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  #1  
Old 07-30-2009, 07:22 PM
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Default Why Do People Demonize People?

Everyone knows that people sometimes demonize other people. That is, they portray them as entirely or almost entirely evil and certainly as less than fully human.

Sometimes it seems to me that nearly every group in human history has at one time or another been victims of attempts to demonize them. Perhaps the most famous example is the Nazi demonization of the Jews during the 1930s and 40s. But in addition to the Jews, you could also easily point to the efforts of various people and groups to demonize Westerners, Muslims, gays, Christians, Arabs, Liberals, Conservatives, Blacks, Irish, and on and on and on....

One odd thing about demonizing people is it is never really accurate or fair, but it is nevertheless a powerful means of stiring up animosity and hatred towards the targetted group. Put differently, for demonization to work -- and it does indeed work --- people must be willing and able to be made fools. They must be willing and able to believe what is manifestly untrue -- that someone -- such as a Jew, a Gay, an Arab, or a Black -- is less than human. But what makes people so susceptible to such nonsense? Why are people so easily made fools? Why are they so easily duped about other people?

More over, what does it say about the potential for humans to get along peacefully with each other that they are so easily turned against each other?

And last, given the ease with which people can be turned against other people through demonization, should demonization -- or at least should hate crimes -- be prosecuted with greater severity than other crimes?
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  #2  
Old 07-30-2009, 07:40 PM
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The human ego is unbiased when it comes to choosing an identity. Happy, miserable, hateful, helpful, critical. All of these qualities are equal and up for grabs to the ego. If I can't know who I am through happiness, maybe I can know who I am through unhappiness or conflict with others.
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  #3  
Old 07-30-2009, 07:47 PM
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Satan is a personification of the Judaic word al-satan or ha-satan (who borrowed it from the Persians' Shaiten) meaning adversary. The word is used more as a descriptive noun or pronoun. A fallen tree preventing a husband from getting to his injured wife would be considered a tree of shaiten, more or less.

Shaiten did not become Satan until much later where Jewish sects / tribes particularly the Essenes who began referring to anyone not an Essene as the Shaiten. Still further on the Roman Christian church decided it was time to personify Shaiten into Satan and have Him become the scapegoat for all evil in the Christian world.
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Old 07-31-2009, 01:32 AM
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There is an old Irish poem that describes an incident where a Irish woman is accosted by English soldiers and her child is killed in front of her for sport.

When I read this I was about 11, and I thought it was just another metaphor for how evil the Sassana are. Then a few years later I read about a Jewish woman who was accosted by Nazi officers and had her child brutally and gleefully murdered in front of her, I was struck by the coincidence but put it down to just that.

Then the same in Bosnia, Rwanda, South Africa and on and on. Easy to demonise the soldiers, but why the same thing over and over again?

The only answer I have is that in order to commit an atrocity on a people an live with yourself you need to dehumanise them.

On a smaller scale (which I know is what you meant) It is easier to be hateful towards someone if they are evil , hating evil is a good thing so if someone is evil and you hate them, then you are the good guy aren't you.
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Old 07-31-2009, 01:44 AM
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Humans are just another species of stupid animal. What do you expect?
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Old 07-31-2009, 04:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whereismynotecard View Post
Humans are just another species of stupid animal. What do you expect?
Better.
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Old 07-31-2009, 06:21 AM
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Default

its very simple,

1 and 2 live together in same land 1 wants to be the ruler there but so does 2,
but they both know that you can't just start killing people to take there land..... but what if you make them seem less human, than it would be ok, because you wouldn't be killing humans you would just be terminating the life's of those "abominations"

without creating the illusion that 1 set of human's is lesser there would be no war
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Old 07-31-2009, 11:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunstone View Post
One odd thing about demonizing people is it is never really accurate or fair, but it is nevertheless a powerful means of stiring up animosity and hatred towards the targetted group. Put differently, for demonization to work -- and it does indeed work --- people must be willing and able to be made fools. They must be willing and able to believe what is manifestly untrue -- that someone -- such as a Jew, a Gay, an Arab, or a Black -- is less than human. But what makes people so susceptible to such nonsense? Why are people so easily made fools? Why are they so easily duped about other people?
Using the Nazis and Jews as an example again, the way it was accomplished was blaming the Jews and holding them responsible for all the bad things that were happening in Germany. People always want someone to blame for their problems. Demonizing people becomes easier when you can blame them for atrocities. It allows you to commit new atrocities against them.
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Old 07-31-2009, 01:18 PM
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People love to be self-righteous and they love drama. Put the two together.
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Old 07-31-2009, 01:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atotalstranger View Post
People love to be self-righteous and they love drama. Put the two together.
And you get Seventh Heaven
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