1. We have added a Gift Upgrades feature that allows you to gift an account upgrade to another member, just in time for the holiday season. You can see the gift option when going to the Account Upgrades screen, or on any user profile screen.
    Dismiss Notice

Do Humans in General Enjoy Violence and Bloodshed?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Amenhotep7, Jan 18, 2005.

?

Do humans deep down enjoy/are not horrified by violence/bloodshed?

  1. Yes, it is in our nature not to be repulsed by the spilling of blood.

    29 vote(s)
    43.9%
  2. No, there is no such thing. Modern people are truly horrified by violence/bloodshed.

    1 vote(s)
    1.5%
  3. It varies from person-to-person.

    33 vote(s)
    50.0%
  4. Other.

    3 vote(s)
    4.5%
  1. Amenhotep7

    Amenhotep7 Spartiate

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2003
    Messages:
    6,597
    Location:
    Preparing for the Persians...
    I had a revelation as I watched Troy a week or so ago. I was at the part with the great battle when Achilles and his guys were taking the beaches of Troy. I realized that I enjoyed this scene. Then I realized, people are being killed, yet I enjoy the scene.

    And so I pondered. Did this scene merely appeal to the adrenaline rush, the want for a good cinematic experience, or did it also appeal to some deeper bellicose nature?

    Before you start freaking out and begin to think I'm crazy, I don't consider myself a violent man. Indeed, I am very peaceful. I have always enjoyed a good battle scene in a movie, yet the only blood I can claim to have spilled were either accidental, my own, or that of insects. (And one bully way back. But it was a nose bleed that I gave him, and some bruises.
    It's not like I pulled out some pocket knife and tried stabbing him.:eek: )

    Armed with this newfound question (whic, as all questions should, must be answered), I asked myself another: Do Humans, deep down no matter how pacifistic they claim themselves to be, no matter how much they decry violence, do they truly enjoy, or are at the very least not horrified by bloodshed?

    I looked at all of the things that I and others enjoy. I personally like boxing, which can get very violent. Some people are in to wrestling. War movies, plays, books, all contain things which have bloodshed, and yet people seem to enjoy it.

    So I wondered: If some people at random were put back into ancient Rome to witness a full-day's spectacle in the Colloseum, would they be repulsed, or start cheering someone one, as at a boxing match?

    I'm putting a poll up. :)
     
  2. Amenhotep7

    Amenhotep7 Spartiate

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2003
    Messages:
    6,597
    Location:
    Preparing for the Persians...
    Two votes and no replies? Come now, let's discuss things here. :p
     
  3. Yom

    Yom Re-ese Mekwanint

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2002
    Messages:
    5,551
    Location:
    Axum
    Yes, it is most likely in our genes. However, there is a limit. We do not enjoy absolute mutilation at all (unless it is the mutilation of your blood enemy, and then only maybe so). I doubt an omnivorous species that was squeamish of blood could survive very long. At the same time, there's no benefit for enjoying mutilation, as it wastes meat.

    You spoke too soon. :p
     
  4. nonconformist

    nonconformist Miserable

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2003
    Messages:
    18,740
    Location:
    Canterbury
    Yes, by nature of humans we kill to survive,a nd that has become a deep rooted thing. And even, as a peaceful guy, get a rush from physical opposition.
     
  5. Fetus4188

    Fetus4188 Deity

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2004
    Messages:
    3,629
    Location:
    Livermore, CA
    Yes, humans by nature are a violent and competetive species.
     
  6. Syterion

    Syterion Voodoo Economist

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2003
    Messages:
    4,287
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    There's a reason violent movies and videogames are popular...
     
  7. WillJ

    WillJ Coolness Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2002
    Messages:
    9,471
    Location:
    USA
    I don't think there's a direct reason, evolutionarily (word?) speaking, for humans to enjoy watching other humans get killed. One would think this is counterproductive.

    Rather, there might be indirect reasons. For example, what noncon said; it's obviously beneficial to us to enjoy seeing other animals killed (we need to eat), and there was nothing stopping us from taking this to the next level: fellow humans.

    Also, humans, especially those with lots o' testosterone, like sport and competition (which has obvious evolutionary benefits, since you have more food when you don't share it, etc.), and the stakes can't get higher than death, thus war (and other types of violence) are the most entertaining.

    And as Yom said, there are limits.

    But I'm no anthropologist or anything; I'm just rambling...
     
  8. Akka

    Akka Moody old mage.

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2001
    Messages:
    13,289
    Location:
    Facing my computer.
    None of the options fully satisfy me.

    No, not all humans enjoy bloodshed. It varies. But yes, there is a human widespread tendency to be fascinated by violence.
    I consider that it comes to an admiration for power, under any form. Be it violent rough power, mental power, intelligence, economic, social or else, the vast majority of humans do (though in very different ways and wildly variating according to each person) look up to power.
     
  9. nonconformist

    nonconformist Miserable

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2003
    Messages:
    18,740
    Location:
    Canterbury
    Also there is the fact that violence, war if you will, is sort of the next extreme step on the Darwinist "survival of the fittest" thing, and so benefits us that way.
     
  10. joacqin

    joacqin Prince

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2001
    Messages:
    323
    Location:
    Helsingborg, Sweden
    If you let your base instincts control you without reflection then yes, you enjoy bloodshed.
     
  11. Amenhotep7

    Amenhotep7 Spartiate

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2003
    Messages:
    6,597
    Location:
    Preparing for the Persians...
    So all who enjoy a battle scene are horrible people?
     
  12. joacqin

    joacqin Prince

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2001
    Messages:
    323
    Location:
    Helsingborg, Sweden
    Nope, one can safely turn off reflection when looking at a movie and see thousands of computer animated people getting slaughtered as we can intellectually understand that it isnt real. You are a horrible person if you go to a underground gladiator fight where desperate people fight to the death for your amusement.
     
  13. Double Barrel

    Double Barrel Deity

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2003
    Messages:
    2,224
    Location:
    M.D.M.I.
    We are both fascinated and repulsed by it. There are dualities in our basic animalistic nature that are in constant conflict with each other: barbarian vs. civilized.

    Now some people lean more toward one tendency over the other, as there are pacifists out there that are repulsed by any bloodshed. In the same way, there are those spectators (and participants in some cases) that are addicted to the rush that bloodshed provides them.

    But, I think most of us are somewhere in the middle. We can't help looking at the dead body at an automobile accident, but we regret doing it after the image has been placed on our conscience.
     
  14. Stapel

    Stapel FIAT 850 coupé

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2003
    Messages:
    11,036
    Location:
    's-Gravenhage
    Well, in the Roman days, people didn't watch football matches, but people slaughtering eachother, or people getting eaten alive by lions......

    Modern psychologists say watching cycling is popular, because we see men suffering.
     
  15. toh6wy

    toh6wy Emperor

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2003
    Messages:
    1,403
    Location:
    Omnipresent
    Humanity in general definitely has an affinity for bloodshed - or if not, at the very least for general violence. Of course, it is very easy to go too far, and I personally don't feel that violence with or without blood is more enjoyable one way or another. I do enjoy watching/reading about violence, though, assuming it's fictional. I also often get a rush from even a chance of competition, especially physical competition.
     
  16. CurtSibling

    CurtSibling ENEMY ACE™ SLeague Staff Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2001
    Messages:
    28,830
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Innsmouth
    Our love for destruction and war is a symptom of our immaturity as a species.

    Like a snotty mini-goth dabbling in rock music - We'll grow out of it.

    :D
     
  17. North King

    North King blech

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2004
    Messages:
    18,144
    Other; it is not in the nature of humans to enjoy violence directly. HOWEVER, what humans grow addicted to, particularly in advanced societies that have no real sources of adrenaline naturally, the hormones that course through your body when you are scared or excited. That is why we see much activity which is conducted for thrillseeking alone; the people who look for these are addicted to adrenaline. Seeing bloodshed and action and vicious battlescenes while we are in the safety of our couches means another easy source of adrenaline, where if we were actually exposed to the real thing like more primitive societies we would assosicate it with fear and our own chances of death, thus we would avoid it.
     
  18. Cheetah

    Cheetah Deity

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2002
    Messages:
    7,943
    Location:
    the relative oasis of CFC
    I think it is rather simple.

    We enjoy movie-scenes and games that are violent, possibly bloody because it gives us a greater feeling of success. To see others who has to struggle and die, far away from us gives us a feeling of superiority. We are safe, and the ones we see fighting are not. We are more powerfull than them.

    There are of course those who don't like violence, and I am not sure exactly why, or if they are more civilised than those who still like to see violence on others.

    However, as an addition to the first paragraph, as soon as the violence comes to close, everything changes. I doubt roman citisens liked the criminals in their streets, or that people who enjoy boxing would like a fight happening in front of their house. As soon as the violence comes to close to us, we no longer have control. We are suddenly not as superior as we thought we were. We are voulornable. People we know or things we own could be hurt and damaged.

    So I conclude that people like to see or know about others who is not as powerfull as them, for example by being hurt, being poor, or being scared. It gives a sence of superiority and strength. An instinct evolved from the competition between the individuals of a species for the limited resources.
     
  19. cgannon64

    cgannon64 BOB DYLAN'S ROCKIN OUT!

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2002
    Messages:
    19,213
    Location:
    Hipster-Authorland, Brooklyn (Hell)
    No. People enjoy acheiving goals and ideals, and they consider violence towards that end (for the most part) justified.
     
  20. Verbose

    Verbose Deity

    Joined:
    May 17, 2004
    Messages:
    9,704
    Location:
    Sweden / France
    All animals, humans included, have some pretty neat systems (fight-flight) that allows them to be aggressive under certain circumstances.

    In this mode you don't feel fear, pain etc. It's a pretty euphoric state, which you realize once you start coming down from this kind of "high". (Been in the odd fight, hit by a car etc... No fear, no pain, time slows down and a vibrant feeling of being present in the moment.) I can totally understand if some people get addicted to this kind of experience, and you can get it in war among other things. But the bloodshed prolly isn't what they crave as and of itself.

    As for fictional violence, us modern media savvy people are very capable of distinguishing it from the real thing.
    I don't think we enjoy fight scenes and war stories for the violence itself, but 'cause the violence is a means of giving the story an existential dimension. The proximity of death, even fictional death, makes a story more interesting. It is, after all, the Ultimate Reality we all know we have to face sooner or later. Fiction allows us to face it under controlled circumstances. Sort'a play with the idea.
     

Share This Page