Tag Archives | Violence

People resort to violence because their moral codes demand it

European Parliament (CC by-nc-nd 2.0)

European Parliament (CC by-nc-nd 2.0)

Tage Rai explores the “myth of pure evil” and uncovers what motivates the majority of people to violence. Let’s look into the abyss with this long(ish) read from Aeon.

via Aeon:

‘When I was 14 years old, this guy beat me down in the streets. And my stepfather took his life right in front of me. And I felt good about it, really.’
— Tio, in the documentary, The Interrupters (2011)

In his book Evil: Inside Human Violence and Cruelty (1999), the psychologist Roy Baumeister argues that people believe most perpetrators of violence to be sadists who gain pleasure from the suffering of innocent victims. Especially for the most heinous crimes, we can’t help but see the perpetrators as ‘bad’ people: inhuman monsters who lack basic moral feeling. Baumeister called this phenomenon ‘the myth of pure evil’. A myth because it isn’t true.

In spite of widespread beliefs about its existence, sadism is so rare that it is not even an official psychiatric diagnosis.

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Run The Jewels: Close Your Eyes (And Count To Fuck)

Close Your Eyes (And Count To Fuck) by Run The Jewels feat. Zack de la Rocha. Directed by A.G. Rojas

killedbypolice.net

“When Run The Jewels sent me this track, I knew we had the opportunity to create a film that means something. I felt a sense of responsibility to do just that. We had to exploit the lyrics and aggression and emotion of the track, and translate that into a film that would ignite a valuable and productive conversation about racially motivated violence in this country. It’s provocative, and we all knew this, so we were tasked with making something that expressed the intensity of senseless violence without eclipsing our humanity. For me, it was important to write a story that didn’t paint a simplistic portrait of the characters of the Cop and Kid. They’re not stereotypes. They’re people – complex, real people and, as such, the power had to shift between them at certain points throughout the story.… Read the rest

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No, Pope Francis, There’s Nothing ‘Beautiful’ about Hitting a Child

"Pope Francis Korea Haemi Castle 19 (cropped)" by Korea.net / Korean Culture and Information Service (Photographer name). Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

Pope Francis Korea Haemi Castle 19 (cropped)” by Korea.net / Korean Culture and Information Service (Photographer name). Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

Dr. Stacey Patton writes at Al Jazeera America:

Pope Francis has officially lost his revolutionary cred. Known for his willingness to challenge church doctrine, to bring religion into the 21st century and to speak truth to power, he clearly hasn’t gotten an updated parenting manual. He appears to still be reading from a 17th-century edition that advised Europeans that children could be possessed by a devil that should be driven out with a rod of correction.

During a recent general weekly audience, the pope decided to offer some advice to the world’s parents. “One time, I heard a father in a meeting with married couples say, ‘I sometimes have to smack my children a bit, but never in the face, so as to not humiliate them,’” he told the audience.

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Islam and Atheism, Problems in Common

2015-02-12-barakat-thumb

Rahuldeep Singh Gill writes at the Huffington Post:

After the cold-blooded executions of three young Muslims in the shattered safety of their North Carolina apartment, it took a day for the national media to figure out that the deaths of three Muslims was worthy of coverage. The three students killed were Deah Barakat, 23, and Yusor Mohammad, 21, and Mohammad’s sister Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha, 19.

But once the news did break, it didn’t take long for a knee-jerk web poster to blame the faith commitment of the alleged murderer for the act. Except in this case, his commitment was that he rejected them. Or to be more precise, as an atheist, Craig Hicks rejected the role of religion in everyday life.

According to Vox,

We still don’t know why three students, all Muslim, were shot to death in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, on Tuesday. But there is unconfirmed speculation that the murders were motivated by the victims’ religion, bolstered by a Facebook account that appears to belong to someone with the same name as the man who turned himself into police for the killings, and which identified him as an “anti-theist.”

Atheist or anti-theist, what would make Hicks a repulsive human being are his alleged actions, not his beliefs.

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Atheist Richard Dawkins Condemns Chapel Hill Shootings Of Three Muslim Students

Deah Shaddy Barakat, Yusor Mohammad, and Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha were found dead on Tuesday

Deah Shaddy Barakat, Yusor Mohammad, and Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha were found dead on Tuesday

Sara C. Nelson writes at the Huffington Post UK:

Prominent atheist Richard Dawkins has publicly condemned the murders of three Muslim students after a furious row over the suspected anti-religion motive for the killings.

A separate storm has erupted over the lack of media coverage of the tragedy after the bodies of Deah Shaddy Barakat, 23, his wife Yusor Mohammad, 21, and her sister Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha, 19, were discovered on Tuesday afternoon in a suburban neighbourhood on North Carolina, USA. Unconfirmed reports claim they were shot dead “execution style”.

Rumoured atheist Craig Stephen Hicks, 46, was arrested and has been charged with three counts of first-degree murder.

On Wednesday Dawkins tweeted: “How could any decent person NOT condemn the vile murder of three young US Muslims in Chapel Hill?”

Dawkins’s comment came after posts circulated online suggested Hicks was an atheist who had allegedly written: “When it comes to insults, your religion started this, not me.

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Unauthorized Government Attacks Are Murder

Unmanned

Via Ivan Eland at Antiwar.com:

Although U.S. drones firing missiles at suspected bad guys in faraway places – such as Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia – have gotten much publicity in recent years, it was recently revealed that the CIA assassinated top Hezbollah terrorist Imad Mugniyah with a good old fashioned car bomb in Damascus, Syria with President George W. Bush’s strident approval in 2008. Because of an executive order, signed in 1975 by President Gerald Ford, prohibiting assassinations by the CIA, presidents usually get around that order by using the military to kill an enemy bigwig and then make the disingenuous claim that it was merely taking out a “command and control” target rather than an assassination. In this case, Bush, never one to observe constitutional or legal niceties, became incensed that the CIA director was being too timid in carrying out the hit using the exploding car. The real issue in such cases is not whether it is more dangerous to liberty to kill the enemy using a high tech drone or a more traditional car bomb, but whether it constitutional to do either.

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No More Top Billing for Violence, Tragedy, Dysfunction & Corruption

Ahmad Hammoud (CC BY 2.0)

Ahmad Hammoud (CC BY 2.0)

Or so says Arianna Huffington at Huffington Post:

There’s an old saying in the news business, one that’s guided editorial thinking for decades: “If it bleeds, it leads.” That is, stories of violence, tragedy, dysfunction and corruption get top billing — at the top of the hour, at the top of the computer or phone screen or above the newspaper fold — driven by the assumption that these are the stories the public will be most drawn to watch or read.

This ethos is wrong, both factually and ethically. And it’s lousy journalism. As journalists, our job is to give our audience an accurate picture — and that means the full picture — of what’s going on in the world. Just showing tragedy, violence, mayhem — focusing on what’s broken and what’s not working — misses too much of what is happening all around us.

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Forcing the Will to Believe

vivek jena (CC BY 2.0)

vivek jena (CC BY 2.0)

Richard Pimentel writes at Philosophy News:

“Should a civilised, tolerant society get into so personal a matter as the religious conviction of its citizens? After all, what is so perverse about conversion? If you exercise your fundamental right to preach and propagate your religion and someone, convinced by your arguments, comes over to your side how can anyone object? We are told that such changes cause unrest in society. But in public life we do not allow the unrest argument to prevent individuals from changing their loyalties or ideologies.”

These questions were posed by Michael Pinto, vice-chairman of the National Commission for Minorities, in an editorial that he wrote in the Times of India back in October. The purpose of his article was to address the persecution of Christians in the states of Orissa and Karnataka in India, but especially the most recent episodes of violence in Orissa which has been going on since August 2008.

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Use Me Instead

Disinformationlogo bullet

Abby Zimet writes at Common Dreams:

There is, it seems, grace in the world. Appalled at news that North Miami Beach Police were using photos of young black men for target practice and resolved to “put ourselves in the place of those whose humanity is denied,” dozens of clergy and others have offered their own smiling, sacred pictures to police shooters with the hashtag #UseMeInstead.

The effort sprang from an online conversation between Rev. Joy M. Gonnerman and other pastors in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Facebook group about a police practice – now stopped – they saw as “emblematic of a deeper, systematic problem.”  Motivated by “our service to Christ and his call to love our neighbors,” they decided “maybe we ought it make it harder to pull the trigger.”

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A Call to Militant Empathy

swong95765 (CC BY 2.0)

swong95765 (CC BY 2.0)

Peijman Kouretchian, writing at the Metta Center for Nonviolence, from December:

The streets look like war. Two NYPD police officers were just “assassinated” apparently as revenge for the Eric Garner chokehold death. This is the first major physical attack on actual police officers after the Ferguson riots ignited the #blacklivesmatter movement. Though this was just the act of one troubled person and doesn’t represent the mostly physically nonviolent movement that has been going on, it is absolutely paramount to be clear on what principles we are aligned with as we fight for justice.

Recently I became certified as a Kingian Nonviolence (a system of conflict reconciliation built on the work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.) trainer. The protests bring to mind two important principles from what I learned:  “Avoid internal violence of the spirit, as well as external physical violence,” and “Attack systems of injustice, not individuals within those systems.”

When protests breakout there is often an abundance of rage.

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