Re: (consensual) violence...

Zeb Haradon (
Sun, 19 Sep 1999 01:29:57 -0700

-----Original Message-----
From: Spike Jones <>

To: <> Date: Sunday, September 19, 1999 12:18 AM Subject: Re: violence...

>m wrote:
>> ...2.) I'm sorry to say that many people seem to be in
>> attracted to violence. Look at the content of our
>> videos/movies/books/etc. Even if these don't influence
>> people, what sells says something...
>Im sorry too, but it *is* a component of the firmware
>in our brains. Or some of us, including me. Although
>I dislike violence, I must confess I do enjoy watching...
>a good boxing match, especially enthusiastic ones where
>the contestants are playing for big prizes. Of course,
>this *is* voluntary violence. I apologize for it in advance,
>but that bioware is in there. I dont know why, where it
>came from or how to get rid of it. Suggestions? spike

You bring up several good points. I had always thought that much of the problems in the world were not due to particular biological drives, or whatever, but to the lack of philosophical respect that most people have for the idea of consent (I'm going from your phrase "voluntary violence"). I had not considered this in respect to violence, but I had thought about it in terms of death - I've always thought that to withdraw an individual's choice to live or die is equally wrong, whether you are making them die against their will (as in murder) or making them live against their will (as in banning assisted suicide). The solution to violence in the culture is not really to eliminate the drive to be violent, but to somehow instill the idea that it's bad to do things to people that they don't want done, and that violence is just one form of this.
I think people will always get off on violence, I know I do. I don't know why either, but I don't think it's a bad thing, as it hasn't yet led me to kill anyone. I went to a talk once, by philosopher Carolyn Korsmeyer, about the emotion of disgust. The point of the talk was that the purpose of disgust (in the world) is to repel you from something, but for some reason, we love to see it in art, and are drawn to it. We're still disgusted, but we keep watching (I recommend the film Pink Flamingos for a demonstration). She couldn't figure out why we like to see disgusting things - but she knows it's not the relief of the disgusting thing ending, but it's the actual disgust that appeals to us. I think she could have said all of the same things about violence.

Zeb Haradon
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