joined in those monstrous actions (I'll leave the duty to resistance and dissent aside for a moment because that is a whole other issue). But taking that group as a group you can say that this or that group has a history of violence, intolerance, and that there were incidences of collective heinous acts etc. ... which does not automatically make it to a monstrous ethnicity or nationality - because its identity goes way beyond those acts or ideas. But it does mean that - while composed of innocent individuals a few generations later - on a collective level that stain of past monstrous ideas and acts is still there in the collective memory, as it should.
    The good life is one inspired by love and guided by knowledge. Neither love without knowledge, nor knowledge without love can produce a good life. - Bertrand Russell
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  10. #30
    Senior Member Snoopy22's Avatar
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    No - Unethical people create unethical nations and groups (example - 1930s Japan when they infected Chinese people with plague then performed autopsies on many of them while still alive without the use of anesthesia).

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