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Author Topic: Paris on the front lines
JeSuisse
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:-)

Admittedly, it's hard to actually think of a coherent plan of action.

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Pete at Home
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JeSuisse, paradise on earth? The are offering young men all you can rape buffets. You don't have to be disenfranchised to find that attractive. It's the same indulgence mentality that launched Crusades. Debauchery in this life and forgiveness in the next
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D.W.
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Sa'eed, the best way to read seekingprometheus' posts (which I've missed by the way) are to imagine a dictionary was given life. It exists to dazzle you with its content and punish you for abusing its gifts to humanity. This post was a good example of what I've observed of his style though it was a bit light on alliteration...

He took your statements at face value and tried to refrain from making assumptions, such as the implied empathy for the victims. That is what he questioned you on. It wasn't an assault or attack. As he pointed out, there are people here who will give you a pass simply because they don't want to offend someone outside of their group.

I have to say your statements came across to me as not a matter of priorities but as being exclusively concerned with what this attack means to you and people like you and dismissive of the victims. Your point that you shouldn't be required to apologize or express sympathy is correct. Most of the time I'd say that the people here would assume that was implied. The statements you made and the context with which it was delivered brought that assumption under question.

Glad to read from other names I don't recall seeing in my time posting here, despite the tragedy it took to bring them back or out from the shadows.

And yes, that last statement does ring wrongly regarding required sympathetic remarks. [Wink]

[ November 18, 2015, 04:25 PM: Message edited by: D.W. ]

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JeSuisse
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Pete, theres several answers to that.

First, actually I think that generally, if you have a minimal education and the prospect of an okay job and a nice girl you can mary and have kids with, you don't feel an overpowering need to own and rape slaves. Notice how rape is usually about control and power, not primarily lust. And who needs to feel powerful and in control? Exactly the people who don't feel in control of their lives and don't have the power to change that. (I guess it would be interesting to look at rape convicts in our societies and see how many of them have inferiority issues, to see if such a simple theory is worth anything)

Second, of course the ISIS version of paradise on earth includes sex slaves (they actually legitimize it), setting men above women, draconian punishments etc. Dark age stuff. ISIS, to me, is a bunch of losers who can't find a place for themselves in a normal society, so they construct a world in which they hold power over others. Since they're losers, they don't know how to achieve that in any other way than by force, so they build a world where violence reigns. And since they need to see themselves as the good guys, they use a mythical past golden age with all the parts of islamic teachings that fit their sicko world. I'm sure religion plays a part, but I think the driving force is the need for control and power and the need to matter to other people. Thats also consistent with terrorist mindsets.

What I really don't understand is how women can be drawn to the ISIS propaganda (they are actively recruited as potential brides for ISIS fighters - why on earth would you want that?).

I also don't understand how well-off young people who are fairly well integrated into their societies can join the IS (albeit they're few - 700 fighters from germany, for example). Maybe these are the ones where you are right - the ones who are just enjoying the thought of realizing their dark fantasies.

[ November 18, 2015, 05:29 PM: Message edited by: JeSuisse ]

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Fenring
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quote:
Originally posted by JeSuisse:
First, actually I think that generally, if you have a minimal education and the prospect of an okay job and a nice girl you can mary and have kids with, you don't feel an overpowering need to own and rape slaves. Notice how rape is usually about control and power, not primarily lust. And who needs to feel powerful and in control? Exactly the people who are not in control of their lives and don't have the power to change that.

I think the predominant inhibitor of rape is not being able to get away with it. The likeliest places where rape can occur freely are in lawless areas (like war zones), areas where it's legitimized in some form (hence not illegal), or among the very rich and powerful where they are above the law.
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JeSuisse
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Hmmm, yes, I think these are good points.
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Pyrtolin
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quote:
I think the predominant inhibitor of rape is not being able to get away with it.
Seriously? I mean is that true for you? The only reason you don't do it is because you don't think you can get away with it? If that's not why you don't do it, on what basis do you assert that that's what keeps most people from doing it?
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AI Wessex
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quote:
I think the predominant inhibitor of rape is not being able to get away with it.
That's a rather disturbing view. Is that a projection or an informed analysis?
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JeSuisse
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I wouldn't disregard Fenrings point so quickly.

He's not necessarily saying that the only reason people don't rape is because they might get caught. He's just stating that in circumstances where people can get away with it, those who do want to rape someone will be much more likely to do it. And I think that's clearly true, and the examples he cites are valid too.

It also fits nicely with what was discussed earlier. The IS has created circumstances where men may own slaves and sleep with them (the females, anyway). So people who are attracted by the thought of owning a slave (power over another human being!) or sleeping with them (again, power and control) make willing recruits.

That's what Pete said. And I'd just add that it might be especially attractive to you if you hate everyone around you because you feel like it's their fault you're poor, uneducated and without a perspective to improve your life. So now you can finally pay them back for treating you like a human doormat etc etc, and you can have other people fear you and do what you tell them and ultimatively you can kill those who represent a society that used to look down on you.

(And again, I'm not claiming such a situation automatically leads people to have power and control fantasies they need to realize in such an extreme way, just that it's probably much more likely than in well-adjusted people with prospects).

It helps, of course, if other people actually do treat you like a second-class citizen. And I think that's a large part of what the terrorist attacks in Paris try to achieve - they help to create a rift in our societies between those who are seen as a likely source of the terrorist threat (e.g. young, disillusioned, alienated, first- or second-generation immigrants living in banlieues), because accusations against these people gain momentum whenever a terrorist attack happens. So the IS damages the cohesion of our societies and the liberties we hold dear, plus it gets new recruits out of it.

And in Syria and Iraq etc, if France retaliates, it can be depicted as the evil imperialist foreign power (remember Syria was once a french protectorate) trying to subjugate the locals, making the IS the one force to stand up against the tyrant. It also helps that the French are proud of their secular state, so not only are they imperialists trying to subjugate the locals, they're also unbelievers who try to kill God and keep everyone from paradise, which is even more reason to stand up and fight.

I think that's the underlying logic of this kind of terrorism, and it's very hard to counter, because to counter it you'd basically have to ignore it, and who can do that?

[ November 18, 2015, 07:44 PM: Message edited by: JeSuisse ]

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AI Wessex
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quote:
He's just stating that in circumstances where people can get away with it, those who do want to rape someone will be much more likely to do it. And I think that's clearly true, and the examples he cites are valid too.
Of course, but he didn't say that. Anyone predisposed to commit a crime will be at least partially deterred by the possible negative consequences to them. The implication that everyone or even a large number of people want to commit their preferred form of mayhem paints a dismal picture of humankind in the 21st Century.
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seekingprometheus
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I don't think "predominant inhibitor" implies anything about the universality of the impulse--the adjective seems to simply qualify which inhibitor is dominant in the event of the impulse...
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Seriati
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quote:
Originally posted by JeSuisse:
I think that's the underlying logic of this kind of terrorism, and it's very hard to counter, because to counter it you'd basically have to ignore it, and who can do that?

Is that true though, or is just a tenant of faith for western society?

It seems to me that Western society has to believe that a response like "ignoring it" is not only somehow possibly effective but appropriate because to do otherwise requires that we re-open responses that we've declared unethical.

Ask yourself this, if the Roman Empire in the height of its glory was around today, could it handle the situation with terrorists? I think the answer is yes, and they would have done it with collective punishment and complete brutality. It's easy to believe that terrorism builds a natural recruiting benefit, when the choice a potential recruits has is between joining the terrorists and obtaining power and notoriety and staying home and possibly becoming a statistic but most likely not. If on the other hand, the state gave you no choice and didn't let you sit safely on the side lines ignoring the problem, would most people choose to fight terrorists with the backing of a state, or have the full resources of state after them with only terrorists as their allies?

I don't think these problems are as remotely insolvable as we like to tell ourselves, or wish they were. And that's what we're afraid of, it's certainly what Tom is afraid when he tries to pre-empt it by accusing nameless conservatives of being afraid.
quote:
Originally posted by D.W.:
Sa'eed, the best way to read seekingprometheus' posts (which I've missed by the way) are to imagine a dictionary was given life. It exists to dazzle you with its content and punish you for abusing its gifts to humanity. This post was a good example of what I've observed of his style though it was a bit light on alliteration...

Honestly, on this thread seekingprometheus seemed to be accurately pointing out the way Sa'eed's words seemed to be carefully chosen to avoid expressing sympathy. It's hard to imagine it happening by accident, and especially so after it being flagged. The definition game was just a tangent.
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TomDavidson
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quote:
And that's what we're afraid of, it's certainly what Tom is afraid when he tries to pre-empt it by accusing nameless conservatives of being afraid.
Yes, absolutely. Fear leads to hatred, and so on....There is certainly no disputing that a powerful enough state can, as long as it is confident of the power disparity, rule effectively through ruthlessness. I would die sooner than serve such a state, however.
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Pete at Home
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" The IS has created circumstances where men may own slaves and sleep with them (the females, anyway). So people who are attracted by the thought of owning a slave (power over another human being!) or sleeping with them (again, power and control) make willing recruits"

But this is a general strain of thought within at least one major ship sect and many major Sunni sects including wahabbist. The idea that a Muslim man has an inalienable right to rape his slaves "held by the right hand," the link I cited said that 100% of scholars understood it that way, and that a Muslim male was entitled to rape a female prisoner of war directly in front of her husband. The reputation of that last clause emphasized to me that sexual sadism was a huge appeal and selling point.

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Seriati
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
quote:
And that's what we're afraid of, it's certainly what Tom is afraid when he tries to pre-empt it by accusing nameless conservatives of being afraid.
Yes, absolutely. Fear leads to hatred, and so on....
You mean we are at risk of turning to the dark side of the force? Honestly, we have a lot of conceptions about linkages between concepts that we accept because they are comforting or familiar to us. What exactly is the psychological basis for such Jedi logic? Do you have any reasonable basis for asserting that fear leads to hatred (presumably exclusively against a thousand other emotional end results it could lead to).

Fear is a healthy emotion. It drives us to react, where we might otherwise be inclined to stay at a more typical energy level to our own detriment. There is reason though that it triggers a "fight or flight" response, rather than a "overthink and remain paralyzed because we might offend someone" response. Fear is a warning of danger. Maybe you should stop and ask yourself why if fearful is the way so many people are actually feeling you're so quick to dismiss it? Aren't we supposed to be really listening to people who assert they feel unsafe and making every effort to find them an accommodation, without imposing our own dismissal of their fear or the accommodations they are telling you they need to feel safe? Is it really so wrong to ask that your home country be your safe space? (lol)
quote:
There is certainly no disputing that a powerful enough state can, as long as it is confident of the power disparity, rule effectively through ruthlessness. I would die sooner than serve such a state, however.
Maybe you would, but that doesn't leave you a lot of options in a world where such a state will arise if you do nothing. I'm all ears if you have a practical solution to offer, but what's been offered up so far equates to hoping that the same actions and non-actions will miraculously have a brand new and highly effective result this time.
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Pete at Home
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I think that the studies of us servicemen raping Vietnamese women shows that men who had no rape fantasies to begin with can be induced to rape by fraternal peer pressure and a sense that it is normal, and something expected of a man.

Humans have traditionally used 15-20 year old male to do their killing because their minds are so plastic. Ritual rape as part of initiation was a huge part of culture in the Roman legion. Helps steel the heart to commit other atrocities.

Isis has the potential to turn into a thousand year Reich. Internal and external terror.
In laying out the rules for a Validate to take over the world, Mohammed obviously must have studied the Roman's and what made the legions unstoppable. You can make peace but only for up to ten years. And so on.

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Fenring
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quote:
Originally posted by seekingprometheus:
I don't think "predominant inhibitor" implies anything about the universality of the impulse--the adjective seems to simply qualify which inhibitor is dominant in the event of the impulse...

Precisely.

quote:
Originally posted by Pete at Home:
I think that the studies of us servicemen raping Vietnamese women shows that men who had no rape fantasies to begin with can be induced to rape by fraternal peer pressure and a sense that it is normal, and something expected of a man.

I think this is true. I will also say that part of military basic training is the ripping away of the veneer of civility that a person has been trained to believe is part of his core identity. It turns out it's not so core, and not that hard to rip away either. Beneath the civilized man is one with torrential passions and usable aggression. I don't think this 'core human' is buried all that far beneath the veneer, which is why it's all the more important to set up conditions whereby the civilization around a man isn't absent so that the primal person can emerge. It seems to take remarkably little for the docile, trained person to suddenly become irate and looking to conduct a smack-down.

I don't think it takes all that much to explain why a person would embrace violence, rape, and all the rest. The allure of these things is not only evident in the mere fact of their popularity throughout history, but in the fact that they are the ultimate expressions of the "I" as being triumphantly important. If, as Tom suggests, there is some kind of expression of the 'dark side' in the world, it surely must revolve around what "I" can get for myself while dismissing the value or frankly even existence of other sentient beings. Even so-called civilized people in America are verging towards treating other humans as bots in their little RPG, almost like sprites on a screen in an internet chat room. We know from experience it's easy to fall into dehumanizing people online, and more and more so in person as well. How much easier for people who are told enthusiastically that serving oneself and getting rewards (Earthly or heavenly) are the alternative to being a poor nobody at under the boot of some autocrat.

[ November 19, 2015, 02:11 AM: Message edited by: Fenring ]

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AI Wessex
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Good post. I've been saying something similar for a long time, but I like the way you frame it.
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TomDavidson
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quote:
Fear is a healthy emotion. It drives us to react, where we might otherwise be inclined to stay at a more typical energy level to our own detriment.
I'm not sure this is true. Fear is a convenient emotion, but our fight-or-flight response is very poorly-adapted to the modern expectations of society. It's nice to be motivated in times of danger, but our ability to both properly assess danger and to harness that motivation towards a useful end is greatly complicated by, well, pretty much everything nowadays. You aren't going to run into a lion on your way to the water cooler, although you may run into Bruce from Accounting, who really wants those TPS reports to become part of your weekly responsibility. Responding to his mention of those reports by hurling hot coffee in his eyes and choking him with his tie before leaping out a second-story window to escape might satisfy your inner monkey, but probably won't help your career prospects.

Fear (and its sibling, disgust) are useful in the way that old-style smoke alarms are useful. You want them around for emergencies, but most people will only ever wind up interacting with them when they're screwing up and sending the wrong messages.

One of the problems that I have with "conservative"-minded people is that their primary emotions seem to be fear, disgust, and greed, all of which I think are horribly sloppy and imprecise motivators.

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AI Wessex
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quote:
One of the problems that I have with "conservative"-minded people is that their primary emotions seem to be fear, disgust, and greed, all of which I think are horribly sloppy and imprecise motivators.
I've just been hearing a report about modern-day Republican "ideology" that harked back to Goldwater. What passes for the ideology then and now is an admixture of the things you mention. They are expressed in the public forum as xenophobia, racism, a militaristic belief in "American exceptionalism" and corporatism. Not the better angels of our nature.
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Fenring
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Tom, I wouldn't necessarily associate disgust with fear, nor would I malign it out of hand. I think disgust is a required feeling in a healthy mind, but with the proviso that one's disgust is open to inspection and that it be a result of one's values rather than fear of new or unusual things. So for instance, "he's eating weird food, it's disgusting" is obviously childish and springs out of fear as you say. But this kind of disgust can be expelled quite easily using a bit of thinking. Contrast with the disgust of "I know eating meat it normal, but when I think of slaughtering animals I find the thought disgusting." That is a different and entirely rational disgust; one based in compassion/empathy and also probably the sense of self-preservation (not liking to see the insides of any animals since they point to the fact that you have insides too). It would be good to eliminate that first kind of disgust, and terrible to overcome the second kind. Overcoming the second kind is called desensitization and is a very serious matter when it happens (especially so since much of humanity is largely desensitized to many bad things already).

This doesn't really contradict your general point, but I was intrigued by your choice of this particular word.

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LetterRip
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Roughly 2% of the population are psychopaths and for psychopaths the inhibitions on their asocial behavior is whether or not they believe they can get away with it. So while 98% of the population wouldn't rape regardless of circumstances - psychopaths are indeed only held back by fear of getting caught.

In times of chaos and lawlessness - psychopaths will engage in rape.

Similarly sadists are largely restrained due to fear of reprocussions.

Psychopathic sadists will engage in horrific behaviour when societal constraints are withdrawn.

[ November 19, 2015, 10:58 AM: Message edited by: LetterRip ]

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TomDavidson
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That actually inspired me to do some reading. It looks like the current state of neurology acknowledges that there are strong links between disgust, fear, and anger -- but argues for definitions that maintain distinctions between them. "Disgust" is currently considered "a sense of revulsion at the prospect of contact or incorporation with the alien," and generally elicits an automatic removal response; a disgusted individual is overwhelmed by the clear and immediate desire to reject what is before him. Fear and anger, on the other hand, can be distinguished by ambiguity; in both cases, while there is a desire for removal, the subject does not know whether to remove himself or the other. All three appear to produce very similar responses in the amygdala, which is kind of interesting.

It might be useful in a linguistic sense to separate the concept of disgust from the perception of revulsion, but I'm not quite sure how, yet.

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AI Wessex
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quote:
So while 98% of the population wouldn't rape regardless of circumstances - psychopaths are indeed only held back by fear of getting caught.
It doesn't follow that all rapists are psychopaths. Other factors and personality characteristics are involved.
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LetterRip
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Also contrary to feminist theory - rape usually isn't about 'power'.

There are a number of different motivations for rape - psychopaths without other pathologies rape because they want sexual release - whether the individual is willing or not doesn't matter to them - it is purely a matter of convenience. Psychopaths who are sadists rape because the pain of others arouses them, the power they have and the unwillingness of the victim is important to them. Schizophrenics rape because they are incorrectly interpreting reality. The severely mentally handicapped rape because they fail to understand the social situation. Other rapes will usually be out of anger or vengeance (but again most of those are going to be psychopaths).

[ November 19, 2015, 11:15 AM: Message edited by: LetterRip ]

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AI Wessex
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What about maladjusted males with anger problems and a grudge? They're hard to classify into a specific disease category. Why do so many men in the Mideast and Africa capture and rape women and girls. It seems to me that that is an expression of power and despoiling the culture they are attacking.
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D.W.
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Then there is the peer pressure of, "Do it if you don't want to appear weak to the rest of us." One "evil" person in a position of power, who is a legitimate threat to those under their command, can probably cause men to rape others who would not do so of their own volition.

So ya, still about power, but not necessarily the dynamic we all assume.

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Fenring
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quote:
Originally posted by AI Wessex:
quote:
So while 98% of the population wouldn't rape regardless of circumstances - psychopaths are indeed only held back by fear of getting caught.
It doesn't follow that all rapists are psychopaths. Other factors and personality characteristics are involved.
Al is right. The notion that the desire to control, own, abuse or 'have one's way with' others is restricted to psychopaths is naive to the extreme. It is far more likely that the correct way to discuss this is to look at the quantity and severity of impulses in individuals, rather than to suggest some people have the impulse "on" and others have it "off." As an analogy, when examining someone with chronic depression we look at various symptoms which can include lower energy levels than average, trouble sleeping, greater instances than normal of suicidal thoughts, and so forth. It's not that 'normal' people don't have any of these, but they have them less often and perhaps with less severity. In terms of rape, what is the real impulse driving this? I doubt the answer is anything simple, but for example when I look at a pretty girl my body instinctively gives me a signal right away to 'do something about it'. I don't exactly know the extent of what my body is telling me to do because obviously I don't entertain the impulse and have never fully given in to random instincts of this sort to suss out the full extent of their potential. I don't really want to know fully what the something is my body would have me do; it's going to be a bad result for me to either do it or to worry too much about it.

But now take someone with impulse control problems (which psychopaths tend to have, but others can too) and suddenly the desire to 'do something' can become very hard to squash. And this is still only in the realm of what we might call normal, healthy desires. There is of course some at least small amount of sadism present in all people to varying degrees.

I think it's much better to think of human behavior as being along a continuum rather than to create neat distinct categorical boxes to fit people into. Don't forget the DSM is designed for diagnostic purposes for pathology, it's not meant to describe 'the human condition' in any abstract sense. I think it's good to remember that the worst in humanity is at least to some extent in each of us, but so is the best in humanity.

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LetterRip
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AI Wessex,

quote:
What about maladjusted males with anger problems and a grudge?
I added that to my response, most of those are psychopaths.

quote:
Why do so many men in the Mideast and Africa capture and rape women and girls.
There are high rates of gang rape in those countries - it isn't clear to me that those need an explanation other than psychopaths.

Also looking at the methodology of some of the surveys they seem to use wording that can lead to a lot of false positives ('How many times have you had sex with a woman [...] after you told lies or [...]'). With that specific question phrasing - almost every boyfriend/husband has lied to his girlfriend/wife ('of course that dress doesn't make you look fat') at some point and then had sex with her. So the US should have close to a 100% rape rate by their methodology. Some feminists might well believe that every boyfriend/husband has raped their girlfriend/wife but it most certainly doesn't meet the legal or moral definition.

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Fenring
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I don't even know if there's direct evidence that psychopathy (aka antisocial personality disorder) is a binary yes/no condition. It is a yes/no diagnosis which is something completely different. It seems to me far more likely that whatever traits a psychopath has exist as a continuum in various people, which includes antisocial tendencies, impulse control issues, lack of empathy, and so forth. And apparently even the lack of empathy in antisocial personalities isn't a clear-cut on/off either, but is more grey. The only reason the DSM diagnoses exist is for medical evaluations in people who can't function in normal society. It isn't a manual to how the mind works.
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LetterRip
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Psychopathy is a lack of reflexive empathy - the other factors of antisocial personality aren't necessarily related, they just make psychopaths more readily identifiable.

Reflexive empathy is a binary condition - it doesn't seem to be something that people can partially have. That said, people can be conditioned (deliberately or accidentally) to dehumanize others to suppress that empathy. Also other parts of the human psyche (loyalty) can be used to suppress empathy.

The difference between lacking reflexive empathy and having it suppressed is why many criminals can be rehabilitated by empathy training; whereas psychopaths become better criminals with empathy training.

[ November 19, 2015, 01:36 PM: Message edited by: LetterRip ]

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Fenring
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Well just FYI, the term "psychopath" is now more or less defunct and that same category of people is now referred to in the category of antisocial personality disorder. It's not so much whether being 'antisocial' is related to what we used to call psychopathy or not; it's antisocial personality disorder by definition.
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Seriati
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
One of the problems that I have with "conservative"-minded people is that their primary emotions seem to be fear, disgust, and greed, all of which I think are horribly sloppy and imprecise motivators.

One of the major problems I have with those who seem to believe in their own enlightenment is this tendency to paint their opposition as ridiculous and limited caricatures of real people. I don't know any conservative for whom the primary emotions would be "fear, disgust and greed." In fact, greed is far more common in non-conservative people and in my experience conservative people are far more like to be described as generous. Frankly, love and kindness are far more common than either fear or disgust. Fear too is one that is endemic in all people, and around here I definitely see it daily in the non-conservative population.

Not sure there's any value in demonizing the other side the way you seem to want to do. Certainly does let you off the mental hook for responding to and trying to understand their arguments, why bother there just evil sub-humans anyway.
quote:
quote:
Fear is a healthy emotion. It drives us to react, where we might otherwise be inclined to stay at a more typical energy level to our own detriment.
I'm not sure this is true.
It is true, but like any other healthy emotion it can be non-productive, excessive or otherwise appear in non-healthy ways.
quote:
Fear is a convenient emotion, but our fight-or-flight response is very poorly-adapted to the modern expectations of society.
Not really, there's plenty of context where its useful. But the utility of fear extends well beyond the immediate reaction, to the potential for productive worry and/or the planning and/or motivation to act that it leads towards.

The rest of your example is really just too simple to be meaningful, honestly, fight or flight doesn't do you any good versus a Tiger in most cases, and fear of your boss's displeasure might motivate you to get your work done ahead of time, or take the plunge and find a less stressful job. The latter isn't likely to invoke a flight or fight.

It's interesting to me that rather than confront the possibility that reasonable people were right to have fear, and to take reasonable actions to address it, you jumped straight to dehumanizing them so you could dismiss their position and feelings. I guess, once again, its an example of the famous liberal inclusiveness (for everyone who looks different but expresses the exact same narrow limited philosophy).

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TomDavidson
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quote:
Frankly, love and kindness are far more common than either fear or disgust.
Neither of these things are emotions. And while conservatives are capable of feeling joy and happiness and the like, they also have pathetically small MonkeySpheres.

quote:
But the utility of fear extends well beyond the immediate reaction, to the potential for productive worry...
Nah. Worry is most productive when it's not informed by fear. I don't fear losing my job, but I'll still plan around it -- and that planning will be more effective if I'm not gripped by fear.

Concern is not fear, any more than disapproval is disgust.

--------

quote:
It's interesting to me that rather than confront the possibility that reasonable people were right to have fear...
I have confronted it, and concluded that they are not reasonable people. There is no evidence extant that argues for reason on their part. Of course, I also consider our invasion of Afghanistan after 9/11 to be an example of highly irrational fear-based decision-making, with absolutely no "reasonable people" supporting it.

[ November 19, 2015, 04:11 PM: Message edited by: TomDavidson ]

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kmbboots
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Unconscious Reactions Separate Liberals and Conservatives
quote:
Psychologists have found that conservatives are fundamentally more anxious than liberals, which may be why they typically desire stability, structure and clear answers even to complicated questions.
Differences in Conservative and Liberal Brains

quote:
"People who believe they would be bothered by a range of hypothetical disgusting situations display an increased likelihood of displaying right-of-center rather than left-of-center political orientations… In this article, we demonstrate that individuals with marked involuntary physiological responses to disgusting images [measured by change in mean skin conductance], such as of a man eating a large mouthful of writhing worms, are more likely to self-identify as conservative and, especially, to oppose gay marriage than are individuals with more muted physiological responses to the same images."
quote:
Liberals have more tolerance to uncertainty (bigger anterior cingulate cortex), and conservatives have more sensitivity to fear (bigger right amygdala)

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Pete at Home
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I suspect that if we compared the brains of 1960s liberals with 2015 liberals, we wold see that the uncertainty tolerance is higher now than then, exceeded only by the growth in capacity for smugness [Smile]

I just started rereading Vonnegut's mother Night with Thing One. Reminded of the first 12 editions of The White Christian Minuteman.. political superiority through phrenology encore ... Sounds like some people are awfully anxious to feel justified without taking the trouble to examine the facts.

Ton's argument here, as usual, cited his own unquestionably authority that he once took the trouble to consider contrary opinions but quickly determined that those who disagreed with him were bigots whose arguments should not be considered.


" have confronted it, and concluded that they are not reasonable people"

Well there you have it. Tom has spoken.

[ November 19, 2015, 05:45 PM: Message edited by: Pete at Home ]

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TomDavidson
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quote:
Ton's argument here, as usual, cited his own unquestionably authority that he once took the trouble to consider contrary opinions but quickly determined that those who disagreed with him were bigots whose arguments should not be considered.
No, their arguments should be considered. But they are not good, rational, worthwhile arguments. Part of considering an argument is evaluating whether it is in fact valid; these are not.
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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by LetterRip:
Roughly 2% of the population are psychopaths and for psychopaths the inhibitions on their asocial behavior is whether or not they believe they can get away with it. So while 98% of the population wouldn't rape regardless of circumstances - psychopaths are indeed only held back by fear of getting caught.

In times of chaos and lawlessness - psychopaths will engage in rape.

Similarly sadists are largely restrained due to fear of reprocussions.

Psychopathic sadists will engage in horrific behaviour when societal constraints are withdrawn.

On the whole I think you are right. But look at the Company C studies. The Stanford prison experiment. The Millgram experiment. Institutional sadism occurs in some extraordinary circumstances. Humans, particularly young adult males, have a terrifying capacity for conformity, and seem to be able to conform to psychopathic behavior if so led.
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JeSuisse
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So, I'm not really interested in the rape discussion and the definition of terms. But I thought there was another interesting thread that's kinda sunk below the surface now.

Pete said
quote:
But this is a general strain of thought within at least one major ship sect and many major Sunni sects including wahabbist. The idea that a Muslim man has an inalienable right to rape his slaves "held by the right hand," the link I cited said that 100% of scholars understood it that way, and that a Muslim male was entitled to rape a female prisoner of war directly in front of her husband. The reputation of that last clause emphasized to me that sexual sadism was a huge appeal and selling point.
There's something here. I'm just not sure how this works in the minds of these people. Are they socialized to believe this stuff (e.g. via religious teachings), and so they act accordingly when they are adults? Or do they have strong urges to dominate others, and so they are especially susceptible (sp?) to religious teachings that allow them to act exactly like that? Or is it that the two elements reinforce each other?

I'm also having trouble understanding why just because wahabbist and sunni scholars agree on the interpretation of a passage in a 7th century (?) text about slavery, this should play an important role in people's decisions. I mean, there are millions and millions of muslims who believe that's just ancient crap that doesn't apply any more, just like there's millions and millions of christians that don't believe that having a community throwing stones at a woman 'til she's dead is a fit punishment for adultery any more. So there must be something else that makes some people say "ancient crap" and others say "cool, I want that too!". Some people, for whatever reason, don't mind being covered in a bit of veneer (civilization), while others seem to want to get rid of it.

Fenring said that
quote:
I don't think it takes all that much to explain why a person would embrace violence, rape, and all the rest. The allure of these things is not only evident in the mere fact of their popularity throughout history, but in the fact that they are the ultimate expressions of the "I" as being triumphantly important
which I think I agree with. The veneer of civilization that covers the barbarian is thin, that's also something I agree with. But then I don't get the following (by Seriati):
quote:

Ask yourself this, if the Roman Empire in the height of its glory was around today, could it handle the situation with terrorists? I think the answer is yes, and they would have done it with collective punishment and complete brutality. It's easy to believe that terrorism builds a natural recruiting benefit, when the choice a potential recruits has is between joining the terrorists and obtaining power and notoriety and staying home and possibly becoming a statistic but most likely not. If on the other hand, the state gave you no choice and didn't let you sit safely on the side lines ignoring the problem, would most people choose to fight terrorists with the backing of a state, or have the full resources of state after them with only terrorists as their allies?

I absolutely agree that the Romans would deal with terrorism with complete brutality. See how they handled slave revolts, the jews etc. If I understand what Seriati says right before that correctly, the solution to the terrorism problem might be not to ignore it, but to rethink our ethics - we might have to become more like the romans. Is that about right?

So if that's so, and the brutality of the Romans is actually easily accessible to us because our civilized behaviour is just skin deep, as Fenring stated, then is that really a wise course to follow? If we strip away the veneer of civilization in order to be able to deal with the (to me, rather small, until they get their hands on nukes) threat the terrorists pose to us, aren't we giving up something really important that took us a long time to achieve? That thin veneer may be thin, but isn't it really important to our way of life? If we strip away that veneer, aren't we becoming more like what the IS already is? How would collective punishment, e.g. punishing innocent people for what others have done, be any better than the killing of innocent people in Paris? Wouldn't that mean that the terrorists get exactly what they're after - a world where our societies regress, at least partly, to pre-humanism, e.g. to the middle or dark ages - exactly the state the IS wants to return to, with exactly the outdated sharia laws that we find so abhorent? So what would be the point in establishing a ruthless state, if it led to us becoming more tolerant of the methods we actually wanted to eradicate?

Am I making any sense here or should I just go to bed and have a good night's sleep?

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AI Wessex
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quote:
I just started rereading Vonnegut's mother Night...
His greatest and most underrated novel. It should be required reading for anyone trying to understand the mind****edupness of war.
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