Re: Making people passive

Cynthia (
Thu, 07 Oct 1999 10:17:04 -0700

"Robert J. Bradbury" wrote:

> On Thu, 30 Sep 1999, Cynthia wrote:
> > Most people who have violence problems are losers too. So it seems
> > reasonable to conclude that out of control violence is part of a bigger
> > problem.
> Well, presumably most violence derives from wanting to get something you
> can't get any other way, or control your environment, or perhaps in response
> to a perceived lack of control of your own life.

In normal people. I want to distinguish between people who will resort to violence under extreme circumstances (i.e. normal people) and people who are inappropriately violent.

> > I think that most of us have genes for violence, but those genes are kept
> > in check by other genes. The ability to imagine the pain of others and
> > feel sympathy, is one thing that keeps violent tendencies in check.
> > Another is fear of the consequences.
> Sure, you have those people who are sociopaths (emotionally dead) and
> those people who sense emotion, realize right & wrong, etc. and chose
> to ignore them for reasons of greed (but are kept in check for fear
> of the consequences).
> Genes could be invovled in these conditions as well as those genes
> that determine things like adrenelin/testosterone levels, breakdown
> rates, etc.

Right, there are many factors. Violence problems occur when a 250 pound man has the emotional level of a 3 year old child. Cure the guys emotional problem, and in most cases the violence problem will go away.

> This is in no way to discount the social aspects (we may pursue violent
> behaviors because in environments in which we grew up, violence was
> acceptable).

That is true. I've repeatedly seen horrendous killers get the death penalty, and the killers mother cries out 'My baby, my baby'. My mother would have disowned me! It seems that committing violent crimes in some communities is acceptable. And that is why these gang bangers seem to have lots of girlfriends.

> > So a high tendency for violence coupled with some other deficiencies, is
> > what adds up to a big violence problem. So the treatment shouldn't consist
> > of making violent persons passive. What we need to do is increase their
> > mental capibility so that they can control themselves. And if necessary,
> > tone down their violent tendencies down into the normal (but not passive)
> > range.
> >
> The question becomes what is a normally "acceptable" level of violence
> in different environments. Presumably as our environments become safer
> and more secure, the need for violence is diminished. In that respect
> you either need to continually increase the control or decrease the
> "set-point" for violent behavior.

Normal people use violence when appropriate. Often the reason why violent people use violence is totally incomprehensible. For instance a guy will beat his wife for using too much salt.

> I think what you are asking for is conscious control over acts of
> violence. If you take the case of the family, I believe in the
> Netherlands, that had a genetic defect for adrenelin breakdown,
> such that their adrenelin levels would go off the normal scale,
> I would strongly question whether "conscious" control is feasible.
> The question becomes, whether people who have violent tendencies
> in our society have less severe forms of similar gene defects.
> > And who can object to making people smarter???
> The book/play "Flowers for Algernon", I believe addresses this.
> If a person is less-smart and happy, making them smarter may not be the
> best thing to do if it causes them to realize all of the problems of
> the world and thus become sad.

Yes. To find out that the people you thought were your friends were making fun of you and using you is sad, true. But it is part of the process of growing up.