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Author Topic: So, I have seen a few posts by members claiming that others are 'not human'  (Read 2495 times)

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Offline VekseidTopic starter

This sentiment is the poison through which the darkest chapters of human history are written. It drives good people to evil.

It is easy to hate, I know.



That the Islamic State is an almost comic-book villain style of evil is a given.

Likewise, each and every one of its members is human. Somehow, they came to the conclusion that theirs was the path to take.

You might not always be completely informed of their reasoning, either. Some of them were forced to fight - many of the Syrian refugees are fleeing impressment. When you read stories of ISIS executing its own troops for fleeing, be wary of laughing.

Others are there for the rape, the bloodshed. The promise of martyrdom or whatever twisted focus their ideology has given them. A view that something is wrong with the world and that it must be set 'right'.

To deny their humanity is to deny exploring why. How.

Yes, it leads to some uncomfortable questions.

Refuse to face them, and they will just come back under another name.

The cycle will continue and you will rail at things failing to be better than they were yesterday.



Every member of the Islamic State, every supporter, deserves justice.

As does each and every one of their victims.

No matter how soon and how decisive, it will not come soon enough. Not be great enough.

Life is not fair.

We measure the progress of human civilization by how far we have come in correcting this error in reality.

If you refuse to acknowledge the humanity of a perpetrator, you refuse to examine why. What led them to this.

Maybe it was fear.

Maybe it was ignorance.

Maybe it was desperation.

Maybe it was illness.

You may wish death or worse on these people, and I would not fault you for wanting such a judgment. Please understand what that means, however, and please be willing to help salt the fields on which these ideologies grow.



There is another, immensely more dangerous problem with associating 'inhuman' with 'evil'.

Please stop.

Offline MasterMischief

An excellent point.  Thank you.

Offline Dallas

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I am also one that feels "irked" with labels like "inhuman". In real life, of course...

Actually, I am not a fan of similar labels like that at all. Ones that are meant to cast a shadow over another human being as if they were inferior or some kind of demon. I just detest that kind of attitude.

But thank you.
« Last Edit: November 29, 2015, 04:56:04 AM by Dallas »

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I intensely dislike the label of 'inhuman' on humans.

Some people call them animals, which is like calling dogs mammals.  Humans are animals, so suggesting someone is inhuman means they are...what?  In my mind, attempting to strip away an evil person's humanity excuses them from the responsibility for their actions.  Less-evolved animals do not have the capacity for evil, only humans...so members of ISIS are very, very human...just very bad ones.

Offline Cyrano Johnson

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Really appreciate your being so on-point about this kind of thing, Vekseid.

Offline Aethereal

        Humans are animals, for we aren't plants, fungi, bacteria, viruses... And a human is a human, good or evil. I'm inclined to think people might be confusing the words "humane" and "human".

Offline ArtVandelay

Don't you think it's a problem that your political opinions get the most attention/mainstream acceptance because they're pinned? What if you don't believe in global warming, or truly believe they aren't human... seems like an unbalanced freedom of speech.

Offline Song

Don't you think it's a problem that your political opinions get the most attention/mainstream acceptance because they're pinned? What if you don't believe in global warming, or truly believe they aren't human... seems like an unbalanced freedom of speech.

As someone who runs an organization/community myself, I come across this attitude a lot. As the owner of these forums, Vekseid probably wants to create a certain kind of an environment, with people that are productive to the forums. It's his prerogative if he wants certain attitudes to have more prominence.

You misunderstand freedom of speech. Freedom of speech protects you from persecution by the government authorities, private communities are allowed to set their own rules and standards. As a libertarian, I am sure you agree.

As for the subject matter, people have dehumanized their enemies forever. It makes it easier to ignore their pain and suffering. I don't see people stopping with that attitude any time soon. It is unfortunae part of human psychology that one must be aware of before they can learn to stop themselves from responding in such a way to the abhorrent acts of other (groups) of people.

Offline Lithos

Don't you think it's a problem that your political opinions get the most attention/mainstream acceptance because they're pinned? What if you don't believe in global warming, or truly believe they aren't human... seems like an unbalanced freedom of speech.

The beautiful thing about measurable and verifiable things (humanity, based on us all being homo sapiens, global warming based on scientific data and basic statstics easily available) is that they are true no matter whether one believes in them or not.

Offline Fenrisulfr

Dehumanization and demonization is a common polarization step to be able to commit rather vile things against "opponents" while still feeling righteous. But it is just adding fuel to the fire, and diminishing the possibility to actually finding a solution.

Or, in less words; I agree.

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Quote
The beautiful thing about measurable and verifiable things (humanity, based on us all being homo sapiens, global warming based on scientific data and basic statstics easily available) is that they are true no matter whether one believes in them or not.

Richard Dawkins paraphrases this quite nicely. You don't get to pick and choose reality, whether you agree with it or not.

Quote
Dehumanization and demonization is a common polarization step to be able to commit rather vile things against "opponents" while still feeling righteous. But it is just adding fuel to the fire, and diminishing the possibility to actually finding a solution.

Or, in less words; I agree.

It much reminds me of the Rwandan genocide, where one enthic group called the other 'cockroaches'.  Anything to dehumanize, in order to make the horror of genocide more palatable to themselves.  It is a psychological tell when people use euphemisms in this way--it shows they have guilt, but they are trying to choke it.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2016, 04:48:13 PM by HannibalBarca »

Offline Fury Aphrodisia

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if we call them inhuman, what do we then feel is our right to do to them in response? What sort of justice would we give them?

A man walks down a road, and trips over a stone. in his frustration, he kicks the stone, and it bounces away into a ditch. No harm is done and the man continues walking. The stone, after all, does not call out in pain at the injustice. As he walks, he trips over an animal that lies dying. In sympathy, he provides water and a little food. The animal is sated, and gratefully goes along its way. The man feels good about himself, though the thing that could move has now done what the stone could not, and escaped punishment. Continuing along, he trips over a man who has passed out in the middle of the road. How does he treat this man? What justice does he mete out? It often depends on whether he sees the man as ally or enemy.

If we call those inhuman who do evil things, we neglect to take responsibility for the actions of humans. We also give them a reason to claim that they couldn't help what they were doing - they are not like us. We become them, step into their same thought patterns and perpetuate their evil. If they do things to others on the assumption they are not human, or the "right kind" of human, after which we deny them the acknowledgement of humanity, don't we become them? Don't we wear their clothes? Don't we pick up their weapons? Don't we wrap ourselves in the same ideologies and thought processes that brought about  their crimes in the first place? And if they aren't human, and we do what they do, then we aren't human. if we aren't human, to whom do we become accountable?

Instead, why not work under the bounds of our own responsibilities to educate and show compassion to these people, as an example, and bring them under the context of humanity in the way of the humane?

Offline SmokingCamels

Ok. I am probably going to be vilified for this, but I don't agree. Being labeled as a human is a privilage, not a right. Being a human does not make you more or less capable of evil or good. The one thing it does make you is responsible for your own actions. If you can't, or won't be held accountable for all you do, good and bad, you don't deserve to be a human, and instead deserve to be treated like the animal you want to emulate.

Offline Blythe

Ok. I am probably going to be vilified for this, but I don't agree. Being labeled as a human is a privilage, not a right.

Not trying to villify you, but I do disagree with you. Being human isn't a matter of privilege. It's not a matter of 'deserving.' It's not a subjective state.

FuryAphrodisia sums up my feelings on it rather well:

If we call those inhuman who do evil things, we neglect to take responsibility for the actions of humans. We also give them a reason to claim that they couldn't help what they were doing - they are not like us.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2016, 02:28:48 AM by Blythe »

Offline SmokingCamels

Not trying to villify you, but I do disagree with you. Being human isn't a matter of privilege. It's not a matter of 'deserving.' It's not a subjective state.

FuryAphrodisia sums up my feelings on it rather well:

I think you're missing my point or you genuinely outright disagree with me.  But at the same time, I think you agree with me, too.  It's a little confusing and perhaps some more elaboration is in order.

What I am trying to say is that there are humans that are pretty good.  And then there is just trash that doesn't deserve to be associated with humanity.  If you want to give up being a decent human so you can instead be a piece of trash, you lose the ability to call yourself a decent human being.  Instead, you should be labeled as the piece of trash you are.

This ties in with your bit about the responsibility of other humans. This part right here is where the confusion is coming from.  It sounds like you are suggesting that we (you, me, the OP, and everyone else) should also be responsible for (and thus held accountable for) the actions of one.  No.  You're either a decent person or you're not.  If you are, cool.  If not... well, you can, to quote Dwayne Johnson, "Go suck on a monkey's nipple."

Look at it this way.  If you're a terrible person and you want me to step in and take responsibility for you being such a terrible person, then I will step in.  But when I step in, you are going to behave exactly like I want you too, no ifs, ands, or buts.  If you don't want the label(s) associated with being the scum of humanity, then be a responsible, respectable person so you don't have those problems.  Word?

Offline Aethereal

Being labeled as a human is a privilage, not a right.
      Being human is not a privilege. It's not even a right. It's simply a fact. Cold, hard, uncaring, objective fact. Human is human is human, regardless of what they do or don't. A sadistic mass-murdering maniac is a human. The unremarkable, yet generally decent woman next door is a human. The paragon hero, saviour of many, who is there for everyone, is a human. We're all individuals of the human species. Equally. Regardless of any other qualities you might attach to any specific human individual. Being human isn't either a positive or negative trait, it's one of the things that just is.

        An apple won't turn into a rock simply because it's too sour for you. It may be a sour apple, not one of the sweet, juicy ones you like, but it's still an apple. In turn, a watermelon isn't an apple, even if you find it tasty. Both are fruits, though. And humans are animals.

       Claiming that someone who obviously is isn't a human simply doesn't make sense. It's absurd. Illogical. Maybe it's a matter of denial. You're not degrading anyone by calling them not human, you're merely being like a toddler who points at an apple and keeps saying 'Banana!" As I've noted elsewhere, I'm quite particular about what I perceive to be the correct use of language and labels, so for me, any and all such behaviour will just detract from whatever point you were trying to make by making me mildly annoyed at the deliberate wrong use of words.

Offline theLeslie

<3 Shienvien.  So perfectly stated.