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  1. #1

    Default Dehumanizing the "others"

    So I am wondering. How quick are you to dehumanize people who:

    1) disagree with you?
    2) rub you the wrong way?
    3) inconvenience you?
    4) make it hard for you to get your job done?

    By dehumanize, I mean, to, in your own mind, strip them of their human status. Thinking of them as "animals", "monsters", "menace", or really any label that would justify, in your mind, violating one of their human rights.

    Human rights include:
    The right to life, liberty, personal security, status of personhood, equal protection under the law,
    freedom from slavery, torture, cruel or degrading punishment, arbitrary arrest, ...

    http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/

    Maybe introspection is too hard. How quickly have you seen it happen?

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  2. #2
    Member Nakawaka's Avatar
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    I'm of Asian ancestry, but I have been raised in Canada for my entire life. I have very little interest in Asian culture just because it is Asian culture and as of such, it is difficult for me to sympathies with "pure" Asian immigrants. Just as various cliques exclude people whom they do not feel is "Chinese" enough (including teachers), I have little expectation for these kind of people who couldn't bother to properly learn English.

    Why? Because these people can't have a good future even if they get that fancy college certificate in a foreign place just to return to China soon after. I'm willing to help immigrants, in fact, I have made friends with international students as well, but I'm not tossing out free fish if they are not going to respect me as an individual.

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    Of all of the options, only "Rubbing the wrong way" ever leads to dehumanization, and even then only in extreme conditions will it truly happen (usually only people I hear about on the news meet the criteria).

    If it were easier, or if more criteria applied, I fear what I could do to people, seeing as how quite a few people disagree with me, inconvenience me, or make my job difficult.

    Fortunately that is not the case, and I don't suspect a whole lot of people are going to claim that they dehumanize a significant number of people.
    ...

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    I've done that, and felt ashamed for it. I do think I have a higher threshold than many others before I get to that point, though. Even evil historical figures like Adolf Hitler are still human. Pretty much all of humanity is capable of great evil and to say that one isn't is to be dishonest with oneself.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by ygolo View Post
    So I am wondering. How quick are you to dehumanize people who:

    1) disagree with you?
    2) rub you the wrong way?
    3) inconvenience you?
    4) make it hard for you to get your job done?

    By dehumanize, I mean, to, in your own mind, strip them of their human status. Thinking of them as "animals", "monsters", "menace", or really any label that would justify, in your mind, violating one of their human rights.

    Human rights include:
    The right to life, liberty, personal security, status of personhood, equal protection under the law,
    freedom from slavery, torture, cruel or degrading punishment, arbitrary arrest, ...

    http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/

    Maybe introspection is too hard. How quickly have you seen it happen?
    Intriguing question!

    I have my peaks and valleys with this attitude... but I would save overall it averages out to 2.5 on that scale. Although, I don't tend to think of people as monsters per se... more like idiots/morons... But I assume for the sake of this question that the two are one and the same.

    I also have a lesser tolerance when I am driving. It's like people = their cars, and I = my car. And when people crowd my lane or don't signal, or cut me off, etc. I get very very annoyed.

  6. #6
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ygolo View Post
    By dehumanize, I mean, to, in your own mind, strip them of their human status. Thinking of them as "animals", "monsters", "menace", or really any label that would justify, in your mind, violating one of their human rights.

    Human rights include:
    The right to life, liberty, personal security, status of personhood, equal protection under the law,
    freedom from slavery, torture, cruel or degrading punishment, arbitrary arrest,
    I don't consciously dehumanize anyone, and when I make a point to analyze my attitudes about someone who has harmed or offended me in some way, I don't usually find any trace of this mindset in my attitude. Like Saturned, I often consider them stupid or even apathetic rather than monstrous or menacing.

    In an odd sense, I more often "humanize" them, if one takes that to mean focusing on the fact that they do have these basic human rights. In fact, much of my frustration comes from seeing people fail to exercise these rights. They discount the value of individual liberty, let themselves be taken advantage of, don't take steps to safeguard personal security, don't take advantage of legal and other recourse available to them. They act like sheep (OK, so that is an animal) and I would like to shake them and tell them to wake up and take charge of their lives. This probably wouldn't do any good, though; I'm not their keeper; and I have my own work to do anyway. Usually I stop at addressing whatever is directly impacting me, and let them go their own way.
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...

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    Senior Member Tiger Owl's Avatar
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    No dehumanizing here. The 4 points you mentioned are not worth dehumanizing anyone over. Now if they are an armed threat, things change a bit and I would not dehumanize them or violate any of their basic human rights because the minute they pick up a weapon with intent to maim, kill, or terrorize innocent people- they no longer have basic human rights, they surrendered those rights. Still 100% human, absolutely.
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    Klingon Warrior Princess Patches's Avatar
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    Ygolo, have you ever heard of Dunbar's Number? It is relevant to this conversation. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunbar's_number Basically, by studying the tribe sizes of certain primates, Dunbar was able to determine that the size of the neocortex in the brain has a direct correlation to tribe size. By extending the principle to humans it has been suggested that, based on our neocortex size, humans are meant to be in tribes of ~150. Dunbar's research primarily deals with the social behavior of tribes, but some anthropologists extended this idea to explain that the reason we dehumanize/stereotype large groups of people is because we cognitively are not capable of humanizing more than ~150 people.

    If you're interested, I can dig up some of the links I have about it. People have even applied the number to online social networks.

    Quote Originally Posted by Modeling Users’ Activity on Twitter Networks: Validation of Dunbar’s Number
    Microblogging and mobile devices appear to augment human social capabilities, which raises the question whether they
    remove cognitive or biological constraints on human communication. In this paper we analyze a dataset of Twitter
    conversations collected across six months involving 1.7 million individuals and test the theoretical cognitive limit on the
    number of stable social relationships known as Dunbar’s number. We find that the data are in agreement with Dunbar’s
    result; users can entertain a maximum of 100–200 stable relationships.
    Thus, the ‘economy of attention’ is limited in the
    online world by cognitive and biological constraints as predicted by Dunbar’s theory.
    “Everybody has a secret world inside of them. All of the people of the world, I mean everybody. No matter how dull and boring they are on the outside, inside
    them they've all got unimaginable, magnificent, wonderful, stupid, amazing worlds. Not just one world. Hundreds of them. Thousands maybe.” -Neil Gaiman

    ~

  9. #9
    Senior Member swordpath's Avatar
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    If you cut me off in traffic, consider yourself dehumanized.

  10. #10
    Post Human Post Qlip's Avatar
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    Dehumanizing is a tool to turn off empathy, when your survival is at stake. That's pretty much what I use it for, which is to say I don't use it very often. I'm not often fending for my life or fighting for life giving resources. This doesn't mean that I like everybody, but even people I don't like deserve certain forms of very basic respect.

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