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Inhumanity (not for the faint-hearted)

 
 
akaMechsmith
 
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Reply Fri 13 Jun, 2003 05:56 pm
Thanks CI and JL,
I have often been told I looked at things wierdly. Sometimes I even have been called wierd.
But the longer I looked the more normal wierd looks looked. (:-)


He who means well but doesn't do well is a damned fool.
The road to Hell is paved with good intentions.

I can't attribute those ( memory fails ) but they are often appropriate, especially taken together!
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JLNobody
 
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Reply Fri 13 Jun, 2003 07:55 pm
truth
AkaMechsmith, if you're wierd, you've found the right place. By the way, while the road to Hell is paved with good intentions, that should not obscure the fact that so is the way to heaven.
(metaphoricallyl speaking, of course)
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akaMechsmith
 
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Reply Sat 14 Jun, 2003 10:12 pm
JL--
Touche!! But---



This bring us to the necessity for a description of heaven!
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edgarblythe
 
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Reply Sat 14 Jun, 2003 10:25 pm
As I see it, humankind is a work in progress. Whenever we evolve to a higher mental/moral development, it is a ragged process, meaning that many are not affected by the bump up, while others are fully part of it. To me, Jesus, as an instance, represents a cognition in the human thought process which bumps us up from "an eye for an eye" to "love one another." But a huge portion of people are not touched by this. It remains to be seen when or if humanity incorporates such a change for all time, or if it will die off.
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shaunx
 
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Reply Tue 22 Jul, 2003 03:19 am
I just thought I would provide an outline to an experiment which some of you might be familiar with:

"MIlgram (1963) asked participants to act as "teacher" in a "learning" situation , giving increasingly larger "electric shocks" for each wrong answer. The "pupil" in the next room could be heard screaming, "I cant stand the pain" (at 180 volts) and in agony (at "270 volts").

Despite protests, Milgram asked each participant to continue to a potentially lethal "450 volts." Surprisingly, all participants went to at least "300 volts" and 62.5 % went all the way. Only afterwards were they told that the "pupil" was actually an actor and they hadnt really executed him! This demonstrated that "normal people" could be persuaded to commit crimes (Benson, 1998, p.154)

My analysis of the situation seems to be that the people in question derived their ethics from authority only, and that something ordered from above could not be ethically negative. The analogy I'm making is that, like in the atrocities you mentioned, people were able to mentally excuse their actions because of (a) a trust they had for authority (b) obedience to legitimate authority (a white coat goes a long way)
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blubomber
 
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Reply Tue 22 Jul, 2003 09:52 am
Arnold Schwarzenegger, Terminator 2.

"It is in your nature to destroy your selves."

It does not surprise me what a human is capable of doing to another human when they are brought up in an environment of hate and violence.
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shaunx
 
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Reply Tue 22 Jul, 2003 02:50 pm
I dont believe people are getting more or less evil, simply more apathetic
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Individual
 
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Reply Thu 18 Dec, 2003 08:39 pm
We are getting more apathetic and violence (which is actually a definition of humanity) is an instinct that can never be purged.
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cicerone imposter
 
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Reply Thu 18 Dec, 2003 09:33 pm
With the development of the "shock and awe" weapons, we're headed backwards. Even the name says it for human consumption.
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Hazlitt
 
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Reply Fri 19 Dec, 2003 01:15 am
As we all realize, we have been arguing for centuries about the origin and nature of evil, so I doubt we'll come to any definitive conclusions here, but here are a few things I believe about evil--or at least think I believe.

Evil originates in human beings. Each one of us is responsible for the evil we do or allow.

Evil is sometimes associated with fear. It often arises when we are afraid that others are a threat to our wellbeing.

Evil is sometimes associated with hatred. Hatred and fear are linked in many cases.

Evil is sometimes associated with competition. Once again the fear of loss is involved.

Evil is sometimes associated with mob action. Again, fear and hatred are often present in these situations.

Evil is often associated with certainty. We become certain that we are right or that our group is right and that the wellbeing of the world hangs upon the acceptance of our ideas by all. Examples of this would be religion, Fascism, and Communism. Possibly even Democracy under the new doctrine of pre-emption combined with the certainty that one is doing God's work on earth. Once we are certain that we know the one true path to paradise on earth, making that paradise a reality usually is seen as a simple matter of eliminating those persons who oppose the truth.

Everybody hates, we all fear, we all compete, and we all crave certainty. These things are normal, but they can run amuck. Every single one of us needs to think about where we draw the line or strike the balance.

It seems to me that each human being and each generation starts over when it comes to learning the above, and the many other lessons that come from a study of human nature and history in all their nuances and subtilties. History and ideas about human nature as we use them are really an interpretation of past events and gathered facts. These interpretations are easily manipulated to serve most any purpose. For this reason, I am not overly sanguine about the inevitability of human progress.
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