Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Revenge and Interesting Torture

My two inspirations: 1) My history teacher talking to us about how people would go out and watch executions and have what amounted to a picnic. Also bringing up the violent entertainments that seem to do so well (for instance, the Saw franchise). 2) My brother's blogpost wherein he describes the advantages humanity has over most animals. He comes up with seven, including vengeance.

And a little connection clicked in my head. Vengeance has a purpose. If we kill things that hurt us, they don't breed. So, perhaps, when we think there is a purpose behind killing something, there is a part of us that wants to see him/her/it hurt/killed. This sort of thinking could spread fairly easily to other types of inflicted pain, especially since this would make it similar to something our bodies want us to do. Or, more simply, it feels good.

The interesting thing about this is that while when this instinct is confused it causes bad things (feuds going on for eternity and such), at it's base it's for good reason. There is a threat to me/my family/my pack/my tribe/etc., and so I must remove that threat. So revenge in and of itself is not a bad thing. It is only when it is taken to the point that it controls the person that it becomes bad--just like any other drive or emotion.

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